My Life at a Glance

Saturday, January 06, 2007

I've Moved!!!

I'm really excited about my new website. I will no longer be blogging here or at A Year In The Life. From now on, I'll be at Nothing Gold. So, update your bookmarks to take you there, and, if you have a link to my blogs on yours, I would appreciate if you would change it to the new site, too. So, come on over, and make sure to tell me what you think.

www.nothinggold.net

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas is Over

Well, life has definitely been a lot slower for me the past two days. I was supposed to go to my grandmother's for Christmas dinner yesterday, but Kyra woke up throwing up. So, my mom came by and got Elijah, and she took him with her. Chris had to work yesterday, so it was just me, Kyra, and Owen at home. It didn't even feel like Christmas. Mom brought us a plate home from the dinner, though, so at least we got to eat some Christmas dinner. I spent the day playing with Kyra, taking toys out of packaging, and trying to clean up a little. I didn't get much done by way of cleaning up, but I played with Kyra more yesterday than I have in the last three months. I mean one-on-one playing. We played multiple games of Pretty, Pretty Princess and The Little Engine That Could Games. We played with her new Barbie laptop, and her Princess Leap Pad Book. We played with her Barbie Fashion Plates, and put stickers in her Princess Sticker Book that her pen pal, Lindsey, sent her. I know she had fun.
Today, I have cleaning and studying on the agenda. I really need to get the mess under control and the laundry caught up, and I need to get some math review done. My test is on the 2nd, so it's coming up quickly.
So, today is day two of taking a shower and putting pajamas right back on. Ya know what? It feels good. Ahhh. Life in the slow lane.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tired But Happy

I am so tired. I really need to be in bed, but I haven't posted in so long. I keep telling myself that I am going to sit down and blog about something interesting, but I can't seem to find the time. I have been so busy lately. I wouldn't be nearly as busy if Chris weren't so busy. He is taking his last test of the semester tomorrow, though, and then he will have a break. He won't start school back until January 15th. My classes will start on January 16th. I suppose we will both be up to our ears in schoolwork then. That is assuming that I get the classes that I need. I'm scheduled to take the Compass test on January 2nd. I'm really nervous about it, but I'm excited, too. I'm really looking forward to going back to school.
Kyra has a Christmas party at school tomorrow, and then she is out for Christmas break. I'm not even sure what day they go back in the new year. Can you believe that 2006 is almost over? It's went by so fast. I am going to switch over to the new blogger for the new year, and do a re-design of my photo blog. It is currently titled "A Year in the Life" and subtitled "The Harmon children's 2006...in picture form.", so that won't apply in 2007. Any suggestions for a new name for it?
I hesitate to say that I am looking forward to the holidays being over, but I will be glad when it slows down to normal again. Things just seem so hectic, and I stay so busy. This weekend will be loaded down with activities...especially since Christmas Eve is on Sunday, and we will have church in the morning and in the evening. I'll just not think about it right now.
I have to say, as busy as I've been, I have so been enjoying my kids lately. Owen is at an especially fun age, and he is such a little cuddle-bug. The older two are always lots of fun, and they keep us in stitches over the things that they say. My life is just so good. I am a very blessed woman.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Recap of My Week

Whew! What a busy week. I have had to go somewhere or do something every day this week. It never ceases to amaze me how fast time goes by. The older I get, the faster it goes. It is kind of sad when you think about the rest of your life passing by this quickly. The kids are getting bigger so fast. I don't even want to think about them growing up and moving out. So, I won't. I'll get on with this post.
Owen and Elijah are pretty much better. They both have mildly runny noses, but are both feeling fine. We took Owen back to Children's on Thursday, and he got a completely clean bill of health. My mommy instinct was right. My baby was fine. I knew he was. He's too happy and content for there to have been something wrong with him.
I've been trying to brush up on my math skills in preparation for the COMPASS test. I called Roane State (the community college I applied to) yesterday, but they haven't received my transcripts from high school yet. I can't register to take the COMPASS test until they have my transcripts. So, I'll call them back on Monday. The next testing date is on the 13th, and I'm afraid I won't make it. Classes are all filling up, so I'm a little worried that I won't be able to start in the spring semester. We'll see. I wish I had of decided to apply a little sooner. There's nothing I can do about it now, though. I'll just keep working on refreshing my math skills, and take the test as soon as I can.
Last night I took the kids to the birthday party of a little girl at church. They had a lot of fun. Elijah played with their race track all evening. It was really neat. It was the kind where you shake the cars to make them go. He was so cute shaking them up, and then putting them on the track. I am thinking it would make a really good birthday present. Kyra played princesses all night. The birthday girl is even more into princesses than Kyra is. Their grandmother told me that I needed to bring them over to play one day. I think I will, because they had a lot of fun.
I went shopping on Tuesday with Misty (my sister-in-law), and I finished my Christmas shopping. The only thing I have left is to buy a couple of gift cards for some people, but I can do that here in Harriman any time. It's so nice to have it all done.
I went to lunch with my friend, Jen, on Monday, which was a lot of fun. We hadn't seen each other in a long time, so it was really cool to catch up on things. Hopefully, we can do it again soon. I really enjoyed going out with just the baby, and talking with a friend. Jen turned me on to this new Mexican place here in town. It was really good. I love it, and had Chris go with me again on Wednesday. Thnaks, Jen, for adding to my growing weight problem. (pun intended)
I cut my bangs the other day. I'm not sure if I like them yet or not. Don't worry, it wasn't a Kyra cut. I just trimmed them all straight accross. They don't look bad or anything. They're just different. I havne't wore my bangs this way since I was like thirteen. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.
Thursday evening, we bought a new (to us) car. Chris really needed a car to drive to work. His truck has a LOT of miles on it, and doesn't work as well as it used to. The heat doesn't work anymore, and Chris was freezing going to work and back. He has been looking for a good used car for some time now. He decided on a 2002 Dodge Stratus. It's pretty nice. It's white, and has been taken good care of. I like it. I have missed driving a car. My big van is very useful, but driving a car is a lot more fun.
I spent Thursday night helping my brother, Luke, work on a research paper for school. It is due on Friday, and he hadn't even started on it. Typical sixteen year old boy behavior, no?
So, that's what I've been up to this week. It was a bit of a jumbled recap, but, oh well. I just wrote about things as I thought of them. I have to run to Kroger in a minute and get stuff to make a cheesecake and a green bean casserole for the church Christmas dinner tomorrow night. I'm really proud of my newly acquired ability to make a real cheesecake. I love cheesecake. We are desperately in need of me taking care of Mount Laundry today, too. Elijah is out of pants. Hopefully, I'll get it all taken care of this afternoon. I'm supposed to take the kids and go to my parent's this evening. Misty has set up an evening of fried fish (compliments of my dad, the master fish fryer [and fish catcher, for that matter]) and Rook. I love to play games. I like board games the best, but I enjoy card games, too. About a year ago, we were really into playing Rook, but everyone else kind of got burned out on it after a while. We need to invest in some games that everyone can play. Outburst or Pictionary or something. Did I mention I love to play games? So, anyway, that's my day. I hope everyone has a great weekend! For those of you around here, the kids' Christmas play is next Sunday night (the 17th, I believe). My brother, Seth, has one of the biggest parts in the play, and Kyra and possibly Elijah (depending on if he cooperates) will be in the nativity scene. Kyra has a small part in quoting a Christmas poem, and will be singing a song with the Children's Choir.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Update on Owen

