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Welcome to My Mommy Thoughts. I originally created this blog to document our lives hosting foreign exchange students in our home but I quickly discovered a passion for writing and blogging. This blog has become a little bit of everything.

So sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy!!

~Randi

Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving with an ALL NIGHTER!!!

I hope you had a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. We had a great day filled with family and laughter. I would have LOVED to have been able to visit with one other person (well, actually there are MANY people that I would have loved to visit) but she has having the BEST Thanksgiving celebration ever. And there is no better place to have a Thanksgiving meal then to be at the table with Jesus Christ. I did make a stop to visit Grandma on my way to Nanny's house. Yep, there she was, right where we left her! :-) It would not have been Thanksgiving if I could not have at least said HI to her.

Ok - on to my actual post before I upset myself! Our day was great. Couldn't have been any better. Well, Noah could have not been coughing and eaten better but we had a good day. We had lunch at GiGi's and GrandDanny's house with Keith's family. We had such a wonderful spread of food. So yummy! Keith and I headed to K-Mart with Jennifer and Paul while the boys napped - or so we thought were napping! Then it was off to Leeds to see Nanny. Aunt Donna, Uncle John and Nick and Sarah had come into town for the weekend and it was great to spend time with them. I felt like I chased Noah all over Nanny's house. One of Dad's Leeds Police Officer friends came by for some dessert. As he was leaving he played with the lights for Noah and Shawn to see. Shawn totally understood what he was seeing but Noah was amazed looking at the lights. Papaw is trying to teach Noah police cars, fire trucks, and lights and sirens. Uncle John played his annual "Charlie Brown" song for me. I was SO proud! Then Noah and Shawn sat in Uncle John's lap and helped him play the piano. SO precious!!!


We were all exhausted from a wonderful day of family! But our day did not end there! Dorinda, Meghan, Jonica and I headed out at 11:30 pm for Black Friday shopping. Our first stop was Walmart in Trussville. That was such a big mistake and will never be done again! We quickly left there and headed to the Walmart in Springville. I was trying to get Noah a Jeep for $88 but was too late at both places. I settled for a Buzz Lightyear car for him. Keith is still pleased with my purchase! Dorinda was trying to get Meghan a 19" Flat Screen for $98 but it did not go on sale until 5 am. We had a long time to wait. We headed to Waffle House at 2 to eat dinner/breakfast and then back to Walmart for part 2. Poor Meghan, she got a ticket for her tv at 2:45 and was guaranteed one but she had to wait in line until 5. She sat in the plumbing aisle for over 2 hours! Jonica stood propped on the pallet of the item she wanted for Shane and then Dorinda ended up sitting in the car section for a GPS for Meghan. I walked between all 3 of them, sitting with Meghan a good portion of the time. As I walked, I looked for the Jeep that I wanted. Low and behold - I spot one. I got to it and it was the pink Barbie jeep. URG - not the right one. Dorinda and Jonica said that I should get it and paint it, but um, NO! I did end up buying my Christmas present though. I "on a whim" bought a sewing machine. I text messaged Keith 3:30 am saying "MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME!" He responded 2 hours later with a HEHEHE! I am so excited about it. I have had this "itch" to learn to sew but didn't have a machine. Walmart had this one on sale for $50 - and it is a name brand machine. So, you will have to keep up with my blog to see my Sewing Creations. Maybe I will do good enough one day to sell it - HA, yeah right! Unfortunately the homemade girl clothes are so much cuter than the boy clothes but we don't have any girls in our family. I guess my besties little girls will be my testers!!


Well, the picture is what the jeep looked like when we got back to my house. It was packed to the max. Not quite as good as my last Black Friday shopping trip with Dorinda and Julie in 2006. I came home with a Christmas Tree, portable dvd player and a video camera. Julie's van was even more packed. But I have enjoyed Black Friday shopping. Hopefully this will be a new tradition for my sisters and niece! We had a blast -- lots of wonderful memories made!


