Thursday, February 22, 2007

I would’ve been PO’ed, if it wasn’t for the Lord..

A month or so ago I asked for your prayers for our spiritual walk. Since that time, the Lord has made some amazing appearances in our lives. It’s such an awesome feeling when the Creator of the universe touches your life in such a special and unique way, just to let you know that He’s still got you. You haven’t fallen off of his radar; even if He hasn’t been the star of your show, you’re still the star of His. Even when you haven’t been faithful to Him, He’s still there, faithful to you, constant, unwavering and unchanging. Our God is awesome!

A few weeks ago I had encouraged Jermaine to unplug the Sirius for a week and to go back to listening to Pastor Joe. I knew that even if the initial steps weren’t “from the heart”, God would honor the effort, I had seen that in my own life. Jermaine doesn’t often listen to me, but for whatever reason (prayer?), he began listening to Pastor Joe. While on his way to drop off the kids he was behind a pick up truck that was sputtering along. It slowed down and eventually had to pull over. Compelled, because he had been listening to Pastor Joe, he felt that he should ask this person if they needed help. With no regard for who this stranger was, or the fact that our children were in the car, Jermaine pulled alongside the truck, rolled his window down and offered the man a ride. The man gladly accepted. Jermaine left Pastor Joe on, figuring that if nothing else, the man would hear the Word of God that morning. As it turns out, the man was a pastor who was on his way to a ministry event. He told Jermaine that as his truck sputtered, he prayed to God not to leave him stranded there.

Jermaine was so uplifted by this event, I could practically see his smile through the phone as he was telling me the story. I would’ve been totally PO’ed about him picking up a stranger with the kids in the car if it wasn’t for the fact that he was acting as an instrument of the Lord. He felt so blessed by the very personal way that God had reached out to him. Even the series of events that had to occur in order for Jermaine to have been behind this pastor on this particular morning was extraordinary. It just so happened that Jermaine was up and out the door early that morning (a minor miracle itself). The reason he was up early that morning was because he was ill the day before and had spent most of the day in bed. The reason he was sick was because I was sick the day before that, and Amelle before that. That little stomach virus was part of God’s plan to bless Jermaine and answer that pastor’s prayer not to be stranded on the side of the road. Amazing.

Within a day or two of that event a different pastor (of a church that we have attended, but don’t regularly attend) called Jermaine out of the blue and asked him to do a one on one bible study with him weekly. Jermaine gladly accepted this invite and they have started a study together.

Our God is so amazing. Thank you for your prayers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

...a three hour tour....a three hour tour...

With this week's blizzard, there was little doubt that the boys would be heading off to snowmobile this weekend. Wendy and I decided that we'd make it a family affair by packing up the kids and spending the night in the hotel, then perhaps taking in some shopping while the boys went snowmobiling, and then driving home on our own. We knew the kids would be all gassed up about staying in a hotel and going swimming. Since Gorham was only an hour away, it was really no big deal.

Here are some key highlights and learnings:
-Gorham ME is only an hour away, but Gorham NH, which is where we were headed, was closer to 3 hours away.
-Babies don't like to be in the car for three hours.
-Big men don't belong in McDonalds playlands (see below) - he was rescuing Amaya, who we found out, possesses a remarkable amount of speed and agility.
-Little women can go into McDonalds playlands to take their infant nieces down slides, but not without complaints from several 5 year olds ("Hey Lady, can you go faster next time")
-Walking into a Northern NH bar on a Friday night is like walking into a time warp.
-Waitresses at breakfast buffets are not particularly customer service focused.
-Shaun and Erin have vastly different approaches to dealing with such waitresses.
-When men go out snowmobiling, they may not remember to leave the keys to the family vehicle with their wives. (Luckily we found a spare set of keys, otherwise we would've been locked up in that hotel room for 10 hours).
-A sleeping baby is more precious than tax-free outlet shopping.
-Men can snowmobile 150 miles in one day, but not without returning home extremely fatigued and in aching pain.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

I think we'll name her...uh...hmmm...