I took Owen back to the doctor this afternoon. He said that Owen sounded a lot better, and that he looked good. His RSV test was negative, thankfully. He put him on an antibiotic, in addition to the other medicines that he prescribed yesterday. He said that he was afraid that he might develop pneumonia if he didn't put him on the antibiotic. So, that's a total of four medicines that he's on. They do seem to be working, though, and Owen hasn't gotten any worse. He sounds much worse at night, but he never got really, really bad. He hasn't been coughing too much, but he sounds wheezy when he cries or fusses.
I appreciate those of you who have mentioned Owen in your prayers. It's nice to be able to ask you guys to pray for him. It just adds a certain measure of comfort to know that people are taking your little one before the Lord in prayer.

As an aside, I'm taking him back to the gastroenteroligist on Thursday. I am expecting her to give him a clean bill of health, and pronounce him completely normal and healthy. Especially since Owen weighed 13lbs 5ozs at the doctor yesterday. He has really been gaining good since we started giving him baby food. I guess he really did just need some extra calories. Again, thanks for your prayers.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Little Guy is Sick

I hope that everyone will keep Owen in your prayers. He has got croup, and croup scares me. Kyra was hospitalized with it when she was a baby. I took him and Elijah to the doctor today. Elijah has a sinus infection, and is on antibiotics. The doctor prescribed Owen three different kinds of medicines, two of which he takes via a nebulizer. He didn't like the breathing treatments too well, but it wasn't too bad. He's sleeping now. The doctor told me that if he gets worse during the night to take him straight to the emergency room. Hopefully that won't happen. I am supposed to take him back to the doctor tomorrow regardless. They also swabbed his nose at the hospital to test for RSV. So, I wish everyone would pray for him. He's sleeping now.

A Little Dinner Conversation

We just got finished with lunch. I don't usually fix anything for lunch that we all sit down to. Chris was home today, though. He took the day off of work to catch up on some schoolwork. So, when I got hungry, I decided to make something for all of us. Nothing fancy. I just put a frozen pizza in the oven, and put together a quick salad. Kyra declined the pizza, and opted just for a salad. Chris and I watched the epidsode of Oprah yesterday that featured a question and answer session with Dr. Oz. I find the episodes with Dr. Oz fascinating. One thing that he said in the show was that, in Europe, they eat their salads after their main course. So, I was asking Chris if he saw that part, and we were discussing it. Chris said, "He also said we shouldn't be eating ranch dressing."
To which Kyra replied in horror, "No ranch dressing?!?"
I quickly assured her, "Don't worry, Kyra. That's a sacrifice too great for us."
We do love our ranch dressing around here.

When Kyra finished her salad, she got up from the table, and, as she is walking away, says, "Thank you, Mama. It was delicious."
Then, I patted myself on the back, congratulated myself on such a beautiful, well-mannered child who declines pizza for salad, and said, "Thank you, Kyra, and you are welcome."

I will be signing my parenting books after dinner tonight, if anyone wants an autographed copy.


(What? No, I don't feel the need to share that my other child told me today, "You smell like stinky poop, Mama. Ha ha!" Why would I talk about something like that? I'm accentuating the positive here.)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Busy as a....

wife to a full-time student/40+ hour a week worker of varied shifts, and mother of three kids four and under. Yeah. Those beavers don't got nuthin' on me.

Life has been hectic lately. I'll just hit the highlights.

The day before Thanksgiving, Kyra decided to give herself a haircut. Yes, I know. It was pretty bad. Thankfully, she just cut her bangs. Thankfully, as in it could of been worse had she cut the length of her hair, no thankfully, as in she did a pretty good job for a four year old cutting her own hair. Quite honestly, she did a pretty horrible job. Her bangs are about an inch long. Lucky for her, she is four. Four year olds are not only cute enough to have their general adorableness outshine the hideous haircut they are sporting, but they are also young enough that people just laugh at them in a "kids will be kids" way. She is very lucky to have a good-natured, easy-going mother who, instead of screaming at her for the absurdity of the idea that taking scissors to a perfectly good hairstyle with no mirror in sight would be a good thing, chose to laugh through the tears that gathered in my eyes and tell myself, in the moment, that they would grow back. Kyra was immediately repentant, and realized that her bangs didn't look good. I couldn't fuss at her, when she came to me already sorry and feeling bad that she didn't look the best.

I've discovered that I quite like to bake, now that I have an enthusiastic helper (with bad bangs) to join in on the process. It makes me feel, oh, so motherly to bake cookies with my offspring.

