Global Warming, Honest Abe, and the Best Month Ever


You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

November is quite possibly my favorite month of the year. Why? It all boils down to 2 primary reasons.

#1. It is not SUPPOSED to be 90 degrees anymore. I’d do anything to get these temps turned down. ARE humans causing global warming? I don’t know. I don’t care anymore. If there’s a chance it might work, here, take my car keys……. Wait……. Does that mean I have to home  school again? No, never mind. You can have my electricity, but I am going to have to insist on driving my kids to school. The gas guzzling minivan actually does take precedence over global warming after all. Sorry, y’all.

But seriously, bring on the blue jeans weather!!! And leggings! And boots!


fun times spent with family


It’s so refreshing to be nearer to our peeps.

#2. Low maintenance holiday.

Yes, it is. Eat with friends or family. Share the cooking responsibilities. No one has to buy presents. We don’t have to take out any loans. Just be thankful.

And you know who invented Thanksgiving??

Why, President Abraham Lincoln, of course!!  Not making that up. I read about Lincoln all the time. I never thought about presidents of years past until we moved to Washington, D.C. Plus, Caleb adored Lincoln, and it rubbed off on me, sort of like Joshua’s fascination with animals. I love the way my children have changed me!

“…I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed….”     –President Lincoln, Oct. 3, 1863

You have to love a man who was called “Honest Abe” even while he was still alive. He was greatly loved and equally hated in his own time.

In fact, in our current political system, he would have never been the Republican nominee. How do I know? Because he was elected at the convention, not from the sort of primary system we have now. Nope. The delegates at the Republican convention put in a first ballot, and the person with the most votes was Seward. William Henry Seward. He became President Lincoln’s right hand man, but at the convention it was Seward who won the first round of ballots.

The delegates then haggled and regrouped and voted again and again, allowing the delegates to switch their support. Lincoln won on the third ballot.

Funny how differently it was run back then, isn’t it? I dare say we would have a different nominee if that old system were still in place, actually.

I’m thankful it was Lincoln that won on that third ballot.

I heard in a video on the internet the other day a cartoon character remark that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday. Ugh. Wrong. Of course, it IS. It was ALWAYS meant to be. You want a non-religious holiday?? You have Halloween, which is not a bad holiday. It is a time when we come together and fellowship with our neighbors, something we could also use a little more of.


People often cite how terribly divided our country is right now, but remember, it is not “the most divided it has ever been.” We aren’t having a Civil War, now are we?

Be thankful! Give thanks to our beneficent Father!!!

I could go on and on about Lincoln, because he was wonderful, but I’ll save that for another post. Today I just want to wish you a happy fall, remind you to enter my giveaway (because I love to give good things to my friends and readers), and encourage you to pray for our country, just as President Lincoln asked us to so many years ago.

Will you vote this year? I know. These choices are so unpopular. So unpopular I’d be embarrassed to endorse either of them. But it is our civic duty to vote and even more so to pray.


God bless! And bring out the turkeys!!!  🙂


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3 Months Since the Move: Snakes, Pumpkins, and Smiling

baby snake

Baby snakes have been hatching around our house. *Shudder*

The other day we went outside, and Joshua said, “Hey! Mom! Look a snake!”

That is not what you want to hear first thing in the morning.

But then I saw it.

“Is that a worm?”

“No! Look how it moves!” Joshua insisted.

“Yeah, yeah, you’re right, but that has to be a baby snake.”
By that time, all the brothers had arrived. Caleb grabbed a tennis racket, and well….poor baby snake. But you see, when you don’t know what kind of snake it is, you have to kill it. Better the snake than your children.


Caleb the snake slayer

Okay, one baby snake, killed quickly. I didn’t worry too much more about it….

brown snake

Until a week later, when I found a slightly bigger one.

In my life time I have spared almost zero seconds of thoughts on snakes, snake species, or what to do about them. I left them alone. They left me alone. We were good.

I was out in the backyard with barefoot John David. John David is ALWAYS barefoot, when I spotted this thing in my grass. I might have freaked out (in my head) a little bit.

