Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Day

Gotta love Louisiana!  It’s probably the only place on earth where an eighth of an inch of slushy precipitation shuts down commerce, sends drivers headed for the ditches, and leaves school children home, running wild and free.  Such was the scene in our corner of the world this week.

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Personally, I hate this wintry weather.  Give me 90 degrees any day!  But my monkeys couldn’t have been more excited about the slush and flurries.  They eagerly watched the weather, running back and forth between windows to see whether there was more accumulation in the front yard or the back.  Imagine their delight when the kids woke Tuesday morning to see the ground covered in a thin, crunchy layer of snow.  (Actually, it was really just sleet, but, honestly, as long as it was white and frozen, the monkeys really didn’t care about the particulars.)

As soon as they had gobbled down their breakfasts, the monkeys donned their warmest camouflage coveralls (‘cause that’s the way we roll here in Louisiana) and headed outside with the Tool Man for some redneck fun.

Before my crew could decide what to do first, cousin Taylor came over with a sled that her dad made. 

Pop quiz time!  How do rednecks pull homemade sleds?  Behind four-wheelers and golf carts, of course.  And they always let their Chihuahuas ride shotgun!

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Without a doubt, Lucy was the biggest fan of the sled.  When her Uncle Brian finally tired of dragging her behind the four-wheeler, Taylor stepped in and became her mule!

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It was only a matter of time before the Tool Man’s redneck ingenuity took over and made the connection between snow skiing and water skiing.

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Have you ever seen anything more ridiculous in all your life?!  Frozen water skiing!  Surely this will be an Olympic sport before long, and the official uniform shall be camouflage and rubber boots.

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Ty was a natural at the sport, skiing with ease behind our golf cart.  Then the Tool man decided to give it a go.  First, he tried it behind the four-wheeler, but he kept losing his momentum every time the machine shifted gears.

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He finally found his groove behind the golf cart.  I still can’t believe he trusted me to be his driver!  (Yes, I drove the cart and took these pictures at the same time.  I’m quite talented like that.)

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With all of the activity, the kids worked up quite an appetite.  Luckily, they found some of nature’s popsicles hanging in the woods.

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Even Tacy Mae enjoyed the cold, crisp air, wrapped snug as a bug riding with me on the golf cart.  She cried when when we finally took her back inside.

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So, I guess that was our snow day for the next 3-4 years.  It certainly was full of excitement.  I know the monkeys will never forget the fun they had slipping and sliding in our icy winter wonderland. Y’all stay warm!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tacy Tales

Remember way back when, during Tacy’s first year, I used to give a monthly update on her growth and development?  Well, I’ve been thinking about that recently and realized that over the last 4-5 months, there’s a lot of fun stuff going on with her that I’d like to jot down.

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I’ve been keeping a rough list of Tacy’s milestones and funny antics, but I know that with the passage of time I’ll forget some of the details.  I thought I might share a few Tacy tales with y’all today.  This way I can come back and read them whenever I want.

(Please forgive me if my writing seems kind of random and haphazard today.  I really had trouble deciding on the best way to organize all this information.  I hope I don’t confuse y’all too much as I jump between topics.)

I’ll start with Tacy’s language.  Tacy has been really busy adding new words to her vocabulary over the past few months.  Now she goes to the pantry door and says, “hungry,” when she wants a snack.  When she hears our geese and chickens honking and clucking she says, “Gee,” and, “bock bock.”  And Tacy has a nickname for her three special blankies that she loves so much – “Buddy”  We never go anywhere without at least one Buddy.

During her 13th month, Tacy mastered saying and waving, “Bye bye.”  She used the term to mean, “Good night,” “I’m ready to go,” and, my personal favorite, “Go away!”  Ha ha.  Gotta love that brutal honesty!

Tacy is not only talking these days, she’s singing too.  Old McDonald.  She loves to watch an animated version of the tune on my iPad and sing along, “I-E-I-E-I-E.”  She watches it again and again and again…

In addition to oral language Tacy has learned to sign few words.  She signs, “All done,” when she is finished eating and, “More please,” when she’s still hungry.

More interesting than what Tacy is saying is what Tacy is refusing to say.  She absolutely refuses to call our chihuahua Coco by her name.  Tacy always calls her, “Dee Dee,” which is our other dog’s name.  Without fail, every time I ask Tacy to say, “Coco,” she happily responds with, “Dee Dee.”  I’m pretty sure it’s a game to her now.  Tacy also refuses to say, “Lucy.”  She insists on calling big sister, “Ty Ty.”  I think it’s a matter of over generalizing.  To Tacy all dogs are Dee Dee and all children are Ty Ty.

