Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Deep Breaths

Today was one of those days that lead me to make rash statements like Spring Break is going to kill me! and I really think I might just give away my kids...anyone want them?

It started out fine, and it isn't like the whole day was terrible. I did plenty of fun things, but by the time this afternoon rolled around, I was just grouchy.

The kids were wild all day, and had the hardest time listening and following directions -- especially Sassy, and I had just recently bragged about how wonderful she had been lately. However, for the past couple of days she has been wild.

Stride Rite didn't have the shoes that I wanted to get Bubba for Easter (talk about shopping at the last minute, I know...), but they did have a pair that worked in a 10.5W, and thankfully Bubba liked them (we can't be real picky in a size 10.5W...but try telling that to a two-year-old).

While we were in Stride Rite, the kids ran around like maniacs rather than sticking quietly beside me, and Sassy asked me every two minutes to get her some shoes, even though I just bought her two new pairs the other day.

The Farmer has been sick...and, thus, a big, fat baby.

My babysitter is sick...again, so I didn't get any work done today. In fact, I got to work and had to immediately turn around and come home because she came down with a fever after getting to my house.

The Farmer has not been home since Monday night, so we have begun our usual springtime separation -- which always makes me a little less patient with the children.

I couldn't find a babysitter to go out to eat with some good friends who are in town, and I'm not really sure when I will get to see them.

I haven't been to the grocery store in forever, and we have no food in this house. No milk. No Pop-Tarts. No peanut butter. Nothing.

Really, by the time bedtime rolled around, I was done.

And then, as I was reading The Jesus Storybook Bible to the kids before bed tonight, something changed. I read the story of God calling on Abraham to give Isaac as a sacrifice to Him. At the end of this story, I read:

And as they sat there on the mountaintop, watching the embers of the fire die in the cool night air, the stars above them sparkling in the velvet sky, God helped Abraham and Isaac understand something. God wanted his people to live, not die. God wanted to rescue his people, not punish them. But they must trust him.

"One day Someone will be born into your family," God promised them."And he will bring happiness to the whole world."

God was getting ready to give the world a wonderful present. It would be God's way to tell his people, "I love you."

Many years later, another Son would climb another hill, carrying wood on his back. Like Isaac, he would trust his Father and do what his Father asked. He wouldn't struggle or run away.

Who was he? God's Son, his only Son -- the Son he loved.

The Lamb of God.

The words I read made me think about how all the little things that I was so irritated over are just stupid, little things. They are fleeting, unimportant. By focusing on them, I am not focusing on living the life God wants me to have.

Here we are in the middle of Holy Week, and we are celebrating the time when God's Son carried the hard wood of the cross on His back so that He could die to save me, and I am worried about myself and all these little things that are bothering me. We are celebrating God's big "I love you" to the world -- the life, death, and resurrection of His Son -- and I am wasting my time being irritated at the world.

That story made me take a deep breath and shift my focus to the Cross -- where it should have been all along.

And now my children are sleeping like sweet little angels. And The Farmer called to apologize for complaining the whole time he talked to me.

No, not everything is right in this world. I still don't have any food in the house. I still would like for my kids to be better behaved. But it will never all be right in this world, and that is okay because this world is not all there is. The battle is won, and we will remember that as long as we keep our eyes on the Cross.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Japanese Tulip Trees

I am so excited to be able to start planning for a real yard, and I can't wait to have one of these beautiful trees in it!

Monday, March 29, 2010


It is officially Spring Break 2010 (SPX -- an acronym I learned from a friend in Atlanta...) around here. Although we aren't going anywhere (Spring Break falls at the worst time for us farmers...), I am trying to take some time to do some fun stuff with the kiddos. The Farmer actually took this weekend off, and it was the first time he took off in about a month; we were glad to have him home! Any healthy, diet-type eating that I have done lately has totally gone out the window -- seriously, it is disgusting how badly I have eaten lately. I even had a hotdog today -- and I hate hotdogs!

Here is a sneak peek at what we have been up to...

Hunting eggs:

Dyeing eggs:

Catching a nap Watching basketball:

Visiting the zoo:

I hope your week is off to as good of a start as ours!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Let's Ponder This

This conversation occurred between The Farmer and me the other day:

The Farmer: Oh, before I forget, I saw a pair of your diamond earrings on your dresser. I moved them to the back of the bathroom counter so the kids wouldn't get into them.

