The Mommy

The Mommy

about us...

I'm The Mommy, a SAHM to Maggie & Ellie. I'm married to Big Daddy, an engineer, grad student and our hard-working provider.
I blog instead of scrapbooking in hopes of preserving a part of our life for the future.
We enjoy beach trips, going to Church and spending time together...all as a family...because that's what we are.

our VP miracle, Maggie

our VP miracle, Maggie
loves homeschooling, sign language, Jesus, reading, church, writing songs and dancing

our sweet Ellie

our sweet Ellie
loves her sister, going to church and the library, singing, babies, chocolate and being naked

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Christmas

I feel like things have been so busy since Thanksgiving!

We put our tree up on Thanksgiving evening.  Maggie and Ellie helped decorate it and went to bed a little late.  I stayed up until 2am getting everything decorated and all of the glitter and tree needles cleaned up.

 Mantle (Ellie wanted "rainbow" lights somewhere, so we opted for the mantle)
 Living Room Tree
 Our Jesse Tree in the kitchen
 Rainbow comes in a couple of times a day and likes to sneak under the tree because the girls can't bother him there!
 Maggie's Tree
Ellie's Tree

The tree in the kitchen was my favorite!  My mom had an extra tree and I decided it would be nice in our kitchen.  I put brown balls, brown glittery snowflakes and chartreuse balls on it.  Then...I decided that we should do a Jesse Tree.  I went shopping for a little tree to use and couldn't find anything I liked, so the kitchen tree is now our Jesse Tree.  We really love it and it's fun to see the kids get excited over eating that little piece of chocolate from their Adven calendars while finding out what the Bible verse for that day is.  They color the symbol on their ornament and we discuss the story and how it leads up to the birth of Christ.   Maggie knows most of the stories so well because of our great love for The Jesus Storybook Bible.

We also decorated gingerbread houses this year.  Big Daddy and I each bought one on the same day, so we had an extra.  My mom, sister and Cousin Callie came over we listened to Christmas music, had coffee and decorated.

  We have had lots of holiday parties that we have skipped, just because I do not want to feel any busier than I have to be.  We did enjoy a fun party with our homeschool group and we have some special services that we will be attending at church.  The parties that we didn't/aren't attending- Preschool Birthday Party for Jesus at a children's museum, K-5 Birthday Party for Jesus at BounceU, a Homeschool Baby Shower for Jesus at a skating rink with all gifts going to a local pregnancy crisis center and the children's Christmas play at church.  We will be going to the choir and drama team's concert on Sunday and next Sunday we will have a candle light Lord's Supper.

I was able to go to Sanford to meet my best friends for a Christmas/birthday dinner celebration.  We went to an "adult" restaurant!  It was a little too quiet for us, so we may have to go to a different place for our next night out.  The food, service and fellowship was wonderful!  We had one of those waiters that just knew exactly what to do...and he was nice enough to take a picture of us (he warned us that the lighting would ve awful) with three different devices.  I also did a little shopping with K before our dinner.  I am taking Maggie and Ellie to Sanford next week so that they can see Gammy Gladys, so I'll get to visit A and her kids a little then too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I often feel overwhelmed with all that I have to be thankful for.  I think making a list is always a great way to really see the big and little blessings in your life.  I'll be working on thankful lists with Maggie and Ellie later today and I'm looking forward to seeing what they want on their lists.

