Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pulling Teeth

This weekend we went to the UGA/TN game and took the camper and spent the weekend in Athens. We arrived and started to back into our tailgating spot and I heard air coming from one of the tires. Flat. Later that night I saw water coming from under the camper. Leak. I was totally prepared for camping chaos because I grew up doing this and sometimes our vacation was being delayed while my dad soldered wires together on the side of the highway. Peter, on the other hand, was getting annoyed.

The next morning, we went to Pep Boys to get the tired replaced and we all had to go because the trailer was jacked up and we weren't able to go inside. I hadn't even dressed the kids yet... I was bored waiting for the tire and asked Hannah (in her fuzzy jammies) to come sit in the front seat with me so I could wiggle her tooth. I was hoping to pull it because I needed some extra excitement! I thought her squeeling may be bothering other customers so we went out to the 4-wheelers and sat on the curb. She yelled and screamed, cried and laughed, spit and spat and then I did it!

The tire is fixed and on the camper now ... but getting Peter to go camping with me again may be as difficult as pulling teeth.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Much Needed Vacation

We have had a terribly busy summer with Peter painting the house then going to Africa. The month of June flew by.

We visited Peter's parents last week in Georgia and took the kids to Chattanooga to play at the waterfront park. The next day we decided to return to visit the Chattanooga Choo Choo because Stone is very much fixated with trains. HE LOVED IT!! It was so cute to see his grin as we rode the trolley on the grounds. We will have to return and do it again because the kids loved it. At Christmas, Santa's elves tuck you in at night if you stay in the hotels or train cars. Hannah has told be all about it!

Stone learned to ride a bicycle at their house too -- it is so funny because he is barely 2!! He thinks he is something!

Hannah read for 5 hours so far this summer and earned a "gold" medal. She is thrilled. Alot of the reading occurred on vacation as well. She will begin swim lessons this week. She swims crazy dog paddling style. She makes it across the olympic size pool but looks like she is drowning the whole way! I hope these lessons help.

Lauren has the cutest tan lines on her bottom. I love it! And her smiles and curls can take your breath away. She says, "You are my best mom ever."

Now, we are planning a funfilled weekend at the beach this 4th of July weekend. Maybe even go to some plantations near the house.

Tonight we went to help construct the interior of our church plant's newly leased facility. Now it is time for bed!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Growing up in the 1980's: The Best and the Worst

I (Peter) recently attended 2 events that remind me of some of the best things that came out of the 80’s. One was the newest Indiana Jones film, which was vintage adventure. The other was an R.E.M. concert this past weekend, which was vintage Athens, GA music. These two events also remind me of many things that make me glad the 80’s are no longer. Here are a few of my thoughts—you are sure to relate to something!

The Worst…I should have bought stock in aerosol hair spray. Any of you girls remember twist-a-beads? High top Reebok aerobic shoes (with the 2 velcro straps) with leg warmers and a long sweeter? I loved the acid washed Guess jeans with tapered legs. And if they weren’t tapered enough then we’d tight roll them ourselves. Neon colors and jelly shoes.

The Best…Parachute pants, which I’m waiting to come back into style. We used to wear them to slide down the grass hill at the Dalton High football stadium. Other than that maybe the red Coca-Cola rugby shirts that were such a big hit.

Pop Culture.
The Worst…My sister, yes that’s Carrie Hyatt Hulsey, must have had 200 posters of Kirk Cameron on her walls she got out of teen magazines.

The Best…Carrie redeemed herself by playing the Go-Go’s on a 45 record player and introducing me to songs such as Drivin’ n’ Cryin’s “Catch the Wind” and R.E.M.’s “Superman”. I’ve also got to throw in here Pac-Man and all video arcade games. My dad ran an arcade game business where he rented the big arcades to restaurants (such as Godfather’s Pizza), bowling alleys, roller skating rinks (such as the Roller Disco), and places in the mall (such as Time Out). Often times when the games were being repaired they would be stored in our basement. Once they were fixed every kid in the neighborhood would be over playing Space Invaders, Galaga, Frogger, and Centipede. The spinning ball on Centipede always pinched my hand.

