First Days of School

We are beginning to ease back into school mode this week. We have done a lot of reviewing, especially memory work and math concepts. We are almost finished with the last few history lessons from last year – only two lessons left. We have reviewed spelling words on We have watched DVDs to review last year’s science and history work. Gymnastics began last week, and ballet and church missions classes start next week.

It takes us a few days to get back into our school routine. We have had several talks already about attitude and complaining and whining, but I think we have done pretty well getting back on track this year. We are ready to try our our full schedule next week. I think it’s going to be a very busy, but very fun year!

Same Kind of Different As Me Winner

Ashley Hill is the winner of the copy of Same Kind of Different As Me. Yea for Ashley! And no, I’m not giving the book to myself. I’m giving it to the Ashley Hill from Meridian, Mississippi. Oh wait – that could be me. I gave it to the Ashley Hill that used to be a drug rep. Oh wait – that could be me, too! It goes to the Ashley Hill at First Baptist Church. Wait – me again. The one that married the McDonald and Hill guy? Nope, that’s me, too.

Are you confused yet? So is most of the town of Meridian, Mississippi. You see, I married my husband there and lived there for thirteen years. Then we moved away. Then my husband’s cousin married a girl named Ashley, which made her name Ashley Hill. Our husbands both worked for the family business. She and I are both former drug reps. We all attended the same church. The name confusion has caused more than one issue. So to keep it all straight, I lovingly refer to her as “#2”. So, #2 has won the book. I’m happy for her to have it because I think she will LOVE it.

Blueberries, Blueberries, Blueberries

We have become frequent customers at Morgan Creek Vineyards, our new favorite place to pick blueberries. We went again last week and took our friends the Guthrie’s along. Jon and Shonda are church friends who moved to Houston last year. They have been back in the Birmingham area, along with their children Lucy and Henry, visiting family. 

It was about 98 degrees in Birmingham that day, so blueberry picking was hot work.
After picking blueberries in the blazing heat, we headed out to the splash pad to cool off.
Visiting with out-of-town friends is so much fun! We were so happy to see them and to have them all to ourselves for the day!
Tonight for dinner we’re having a yummy dessert made with some of the blueberries we picked. I’ll be back later with a recipe.

Same Kind of Different As Me Giveaway!!!

Same Kind of Different As Me is one of my favorite books I have read this year. To see my review of it, you can click here. If you are one of the fourteen people in America who has not read this book, it’s your lucky day! If you would like to have a copy for your church or school library, it’s your lucky day! If you want a copy to give away, it’s your lucky day! I’m giving away one copy of the paperback edition of Same Kind. Simply leave a comment and check back on Friday at noon to see if it’s your lucky day. If you are visiting from Twitter or Facebook, please leave all comments ON THE BLOG. Sorry, but I cannot include comments left on Facebook or Twitter.

Our Wedding Story

I got a new scanner, and since my little ones are still at Camp Gran and G, I have been on  scanning binge! I started with my wedding photos, and I thought you might like to see them.
Jonathan and I met at First Baptist Church in Meridian, Mississippi, after I moved there to take a job as a pharmaceutical rep. He had recently finished college at Mississippi State and moved back to Meridian, where he grew up, to take a job at a local bank. We dated for a year or so before getting married. We were married by my brother Michael, then an episcopal priest, and the pastor of the church we attended, Dr. Raymon Leake. It was a beautiful June day. By the way, in case you’re wondering – Yes, I’m still that skinny. 🙂
Looking back on these photos now, Jonathan looks about fifteen years old. He was, in fact, more like 25.
I can’t believe how much these children have grown! The older two are now teenagers!
There are still some of my very favorite people in the world! Jonathan has done a better job at keeping up with his groomsmen than I have of keeping up with my bridesmaids. There doesn’t seem to be enough time in my day to keep up with all the things I want to do. I guess having small children will do that to you!
Clearly, I don’t got mad scanning skill. I have no idea how to make Michael look more clear. Perhaps that’s another job for another day.
Our reception was at Northwood Country Club. It was such a fun party. We had a band that played great sixties, seventies, and eighties music. I was serenaded by our groomsmen as the band played “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” The memory of them down on their knees singingto me still makes me laugh.
I had so much fun pulling these out and reminiscing. We have come a long way since 1999!

Happy Tuesday!