Me: Thanks, but they are fake ones from Target, so it doesn't really matter if the kids get them.

The Farmer: Well, I didn't know, so I just moved them.

Me: Okay, but where did you think I had gotten huge, real diamond earrings if you didn't buy them for me?

The Farmer: I didn't know. I just assumed you went out and bought them for yourself.

Me: What?!?! You think I would go out and spend that much money on myself without talking to you first?

The Farmer: Yes. Yes, I do.

At first I was pretty irritated that The Farmer would think that I would go purchase something so large for myself without asking him. But then I started thinking...

If he already thought that I would buy myself real diamond earrings, why the heck am I wearing $15 Target ones?!?!?!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Planting Time!

Another sign of spring...we are planting tomatoes!

It's amazing to think of all of the work that will go on from now until the beginning of July to get these things grown and into the grocery makes me tired just to think of it!
I hope you're enjoying this beautiful spring day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This afternoon I babysat for my sweet niece, Coco (obvs not her real name...). My kids loved playing with her, and they all loved posing for pictures. Seriously, when I pulled the camera out and started shooting, Coco started smiling like crazy -- she already loves to have her picture taken at 3-and-a-half months!

(Please excuse Bubba's Oreo mouth...)

Coco behaved perfectly for her Aunt Christie. She slept most of the time I had her, even while I transferred her from the swing to the infant car seat for carpool pickup. She woke up and drank a bottle while we were waiting for Miss Priss and her friend, Walker, to get out of school, and then she was totally fine with me putting her back in the car seat. She was really excited to get to the house so that she could watch her big cousins entertain her!

It was really nice to have another baby in the house for a bit...but it was also nice to be able to give her back to her mama! ;-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little WW Update

I am still plugging away at Weight Watchers. I am also still not doing it perfectly; I stick to the plan pretty well during the week, but it all seems to fall apart on the weekends when I have no desire to cook. BUT, I have lost 4.8 pounds, so that is something...

I discovered a great trick to this weight-loss thing last week.

I gave up sweets.

I have a huge sweet tooth, and every day I would need to taste something chocolate. From M&Ms in my aunt's house (where I have to go to print checks for work) to the Hershey Nuggets in my own house, I always seemed to be eating something sweet and chocolate. I often wouldn't count those as points, which did me no good whatsoever.

Once I decided to give up sweets, I stuck with it really well -- and quickly dropped 1 pound -- until this past Friday when I tasted a brownie.

And I immediately got a headache.

So, in addition to helping me lose some weight, the no-sweets plan is also helping to keep my migraines at bay, praise the Lord!

Now I just have to stick with it...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who Knew?

I don't know if this is a well-kept secret from you, but it was definitely a well-kept secret from me -- until recently, that is. I just found out about Lands End Canvas through another blog, so I went to their website to check them out. The clothes are really cute -- sort of along the lines of J.Crew but a little less expensive. I have also heard that they give out great coupons if you add yourself to the email list, so I am going to try that.

Here are some cute things I found:

A perfect scarf for Clemson football fans:

An adorable boyfriend sweater. I am really digging the boyfriend sweater lately (did you see the adorable one Miss Priss had on yesterday???):

Some great, easy dresses for spring and summer -- I really love a dress in the summertime:

And some adorable bathing suits. I really like the top of this one:

But I could not get away with those bottoms because my legs are really short, and boy-shorts just make them look stumpier. So, I would rather these:

I may or may not have ordered some goodies for myself from Lands End Canvas the other day, so I may or may not let you know how they fit later on!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hope You Were Wearing Your Green Today...

This picture does not do justice to the cuteness that was Sassy today...I need
photography lessons, I guess...

We sure were (even if we didn't look happy to be doing it...)! Well, that is, all of the kids were wearing green. I seem to not have one green article of clothing to my name. Oh well, no one pinched me...
Oh, btw, don't y'all just love the girls' new Matilda Jane clothes? Miss Priss even wore hers (illegally) to fancy up her uniform today!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Catching Up

My reader is full, and I am trying to catch up on all of my daily reads.

My babysitter has been sick, so I have a lot of work to catch up on.

I spent a good part of my day trying to catch up on bills and get the kiddos caught up on sleep.

The Farmer and I are finally getting the house back on the market, and we have a bunch of realtors coming over tomorrow to look at the house -- so we are trying to catch up on housework.