As I mentioned before I don’t have a lick of knowledge about snakes. Therefore, I decided it was best to assume this one was deadly, a poisonous Copperhead for sure.

I closely examined this animal, which seemed to be frozen in place, and then I whisked JD out of that grass and into the house where I proceeded to quickly google copperheads. I found a few pics of infant copperheads that looked very similar to this. So I decided that this one must die, just to be safe. My kids play back there all the time.

“I MUST SAVE THE CHILDREN!!!!” I thought wildly. It’s time to be a hero!!!  This is my moment!!! I looked frantically for a weapon.

Alan has hidden all of the shovels from our children because they like to use them to dig holes, so I had to settle for a puny fireplace shovel. I made JD stay on the porch while I bravely headed out with my pathetic weapon choice.

This was so hard for me! Aside from the occasional spider, I’ve never killed anything in my life!! But I knew that if it were a copperhead, I could not let it live, so I took that shovel and beat that tiny defenseless snake against a rock. In my mind, I was like Joan of Arc or something.

It was traumatizing for both me and the snake, but at least I did live, while I am both proud and sad to tell you, tiny snake did not.


The harmless, tiny, docile brown snake: eats worms and such

I came back in and Google-searched a little harder. Next time I need to know what I’m dealing with. Apparently, snakes are a common occurrence here.

I was both relieved and guilty-feeling to learn that this was actually just a harmless little brown snake, extremely common in the Atlanta area.  Also, it’s a protected species in Georgia. Ummm….oops….yeah…okay…protected unless the killer thinks it is poisonous and then I can assure you the killer makes no apologies.

This site was masterful at explaining how to tell the difference. By the way, in Australia, there is a snake species also called a brown snake that is deadly. So know your snakes according to where you live!!!

Here’s the site you should check out, in case this happens to you! Juvenile Copperhead Vs. Brown snake

See, you CAN learn important things on the internet!


Thankfully, there are also many advantages to moving here. First and foremost, we get to be there for family events. Remember that wedding where I couldn’t decide what to wear? Here are a few pictures.

By the way, when I went to get dressed that day, my hips were so swollen I couldn’t wear any of my regular dresses. Arthritis is a terrible disease.


Here’s my handsome little man, wearing the same outfit his daddy wore at his age, smocked by his great-grandmother.


Our favorite family of all red-heads


Alan, reunited with his college friends


I found this bench at a yard sale for $10!!! I was so excited, I bought TWO of them!


The kids have all been taking turns being sick. I held him in my arms as he slept and enjoyed it so thoroughly.


We had an “all night party” with Caleb, the night before his EEG. See, he was supposed to be sleep deprived. We only managed to keep them awake until 12am. They all had a contest to see who could stay up the latest. I lost.

The EEG results were normal, and Caleb is now coming off of Keppra gradually!!!  This is very exciting for our family. However, we are still watching him closely, as he may have more seizures as he coming off of the medication. In which case, he’ll have to go right back on Keppra. Seizures are not good for your brain, so this matters.




The boys are making more and more friends all the time. How adorable are they, playing with this family of three boys, exactly their ages?

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Since it is fall, we’ve been collecting pumpkins. Caleb likes to draw faces on the pumpkins and gourds.

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I think I’m going to go ahead and create our thankful tree this week. After all, it is fall already, and there is something about a constant reminder to be thankful that I need in my life. Don’t you?

We’ve been back in the South for over three months now, and after 7 years of living away, it’s an adjustment! At first, I was bogged down in the signing up for this, signing up for that, finding doctors, finding a grocery store, and using my GPS just to find my way home. During that time, it was hard to even smile. 

And by the way, Southerners, I am convinced, smile way more than other people do. I like that about us, but at first I did not appreciate it. It got on my nerves, bigly. (hehe)

My thoughts went like this, “Ugh, we got four boys dressed and loaded in the van, made three wrong turns to get here, and now everyone expects us to look happy. What kind of sick joke is this?”