The Worst…Gosh, where do I begin? Wham, Madonna, Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, Belinda Carlisle, Olivia Newton John, New Kids On The Block, Hall and Oates, Kenny Loggins, George Michael, Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George, Pet Shop Boys, Bon Jovi, Duran Duran, and Def Leppard. Some of you love Duran Duran, don’t lie.

The Best…Michael Jackson. You know you loved him. We all did. Kids could be seen moon walking to the bathroom at school. One girl in my class used to wear one white glove. And remember that cool red and black leather jacket he wore? Others groups are the Pixies, the Smiths, ZZ Top, The Bangles, John Mellencamp, and Midnight Oil. Some maybes could be Huey Lewis and the News, Tina Turner, INXS, The Go-Gos, Run DMC, Guns-N-Roses, and Twister Sister (just kidding, although I can play We’re Not Gonna Take It on the guitar). Everyone loves U2. Back to the R.E.M. show I saw Saturday night with my good friend John Temples and his girlfriend. When music like Boy George was the norm, R.E.M. gave us a sound that no one else was producing. We all seemed to love Peter Buck’s guitar playing and the lyrics even though we couldn’t understand a thing Michael Stipe was singing. During the show Saturday night the band pulled out more of their 80’s tunes than I expected. They rocked out songs such as Driver 8, These Days, Pretty Persuasion, Gravities Pull, The One I Love, and many many more. They were definitely playing to a home town crowd that knows the old stuff. Thanks to R.E.M. for redeeming the 80’s and making Athens known for more than just Hershel Walker. Hershel made the 80’s all that much better too.

The Worst…My sister and her friends liked to watch Children of the Corn. I hated it. Dirty Dancing, sorry…didn’t like it. Flashdance? Gremlin’s? Nightmare on Elm St., Purple Rain, Teen Wolf, and Spaceballs.

The Best… Yall remember Police Academy? Hilarious! Footloose, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Back to the Future, Indiana Jones, A Christmas Story (Ralphie and the BB Gun), Blue Lagoon, The Breakfast Club, Caddyshack, Raising Arizona, Empires Strikes Back, E.T., We used to act out Rambo scenes in the woods next to my house, which got dangerous at times. What fun. Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and the Goonies. What about ROCKY IV!!!!!

The Worst…Miami Vice, Doogie Howser, Knight Rider

The Best…The A-Team, CHIPS, Cheers, Growing Pains, Family Ties, Saved by the Bell, and the Dukes of Hazard!!!! Friends and I would fight over who was going to play Bo, Luke, Cooter, and Enos. We’d peel out our big wheels as if they were the General Lee.

Styles and fads from the 80’s started in California then moved to the east coast (Georgia) and then finally made it to the middle of the country to states like Louisiana. How do I know this? Because I was looking at Tanya’s pictures from growing up in Louisiana and said, “Wow, that must have been from the 80’s”. She responded with a laugh, “No, that was 1994”. Ha!

I know I left something fun out. Please feel free to add in your favorite 1980’s memories.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I hate good-byes.

Front: Wyatt, Lauren, Hannah, Elena, Graham.

Back: Christina, Tanya, Peter, Stone, Greg

We met Greg and Christina in 2006 shortly after moving to Charleston. We all attended a "Shepherding the Staff" conference and soon found out that our children are very close in age. Play dates began and we quickly helped one another with childcare trade-offs for doctor visits, school meetings, hair appointments, etc. The children LOVE each other. Christina and I had long phone conversations while our children napped and we folded laundry and cleaned house. It was nice to have a family that lived so close and we shared so much in common -- Greg was also a minister in Charleston. In October 2008, I started back to work full-time and so the play dates were few and far between. Christina made sure that the girls were able to play together in spite of my schedule and Lauren and Wyatt went to "school" MMO together on TuTh. Now they are leaving to pursue another ministry opportunity 2 1/2 hours away. That's not too bad. There will be no goodbyes. I hate goodbyes. See you later, Pittmans. We love you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Max's Dog Diet