  • I'm thankful for my people.  They drive may crazy, cause me trouble and are probably giving me gray hairs, but I wouldn't want to live without my husband and my girls.
  • I'm thankful that I can be a stay at home mom and I'm so thankful that we have the option to homeschool our girls.
  • I am thankful for our house.  We are so wealthy compared to so many.
  • I am thankful for my homeschool mom friends.  There are certain parts of homeschooling that only another homeschooler can understand.  Knowing that someone else has the same worries, insecurities, fears and feels pressured the same way that I do is so comforting.
  • I'm thankful for our church.  I have talked to so many people lately that have left their church or want to leave their church to go somewhere that meets their needs better.  I am so thankful that we found "our" church in Sanford and that it helped us to know what we wanted for ourselves and our children. It would have been so easy when we moved here if we had started going to the church that I grew up in, but we went out of our comfort zone and visited churches.  We knew what we wanted for our children and we feel so blessed to be where we are.  
  • I am thankful for my family.  I have wonderful parents and an awesome sister.  I could eat my niece and nephew up, too.
  • I am thankful that Maggie and Ellie know so many things about the Bible and different characters in the Bible.  Another proof that we are in an amazing church.
  • I am thankful for Rainbow.  When this sweet cat came up, we had no idea if he would stay.  He has brought so much happiness and joy to our home.  I tell Big Daddy almost daily that I truly believe this is an exceptional kitty cat.  We bought an extra small dog house for him and he walked right in and loves sleeping there.  He can fetch toys and Maggie has taught him a little sign language...or so she says.
  • I am thankful that our church has a heart for missions and there are so many ways to serve.  From the homeless shelter that they run in the winter to the numerous mission trips that are organized throughout the year.  I am so thankful that Maggie and Ellie are learning that they are more than just a light in the church and that they really are and can be a light for the whole world.
  • I am thankful that I have the courage to answer Maggie's questions with as much honesty as I can.  She has always thought that the idea of Santa seemed silly.  This year I had the courage to tell her the story of St. Nick and admit hat we had been lying to her.
  • I am thankful for my friends.  I would be lost without my best mommy friends, A & K.  I love the vasa previa moms that I am able to be friends with because of the internet.  Even though we are separated by miles and oceans and we have something so big in common.  
  • I am thankful that Ellie has finally started showing an interest in writing her name.  It sounds small, but it's so big to me.  I often compare Ellie to what Maggie was like at this age and every child learns in such different ways.  Ellie works in her preschool binder almost an hour (or however long she wants to) every school day, so she has an interest in learning.  She loves to trace letters, but until the past week or two, she wouldn't try to make any letters on her own.  When she brought me a piece of paper with the letters of her name on it, my heart soared.
  • I am thankful that is so easy to keep in touch with people.  Facebook and the internet are often used in negative ways, but they can be huge blessings to a stay at home mom.
Of course, I could go on.  The clock always seems to be ticking and someone needs me.  It's good to be needed and I am so thankful for that!
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's A Boy!

I haven't mentioned this before, but for a little over a month we have had a cat!!  Of course, it was not something that we planned.  We lost Olivia the second week of September and I was still sort of missing her and still sort of enjoying having one less thing to worry about.  A Maggie would say, this is the cat that God gave us.

We were outside playing and this sweet cat just walked up.  He was obviously hungry and thirsty and seemed extremely affectionate.  We gave him some leftovers and a little water and he just didn't want to leave.  Within a couple of minutes, Ellie had given him the name "Rainbow".  Maggie had saved a plastic tray from our trip to the greenhouse that day and she immediately created a bed for him.  We put it on our back porch with a bowl of milk and decided that if he managed to stick around until morning we would buy food, a food and water dish and a flea collar for him.  Rainbow had on a decorative collar that was too small and very worn, so we removed it and replaced it with a purple collar.  I talked to our neighbor and Rainbow had visited their house for a couple of days earlier in the week.  We aren't sure why he left his other home, but I told Maggie that we would love him for as long as he was here.
Maggie has spent many hours playing with him and he happily lets her do all sorts of stuff with him.  He runs through the door every morning when we go out to feed him and really seems to want to be where we are.  He has brought lots of happiness to our family and Maggie says that he is the pet she has always dreamed of.

And I am sort of in love with his crooked smile.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fall Fun

We have visited a pumpkin patch with our homeschool group and jumped in lots of leaves!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall and Friends

 Fall has definitely arrived here in North Carolina and I am loving all that it brings to our house- the cooler weather and even the shortened days.

Our fall activities are in full swing.  Maggie, Ellie and I are all participating in AWANA at our church again this year.  Ellie is enjoying her first year of Cubbies, Maggie her second year of Sparks and I am teaching three year old Cubbies for the third year in a row.