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I’ve really enjoyed watching Tacy as she learns about the world around her.  It’s fun to see her picking up on things like how to use a hairbrush, hug a baby doll, use an iPhone, and put on shoes.  Boy does she love shoes!  One thing Tacy is not interested in, though, is television.  You read that correctly.  She has absolutely zero interest in TV.

Since learning to walk, Tacy has proven to be quite the little billy goat. She climbs onto and into everything she can get her big toe on – coffee table, stairs, step stools, drawers, pantry shelves, boxes – you name it!  Her favorite place to climb is at our breakfast room table, a.k.a. school table.  She loves scaling the chairs and trying to get the big kids’ school books and supplies.  She wants so much to be a big kid!

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Perhaps the most significant development Tacy has made over the past four months has been her discovery of self and free will.  It was like a light bulb came on for her at 15 months.  She suddenly became aware that she had free will and could choose whether to obey or not.

A few examples:

  • Tacy could choose to eat her dinner, or spit it out and pitch a fit.
  • She could choose to stop climbing the stairs when told to stop, or race to the top instead.
  • She could choose to hand me an open marker, or frantically scribble on the chair.

In any case, when Tacy does choose to obey, she’ll more than likely stick her bottom lip out as far as it will go, duck her chin, and look up at us with the most pitiful eyes you’ll ever see.  On the other hand, when Tacy is forced to obey, her favorite response is to lie face down on the floor and cry.

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One last thing I’ll mention today.  Tacy has been working diligently learning to use a spoon.  She’s gotten really good at it too.  Almost every morning last week she fed herself yogurt and applesauce for breakfast, which was a tremendous help to me, because it freed my hands up to help Ty and Lucy get started on school.

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Wow!  My little baby is growing so fast.  Whenever I see a photo of Tacy from just 3 or 4 months ago, I’m amazed at how much she has changed.  I’m so thankful for her life and her health!  And I’m thankful for the opportunity to stay home with her everyday and enjoy all these precious moments.  They do fly by so fast.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Staying Warm

Hey, y’all!  What did ya’ think about the outcome of Groundhog’s Day?  I know I was bummed about it.  Not that I believe a furry little rodent controls the weather (is a groundhog a rodent??), but it sure would have been a nice to have him on my side.  I hate winter!!!  I’ve been anticipating spring since December 26.  It happens that way every year for me.  I go straight from thinking, “Merry Christmas,” to, “Is is spring yet?”  I’m sick of winter coats, short days, cold weather, barren trees, and brown grass.  I need green!!!  (I also need to be able to kick my children out of the house for a while so they can burn off some energy.)
Luckily, I live in Louisiana, where, within a week’s time, we usually experience temperatures ranging from 28 to 68 degrees.  Thank goodness for those “68” days.  I try to enjoy them as much as possible.  On the cold days, I pass the time by dreaming about what I’m going to do when spring does arrive:  plant tomatoes & squash, raise some more chicks, spruce up the flowerbeds, shop for Easter dresses, take annual spring pictures of the monkeys, set up the pool, cook on the deck… I can’t wait!
Yesterday was a particularly cold one.  I’m pretty sure the mercury didn’t make it past 35 degrees.  Brrrrr!  The best way I know to stay warm on days like that is to cook up a big ol’ pot of soup.  A steamy bowl of delicious soup always does the trick, warming me up from the inside out.
I don’t know about y’all, but sometimes I get in a soup rut, bouncing back and forth between staples:  taco soup and potato soup.  But last week we feasted on a new recipe I found on Pinterest. It was so yummy and very easy to prepare, so I thought I’d be neighborly and pass the recipe link on to y’all.
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It’s called 20 Minute Italian, Turkey, Bean, & Spinach Soup, and it was pinned from rachelcooks.com.
Now don’t let the the “S” word in the name scare you off.  The spinach becomes so soft and tender and soaks up the flavors of the broth.  It’s just delicious!  And if you are feeding hard-headed people who refuse to try spinach, well, they can just eat around it, because there’s not really all that much spinach in the pot.
Without a doubt, the best part about this recipe has to be the “20 Minute” part.  I am all about simple suppers lately, and this dish fits the bill.  The only actual cooking involved is browning some onion.  How hard is that?
So next time you’re feeling chilled to the bone, why don’t you try out this new recipe?  Then kick back in front of the fire and think warm, happy, spring thoughts.  It’ll be here before we know it.