We got Max from the pound at the end of March and he was 4 lbs overweight when I took him for his first vet visit. Obviously the pound just kept food out all day and he loved it. I started to monitor his diet. THEN >>> I took Max to the vet about 4 weeks ago and they told me he injured his back because he was overweight and needed to lose 6 lbs. Well, he only weighs like 23 lbs so that's a HUGE percent of his total weight that must go!! I was on a mission! I decided that I too would be on a "dog diet" because I could not bear to see him hungry but it would lessen the pain if we were on the journey together -- misery loves company. I quit all snacking and quit drinking real cokes. Well, we were miserable all right. In the first 2 weeks, I lost 4 lbs and Max lost 0.8 lbs. Now after 4 weeks, I have lost 7 pounds and he gained back 0.4 lbs. for a total loss of 0.4 lbs. I am frustrated!! He has become a thief stealing food from the kids to make up for the missed calories from my strict diet that I have him on -- 1/3 cup dog food in AM and 1/3 cup in PM. He can have a few raw carrots or unsalted green beans if he dances a lot and begs -- I usually give in. Well, I hope the next month will be better!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Tribute to My Dad

I love my Dad. He is such an inspiration to me. He has made the best of bad situations -- whether given them or chosen them. I feel it fitting to celebrate his life this weekend. Tomorrow is Father's Day and I will be busy celebrating the day with my husband and children since we live far from family. Things my dad has taught me...
  • .:work and work hard

  • .:go on vacation

  • .:tell stories that make people laugh

  • .:take care of your teeth -- that's all you're getting

  • .:don't be afraid to take risks

  • .:take good care of your pets

  • .:tell people what a great help your kids are to you -- so they can hear you. It boosts their self esteem!

  • .:enjoy your spouse's company

  • .:persevere

  • .:don't complain about it, do something to fix it

  • .:help a friend

  • .:mistakes aren't always bad

  • .:if you want something done right, do it yourself

  • I love you dad and hope you have a wonderful Father's Day!

    AFRICA DAY 9 & almost DAY 10 (actually it is DAY 10 there already)

    Briefly spoke with Cal and Peter tonight who both said the trip was incredible. Continue to pray for a safe return at 1045 AM on Sunday.

    Kids Pictures by Lauren Elisabeth D.

    Hannah, Stone, and Lauren bare feet and big grins
    Taking pictures for Daddy for Father's Day
    Taking pictures for Daddy for Father's Day
    my brown-eyed girl
    Hannah loves our neighbor Karen's hydrangeas
    brother and sister

    I love his smile! I call him Sunshine!

    Lauren, one of Peter's interns, photographed our family last month. I think she did an excellent job! Peter and his dad were painting the house so we borrowed our neighbors backyard and then took pics in the neighborhood. We had a blast! Children are so fun.

    For most of the pictures of ...
    Stone, I threatened to suck his thumb to make him smile.
    Lauren, I threatened to spank her if she didn't smile.
    Hannah, we threatened not. She loves to take pictures.

    Friday, June 13, 2008


    AFRICA DAY 8 ...under a mango tree.

    Heard from Peter at 4pm today on our way to the beach with the kids. Nancy, Peter's mom, has been so helpful while he's been gone and it was wonderful to get the kids to the beach today. They had a blast! Peter said they have had their fill of fish and rice! The team has been going into villages, sitting under mango trees, and sharing the good news! Today was their day off and they visited snake island and went cliff jumping. I should hear from him again Saturday evening then he will be home Sunday morning but exhausted from flying through the night.

    I am so grateful that Peter had this opportunity to serve Senegal alongside these college students. What an incredible experience. Peter describes it as "phenomenal."

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    What's that daddy doing?