Maggie is taking Sign Language Through Song and American History through our homeschool co-op.  Ellie and I have an hour of playtime and then an hour of Kindermusik together while Maggie is in class.  Maggie is also LOVING her Beginners Tumbling class.  It seems to suit her a little better than dance did.

We are also going to Storytime at our local public library.  Maggie feels a bit old for it, but there are a few other homeschooled kids her age that are there with younger siblings and she still really enjoys it.

Last week I was able to enjoy my first night out with my friends with NO kids in over five years!  My last night out was when Maggie was a little over a year old and I went out with my former co-workers.  This time it was a night out with my besties!  We have never been alone without at least one child.  "A" came to visit me in the hospital on the day after Ellie was born.  When "A" gave birth to her baby 4 months later, "K" and I visited her a few hours after delivery.  To be together without kids was so much fun.  We ate at Cracker Barrel and then found ourselves at Walmart.  We were only together for 3 hours, but it was blissful.  I am SO thankful for these two special friends.

Lots of people think that "mommy bloggers" are lame, but for some of us (me included) it is one of our ties to the outside world.  Even though you may not have any real interaction with the bloggers, you often feel like they are one of your friends.  Reading blogs is sort of like touching base with a friend anytime that you have the time to do it.   Big Daddy was watching a movie with the girls yesterday when I ran across this post from Kelly.  (There is info at the bottom of the post if you feel led to help out.)  I was heartbroken.  The outpouring of love and support is reminder that sometimes these relationships that are formed are more than just on-line.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Vacation

Since our June beach trip was full of rain and we decided not to go to Disney again this calendar year, we decided to go to the beach for a full week.  Saturday to Saturday.  Eight days and seven nights.  Maggie was probably more excited than any of us!

We had lots of fun, but had a bit of bad news on Wednesday.  Our hamster passed away. Olivia had been acting normal and extremely active for the past several weeks.  I had found a little bit of blood in her cage a few weeks ago.  Maggie saw it too and had asked if she was okay.  Since she seemed fine, we hadn't thought too much about it and wondered if it was some coloring from some of her food.  All of my hamsters had lived for over 2 years and we had only had Olivia for 15 months, so Maggie was especially devastated and I admit that I was too.  I could write pages about the conversations that we have had about her since she left us.  More than anything, Maggie wants to know what caused her to die.  All of the people that Maggie has lost in her life had some sort of sickness beforehand.  To the girls, Olivia was truly a member of our family.  Maggie wrote her notes and both girls prayed for her every single night during their bedtime prayers.

And now...beach happiness!

WHY does blogger turn pictures the wrong way sometimes????

Thursday, August 30, 2012

For Better Or For Worse

I feel like it's safe to say that this week has been AWESOME!   It is Thursday, homeschool work is complete and we have a Park Day on the schedule for tomorrow.

Last week was a nightmare that became worse with each passing day.  It's mostly attitude (Maggie's) and homeschool related, but I made changes (to my attitude) and raised my expectations and started new chore charts and became quite a bit more strict. And we have been much happier.  I seem to have become a little too relaxed over the summer and certain little people were taking advantage of me and running me ragged...and I may have threatened Maggie with sending her to private school.  Sometimes I show my love for Big Daddy and the kids by taking care of them when they really need to take care of themselves.

I decided that we would evaluate our decision to homeschool at least every year around the time that traditional schools get out for summer break.  If there is ever a time that it truly doesn't work for us I will gladly enroll Maggie and Ellie in school.  Of course, we're not going to give up with every little bump in the road, but I know that Maggie enjoys the flexibility we have and I want her to always realize that this is a choice and we can go a different route if we want to.  When she thought it would be fun to go to daycare everyday, I also explained that I would get a job and that she would most likely spend at least 8 or 9 hours there every single week day.  I think it's important that the girls understand that this is a choice.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of that too.  The part that is most frustrating about our homeschool-related problems is that we would have the same issues if Maggie were in a traditional school and having to do homework on a regular basis.