My biggest news is that I have started the ball rolling on the process of going to college. Yep, college. I had always planned to go to college. I took college prep courses in high school, and I always made very good grades. I graduated with honors, in fact. I started dating Chris when I was sixteen, right before I graduated, and my plans changed. Instead of heading off to college, I got married, and started a family. I have never regretted doing it that way. I would do it just exactly the same if I had to go back and do it over. Now that I am through having babies for the time being, I am going to get back to the original plan of going to college. I figure that, since Chris is spending every free moment doing schoolwork for the next few years, I might as well be doing the same thing. I called today to make an appointment with an admissions advisor. I'm supposed to meet with her Friday morning at ten. I'm very nervous about it all. I realize that I am not to old to go back to school. Not by a long shot. I also realize that I somewhat intelligent, and I will do fine with the schoolwork. What everyone else doesn't seem to realize is that I have never been a part of a traditional school setting. You know, with the teacher up front teaching. I went to an ACE christian school (the one that Kyra attends now) from pre-school until the middle of my tenth grade year, and then I was home-schooled for the remainder of my high school education. Just the sheer difference in learning/teaching styles frightens me. New things scare me. Hopefully, though, it won't be too bad. I'm hoping to begin in January. I don't know, yet, if that is possible though. We'll see. Wish me luck!

With the upcoming Christmas season, I'm going to be busier than ever. We have play practices at church for the kids, family things, some Christmas shopping, and all of the normal activities to take up my time. I hope to keep this blog pretty current though. I appreciate you all continuing to stop by my blog. It's cool to know that people are reading what I write, even if I'm not writing as often as I used to.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Housekeeping 101

I'm trying to get the house cleaned up today. It kind of fell apart over the holiday, what with all of the baking, visiting, and traveling. I just told the kids that they needed to clean up the living room, which is one of their chores. They are both a little under the weather with colds and a touch of the croup, so I'm sure that is affecting their attitudes a bit. Their reactions to being told to do their chore was pretty amusing.

Kyra reacted with tears. She told me quite indignantly that, "I am not a job-girl!" I'm assuming that a job-girl is about the equivelent of a servant. I told her that the living room was her chore, though, and she had to pick up her toys. She said that she wasn't a job-girl, and she didn't want to do it. I told her that she was part of this family, and that families had to all help out. I told her that if she didn't want to be a part of our family, then I guess she needed to go live somewhere else. To which my darling daughter suggested her Mammy's house. I pointed out that Mammy had to go to work and couldn't watch her, and then she added that Mammy didn't have a bed for her. So, in her mind, the one choice of living arrangement besides just staying here was not an option, so she is stuck with us. She begrudgingly began taking her toys to her room, after I threatened to throw them in the garbage, while she cried, "I am NOT a job-girl!". I'm hoping her attitude will improve when she starts feeling better.

Now, Elijah had a different approach to cleaning the living room. He had seven or eight little men in the living room floor, along with a box of hot wheels. So, upon being told to clean the living room, he used a six inch piece of string to tie around the first man, and then flew him into his bedroom, talking to himself and making sound effects the whole way. He then returned to the living room, and tied up the second man. At this rate, he might be finished by the time he starts kindergarten.

And people wonder why my house is always messy!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Just Call Me Supermom

I got up this morning, took Kyra to school, came home, fed Owen and put him down for a nap, showered and got ready, went to Kyra's school to have lunch with her, came home, went grocery shopping with Owen, came home and baked six or eight dozen cookies and two loaves of pumpkin bread, put the older kids to bed, and let Owen go to sleep in my arms. There was a lot of diaper changing, baby feeding, two year old disciplining, and kissing going on in between, too.

I just wanted you guys to know why my blog posts have been so few and far between lately.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

He's in the Army.....Again.



Chris took his Oath of Office this morning. He is now officially in the Army again. He was given his oath by Bro. Mike Beech, who is a Chaplain in the Army Reserves, and who pastors a church in our area. I thought that it was pretty cool that a Chaplain administered his oath, and also that it was done on Veteran's Day weekend.



2nd Lieutenant Chris Harmon and 1st Lieutenant Mike Beech



Here he is with his proud, adoring wife (who, I assure you, is not as fat as the sweater she is wearing would make you think).

Friday, November 10, 2006


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
109
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Postponed

Well, the Army will have to wait another day or two. The Chaplain who was going to administer Chris' oath this morning got sick. It's kind of disappointing, but, hopefully, it will happen later this weekend. Chris and I both are really excited about it. I'll be sure to post pictures and video as soon as I get them. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Potty Training, Children's Hospital, and the Army, Oh My!

I know I've been scarce. It seems like my days go by so fast. Somehow, Kyra going to school two days a week has kicked time into overdrive. It just goes by so quick. I have a lot to blog about, it's just finding the time to sit down and do it that's the problem.
Elijah has made great strides in getting potty trained. I hate potty training. I'm not good at it. It drives me nuts. Ugh. Monday morning, though, Elijah was looking for a pull-up, and the package was empty. I had four or five in the diaper bag, but I told him that they were all gone. I told him that he would just have to wear big boy underwear now. For some reason, him thinking that there were no pull ups made him more willing to go to the potty. So, he's been in underwear all week. He's had several accidents, but not too many. He has only did #2 on himself once. So, we're getting there. Going cold turkey has been kind of nerve wracking. We even took him to church in underwear. He peed on himself at the hospital today two minutes after Chris took him to the bathroom. That was frustrating and a little embarassing, but I really think we're going to get there soon.
Today was Owen's appointment with the gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital. She weighed him, examined him, and had some blood drawn. Since starting him on cereal, he's been going to the bathroom more often, so she said that has kind of taken care of itself. The only thing that she was concerned with was that he has dropped down the growth chart, and is not gaining weight like he should. He has gained less than five pounds since he was born. He weighed 11 lbs 11 ozs today. She is having me bring him back in four weeks. She said that, now that she has seen him, she knows where he should be in four weeks. If he is there, then all is good. If he isn't, I am not really sure where they go from there. She said that she was going to test his thyroid, but that she didn't think that was his problem. I'm thinking that he is just small, like my family, but Chris is starting to get a little concerned that he's not growing enough. Keep him in your prayers.
Chris got his oath of office in the mail last week. We have been reading the blog of a Reserve Army Chaplain who lives in our area since we began the whole process in June, and, Monday, we ran into him at McDonalds. Chris introduced himself, and they struck up a conversation. Now, we are going to his church tomorrow morning, and he is going to administer Chris' oath. After that, he'll be back in the Army. I plan on recording it, and taking pictures. It's really exciting.
That's all the latest here at the Harmon household. Now, I'm going to bed. I have to get up early in the morning.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Doctor's Appt Update