Oh - gotta tell this story but Meghan will kill me. (Ha - this will be a test to see if she reads my blog!!) Jonica gave up on us at 6 am and headed home. Meghan got in the jeep with us (once we made room for her) and we headed to Michael's in Trussville to get Dorinda's Cricet machine - Happy Birthday to Rinda!! I left there and headed to Belk. Meghan fell asleep in the jeep on the way to Trussville. She woke up to go into Michael's with us but fell asleep as soon as we got back in. We headed to Belk and she opted to stay in the car. Dummy me left the key with Meghan. Fortunately I handed it to her in the back seat. We got back to the car and Dorinda knocked on the window to wake Meghan up to get the key. Meghan sat straight up and just stared at Dorinda. It was hilarious. She would not open the door. It took us about 2 minutes to get her conscious enough to open the door. We have laughed at her about that and it's even funnier that she does not remember it!


Well, my 36 1/2 hours of no sleep have caught up to me and I am now fighting sickness. Keith says that I will have to go to the doctor if I am not any better by the end of the week. Noah is still coughing but just finished a round of antibiotics last week. I am kind of hanging tight to see what his body does before I take him back. One day it sounds terrible and then fine the next day. Praying he has a good nights sleep tonight because last night was terrible. He finally fell asleep in our bed about 3 pm. He stayed there until 8:30 this morning!


Praying this sickness goes away!!!


~Randi

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I thought I was too old for Juvy???

Well, jury duty is over. I have completed my 3 month term to serve. I have done my duty! Sadly, I dreaded to see it end. I had a BLAST being on Grand Jury. There is only 1 Grand Jury at a time in Jefferson County, so I was 1 of 18 honored with that title for the last 3 months. Not everyone would agree with me though. Some people were ready for it to be over with on the first day.

But I truly had a blast. I enjoyed meeting new people, I made some very good friends and enjoyed a great lunch everyday! Ha - is it not always about the food??  Some of the cases were very difficult to hear, especially if they involved children or rape. We even heard 1 case that made national news --- now, I am not supposed to talk about it, so that is all that I can say. But I will add this - WOW to that one!!

Our second month in duty was by far our biggest month. That is when we heard the national case and we also had 2 other cases make Birmingham news. We also got to go to jail that month. Yes, a part of Grand Jury is going to the Jefferson County Jail and the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center. They fed us lunch at both locations and then gave us a tour and then we had to complete a "report" (that was written for us) and present it to the Judge. It was a .... enlightening experience, I guess! Our first trip was jail. We ate lunch in the "employee dining area" and had baked chicken, mixed veggies, green beans, salad, roll and dessert. We learned that we ate a variance of the what the inmates ate. The inmates obviously don't eat chicken on the bone because the bones could become a weapon - interesting, huh? Our meal was good, the food was actually decent - not my favorite. I think I had a mental issue knowing that I was eating jail food. To clarify, the inmates do not assist with cooking the meal. They assist with the clean up, but not the preparation. After lunch, we headed up to the 4th floor for a visit. Talk about eyes being opened! They told us that the inmates clothing is color coded according to their crime - red stripes are dangerous criminals - meaning the crime that they committed was violent. The black stripes were not violent crimes, we never figured out what the blue was and I think the females wear green stripes. The Jeff Co inmates have individual cells but there is a "common area" within each group of probably 12-14 cells. This common area has 1 tv, pay phones, showers, and a few tables. They cleared a group of inmates to their cells and let us visit their common area. One of the inmates was in the visitation room so we actually walked into his cell. It was a tiny room. Probably an 8x8 in size - if that big. It has a cot, a sink and a metal toilet and probably a mirror. While we stood in the common area, the other inmates were in their cells. It was so erie having them stand in their cells looking out their windows at us. And yes, every one of those particular inmates were in red stripes. They had all committed violent crimes.