I have shipped the little girls off to Gran’s house for a week, and I am sitting in a quiet house. I have a thousand and one projects to get to this week, things that I have started and never finished. But before I get to all that, I want to finish reading my book and have a little Bible study time. I’m overlooking the pile of dishes in the sink and the pile of laundry in the hamper. Although the Martha in me wants to get it all done first, Mary is winning out today.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

The Heart Mender Winner

The results are in! According to, the winner of the Andy Andrews book The Heart Mender is Ron Lane – comment #1. Ron, email me with your mailing address and I’ll get your book out to you right away.
Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:1

Timestamp: 2010-07-15 18:01:33 UTC

McWane Madness

Yesterday we met up with our friends the Longs and the Hosches for a little fun at the McWane Science Center. We love having our Mississippi friends visit Birmingham. There are so many fun things we can get into in this city! It’s always fun to blend our Birmingham world with our Mississippi world. Shea, Enley and I had eight children between us, so it was wild and crazy and fun, fun, fun!
Most of our group went to see the Imax movie about bugs. Patterson and I were a little freaked out about seeing bugs magnified on a screen that big, so she and I hung out at the Mouse House for a while.
The Mr. Potato Head exhibit was a big hit with the kiddos. They loved putting together their spuds, and their personalities came through in a way that amused me.
This was Patterson’s… it’s wild and crazy like her.
Ian and Raif thought it was pretty cool!
Ian’s Mr. Potato head – a doctor just like Daddy! I’ve never seen Richard sport a mustache like that, but Mr. Potato Head is pulling it off pretty well.
The big girls were brave enough to try the bicycle tight rope. This thing is a lot higher than it looks on the pictures. And that net is a lot farther away than it looks. I have ridden the bicycle before and, believe me, it’s quite scary!
Raif was a little ticked that he wasn’t tall enough to ride!
These girls had so much fun spending the day together.
We have been friends with these sweet families for years. We have missed them since we moved away from them, so it was really good to hang out with them for the day. It’s good to have friends-for-life!

The Gulf Coast Is Open for Business

The girls and I just arrived back home from what was one of our best beach trips EVER! The only bad thing about it was that Jonathan didn’t get to go with us. We missed him! But we didn’t slow down one bit.
Let me just say that Baldwin County, Alabama, is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Despite the oil spill, there is still so much fun to be had. We didn’t even go on the beach, so I couldn’t tell you if the oil was bad. There was no smell. We certainly did our part to help the local economy.
When we arrived, it the girls about 14 seconds to find things they wanted to do at CC and Pop’s house. Mary Anneliese fished in the bay with her Barbie fishing rod…
And Patterson hit Pop up for a ride around the neighborhood in the golf cart. Never mind that she just got out of the car after a six hour road trip to get there! My girls think the golf cart rides are the best part of vacation.
Jimmy Buffett was in town doing a free concert, his own contribution to stimulate tourism in his hometown. We didn’t have tickets to see him live, but we did something which I thought was even better since we had the kiddos. The city of Foley held a simulcast party in the park. They brought in a huge screen to televise the concert. People brought blankets and lawn chairs.
They pumped in sand and made a “beach” for the kids to play in.
They even had a live “opening act,” a local musician named Billy Pelletier. He played songs like “Key Largo,” “No Shirt No Shoes No Problem,” and “Your Mama Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll.”
CC and Pop got in on the action.
It was a very laid-back, very fun evening. The music was outstanding, and the atmosphere made it even better. He sang his greatest hits like “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Come Monday,” and Mother, Mother Ocean.” Oh my, was it ever fun!!
The next day we had a little fun at the pool.
Followed by lunch at Tacky Jack’s. You might remember that President Obama ate at Tacky Jack’s a few weeks ago when he came to tour the oil spill damage. I LOVE the laid-back lifestyle of Baldwin County. I would never, ever go into a restaurant in my swimsuit at home.
After we took little Pitter Patter home for a nap, we headed back out for more fun. We love Lulu’s and didn’t want to go home without stopping by for some fun. My girls have so much fun at this place. We can easily stay there several hours – long after we have finished eating. By the way, I have never had gumbo as good as my parents and grandparents make it. I usually don’t even bother ordering it in a restaurant because it’s just not as good as theirs. However, Lulu’s is not far behind. I was pleasantly surprised. I think the roux makes ALL the difference between a good gumbo and disappointment.
Please continue to support the Alabama Gulf Coast. The local economy NEEDS your business. They will recover, but will recover more fully if we don’t move our vacations elsewhere. There is still so much fun to be had on the coast!

Andy Andrews Giveaway

Surprise!! It’s a giveaway!! I’m giving away a copy of Andy Andrews’ latest book The Heart Mender. I reviewed the book here, if you’d like to read about it. It was fantastic, as are all of his books.
To enter, leave a comment telling me the best book you’ve read lately. Only one entry per person, and you have until Thursday at noon to enter. Good luck and happy reading!