Owen's doctor's appointment today went pretty well. He only weighed 11 lbs 13 ozs. That's not much for being four months old. So, his doctor wants me to start giving him baby food, because he says that we need to increase his caloric intake. Owen's also had some poop issues...only going once a week. So, he is sending him to see a gastrointeroligist to make sure that there are no problems with his bowel. It's very unusual for a breastfed baby to not be going more than that. I'm not worried about it. Owen is such a happy baby. I think his size is so small because he takes after my side of the family...we're just little people. I'm not going to worry about the other thing until I am told that there is a reason to worry. I think that our doctor is just cautious, and, when something isn't normal, he wants to make sure that there is not something wrong. My philosophy has always been "better safe than sorry", so that is okay by me.
So Owen will get his first taste of solid food tomorrow. Mmmm....rice cereal. Sounds yummy, doesn't it?
Me, Kyra, and Elijah all got flu shots today as well. I got mine first to show them that it doesn't hurt too much. Kyra was next, and she cried a little bit. When hers was done, I turned to look at Elijah, and he had two big fat tears rolling down his face from watching them give his sister a shot. He said, "That made me sad, Mama." Let me tell you, it made him really sad when it came to be his turn. It wasn't too bad all in all. They mostly just cried for the time it took them to get the shot, and for a minute or so after. They got a little toy, a sucker, and a card for free ice cream from Sonic...so I think they were well compensated. Poor little Owen got four shots today. He got two in each leg. He's cried all evening with his sore little legs. He's already running a little bit of a fever. He's sleeping now. I hope that he doesn't have a fitful night. My arm is a little sore already. The kids got theirs in their thighs. I hope it doesn't make their leg hurt. Shots are no fun, but they are better than the alternative. I'd rather deal with low grade fevers and sore arms and legs than influenza, polio, diptheria, or even whooping cough. Not to mention all of the other things they are vaccinated against that I can't bring to memory right now.
So, that's my update, and I'm glad it's all over.

All the Latest

I've not been blogging routinely, lately. I've been kind of busy, but it's not really been blog-worthy. I've played tennis a few times with my cousin and friend, Steph. We had fun. Last Saturday, we had a hot dog roast at the fish farm for church. That was a lot of fun. It was so gorgeous there. It's gorgeous everywhere, right now. The leaves are beautiful this year. It warmed up here, recently, so the kids have been playing outside some. I took them with me when I went to play tennis, and even the baby was pretty good. I took them by to see my grandparents yesterday after I picked Kyra up from school. I took a couple of pictures of the kids with Mamaw and Papaw. I'll put them up on A Year in the Life when I get a chance...maybe this afternoon. Last night, I spent a couple of hours helping Chris study for his Baptist History exam. He has a LOT of dates and events to memorize. I don't know how he is taking all of this stuff in. It just seems like so much to remember. He has a good memory, though. Not like me, who forgets everything.
We're fixing to head to the doctor this afternoon for Owen's four month check-up. Me, Kyra, and Elijah also have to get flu shots if they have got them in. Not looking forward to getting three kids who have just had shots out of the doctor's office. I'm not too worried about Kyra and Owen, but Elijah is TERRIBLE at the doctor's office. He starts crying as soon as we get taken back. Hopefully, he won't realize that he gets a shot today. I told him we were taking Owen. Chris is working today, so I'm on my own. So, wish me luck! I'll post an update when I get home.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Whoa, Mama! Whoa!

I was on my way to pick up Kyra from school today, with Elijah and Owen, and it was raining. It had been raining all day long. I had just slowed down to take a huge curve at the top of a very big, steep hill. I had gained a bit of speed as soon as I started down the hill. Suddenly, a purple car pulls out right in front of me. I had about two seconds to hit my brakes, and...they didn't work. The hill was so slick with rain that I was just sliding. In the split second before I t-boned the purple car, I jerked the wheel to the right, and into the ditch. My heart was beating out of my chest as I slid about a hundred feet down the hill. My brakes were useless on the wet grass and pavement. I was bumping violently over rocks, and Elijah was in the back saying, "Whoa, Mama. Whoa! Whoa, Mama! Whoa!". I finally skidded to a stop. I put the car in park, and sat there trying to catch my breath.

Did that just happen?


It did, and I couldn't believe it. I had went years without any automobile incidents, and I had just gotten into the second one in only about a month's time. As I sat there, the purple car pulled down beside me. I looked over to see three teengagers with three very worried looks on their faces.
"Are you okay?" the boy in the passenger seat asked.
I nodded. "Did I hit you?". It had all happened so fast that I didn't even know if I had hit them at all.
"No." the boy said. "We're so sorry. She didn't see you."
How could you? I thought. You didn't even slow down before you pulled out.
I was standing in the rain, with my hand over my heart. I couldn't quite catch my breath.
"Are you okay, Ma'am?" the boy in the backseat asked me.
"Yeah. I'm just nervous. My heart is pounding." Inside, I was thinking, I can't believe that I am the adult in the situation. I don't know what to do.
So, I did what any good woman would do. I called my husband.
Long story short, I called Chris, got the kids' phone number just in case, sat on the side of the road crying a bit and telling concerned motorists that I was okay and my husband was on the way, and then got out and stood in the rain while Chris drove the van out of the ditch. I couldn't believe that the van was not hurt at all.
Chris drove his truck to a parking lot, and then drove us to pick up Kyra, making sure the van was driving right. I kept replaying the whole scene in my mind. I am so glad that I had those two seconds to decide to jerk the wheel towards the ditch. If I had of hit those kids, I probably would have hurt them really bad, or even killed them. They were in a little car, and I was in my big van. The two boys were on the side that I would have hit. Without those two seconds to make a decision to do something other than hit my brakes, things would have been a lot different. God was definitely watching out for us.
Now, the thing that keeps running through my head is, "Whoa, Mama! Whoa!".