Our activities are about to be in full swing!  Maggie is taking sign language and American History through our homeschool co-op and Ellie will be in a preschool class.  During the last hour of co-op, Ellie and I will be taking a Kindermusik class together.  We are both so excited since it is something that Maggie particiapted in for two years when she was little.  Maggie has Tumbling on Friday evenings and as soon as we return from our week at the beach, both girls will start AWANA.  Storytime at the library will also be in full swing.  Our free day will be Monday for this semester.  We are excited about falling into a new routine and learning lots of new things!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

In the past two weeks

The last time that I posted was two weeks ago!  It seems to get harder and harder to document our daily lives.  Here's a recap of the past couple of weeks.

My last post was on my birthday.  Big Daddy surprised us by coming home at lunch.  We dropped the kids off at my parents' house and we went shopping and to dinner.  Big Daddy is passionate about sunglasses, so he bought me my first pair of expensive sunglasses (Ray Bans).  I like them, but I also like the Isaac Mizrahi sunglasses that I bought two years ago for $4.  Unfortunately, they are scratched and new ones were in

Maggie has officially started Tumbling classes.  She is in a beginner class and has been practicing cartwheels and bridges like crazy since her class last week.  She smiled every second during her hour class and can't wait to go back!

We picked Big Daddy up at the airport last week.  The girls wanted to roll his luggage to the car.  As they were helping out, Ellie asked if we were going to have a pool.  She was a little confused and assumed that we were going to a hotel since we had rolling luggage.

We are hoping/planning for a week-long family beach vacation in September.  The month's calendar is quickly getting full.  We are hoping to finalize everything tomorrow.

Big Daddy will be out of town a lot over the next few weeks.  A trip to Brazil is the most exciting place that he'll be.  Other than that, just Maryland or Pennsylvania.

Just when I think that we are used to all of the time apart and that we have adjusted to it, there is some sort of issue that comes up.  So many people judge the way things are for us, but what it all comes down to is that travel is apart of the job that supports or family.  I get tired of people acting like we enjoy it or that Big Daddy is off on vacation when he is really working long hours on different projects.

In honor of my birthday, I went out of town to meet my besties for dinner.  We were at Chick-fil-A and had five kids in tow, but it was still a night out with my girls and we still had THE best time.

This past Sunday, we decided to take a family trip to the zoo after church.  We were able to see the 6 day old baby gorilla and the giraffe that was around a month old.  I'm planning on taking the girls again after the temperatures cool down a bit more.

I have decided that I want/need an iPad and I have decided to use some of the money in my savings account to buy it.  Big Daddy said he would buy me one, but I want it to be mine.  There are lots of things that I hope to use it for with homeschooling and I think it will also be neat to have during long car trips.

Speaking of long car trips, I really feel like I need to go to Disney World soon.  we thought about going again this October, but decided to go to the beach for a week since our June trip had lots of rain.  We may plan a trip to Disney for January.  I think I would feel better just knowing when I would be going again.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Honey Glazed Carrots

I thought I'd share one of my most favorite ways to eat carrots.  This happens to be one of those things that I came up with all by myself and I ate them for a lot while Big Daddy was out of town.  That gave me a chance to sort of tweek the recipe and get it just right before I let him taste the yumminess!  He is a little picky/critical of how things are cooked and ends lots of meals by saying " that ____ was good, but if you would _____ it would be even better".  Between the two of us, we change lots of recipes!

Honey Glazed Carrots
2 pounds of carrots, peeled and cut into sticks, placed into a crock pot
just enough fat free Italian dressing to coat the carrots and then one more squirt
a healthy drizzle of honey over the carrots

Turn crock pot on low and cook until carrots are tender, but not falling apart. (about 6 hours, or so)  I stir these around every couple of hours or the bottom carrots will get black and really carmelized. (those are my favorites)

I always buy a 2 pound bag of carrots.  It looks like a lot, but this enough for our dinner and left overs the next day, or dinner and two meals of left overs if Big Daddy is traveling.  I do not buy "fat free" things very often because of all of the added junk, but I found that fat free dressing works well in these.  If you use regular dressing, they are greasy.  Sometimes I quarter an onion and throw in  there too.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homemade Goodness

If I had my way, I very well may live on a farm...or be Amish.  I told Big Daddy more times than I could count that I loved the way the Amish lived and that I would love to try that life out at least for a little while.  Our recent business trip with Big Daddy didn't go all that well, but the day that we spent in the Amish country was pure bliss for me.  They aren't as primitive as many people think and most of them do NOT homeschool. (They have one room school houses.)