    So, the other day, Lauren and the kids were swimming in the baby pool and Lauren looks over and sees the swim coach speaking to the team. All these little bodies in the water huddled around him. Must have been 20 kids. She turns to me and says, "What's that daddy doing? What's him telling him kids?"


    Peter just called this morning at 6am our time. They are going into villages today. He says that the TEAM has had lots of opportunity to share their story with the villagers and share about Christ. The people are very open to listening to them tell them about Christ. They have also done some medical work at a school. Everyone is doing well. He plans to call again Thursday night. They are no longer at the hotel but have other living arrangements. We only had minutes to talk so I did not get to ask many questions. ;o) Please continue to enlist people to pray for them.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    too much to write ... too little time

    I have lots to write about but cannot since Peter is in Africa, I work full-time and have 3 wonderful but very young children, I have some family in town, and I am trying to keep Max on his dog diet. When I do get a chance, I am going to blog on (1) max's diet (2) stone's food preferences (3) a funny story about Peter, mountainbike, and cell phone (4) the butterfly release at work (5) wii-hab (6) lauren's comments about the swim meet instructor and pool manager (7) our attempts at the library reading program. Until then... good night!

    AFRICA DAY 4&5

    Just heard from Peter. They are all doing well and heading into villages on Wednesday. Next phone call will be Thursday unless he has another opportunity to call tonight.

    Sunday, June 8, 2008

    AFRICA DAY 3 -- wrestling Africans

    Peter just called and says the team went into the villages today and made relationships -- ate food and had tea. They are learning the language and the proper and respectful way to greet people. Two guys on the team are wrestlers and so Peter says that they have had a great time wrestling with the Africans! I could tell by his voice that they all enjoyed that! Wednesday night and Thursday they will not be able to call us but Peter will try to call again soon.

    Saturday, June 7, 2008

    AFRICA DAY 1 & 2

    Peter called this morning and the team made it to Dakar, Senegal. They are 4 hours ahead of us. He said they went into the villages today to meet people and to the ocean to speak to the fishermen. They also went through orientation.

    Kids Quotes --taken from facebook page

    .:"Hey Dad! I just found a penny back here. Now, can we go to Disney World?" 6 yr old Hannah (in the car) after being told Disney World is expensive and we won't be going anytime soon.
    .:"Is she the one with the sparkly pimple?" 5 year old Hannah replied when asked if she remembers Paige Orman. (Paige has a nose ring a.k.a. sparkly pimple!)
    .:"Mom, smell this perfume. It's really tough," Hannah said meaning strong.
    .:Our pastor was speaking and made the statement, "God is eternal." Hannah, age 5 1/2, was sitting on the floor beside me at church. She looked up and smiled shaking her head, "That's funny. God is a turtle?"
    .:"Ohhh. You squished his grits out," after I squished a bug.
    .:"Mommy, he must be smoking so he can go to Heaven," says 4 yr old Hannah to me after I told her that smoking kills you and you shouldn't try it.

    .:"Look! Where did Hannah get this chicken pull-up?" Lauren referring to a pull-up with tweety bird on the front.
    .:"Mommy, we is lost. You making lost turns. We is lost." My reply was that we were not lost. "WE IS LOST! WE NEED TO CALL JESUS." I started laughing. "or maybe call meh-wee (Mary)." Lauren on the way to the movies -- almost 3.
    .:"Mom, Stoney pee-peed in my bed and I sat in it and now I am all wet!" Lauren tells us after she woke from a nap where I forgot to put a pull-up on her.
    .:"This is my bunny bunny." meaning belly button.
    .:"Chicken Bess, you need make Stoney better," speaking to Dr. Kisabeth, our pediatrician.
    .:"Wrap my bed up" meaning... make my bed.
    .:"Mama, you dumb?" meaning... are you done?
    .:"This is my baby soup" referring to her bathing suit.
    .:"Hey Toe!" says 2 yr old Lauren to little brother Stone.
    .:"Hissy mean!" says 2 yr old Lauren to big sissy Hannah.