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Are Pretty Logical

You're a bit of a wizard when it comes to logic
While you don't have perfect logic, you logic is pretty darn good
Keep at it - you've got a lot of natural talent in this area!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Happen to Like My Life

I recently had a conversation with one of my brothers. It started out with him commenting on me "popping out one baby after another", and me asking him what was wrong with that...that I happen to like my kids. To which he answered, "Nothing. You're just living an average country lifestyle." Now, I could debate how "country" my lifestyle is, seeing as how I live pretty much in "town", I don't even have a garden, and we own just about an acre of land that our house sits on. I didn't bring up any of that, but, instead, said that I thought I lived an average "married" lifestyle. People tend to have kids after they get married. He was like, "No. Not really. You don't know what it's like outside of this area. It's not the normal thing." I didn't press the issue, but I've thought a lot about it. I really don't feel the need to box up my life with a title, anyway. It's my life, and it's not quite the same as anyone else's. It makes me happy. My brother has much disdain for my lifestyle, but he must not understand how good it is. No, I don't go out clubbing. I don't drink or smoke. I don't run around. I don't even wear the same clothes that most people do.
Instead, I am married to my best friend. I trust him 100%. I never have to worry about where he is, or who he is with. I don't ever have to worry that he is going to squander the money that we need to live and pay our bills. I know that he is always going to be there for me. I know that he loves me for who I am. He's held me while I have cried, held me up while I was so sick with our first baby that I couldn't hold myself upright to get sick, and sat by my side at the hospital during times that I have been sick or had surgery. He's always there. We enjoy each other's company, and spend hours just talking to each other. I don't have to make a few phone calls to track him down, or schedule a time to get together. He's just always there. Because we are married. No, I don't wonder what it would be like to be with someone else. Why would I? He's my best friend. We are happy.
And, yes, I know that we have already exceeded the normal two kids per family, but, so what? We love our kids. We even go so far as to like our kids. We enjoy spending time as a family. They are great kids. We laugh and laugh at the things that they do and say. I have a blog devoted to pictures of them, because I enjoy them so much I just want to share them with my friends and family. I think they are awesome. Yeah, it's a little harder to go out to eat with three kids, but we still do it. They sit and eat just like anyone, and we enjoy being a family. It's not just about me and Chris anymore, but it's about the family that we have created. It's important to us. It makes us happy.
So, no, my life might not be what some people consider exciting, but I would almost bet that I enjoy a level of contentment that they don't. My life isn't perfect. We have problems just like everyone else. It is a good life, though. It makes me happy. I do consider it exciting, though. Just look at what is waiting on the horizon for my family. The world! What could be more exciting than exeriencing all that life has to offer with four people who love me and love being with me? Not much from what I can see.
So, don't feel sorry for me. Don't worry about me. My life is far better than I ever could have imagined it.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Little Weekend Recap

The last couple of days have been pretty fun. I have gotten a kick out of telling people about the Army thing, and seeing their reactions. Other than my family, I haven't really told too many people, but it had already gotten around church a little. It seems that the main consensus is that Chris and I can go wherever we want to go, but we have to leave the kids behind. The fact that any moving away is at least five years from now allows me to be strictly excited, right now, because I don't have to deal with leaving the only place I've ever lived. I'm just so excited. I'm excited about the direction the Lord is leading our lives in, and I'm excited about all of the things we'll get to do, people we'll get to meet, and places we'll get to see.
The Children's Choir sang again last night. Most of them did very well. Pastor Pallotta let them sing very early in the service, because, last time, some of the younger ones were falling asleep before it was time for them to sing. Kyra was in a mood last night, and did more standing there than actually singing. Elijah....well, let's just say that Elijah keeps me humble. Aside from him sitting down, laying on the altar bench, and doing a power squat and me having to go get him from the stage..other than that...he did great.
Pastor Pallotta has been preaching a great series on Sunday mornings on The Bread of Life. You can hear some of them here on our church website. Chris hasn't added the latest messages, yet. They are well worth your time to listen. Anyway, there have been several people visiting our church lately. Yesterday, my cousin, Jeff, whom we have been praying for for a very long time came to church. He came back last night, and got his life right with the Lord. It was so encouraging on so many levels. It was so great to see Jeff come back to the Lord. It was awesome to see God answer your prayers. It was encouraging for all of us who have family members who have either never been saved or have been away from God, because we were reminded once again to not give up. It was a great day.
And so, it's Monday again. Wasn't it just Monday, though? Time goes by so fast. A little too fast, if you ask me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Secret's Out

Yay. I can finally tell. We got the news today! So, here it is...

Chris is receiving a direct commission into the Army. He has been accepted into the Chaplain Cadidate program. What this means is that the Army is making him an officer (a lieutenant), and they are going to pay for him to go to seminary. When he finishes his school, he will be made a Chaplain. It is the Army Reserves that is paying for this, so, when he graduates he will have to give the Reserves four years as a Chaplain. There is a possibility that he could get a waiver after two years, and go into active duty. That is what we are hoping for. He really feels that this is what God is calling him to do, and I support him 100%.

I'm really excited about it all. It will be hard when Chris has to go away for training and stuff. He will have to go either in January or in June for six weeks, and there will be a few other times during the program that he'll do that. I know from experience that weeks apart are not fun, but I know I can handle it. Of course, once he is serving as a chaplain, if his unit is deployed...to Iraq or wherever...he would go with them. I'm not looking forward to that part of it, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I know that this is a really good thing, and I am so incredibly proud of Chris. Keep us in your prayers. He definitely has a full plate right now.

So, there it is. I'm so glad I can finally talk about it.