It's crazy to think that 6 years ago today I was laying in a hospital bed high on painkillers and the thrill of having just lost 8 pounds. This little 8 pounder was a girl, a beautiful little blue eyed baby, who we named.... (insert funny story about Jermaine and Erin not having a name for their first daughter for 5 days, then naming her but not letting anyone call her that name because Erin wasn't sure she wanted to keep that name, then changing the 1st name they picked another name (that no one had ever heard of and Erin's mother and Sister-in-law were begging her not to go with), then changing the spelling of the 2nd name they picked once they got a card from a friend who had mis-spelled the name, but Erin liked the mis-spelled name better than the original spelling, so they changed the name a 3rd time).

Happy Birthday Pumpkin Pie!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Beach...Not Just For Summer Anymore

On Sunday, we spent the day at the Beach. It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny February day - we couldn't resist the urge to be outside doing something. The kids didn't want to leave the house (see first picture), but after all was said and done, they admitted to having had a great time!

All smiles... Not!

The same rocks that were hot to the touch last summer were draped with snow and ice!

Amaya gets some fresh air!

The kids can't get enough of racing their dad on the beach. Even with headstarts, Jerms still prevails...
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Monday, February 12, 2007

Adventures in Grocery Shopping

My adventures in grocery shopping with Wendy span back over 10 years. In the early 90s in Key West we stalked a group of innocent Mexican men (who we referred to as “the gringos”). I think we pretended that they were after us and we sort of ran away from them. Then there they would be right next to us in the frozen food isle – surely they were following us! They weren’t really. But it was more fun to have an adventure at the grocery store than to just shop. We couldn’t understand what they were saying, so we pretended that they were plotting to get us.

Then there was the incident with the case of Diet Coke on the bottom of the cart. Let’s just say that this was before the days of low mirrors and astute cashiers and Wendy decided not to mention what was at the bottom of the cart, I was so nervous I had to walk away from the scene.

Fast forward 10+ years and the game is still on. My first trip to the grocery store with Wendy yielded a box of “Lady Lax” which she had slipped into my cart. Unfortunately I didn’t realize it until I got home and was unpacking my bags. On another occasion, I found myself unbagging “Vagisil” which again, she had slipped into my cart when I wasn’t looking. I vowed to not let her sneak anything else into my cart again! On our next excursion to Walmart, she had put an ugly scarf in my cart, “Ha ha!” I had caught her and I smiled smartly, “Nice try Wendy”…when I got home, I realized that she had upped her game. The scarf was a ploy to get my attention away from the men’s small bikini underwear that she had snuck into my cart. The kicker is that when I went to return them, the male cashier asked me what the reason for return was and Wendy piped in saying, “they were too small” (mind you, these were men’s size small bikini underwear – and most of you have seen my husband!).

There are several games we still play when out in public, like pretending we’re not together and then acting really rude to each other, like “Excuse me Miss, there are other people in the grocery store that would like to get through this isle, would you mind moving your cart?!” Or “You have a fine buttocks, do you work out?”, or sometimes Wendy will hold up two bottles of water and I'll say "Nice Jugs" or two melons and I'll say "Nice Melons". Or sometimes when we’re in line and one person starts talking to the other, one of us might say, “Do I know you?” or “Are you following me?”, or if it’s Target and we’ve spent a lot of money, we might mention to the cashier that we’ll probably get beat when we get home – those comments usually make the cashier feel a little uncomfortable.

So last night we were at the grocery store. We were in the health care isle, I was engrossed in selecting lotion, when I hear, “Erin, have you tried these condoms?” I look over to Wendy who is standing about 20 feet down the isle in the “protection” section, which just so happens to be next to the “feminine hygiene” section – where there is a man looking at tampons. “Huh?” I stutter nervously. “Have you tried these condoms?” I look at her in disbelief, the man holding the box of tampons also looks at her. "I'm serious" she says. “They’re grrreeaaatt!” she exclaims with a little giggle and then carts off leaving me standing there with the guy who is nervously holding a box of tampons. He says “since we’re on the topic, can you guys help me find the right ones?” He shows me the note that his lady must’ve written for him and says, “I need the blue box with the plastic applicator…is this the right one?” Still in a daze, I point him to the proper tampons and exit the isle in the quickest way possible.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Never Let 'em See You Smile

Amelle's MO has always been not to give satisfaction to those around her. One way she achieves this is by not smiling, when she "should". I guess she thinks that if she smiles, it could potentially cause someone else joy, and that would not be good.