Last week was our final week and Thursday we headed to juvy! We knew that the juvy center was a ways away from the courthouse. We wondered how we would get there ..... by bus.

It was hilarious to watch the cars pass us, looking in the windows to see prisoners and they would see us. The officer that drove us was so pleasant. He even had Christmas Music playing in the bus -- no, I don't think he is that nice to the prisoners! LOL!

The food at the detention center was much better to me. We had fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, turnip greens, cornbread, salad and homemade peach cobbler for dessert. Our understanding was the youth had the same lunch. They were all in class when we visited. It is nice to know that they are required to have 8 hours of school even though they are technically in jail. Their cells were about the same as the big jail and they also had a common area. They do have a bigger gym area then the big jail.

Below is a few of my pictures from the trip. I couldn't go without taking a few pics of the bus. And yes, sadly they were loaded to fb on our way back to the courthouse! :-)

Maybe I will be randomly selected for Grand Jury again one day -  I doubt it though. Too bad you can't have a full time job on a grand jury. Well, I know that I could not survive on the pay - a whopping $10 a day. Oh well!

The Bus






Jacob - our "Foreman"


Our "Group"
Jacob, Me, Amanda, Lisa, Elizabeth, Susan & Margaret





The back of the bus -- notice the hard seats
 
Lisa, Susan & Elizabeth
notice the locked "gate" at the front


~Randi


Monday, November 22, 2010

My Parenting Place



Well, as you can tell, it has been a couple of weeks since I have done a blog post. Let's just say things have been a little crazy!! The story that I have for this post happened almost 2 weeks ago. I completely planned on posting that Friday after it happened but Momma called me and told me that Noah had fallen and hit his nose on the futon so I headed home from work and didn't have a chance to blog. Then, I had jury duty again last week -- but I will save that for another post! LOL!

I decided that since Keith had basketball practice that Thursday night that Noah and I would head to Dollar Tree and then get some dinner. I completely planned on us going to dinner together but that didn't happen.

The picture above is Noah pushing the buggy at Dollar Tree. You can tell that he is "Mr. Independence" - hum, I wonder where he gets that from! LOL! SO, we are walking through Dollar Tree and he is pushing the buggy because he would not let me. He kept pushing my hands away from the buggy and saying "NO". He is so strong willed - just like I was - and yes, I will definitely pay for my raising! Dad says that I already am!

I directed my child to the toy section of the store. I saw no reason why we couldn't go home with a couple of prizes from the dollar store. We went home with play dough and a new truck. Here is where I got put into my "Parenting Place" - He was looking at something and a little girl came up wanting to look at whatever it was Noah was looking at. She was probably 5 or 6. Her Daddy told her to wait her turn so she stepped back and watched Noah as she waited her turn. I noticed what was happening and told her dad, "it doesn't matter - it's fine. He's not looking at anything serious." Not thinking what I had done, he very politely said, "No, she needs to learn to wait her turn." I had NEVER thought about it. I just corrected this child and told her to go against what her Daddy had told her to do. Wow. How wrong was I? I have listened each time in any store since then and have noticed so many people doing this. People have even corrected my own child telling him something against what I have told him to do. We do this every day not realizing what we are doing. I know that this father did not intend it the way that I took it, but I will say that I will not correct another child like that. He did make me think!

~Randi

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

In Due Time

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that in due time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because He cares for you. .....And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you."
1 Peter 5:6-7, 10

I feel like all of my blog posts seem to be repetitive. I'm sorry if I am. I just keep writing what is on my heart and mind. A lot on my heart I can not reveal -- hopefully, yet. All would be great for our family but one would require a lot of time and effort but I feel would totally be worth it in the end. One that I can reveal -- I am praying hard about becoming involved with a group called HOLY YOGA. It is a yoga class set to Christian music with bible studies in each session. I would become certified to teach the yoga class. I have submitted my application and I have been approved to take the certification course, just need the $500 application fee. I am so excited about it either way -- praying it works out!!