Kyra, Elijah, and Owen are going to be Army brats....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Brother/Sister Date, Mt Laundry, and Waiting

So, I know I've been scarce. I've spent less time on the computer in the past couple of weeks than I have in years. I've not really been that much busier. I've just been pretty tired. I want to sleep late, nap in my chair during the day, and go to bed early. So goes the life of the mom of a little baby, I guess.
Anyway, I have been busy. I had my garage sale Saturday. It was a bust. You guys must not have prayed hard enough for that one specific lady to come by. I only made $25. It was a total waste of time and energy. I just packed all of my stuff away until next year. I'll try again then.
Me and Luke went on our brother/sister date yesterday. Luke came up with that term when he told me he wanted me to take him shopping and to eat, but I think he's over me using it. Part of being a sister, though, is not caring when you're embarassing them. Just kidding...sort of. So, we went to Knoxville, spent most of the day shopping, and went out to eat. We went to Olive Garden....my favorite...and it was so good. I also saw one of my friends from Food City (where I worked for a couple of years). I hadn't seen her in a year or more, and she had eight month old twins. It was really good to see her, and I'm so jealous of the twins. I wanted twins so bad when I was pregnant...each time. Anyway, it was great to see her, and the whole day was fun. We took Owen with us, but Chris kept the other two kids for me. So it wasn't as much work to go as it is when I have all three of the kids.
I've been such a slacker around the house lately. All of the sleeping and semi-sleeping has kind of been in my way. I have like four loads of laundry (possibly more) awaiting my attention, dishes in the sink, and the kitchen floor is atrocious. I am going to tackle the laundry and everything else tomorrow. Chris has been off, but he has been spending so much time studying that he's not much help in the babysitting department.
I've been waiting on pins and needles for the last several months to talk about our big "secret". It's been driving me nuts. The end is in sight, though. Hopefully, I can write about it in the next couple of days. The waiting has been killing me.
I guess that's it for now. I'm so sleepy, my eyes are shutting. Don't give up on me, my loyal readers. I'll be back in action soon, I promise. I just need a nap first.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ask, and it shall be given unto you.

If you are so inclined, I would appreciate your prayers.

Please pray that a pregnant woman due in June with a baby girl would come to my garage sale tomorrow. I have a bunch of maternity clothes and baby girl clothes in the right season for that woman. I just need her, whoever she is, to come.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm Still Around

I'm sorry it's been so long since I've last posted. I have been so busy! The biggest reason that I haven't had a chance to post is that I believe Owen has started the teething process. He has been pretty fussy if I'm not holding him, and has not been sleeping as well. He is drooling a lot, and chewing on everything. He's only three months, so I'm thinking this is going to be a long drawn out process. When my other kids started teething early, it took a LONG time for them to finally get that first tooth in. Also, we have had revival this week. Last night was the last night. Going to church every evening kind of throws your routine (what little bit I have) out of whack. Chris has been on his long break, too. He has pretty much been doing schoolwork non-stop for the past seven days. He has taken the time to call a heat and air guy and order a new unit. Big bucks! We have no heat, though, and it's fixing to get cold. It had to be done. So, with him dedicated to Old Testament Survey, Hermaneutics, and Baptist History...I've not had any help with Owen and his being held needs, so I've not got much else done, including blogging. I have a feeling that the next few years that Chris is in Seminary are going to be long years. At least for the wifey.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wow!

I've really been thinking a lot about the subject of my last post. It's been on my mind a lot. So, I was taking Kyra to school this morning, and I think God sent me a message through the radio. Now, don't think I'm getting all Twilight Zone on you or anything. Hear me out. So, I was listening to Christian radio. They were having a telethon to raise money for the station, and I was kind of tuned out. I wasn't paying attention to what was going on, because they were talking about the money they needed to raise. I was lost in my thoughts about being of service to God, and the guy on the radio said, "God doesn't care about your ability. What he's concerned about is your availability." Wow. I don't know what the guy was talking about, in context, but I heard that part. It was like God was answering all of my ponderings. He doesn't care about my ability in and of myself. He just wants me to make myself available to him. If I lack in the ability, He'll make up the difference.
Wow. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, Lord. I appreciate it.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Little Steps

I want to be better than what I am. I guess everyone does. I want to be a better person all together. It sometimes seems daunting to think of it as one big thing, but I guess it's small steps...the little choices we make every day...that lead to a better person.
For instance, I can say I want to be a better mother, but that's a very broad statment. If, instead of just purposing to be better all around, I decide to make a small change and stick to it every day, it will lead to the end result of being a better mother. I can say "I want to be a great mom.", or I can say, "I want to put my kids to bed every night with a bedtime story, a hug, and a kiss.". Both are true, but the second one is something that I can actually do every day.
I want to be a better person. I really do. I often think of things that I think would be something good to do. Most of the time, though, I just acknowledge that they are worthy ideas, and forget them. Recently, though, I was thinking that a Children's Choir at church would be a good way to have the littlest of our church family participate in the service. While thinking about that, I thought that having the teen girls work with the little ones would be a good way to get the girls involved in service to the Lord. For once, though, I didn't just think about it, but I also asked the Pastor if it would be okay for me to get it going. He gave me the okay, and the girls were all willing to help out with it. A lady from church agreed to help oversee it with me. We had our first practice last night. It went well. All of the little ones were cooperative, and they learned fast. The girls all stayed after church, and helped. I felt kind of...inept. I maybe picked a bad song for such little kids. It had verses that were a hard for kids who can't yet read to learn. I just didn't think it through, because I was concentrating on the chorus. Thank goodness for the lady who is helping me. I have zero experience working with little kids (outside of mothering my own kids), and I really didn't know what to do. I am not a natural leader by any stretch of the imagination. It's hard for me to tell other people what to do, because I second guess myself all of the time. This lady is wonderful with little kids, though. She sat down with them, helped them learn the words, and knew how to do it. I felt kind of dumb afterward, but I guess the end result was exactly what I envisioned. Everyone cooperated, everyone was involved, and the kids pretty much learned the song.
So, I took my small step, and I plan on taking a few more. I don't know what the Lord has planned for Chris and I, but, seeing as he has been called to preach and is now in seminary, it's not that "out there" to think that we may someday be in full-time ministry. Maybe my fledgling attempts at helping out at church or following up on an idea will help prepare me for that. I might mess up. I know other people can do it better than me, but, if I don't try, how can I expect to learn? I have already learned by taking my little step that, if I do try something that I feel is hard for me, it may just all work out okay. Knowing that, I think I'll keep taking little steps, and have faith that God will help mold me into the better person...the better Christian...that I want to be.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Finally

I've been trying to write this post all day. I would write a sentence, and then the baby would cry. I would tend to him, come back, and the phone would ring. So, it has taken me all day, but, finally, here I am.