So, I have no real time to blog, but I thought I'd leave you with a picture of two cute, funky little girls...

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Was With My Boyfriend Last Night...

My friend, LP, and I went to the Michael Buble concert in Atlanta last night. Although I have been totally made fun of for this, I love, love, LOVE Michael Buble! I got the tickets for Christmas, and I can definitely now say that was my favorite Christmas present.

This is not a video that I took, but it was taken at the MB concert Friday night (not sure where...).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Notice Anything Different?

Miss Priss got glasses and earrings!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A List

1. Today I got a migraine, but I was all out of my migraine meds. So, I swung through Walgreens to get a refill; however, my insurance company would not let me get a refill because evidently I've already had too much for the month. I wish someone would tell that to me head... I hate insurance sometimes.

2. I have been doing Weight Watchers for a while (to mild success due to my only halfway following the plan), and a great site that I found, thanks to my friend Alle, is Gina's WW Recipes. I tried the Spinach Lasagna Rolls the other night, and they were delicious -- Bubba loved them, Sassy liked them, and Miss Priss wasn't so impressed, but she is not easily impressed with anything green. Today Gina posted a recipe for Pomegranate Martinis that look great, so I plan on giving those a try sometime soon.

3. Yesterday I was riding in the truck with my dad when he turned to me and asked me if I am "The Dell." I looked at him like he was crazy, so he said, "You know, you have Miss Priss, Sassy, Bubba, and The Farmer. So are you The Dell?" Oh, that guy's so funny...

4. Today Miss Priss told Bubba "Bubba, do you know how cute you are?" His answer? "My gonna give you a spankin'!"

5. We are going to start planting tomatoes tomorrow, so we are one step closer to summer!!!

6. One thing that excites me about our move is that The Farmer and I get to finally build a house. A bigger house. Our very own plan!!! One of our BFFs, The Architect, is helping us get some drawings together, and I am so excited to get started on our new house!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blogger BFF Award

First of all, let me start by saying that I am sorry for my Debbie Downer post last night. The Farmer called about the time that I was expecting him home from work to say that he was only halfway home, and things just went downhill from there.

But today I am much better! And, to top it all off, I won a giveaway from Clemsongirl and the Coach, AND I got a blogger award from my friend, Jen...

This award states that I have to mention who gave me this award and give you her link (which I did). Now I have to tell you seven things about myself that no one knows. Hmmm...let's see...

1. I went to the International Science and Engineering Fair and to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine when I was in high school. Sounds like I was a really big nerd, but I wasn't (or at least, not in my opinion...).

2. My high school English teacher used to write me these really weird letters when I first went to Clemson. He has since died, but I found the letters at my parents' house recently, and they were just weird for a teacher to be sending a student. For instance, in one of the letters, he told me that they should build a statue of me somewhere.

3. I wanted to be a doctor until I met The Farmer. Then I decided that I didn't want to go to school that long -- I wanted to get married instead.

4. I got to tour the CIA headquarters at Langley when I was in the 9th grade.

5. My babies were all whoppers -- 9 lbs, 8 lbs 2 oz (my shrimp!), and 9 lbs 3 oz -- and that gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I don't know why, but it does.

6. I laugh when my kids get shots. In fact, I used to laugh when other people got hurt, but I don't do that as much anymore -- now it's pretty much just when my kids get shots, and the nurses think I'm crazy.

7. I took the CPA exam twice, but I didn't study either time. I'm not much of a studier, so I thought I would just see what happened. It didn't matter if I passed or not -- I was never planning on becoming a CPA -- I just did it on the suggestion of the farm's accountant. I did pass the Financial portion, though (woo-hoo, big deal...).

Okay, now that y'all all think I'm a total weirdo, I am supposed to pass this on to 6 bloggers who inspire me daily. However, my brain hurts from thinking up those 7 things, so if you would like to play along, please do!

Thanks again, Jen, for the sweet award...and many, many thanks for the sweet words in your all-about-Christie-post!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pity Parties

Tonight I am throwing myself a bit of a pity party.

Life always gets to be a little bit tough for me this time of year. The Farmer is working more and more, and so I am solo more and more. I am solo in parenting. I am solo at social functions. I am solo in keeping up with the house and everyday life.

Sometimes that just really stinks.