Moving is hard, y’all!!  We don’t know which streets are parallel and which ones curve. When you have four kids talking to you, it’s super easy to miss a turn.

And the heat! Oh, man was it hot!

Thankfully, fall is finally here. I need to spend today digging through bins for toddler pants.

I’ve met so many new people, and I’m starting to get everyone’s name right on the first try. Plus, I have just enough comfort level now that I’m starting to smile again.

Moving truly takes a year to fully settle in. We’re 1/4 of the way there.

Today we are thankful. Thankful for fall, for Google who tells us when to worry and when to not worry about a snake, thankful for adorable children, and thankful for a Father in Heaven who made us and loves us.

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.  Psalm 28:7









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Spring Break and Easter: Family O’ Boys Style

monsters and Easter, now there's a match...

Spring Break is sort of over now. I say sort of because my oldest two spent last night camping in a treehouse and today hiking at the Pinnacles, so they aren’t exactly back in the books yet.

We decided not to go on vacation this year. Alan had to work on his thesis. I thought I was going to accomplish great things in preparation for the move. I actually spent most of it going to doctor appointments (insert eye roll) and handling Easter and birthdays.

But I can’t complain:

  1. My aches and pains are over. I’m down to nothing but plantar fasciitis in the mornings and a heart problem that’s mostly controlled by meds now. I have much to be thankful for.
  2. The move is ever-so-gradually coming together.
  3. I re-organized our entire storage unit in the school area today. Is there anything more gratifying than taking a space that has gotten over-cluttered and ORGANIZING IT?? I think not. I feel so happy. Giddy, really!
  4. The boys’ school registration for next school year is in the mail. Step one, done!

I feel good.

One failure: I took not one single solitary photograph of anything on Easter.

What was wrong with me? I was so concerned with getting to church on time–ahem–because they were serving breakfast– that I totally forgot to annoy people with my camera!!!

But don’t worry. I did take a few shots this week:



Someone had a birthday. Happiest person in the world.


This has already been built and broken and built and broken.


There were some territorial disputes over a few of the gifts. JD promptly bathed with these toys, so I’m sure he feels they are his own, but don’t worry. Daniel can hold his own.


truly getting into the world of pretend




Joshua saved this Lego set in the box all the way from Christmas until now to give Daniel on his birthday, and Dan was THRILLED.


I made his cake, as usual. There was a runny-icing issue with “Happy”, so I had to go back over it. Oh well, Dan didn’t complain.


best friends


We did take one afternoon to visit our favorite place in California: Point Lobos. We took a picnic dinner and everything. We’ve turned a corner. Before, JD was always this exhausting baby that couldn’t climb anything and didn’t want to hold your hand. This time he was a completely different little person.

JD took my hand almost the entire time. His climbing skills were impressive. He had just napped, and he was a true joy to have along. I can’t tell you how exciting this is.


the expert hiker


Such a beautiful photo of these two!


always making it fun


There is nothing so satisfying to a little boy as throwing rocks in a puddle.


When they were younger, they could not keep up with us. These days we can’t keep up with them.


What’s not to love about Point Lobos? I will genuinely miss visiting these trails by the ocean.

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The weekend was so exhausting Daniel passed out on the couch.


I promise we did participate in Easter festivities. Here they are painting eggs.


Beautiful sidewalk art was created. (JD is obsessed with reciting his shapes. No, seriously. It’s adorable, and he totally gets the difference between an oval and a circle. He also calls stars “starfish”, which is the cutest thing ever.)



Funny Quote of the Day:

We filled out Dan’s “About Me” poster for preschool. I love his answers. They were all him. I just helped him with the writing.

What do you want to be when you grow up?  An ice cream man

Three things about yourself: 1. I like to talk. 2. I’m good at riding my bike. 3. I like video games.

I am a star because: I talk to people nicely.

I show others I care by: show God and being a friend. I like to talk to people.

****I could just eat him up with all his talkin’ to people.****

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Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Acts 2:24
But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.



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