I've been so busy lately. I think several times during the day, "I should blog about this.", but there usually isn't an opportunity to actually stop and blog. It's a good thing, though, because we've really been having a good time lately. It's been busy. We've taken the kids to the movies, went to a revival service at our old church, went to a church fishing outing, played tennis, went out to eat, taken the kids to see a movie, had a yard sale etc. It's fun. It was really neat when we took the kids to the movies, because we were the only people in the theater. We went on Tuesday night to see "Everyone's Hero"...an animated movie about a little boy who finds a talking baseball who helps him recover and return Babe Ruth's stolen bat. It was really cute. Since it was Tuesday, and we went to the theater at the mall...there weren't a lot of people there. We got free popcorn because it was Tuesday, and then we had the entire theater to ourselves. I nursed the baby, changed his diaper, Chris changed Elijah's pull-up, and the kids talked out loud. It was okay, because it was just us. We had great seats, too. Fun, fun, fun!
So, busy is good right now. Tomorrow evening, we're going to a fish fry at the fish farm for a church outing. I'm really looking forward to it, even though it's supposed to rain. It's always a good time. It is so beautiful there.
I'm going to try to blog more. I have so much to write about, and I never take the time to really flesh out my thoughts about deeper things. I didn't intend this to be a daily diary of what I do, but it's somewhat intimidating to put your inner thoughts out there for all to see. I'm gonna try to do more of that, and less of the recounting of my days. We'll see how that comes to fruition.
Right now, I'll continue killing time on the computer while I'm waitng for Chris to finish his test. After that...grocery shopping!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

We all remember what we were doing five years ago...September 11, 2001. Chris and I were at home, in our old apartment, asleep. We woke up to the sound of Chris' mom knocking on our door. We got up to answer it, and the first words that she said were, "We've been attacked." I'll never forget the look on Chris' face when she said that. Her next words were, "Will you have to go to war?". My heart sank. Chris was in the Army Reserves at that time, and, with no information yet about what she was talking about, I felt the dread settle in around me.
The next few hours were spent watching the news. We had to hook up a t.v. in our apartment to watch it. We just sat there, watching the footage, over and over. It was hard to believe what had happened. It was surreal when I had to go to work that afternoon, like any other day. For, on that day, our lives as Americans were forever changed.
Kyra was conceived just a couple weeks after that day. It was a different thing to bring a child into a post September 11th world. You feared the world, and what marks it would leave on her. Would they attack us again? Would we be ready next time? Would her Daddy be here when she was born? Would he be deployed? What would happen? No one knew.
Life got back to normal again. American's realized a patriotism that we hadn't experienced before. American flags popped up everywhere. People put United We Stand stickers on their cars. My brother joined the Air Force to serve his country. People stepped up, and tried to do better and be better than we were before.
That's what I hope that we will never forget.
September 11th was a turning point for our country. Don't let it be in vain. Don't forget those who keep us safe. Our local police, rescue workers, and firefighters serve and protect us every day. Don't forget our service men and women who are serving at home and overseas. My brother just came home from Iraq, but lots of other peoples brothers and sisters and moms and dads, sons and daughters...they are still there. Lift them up in prayer, and don't forget to ask God to bless America.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I Feel Like a Mom

Since having children, I've found that certain circumstances that I have encountered with my kids have really made me feel like a mom. Of course I realize that I am a mom. There are times, though, that you look around at the three little ones, and think, "Do I really have three kids? Wow!". Other times, though, the things that happen make you feel like you are in that special club. The Mom Club that requires gross, messy, or terribly awkward moments for membership.
For instance, I experienced one of those moments when Kyra was a toddler. She quit playing, came over to where I was, croaked out a "Mama" in a pitiful sick voice, and, realizing what was coming, I held out my cupped hands under her mouth for her to be sick in. Yes, you really feel like a mom when you offer your own hands to catch your child's puke, so as to avoid cleaning it off of the couch and the carpet.
Another of those moments was when Kyra threw up in the middle of the aisle at Home Depot. Public puking = slightly embarassing.
The first time you scoop poop out of a bathtub...that's one of those moments. The first time you wake up in a soaking spot of pee, and it's not your own...that's one of those moments. The first time you give a kiss, and realize too late that your kid has a very runny nose...one of those moments. When you scrape poop out from under a small toddler's fingernails...that, too, is one of those moments.
Today, I had another "I feel like a mom." moment. Thankfully, this time, it involved no bodily wastes.
Sometime during the night last night, I woke up to Kyra sharing my pillow, and hearing her chewing gum. Yes. Chewing gum. In the middle of the night. I said, "Kyra Joy, go spit that gum out! Are you crazy? If you fell asleep with it, it could get in your hair." She got up and spit it out. That is about as far as my middle of the night thought processes went.
Fast forward to this afternoon...
I was in the middle of making a casserole for dinner, when Kyra says, "Mommy, I think I must have a tangle in my hair." I bent to look at her hair, and what did I discover but a bright red wad of Big Red matted about half way down the length of her hair. My heart sank. Thankfully, I, too, was once a little girl with gum stuck in my hair, and I knew what to do. I got out the peanut butter, applied a generous glob to the offending gum, and worked it in with my fingers. It took a little bit of work, but I did get it out, washed her hair, and combed the last particles of the grainy gum out with a fine-toothed comb. In the middle of this process, with my water boiling over on the stove, the baby crying in the bedroom, Kyra whimpering over the fact that I put peanut butter in her hair, and Elijah repeatedly telling me, "Me no want butter in my hair!", I thought, "Wow. I really feel like a mom!".