    STONE's QUOTES....
    I love playing with Stone and asking him questions...Where is Stone? He responds with arms up shaking his head, "I don't know." EVERYTHING is either I don't know or NO!

    Friday, June 6, 2008

    Hannah's kindergarten graduation

    Ok, so I can't post a pic of her graduation because someone stood up in front of me as I was taking a pic of her receiving her diploma. I have a pic of the back of someone's head ;o) If you learn anything from this... Please don't stand in the middle of a performance/event. Please CRAWL to the end of the row. Another parent will thank you!

    Also Peter took the camera with him so I can't download any pics. He is to arrive by 11:40 our time on Saturday. I am praying for a safe arrival.

    "My Mom" by Hannah

    my mom is so nise to me. she heps me a lot and she heps me when i fall of my bicke. she is the best mom i evear had. i love my mom. she is so nise to me i love my mom so much. i love mom. she loves me and i love her. i love my mom.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2008

    Stone-2, Lauren-3, Hannah-6

    Africa...3 blocks from outer space

    The Lord has encouraged 20 of our students to serve Him overseas this summer. Some are in Asia, some in S. America, and others in Europe and Africa. I leave Friday June 6th with 11 students to join 3 other students currently in Senegal, Africa. Tanya asked Hannah, our 6 year old, where Africa is. With a sly grin she says, "3 blocks from outer space". She's so funny. In a few years she'll be going with me to 3 blocks from outer space.

    Back to earth...Dakar, Senegal is on the west coast of Africa, just a short 8.5 hour plane ride from Atlanta. We will be working with the Lebou (Lay-Boo) people. There are about 150,000 Lebou along the coast of Senegal with only about 20 to 25 who are Christ followers. We will be partnering with IMB missionaries with half of our team working in medical clinics. The other half of us who puke at the sight of blood will be going village to village on the coast visiting with these wonderful people hoping to tell them of a man born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago.

    Psalm 67:4-5 says, “May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the people praise you.”

    We desire for the Lebou people to worship Jesus. So we are going to get to know them, love them, and serve them. Thanks for your prayers.

    Monday, June 2, 2008

    Piccolo-Spoleto Festival

    In 2006, Peter and I packed up Lauren and Hannah in our sit-n-stand stroller and headed downtown to the Children's Festival, a part of Piccolo-Spoleto. I was 39 weeks pregnant. LSU students on an "adventure" had spent the night with us and left that morning going home. I pushed the stroller at the festival and thought I was a little dehydrated when contractions started that evening. I drank plenty of water but baby Stone was on his way and I delivered around midnight that night.

    A year later, I packed up Hannah, Lauren, and Stone in a wagon and headed to the Children's Festival -- with my mother-in-law Nancy and her mother Nana. We had a blast watching the marching band, getting our faces painted, and riding ponies. I locked my keys in the car in the chaos of unloading 3 children. We had fun anyway.

    This year, we passed on the Children's Festival because Peter and his dad Bill were painting the exterior of the house and I wasn't up for 3 kids, crowds and heat ALONE. I was bummed because I enjoyed looking at the art and taking the kids. Then Peter told me that he could get us tickets to The Ballet du Grand Theatre de Geneve. I was excited! But could the girls sit still for this?? Will any other children be there? Is this appropriate for a 3 and 6 year old? It's at 8 PM. Will we all make it?

    We loved it. We tried to leave before the last performance began and the girls refused. It was wonderful! The kids were fantastic. We drew a lot of smiles and attention -- being the only couple with children at the event. Stone missed out with this one (at home in bed) ... just as he did with the first one in 2006!

    Sunday, June 1, 2008

    Let the bloggin' begin

    So, I said to Peter that I wanted to begin a blog and he said to go for it and he would help me post. I need a name for this blog. He tells me he isn't feeling creative. Then he says "How about 'the 5 monkeys' or what about 'Four billy goats and Dad'? Are you writing this down?" So far, that hasn't been a lot of help. I can't wait to see his postings.

    We are going to a ballet tonight with the girls. They promised that they would sit still.