Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas fun

Okay, so the only pictures we have are of Christmas morning at our house. The camera batteries decided to die as soon as we left. :( Maybe I can get some of the kids and my brother together before he leaves at the end of this week. or not.
Anyway, forgive how I look. Glamor isn't exactly on my list of priorities at 6:00 in the morning. And yes, those are the same pajamas Kyler wore last year. New PJs for Christmas Eve were the first thing to get cut from our meager Christmas this year. They did get some from grandparents (thank you!!) but not until Christmas Day.

Helping Hands Christmas

This was our 5th year for the Helping Hands Christmas Tree at our church. The first year was rough. Kyler was 6 weeks old, we had never done anything like this before, and we had no idea what to expect. We still helped 200 kids that year, but what chaos!!
Fast forward five years. The applications were taken, screened, phone calls made two weeks or more before delivery day, kids were adopted out to church members and members of the local business community, and when it was all said and done we were able to help 240 kids!!! It was so awesome to look back at these pictures and see everyone who showed up to help deliver all those gifts! We had none left behind and only one person not at home (in fact, she was out of town)! That is so amazing! Thank you so much to all of you who "adopted" , shopped, wrapped gifts, and delivered the hundreds of presents to these kids. Without you, this would never have been possible. YOU showed up in force to show God's love and compassion to these families.

Thanks to my hubby and Jim T for taking these pics. I was wrangling two kids in all this craziness.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


has it really been that long since I blogged??? It's been nearly a month! So sorry! Not that I have that many readers. :)
This will be random because a lot is happening (at least in my mind):
- been dealing with a lot of stuff in my mind lately. I started this blog to write my feelings out and work on expressing them a little better. Unfortunately, many of the things I've been working through don't belong on the web for all of eternity. I'm still dealing with inadequacy as a wife and mom and some self-esteem-type stuff. Really struggling with this season of my life.
- Have you heard that the economy sucks?? Sorry to put it so blunt. It does. At least I know that we aren't alone. There are a lot of people who are hurting financially much worse that we are. I am reminded of that constantly.
- I had a birthday. I was so excited to turn 30!! I wanted to have a party. I wanted to celebrate big and loud. Key words: wanted to. Unfortunately, I work evenings in retail. There is no night off between now and New Year's. No time to celebrate. No money to celebrate. So, just like every other came and went. Not happy about it, but such is life.
- Thanksgiving was blah. It felt like any other day, but with a big meal thrown in. Still didn't get a nap...still had to go to work. Yeah, fun. :\
- Looking for ways to earn some more money without having to really work (isn't everyone?) So, ran across this in a few blogs that I read. It looks good because I do a lot of searches on the internet during the day. Basically you earn points for searches and those add up to earn you gift cards. It's not much, but at least it's something. Getting "paid" to do what I already do. If you're interested, you can click here or I'm putting a banner on my sidebar you can click on.
- Finally, I discovered a new blog today. I already LOVE it. This lady has two kids who are almost exactly the same age as mine (of course, she's pregnant and I AM NOT!) and is writing about the realities of life with little kids at home. Come to find's not just me! So, if you're interested, I'm sure Mom of Littles would love to have you visit!

I think that's all for now. I'll post again soon (hopefully).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans in my life

Today is the day we set aside as a nation to honor those who have served and sacrificed to preserve our nation's freedom. Please do not forget that, although you may not agree with this war or that war, these brave men and women have served our country proudly and of their own free will.
I come from a family of soldiers. I am proud on this day to list those in my family who have or who are serving in our military:

Sgt. First Class Ed Stevens - Tennessee Army National Guard - and my dad :)
Robert - Tennessee Army National Guard*
Deborah Kallisto - United States Air Force
Greg Barnes - United States Army (served one tour in Desert Storm)
Justin - United States Navy* (currently serving in the Middle East)

These are just immediate family and first cousins. I have several extended family members who have also served and I am just as proud of them. Please take at least one moment today to say a prayer for those who have served in our military so that you have the freedom to say a prayer for them!

(*first name and branch only due to safety and security reasons)

Aaliyah funny

Aaliyah has started talking quite a bit since the middle of Sept. She coming up with more and more words...some of them are even understandable...sort of. Anyway, here is what she just told me.

Almost time for nap and I ask her
Me: Where is your lovie?
A: uhstais (upstairs)
Me: Why is it upstairs?
A: 'cause

Oh, joy. It's already started! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

more birthday pictures

So...since Kyler's birthday party was actually in October (with 7 other kids!) and I missed it (because of my unplanned trip to OK) we decided to have Grandma over for lunch on his actual birthday (last Sunday). We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and Grandma brought an awsome ice cream cake from Publix. This was cake number two. I made a third cake for small group that night. I didn't get a picture of it, but let's just say that my son loves chocolate as much as I do, and the cake did NOT disappoint!

Here's the ice cream cake

blowing out the candle

excited to get a piece


and one of the princess, of course