I LOVE the clotheslines that they have and I could have driven around all day looking at barns, fields of corn and clotheslines.  I do LOTS of laundry, but we do not have a clothesline.  The thoughts of having to carry laundry baskets full of clothes outside and then back inside is not appealing to me at all.

I DO make my own laundry detergent and cleaning supplies and I LOVE it!

This is the recipe I use for laundry detergent.  I started following How Does She? a long time ago on facebook and they share lots of neat things!  I have a large plastic storage container that I mix this in and then I transfer some to a pretty glass canister and keep it on the shelf in my laundry room.  The hardest part is grating the soap and it's not that hard!  I do recommend mixing this outside because it can create quite a cloud.  I do not add the Oxi Cle@n and it still cleans as good as any other detergent I have used.

Here are a few recipes (via pinterest) that I like for homemade cleaning supplies.  I am using the bleach cleaner and the window cleaner.  The only pre-made cleaners that I buy are toilet cleaning gel and window cleaner for our cars that is safe for tinted windows.

I have tried two different cleaners for tubs and showers.  I still like to put baking soda on a damp cloth to "exfoliate" my shower- I just do that after I have sprayed on a cleaner.  The baking soda really removes soap scum so well (with mild abrasiveness) and using with a spray cleaner makes cleaning the shower nearly effortless...yet I still procrastinate about doing it.  This is a good version and it uses less dishwashing liquid that some other cleaners and still works really well.  (via pinterest)

And one of my latest obsession is the homemade goodness that is...Kale Chips!  I had been interested in these and when Jo-Lynne posted her recipe I felt like they were safe to try!  I trust Jo-Lynne's opinions and have made several of her "Tried and True" recipes with great success.  We LOVE these and I had an entire pan of them at lunch today.

Happy Homemaking!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Happy and Tired

We had a Block Party at church last night to kick off our week of  VBS, which our church calls Week of Wonder.  It was so hot and so crowded and we had lots of fun.  Maggie and Ellie had snow cones and dinner and bounced until they couldn't bounce anymore!  We went to my classroom to get everything set up a little early.  The girls loved playing with "baby toys" (I teach a two year old class) and cooling off a bit before the next round of fun started.  We are tired today, but excited about tonight.

We (me, Maggie & Big Daddy) are hooked on kale chips.  They are yummy, healthy, crispy, cheap and delicious!   I made two big batches of kale chips for 64 cents!

Big Daddy is in another season of heavy travel.  It's not as hard as it once was, but we all miss each other a lot.  Prayers would be appreciated.

We had special speakers at church yesterday.  This is a really amazing group of girls and they are well spoken and wise beyond their years.  They have already accomplished so much.  (And three of them are homeschooled!)  Our offerings from Week of Wonder will be donated to them.

I think the polyp in my uterus took care of itself.  Needless to say, I did not want to have to have surgery, but had decided that the pain was impacting my daily life too much and that it was going to be necessary.  Hopefully, I'l continue to be pain free.

And that concludes what is going on right now!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just so I don't forget

To me.

You like to go places, but you do not like hotels.
You are a homebody.
Business trips with your husband are just like when he's away on business trips and you are home.  He works long hours, doesn't have a chance to talk very much and is on the phone until at least 11:00 every night dealing with problems at work.
The kids may say that they had fun, but their behavior was horrible and they missed home.  A lot.

You really do want to be Amish even if it's only for a few days.
Your hair was made to wear a bonnet.
Clotheslines and cornfields really do make you happy.
The clip clop of the horses hooves and those piles of poop all over the roads made your kids' day.
Amish Whoopie Pies, lemonade and Kettle Corn are so yummy.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Hot Mess

It has been so hot here the past few days, so we decided to break our normal routine and have outside play time in the morning.  I was watering flowers and Maggie decided to fill her watering can up, too.  Within a couple of minutes, she was standing ankle deep in a "pool".