We are just praying for God's direction on everything. Honestly, we would love for God's direction to be what we want, but that is just being selfish. We will tackle it either way. As the verse above says, IN DUE TIME. Just keep us in your prayers. The verse above is a constant reminder for us right now. Pastor Ron used this verse as a reference in his sermon Sunday and it really touched not only my heart but Keith's heart. (This all goes back to a post from a couple of weeks ago - God is still teaching me personal patience!)

Our family is holding on well these last 2 weeks. We have fortunately been keeping very busy. Tonight is Meghan's final FALL band concert. I am planning on taking Noah but I think he is fighting an ear infection so we may not be in the auditorium. I can not believe Meghan is a senior in high school. My sweet baby girl will be headed to college soon! Wow.

I'm gonna close my blog post with one final bible verse:

"...And God is faithful;"
1 Corinthians 10:13

~Randi

Monday, November 1, 2010

Powerless

"...we are powerless...we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You."
            2 Chronicles 20:12

I feel that I should first begin this post by saying that I have been working on this post for 6 hours now. Yes, my blogger has sat open that long. I have so much on my heart but my brain can not begin to put words together for me. I even had a post partial typed and erased it to begin again. That is how lost I feel today.

I decided to leave blogger open, knowing that I would come back to it soon and I began reading other websites. Its not important how I got there, but I came across a "Pastor's Reflections" on a church newsletter on their website and he referenced this verse. It says "...we are powerless...". That verse describes me perfectly today and I'm sure this week. BUT - it reminded me that I need to keep my eyes on God. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to fix it. I am just ... POWERLESS!

My heart is so empty. I long for just one more moment with my Grandma. I prayed on the way to the hospital the other day for her to hold on and wait for me to get there. I did not know that she was already in the arms of Jesus. I wish that I had known. Why didn't I know? Was I not paying attention? I woke up that morning thinking about my Grandma. I stood in the shower wondering who would sing at her funeral. Morbid, I know but I have no idea why that thought came over me. It scares me, it really does. My heart sunk when the phone rang not 10 minutes later and it was Dorinda. I knew something was wrong when Dorinda was calling me at 6:55 am.

I will forever remember how I felt as I said goodbye to her earthly body yesterday. I just stared at her, trying to take in every inch of her. I looked at her and remembered so many happy memories but my heart hurt so badly knowing that I can not make more memories with her. I did not want to leave her. Just wanted to sit there with her the whole time. I know I couldn't. I do chuckle though --- the funeral home told us that there is a side hidden pocket in Grandma's casket. They told us that we could put items in there if we wanted to. Now, I am not one for putting pictures and letters and whatnot in the casket. It is a little weird for me. But ... there are 2 things in there with my Grandma: a beautiful orchid corsage from my Nanny and a pack of juicy fruit gum. I know, that is a little weird, but..... juicy fruit was obviously Grandpa Dison's favorite gum. He even told Amanda one time that he had a tree that grew juicy fruit. So, the juicy fruit gum is not for Grandma but for Grandpa.

I have worried mainly for my Mom. She has taken care of my Grandma not just for the past 5 years when she got sick but ever since the day my Grandpa died - March 1976. I wrapped my arms around her at the hospital and told her that I promise to take as good of care of her that she did Grandma. She was incredible with her - and it was not an easy task. Not easy at all!

In talking with my Mom about the verse that I found, she told me her favorite verse and it is also a great one for us to think about in the coming weeks:

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge..."
Psalm 91:4

We do have a peace about us and we are sure that Grandma is spending eternity with Jesus Christ. And just like my Dad and Bro. James said in her funeral yesterday - yes she loves us dearly but if given the option of coming back to earth to be with us, she would not come. She would rather stay where she is. So with that, no matter how powerless we feel, we will keep our eyes on God and know that he will cover us with his feathers and we will find refuge. 

~Randi