This is the time of year when I start to feel like I can hardly keep my head above water; by June I am just numb to it, but the beginning is the hardest. I can't keep up with the housework. I can't keep up with the laundry, and if I do get it washed and folded, it sits in the basket for a week or so at a time.

I am also working more, so I feel guilty having the kids with a babysitter so much (even though they love our babysitter, thank goodness). But, then, when I am with the kids, I am so much more irritable with them. I feel like I scream too much over things that I really shouldn't scream about, then I feel guilty about that. Sometimes it's great that Bubba loves me so much that he wants me to do everything for him, but sometimes it just makes me want to scream.

Then there's the social aspect -- I really hate to be the third wheel. I don't like to go to things that are just our group of friends and everyone's husband is there except for mine. I really hate to go to stuff with our friends and their families, and all of my friends have the help of their husbands to corral their children -- I just have me.

It isn't The Farmer's fault. He is a farmer, and this is when he starts to get busy. I know that -- especially having grown up on a farm myself -- but it doesn't make it any easier when the time comes. It also isn't the kids' fault and/or isn't a matter of me having too many kids -- I would feel the same way with 1 or 10 kids. This is just a symptom of the life we have lead for the past 6 1/2 years, and it's one reason that I'm glad that we're moving. Yes, I will still have to go through the solo parenting, but it won't be nearly as long.

Last year I told myself that I wasn't going to allow myself to feel sorry for myself, and tomorrow I am going to go back to that. Instead of concentrating on the negative, I am going to focus on all of the blessings I have in my life. I don't want to miss all of the good parts because I am so busy complaining to myself.

But tonight?

Tonight I'm going to continue my pity party.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Shore Thing...

Muffie turns 31 on Monday, and to celebrate, we had a Jersey Shore party last night. The party was a blast -- big "poofs," fist pumps, fake nails, tattoos, and all...

Thursday, March 4, 2010


My grandmother came by the house the other day to drop off a present for Miss Priss. When she left, our nanny, Megan said "Okay, Sassy, I know that was a relative, but how is she related to you?"

Sassy: Oh, that's Mommy's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother.

Megan: How many greats was that, Sassy?

Sassy: Great-great...about five!

I bet y'all didn't know that we live forever in my family!

It's my pleasure to introduce to you...

Hello Grow readers! This is Jen from I'm a Nola Girl, and I have the extreme pleasure to share with you a little introduction of my dear friend, and the author of this blog, Christie. As you may know, Christie is the daughter of a farmer, the wife of a farmer, and the mother of three lovely children (the youngest of whom often spends time on his tractor pretending to be a farmer). Perhaps it is her family's true appreciation of the earth and the goodness it creates that makes Christie the perfectly grounded person she is. Christie is someone whose roots are deeply planted - in her friendships, in her family, and in her faith.

Friendships - Christie is my number one fashion guru friend. She has a simple but very elegant style with a taste for fabulous footwear. She has a quick whit and a tremendous sense of humor and she blushes when she laughs. She is not someone who blabbers meaninglessly, when she shares her ideas or opinions, they are thoughtful, purposeful, and meaningful. She is fun and spunky and loves country music. She is an amazing cook and a huge Clemson Tiger fan! She is kind and open-hearted and truly sincere. Christie is the best thank you card writer I have ever known. She writes the kind of thank you notes that you save so you can re-read then when you've had a bad day. Christie is the kind of friend I hope to be.

Family - I think it is clearly evident when reading this blog, that Christie's family is her greatest treasure. She is one amazing daughter, big sister, aunt, mother, and wife. I don't know how Christie does it! She so gracefully balances being a dedicated employee, an active member of our community, and a wonderful and loving wife and mother. Christie and the Farmer are absolutely the cutest couple. They are always laughing and smiling and sharing funny stories, and when children are surrounded by that kind of love, it is no wonder they are as great as Miss Priss, Sassy, and Bubba. Christie would do anything for her family, and isn't that all you can ask of someone. Christie is the kind of mother I hope to be.

Faith - As someone who struggles with where I am on my faith journey, I am so inspired by Christie's humble and well-founded faith. Her genuine faith in God and His presence in our daily lives is overwhelming. She is a true believer who sees God in everything, and I see God in her. She brings His message to life through her actions and through her words in a kind, gentle, and understanding way. Christie is the kind of faith-filled person I hope to be.

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know my dear Christie just a little bit better. It truly was my pleasure to introduce her to you!!!



Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Getting Out of the Boat

Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap. Joshua 3:11-13

And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:28-31

We went over both of the above verses in our Bible Study tonight, and our leader, Michelle (who my friend, LP, and I call our own personal Beth Moore -- yes, she is that good!) used them to illustrate the fact that sometimes as Christians we have to trust in God even when it doesn't make sense to our human minds...

In the first verse, the Israelites were getting ready to cross the Jordan into the promised land. The Jordan was a huge river and was swollen with floods, but God told them to put their feet in the water, and the water would then stand in a heap so that they could get through. To you and me, that would just seem crazy -- how would all of those people get across so much water? But God knew that He was capable of making the water get out of the way, and that was precisely what He did.

In the second verse, Peter is asking the Lord to prove Himself by making Peter able to walk on the water like Jesus is doing. And He does it. At first Peter is fine. He is trusting in the Lord and walking on the water, but the minute he starts to have any doubts, he sinks. Had Peter kept his eye and trust on Jesus, he would have been fine.

These points stuck with me because The Farmer and I are at a point where we are being asked to get out of the boat, and we have decided to do it.

In my post to introduce you to The Farmer, I mentioned that he and I moved to my hometown a little less than two years after we got married. We did this for many reasons, not the least of which was that I was miserable living in the small town near his farm. We thought that we could make a better life for ourselves here in my hometown. So, we did it. We moved. And for a long time, it was the right decision, and we didn't look back.

However, about two years ago, I started to feel that the Lord was calling me to something different. I felt like He was telling me that it was time to go back to our first town. I spent a lot of time questioning Him -- Is that really what you're telling me, God? If so, could you please send me an engraved invitation or some obvious sign? I don't want to make the wrong choice here!

I felt pretty confident that God was leading us back, and at first we started to make plans for moving back, but then, like Peter, I looked down. I got scared -- what if it isn't You, after all, God, telling me to go? The reasons for not moving were plenty -- we had a ton of friends here, our kids had known the same kids since birth, we would never find a better church, and on and on.

We decided not to go.

Since then, the reasons for going have become much clearer. Raising three kids pretty much by myself is hard -- especially when I have a husband who is perfectly capable of helping except for his long work/commute schedule. Our family could spend so much more time together if we lived closer to The Farmer's farm. As a little boy, Bubba needs his father more and in a totally different way than the girls do. I thought of my father, who is also a farmer, and how he would feel if he had to live so far away from the farm -- or how he would feel if my brother chose to live so far away from the farm. I could go on and on.

I guess I pretty much got my engraved invitation.

After a lot of praying and talking, The Farmer and I officially decided to move. I can say that I am equal parts excited and scared to death. We have no idea what is in store for us once we move. We will really miss our best friends. We will really miss the life that we have created here. But, we feel that we are being lead back, and we are going.

I don't know what the Lord has in store for the rest of our lives, but we are choosing to trust in Him because He is so much wiser than we are. I know that it isn't going to be easy -- no big change in life is ever completely without problems, but no problem is too big for my God. I trust Him with my life and with the lives of my husband and children.

So, no matter how crazy it may seem to us, we are going to get out of the boat.

Have you ever been called to get out of the boat?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Pioneer Woman Rocks!

If you haven't heard of Pioneer Woman, you have been living under a rock. She is everywhere these days -- even on Fox & Friends the other morning!

However, in the case that you don't know who she is, you definitely should. She is a great blogger who also happens to be a great cook, photographer, and homeschooler among other things.

I had a dinner party this past Friday night, and most of my recipes came from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, PW's recipe blog. All of the recipes were fabulous, so I thought I would share our menu and the links to PW's recipes so that you can make them, too!

(BTW, none of these recipes happen to be Weight Watcher friendly, and I am not sure that PW has any WW friendly recipes. So, if you are doing WW like me, steer clear of these recipes. I had an excuse this time -- my dinner party! No one wants to go to a low-fat dinner party, right?!?!)

Warm french bread with goat cheese and fig preserves (no recipe)
Seasoned pecans (from a local cookbook -- I will get you that recipe later)
I intended to do PW's Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing, but I ran out of time, so I just threw together a spinach salad of my own design.
Beef Tenderloin with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce
Green Beans
Ooh, I am getting hungry just thinking about all of that good food!!
The dinner party went really well, and everyone raved over the food -- all thanks to the Poineer Woman!
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