Neither of our girls like to get dirty unless it is their idea.  We encourage this kind of play!  They are happy to rub sand all over each other in the sand box at home, but not at the beach.  And they are more than happy to dig a hole beside of their swing set to create a "pool".  This part of North Carolina has red clay, so both girls had red clay mud covering their feet...and hands...and somehow Ellie had some on her cheeks too.  Maggie said it made sense why some animals covered themselves in mud to stay cool because her feet were "just as cool as they could be".  We stayed outside for a couple of hours and then came inside for baths and lunch.  It was a great day!  (They also made pyramids out of the mud and they were thrilled to go out and look at them last night and see that they had dried and looked like they were made out of modeling clay.  Can you tel that we talked about ancient Egypt last week?)

We are going on a bit of an adventure next week.  Big Daddy needs to be out of town all of next week and since July 4 is on Wednesday, we are tagging along!  I'll be spending all day with the girls while he is taking care of business and it's not something that I've ever had to do in a new town.  So...I'm hoping that the hotel is close to something fun, but they have a pool, a t.v. and also telephones that we will be unplugging so the girls can do their thing.  They usually have the best time just playing around in the room, but we have never been in a hotel for this long with them.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers that we have safe and happy travels!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Once again...

Once again it's been a long time since I posted anything.  We have been busy with homeschooling stuff and just daily life.  Big Daddy has been out of town a lot, (this is the third week in a row) but he's home every weekend.  We have been playing in the sprinklers, and going to Nana and Paw Paw's a lot in the evenings.  It just seems like more fun to play outside when there's more people around.  And my brother-in-law made these:
(pictures are sideways but I don't know why!)
a tire swing

and a big 2 person swing !
 My parents (and sister) live on family land that once belonged to my great grandparents.  The house that my dad grew up in is right next door.  My grandmother passed away nearly two years ago and my dad bought the house recently.  There are several old maple trees, so my brother-in-law fixed swings for the girls (Callie, Maggie & Ellie) in one of them.  These swings are in the tree that my grandparents used to sit under all the time...and my dad probably played under them when he was little too.  This is now our evening hangout!

Big Daddy and I celebrated our twelve year wedding anniversary this past weekend.  I still can't believe that I've been married that long or that I was so young when I married!  We had an all day date that lasted about eight hours.  We had a light lunch, saw a movie, shopped, walked around, had dinner and then walked around before wandering home.  Maggie and Ellie spent the day with my sister and my mom. Since they live next to each other, the girls just sort of float back and forth.

And that is a little bit of what's going on around here!

Thursday, June 14, 2012


I thought being a mom was hard, but being a homeschool mom is so much harder.

Going to the beach and having it rain three out of four days was not always easy.  Fortunately, I am blessed with two girls that love staying in hotels and the sun popped out long enough each day for us to enjoy the sand, water and to explore.  

Being "single" again after several weeks of not being single is tough...and lonely.

Starting a diet right after a birthday party when there's left over cupcakes in the house is hard.  Thankfully, I have lost two pounds in the past two days and feel slightly encouraged.

Seeing these two smiley faces makes everything seem better.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This is our birthday girl!

Ellie Grace celebrated her third birthday with some time at the beach.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Right Now

It has been three years since we woke up here and not there.  Maggie has officially lived here for as long as she lived in Sanford.

I have a polyp growing my uterus.  It hurts sometimes.

We are looking forward to going to the beach soon.

Big Daddy and I are really enjoying our first year of being the proud owners of a blooming hydrangea!  (It was my Mother's Day present last year)  Hydrangeas remind me of my Grandma's house and the place where Big Daddy and I spent our honeymoon and many summer weekends in the first few years of our marriage.  I have little bouquets scattered through the house.

We are all sorts of excited about an Ice Cream Social with our homeschool group to celebrate the end of the school year.

We are still talking about the fun trip we took last week to have dinner with our friends in Sanford. Maggie and Ellie were able to love on Gammy Gladys and play with their friends, while I had some much needed time with my favorite mommies.

Ellie loves her homeschool preschool time.

Big Daddy and I are planning a little trip for our twelve year anniversary that's coming up.

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