This weekend we put her non-smiling strategy to the test as she opened her birthday presents..

I should also mention that she specifically requested that we not sing "Happy Birthday" to her (last year she slipped out a smile during this event. She knew that it was her kryptonite). When I pleaded with her to let us sing it, she told me I was bothering her.

For the record, she did end up smiling...but these pictures of her holding back were a little more comical...

Monday, February 05, 2007

He's Older..

I knew I was starting to look older when someone asked me who was older- Shaun or I. For the record, He's older, and not just slightly older, like 18 months, he's YEARS older. The line that use to be so clear has now faded - people have to ask, those who are polite, just wonder. But I find solace in knowing that when you hit 40 I'll still be holding on to my mid thirties (barely...).
I love you Bro - you're awesome. Happy Birthday!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

3 Good Inches

I told you that I only needed 3 good inches ...SNOW..yes, I'm talking about snow...

Smiles all around...Wendy, Shaun, our neighbor Rick can't help but smile as they watch Avery chase after the three girls going full speed down the hill. Avery had fallen off the tube at the top of the hill....he never did catch up...

Here Amaya goes solo. Big smiles!
..Yes this is our yard - Ha...and I wanted a "level lot"!

Amelle enjoys a low-calorie, wintry treat (an icicle from the front steps). Look at those rosy cheeks! The sun was beaming down on us all day. Believe it or not, we were actually warm - by the end of the day, all of our hats were strewn across the yard!

Jermaine brings out "the cat" while Wendy does a "flyin' spread eagle" down the hill.

Yesterday was an awesome day; we spent the entire day outside playing in that little 3 inches of snow! Everybody was sledding (some with more finesse than others - shown above - I ended up with my pants full of snow on my maiden voyage). We had both snowmobiles and Avery's ATV in play. Six kids and four adults slept well last night.

Good times!
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

I don't mean to be negative, but...

I hate Hello Kitty.
I know it's wrong to hate, but I'm being real. Okay, "hate" is probably too strong of a term; I don't actually "hate" Hello Kitty, because I believe it takes effort to "hate" (similar to the effort I'm taking to blog? hmmm..). Let's just say that I have a strong distaste for Hello Kitty. There it is.

Amelle's birthday is fast approaching, so I pose the question, "What kind of birthday party do you want". She inevitably replies the two words I dread, "Hello Kitty". So I've been shopping lately with my eye on Hello Kitty items, when I quickly realize that there is a Hello Kitty epidemic going on in this county and nobody seems to know about it because we're all too busy focusing on the war! That precious little kitten (please sense the sarcasm in my fingers as I type those words) is plastered on everything from coffee makers (yes, Amelle has one - she makes ice tea in it though) to electric guitars (I refuse to drop serious money on something with that dreadful cat on it). Hello Kitty is on make-up, phones, basketballs, slippers, shoes, kids clothing, adults clothing, clock radios, bath soap, toasters (yes! - real working toasters), underwear, toys, even cars and here's the kicker - a freakin' airplane!!! What the heck is that little cat doing on a airplane!!!?!?!

Here's my beef - what has Hello Kitty ever done? I mean, does she (it?) even have a show or anything? She's like Paris Hilton, she's got all kinds of PR, but has never done anything noteworthy in her life.

So I begrudgingly embark on planning my daughter's 6th birthday party. Hello Kitty will be there, though she doesn't deserve to be. Quite frankly, I'd rather have a Happy Bunny party, at least Happy Bunny has something witty to say.