Monday, September 04, 2006

Busy, Busy

I've had quite the busy weekend, and I've learned something....the more active you are, the less time you have to sit in front of your computer and blog. Lightbulb moment, huh? Okay, so not really an astounding revelation. That's where I've been, though. I've been out doing things.
Friday, I went to the park and played tennis with Stephanie (my cousin and one of my best friends). We had a lot of fun. I was pretty pathetic. We didn't play an actual game. We just hit the ball back and forth. We were better when we quit...after an hour and a half...than when we started. Hopefully, soon, we will be playing actual games. I got a good workout, though. I was hot and sweaty and breathing hard the whole time. It felt good. We walked a lap around the park after that, which is 1.2 miles up and down small hills. We let the kids play on the playground for a few minutes, too, because we're nice like that. Not long after we got home, Chris' mom and aunt arrived from Texas, anxious to see and play with the kids. They were here until almost midnight.
Saturday, I got up and took the kids to Chris' grandmother's to spend time with them. It was a little on the boring side for me, but they all had a blast. They spoil my kids rotten. We left there around five, and came home. I watched the Tennessee game, which was AWESOME! Go Vols! About the time the game was ending, Chris' grandma, mom, and aunts got back from visiting his uncle at the hospital. They came bearing gifts and an impromptu party for Elijah. You can check that out here. They stayed until about ten thirty, at which time we all fell into the bed completely exhausted.
We got up early yesterday morning for church. Chris worked the night before, so I took the kids on my own. It was the first Sunday of the month, so the kids got their Sunday School awards. Once a month, they get a certificate and a little toy or trinket of their choosing from the box of prizes. So, they call Kyra's name, and she went to the front of the church, got her Perfect Attendance certificate, picked a pencil from the box, and came back to the pew. Such a good, sweet child! Next, they called Elijah's name. He walked to the front of the church, reached into the box and picked out an orange pencil. Then, he reached into the box, as everyone began to laugh at his double-dipping in the reward box, and selected a small orange monkey. After that, since he apparantly feels that he should get extra compensation for deeming to go to Sunday School every week, he reached into the box for a third time, and selected a really cool matchbox car. Satisfied that he had got what he rightfully deserved, he left the Perfect Attendance certificate in the hands of the Sunday School Superintendant, and ran back to his seat. I was laughing along with everyone else, albeit with a very red face. I mean, it was funny. Especially considering the fact that, for the last month, it has been very iffy whether Elijah would go to S.S. without a big fit or not. So, everyone forgets about the little Harmon boy, and continues to clap for all of the other children. Then, they got to the moment that all the kids wait for...Student of the Month. They called Kyra's name, and she looked at me with that exact look that Miss America gives the other contestants when she just got announced as the pageant winner. You know, that, "What? Little ole' me? Why, I never would have imagined it, but, yes, you're right! I do deserve this!" look. Then she pranced herself up to get her special Student of the Month certificate and the little bag of special toys and trinkets (a kaleidiscope, a notebook, a box of glitter crayons, and a bracelet). As she came back to our seat, Elijah gave his sister an approving grin. I smiled at Luke (my little brother), and said, "We really racked up this month." Luke grinned back and said, "I think maybe you need to put a little extra in the offering plate today." Yes. My kids are something else. We'll just leave it at that.
The rest of yesterday afternoon we spent at home, recovering resting from our weekend with Chris' family, and then we went back to church yesterday evening.
Today, it's a pretty chill day. We have just been hanging around the house all day. Chris is at work, the kids have been playing, eating chocolate cake, and watching tv. I did yoga this morning, but not much else. Owen's napping. In a few hours, I'm gonna go play tennis with Steph again. That's it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's 7:00 am. I've been hitting the snooze bar for an hour. It's still dark outside, and it's raining. I have three sleeping children, yet I am awake. My daughter is not yet old enough to be required by law to attend school. Tell me again why she's going?

Monday, August 28, 2006

I feel good!

I really do. I have been super focused on my diet and exercise for the past couple of weeks. I have been using fitday.com to keep track of what I eat. It records my calorie intake, my fat intake, fiber, etc. It is the most helpful thing I have found to aid me in my weight loss. It might not work for everyone, but it is definitely working for me. It gives me the reassurance that I am getting the nutrients and everything that I need while I am dieting, since I am also breastfeeding. I have been trying to keep my diet around 1200 calories a day, and I have been working out most every day. I have been doing pilates, walking, and doing 200 crunches a day. I haven't lost much in pounds, but my clothes are definitely fitting better. I have lost a couple of inches in the past couple of weeks. The pounds will follow, I think.
Instead of buying a lot of "diet" foods, I've been trying to just eat healthy foods. Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. The healthier I eat, the healthier the kids eat, too. That is an added benefit. We already ate pretty healthy. I'm just trying to eat less of it, and more fresh stuff.
I feel really good about all of this. My main goal right now is obviously to lose weight and get back to where I was before I got pregnant with Owen, but just living a healthy lifestyle is really important to me. I've had a lot of hang-ups about weight and my eating habits in the past, and I don't want my daughter to have to deal with that when she is older. I feel like if I am modeling healthy eating and living, she will naturally pick up on it. I've been making an effort to be more active, and I know that will benefit my kids...both Kyra and the boys. I'm thinking about taking up tennis. It might be a little bit, as Owen is a little bit young still. It's hard to get out and do things that I can't do while holding or carrying him, without a babysitter. I don't like to leave him yet, as young as he is, though, so I'm just working with the time and freedom that I have now. I fully intend to add activities that we can all do together as time goes on.
Every little step I take to being healthier and modeling healthy behavior for my kids makes me feel really good. I just feel good today. Sweaty...but good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Where I'm From

I am from a gravel road that leads to the mountain, from the falling down mailbox, from Mayfield ice cream and macaroni and tomatoes.

I am from the house full of kids...loud, noisy, messy, and fun.

I am from the blackberry bushes and yellow jacket nests, the creek in the woods where we played and splashed and lived a thousand kid adventures.

I am from potlucks at Christmas and losing their temper, from Mamaws and Papaws and Mom and Dad. From shirtless boys with buzzed hair and bare feet.

I am from the shortest in the class and crooked teeth and freckles. Campfires and bluegill. Spankings and tears. From sucking my thumb will make it fall off and coffee will stunt my growth.

I am from washed in the blood Baptists. From Wednesday night services, week-long revivals, and Sunday School. From “Jesus Loves Me”, stolen money in the offering plate, turn around and stand up straight.

I'm from the woods of East Tennessee, boiled okra and watermelon with salt. From the man who prayed for a wife who could cook. A baker's dozen of kids, and a ring for a heifer.

From hand-me-down clothes, broken bones, and crawdads. From fishing in papaw's pond in clothes made by my mom. No air conditioning and crickets at night. From creepy mouse up my leg, bluegrass, and rummy.

I am from photos in an album, by Papaw's chair, stained with tears. Young brides and marriages that last. I am from veterans, and coal miners. Black coffee and Copenhagen. From barbed wire fences, skinned knees, and trust in the Lord.