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!!


Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Goodbye 2010 - HELLO 2011!!!

Wow - can you believe that this is my last post for 2010? Where has this year gone? Oh my goodness!! I sit here at work (because it is really quiet this week -- lets face it, inflatables are not real popular these days with the cold weather) and I am able to reflect back over the year. Boy have we come a long way.

Our year started off so rocky. We had very little money, we had 2 failed businesses and only 1 of us had a part time job. We were a very sad bunch. It was SO bitter cold in Alabama and that didn't help the depression that was trying to take over my life. February came around and I had a little one who had just started to "big boy school" 2 days a week because we were having separation issues from Mommy. It was a tough decision but obviously the very best we could have made -- considering we had no idea what was to come! My baby had his first birthday that month -- boy, what a milestone!!

March came along and God opened a HUGE door for me!! Dorinda received a weekly email from a local church and low and behold it had a job opening listed for a wedding planner. WHAT??!!?? I asked Dorinda if she thought I was qualified -- haha!! "Um, ya think?" were her exact words. I emailed my resume to the given email - having NO clue what business I had just sent my resume in to. Never heard a word - kind of gave up. My hubby persuaded me to email a follow up. Finally heard back - oh what relief. After several emails back and forth, a scheduled meeting/interview and a completed questionnaire, the job was mine. Oh, the excitement I had but I was scared to death at the same time. It had been almost 5 years since I worked for a company and actually got a paycheck. I remember waking up the morning of April 12th - my first day - and I thought - "oh crap, what have I done?". Here I am 9 months later and am still loving it. I have learned more about inflatables -- who knew there was so much to learn -- but I wouldn't change a thing. The best part is being able to work with my brides but not actually having to be at the wedding itself. It's grand!!

Along with April came one of the hardest decisions my mom has ever had to make -- long term plans for my Grandma. Momma, Aunt Audrey and Uncle Rudy settled on Cook Springs Nursing Facility for Grandma. April 6th was Grandma's first night in her "new" home. It was probably the hardest night our family has ever had. We literally cried walking down the hall as we left that evening and I know that Grandma cried just as much as we did. Fortunately God took over the situation 6 1/2 months later and moved Grandma to her new, permanent home with him. We met some great people along the way -- one being Grandma's roommate, who did join Heaven before Grandma did. I'm so thankful Grandma had a new bestie at the end and I know Mrs. Smith was also there with welcoming arms with Grandpa and GrandDaddy!

May came and I completed my final wedding as an independent wedding planner. It was bitter sweet for Carlie and I. I am SO thankful for her though -- I could not have made it without her. I love that I taught her everything that I know about weddings. She will soon become the bride (we are just waiting for 1 minor detail) and I can not wait to watch her reverse from wedding planner brain mode to bride mode. I don't know, I may dread that statement here soon. I'll keep you posted for sure!!

Summer came and went quickly!! I did receive the phone call that every parent dreads to hear -- "Randi, this is (Noah's school). Something is wrong with Noah but we are not sure what. He keeps crying. He is trying to play and then cries. You can come get him if you want - it is totally up to you." Keith gets there before I do and then I get a 2nd dreaded phone call of the day "Hey, where are you? Don't freak (when instantly, what do I do??) but Noah is not using his right arm." Um, excuse me??

...and this is what we looked like 5 hours later - for the next 5 weeks. He was such a good little boy with his "blue accessory". It did not slow this 16 month old down for a second. Ok, well, maybe that night but that was it!

Fall came and went just as fast as the rest of the year. Fall is when Keith officially accepted his call to the ministry. We could not be more excited about it. Still praying along the way as we go!  We were also introduced to AFS with the foreign exchange students in September. We are so excited to see what God has in store for us with them. They are all so unique and special in their own ways -- obviously, they are all from different countries. We can't wait to have Ahmed move in with us in a week or so. Wow - I'm about to have a 17 year old overnight. Goodness!!

We have such great hopes for 2011. God has brought us so far -- we learned a great deal in trusting in Him and He delivered. I know that He has wonderful plans for us to come. Who knows what they might be. We are praying for a full time ministry opportunity for Keith -- that is probably our number 1 prayer right now - along with safety and health of course. He has his resume out all over creation. Will we stay in Alabama? Who knows? He has had a few Churches request his resume and some of them are not so close to Alabama. Does the thought of moving scare me? Absolutely!! Do I want to leave my Momma and Daddy? NOOO! But would I? In a heart beat if that is what God has in store for us. I know our families would be behind us all the way - well, our parents at least. Not so sure what the sisters would say! LOL! Sometimes the thought of packing up and moving to a new state with a fresh new start sounds WONDERFUL! Think about it, a clean slate? Absolutely! Sign me up!! Just praying for Keith's phone to ring with some good news, or maybe his phone to "ping" and it be an email with some exciting news. I know - all in God's timing. Like I said a few months back -- I don't have good patience! Oh dear!!

Well, now that I have made this post ultra long - I pray that 2010 has been a successful one for you and your family and I pray that 2011 be even more exciting. We have definitely had our fair share of ups and downs this year (isn't that obvious) but I know that 2011 will be just as great. I know that it will also have its ups and downs, we're human, it's supposed to -- but I just pray that God prepares us for all that he has in store for us!!

Much love to you and your family this New Year's holiday. Please, be safe, everyone!!

~Randi, Keith, Noah and Maggie

Me and Noah at the
 Santa House
in Atlanta

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Word-ish-less-ful Wednesday

Only "REAL" men know how to fix things!!
Noah & Uncle Marvin
December 22, 2010

Wordish Wednesday    <>

Yay for a new design!!!

I know that you must be tired of coming to my blog and constantly seeing new changes. I don't know - that may actually excite you because you never know if you will see something different or not. While I LOVED my Christmas design, I figured it was time for something different. I thought about going with the winter look, but it had lots of red in it and I didn't want you to think that I was stuck on Christmas. Trust me, I could be stuck on Christmas and that would be A-OK with me!!!

I was looking through Lee-Lou Blog Designs (which if you haven't already - she has some awesome free templates.) I finally found one that I like and I hope it will inspire me on my New Years resolution to learn to sew. By the way -- I plan on signing up for some sewing classes real soon -- would love a tag-a-long partner if anyone is up for it!!!

I am totally planning on actually doing a Blog Makeover in January. I have come to love the designs of Persnickety Pages and more. I have already contacted her regarding it. She has great prices and beautiful designs. I want a custom designed header at the top and I think I want a Mommy sitting in a chair, drinking a cup of coffee and reading or typing with a laptop in her lap -- wait, reading is not me, definitely a laptop in the lap! Anyway --- check out her designs if your looking for a blog makeover!! :-)

OK - back to work. Gotta a bridal show in a couple of weeks that I have to get ready for!!


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Determined to Succeed/Resolutions

Ok - so I am on a new kick ---- Running is one of my goals for 2011. Yes, I know, I have too many "resolutions" for 2011 but this is definitely one that has got to work or I won't work any more. I have GOT to loose weight and get my butt in shape. You see, I suffer from hereditary high cholesterol. I have no idea what it is right now but last time it was tested it was 290-ish. Kind of sounds like I could be a walking time bomb. Doctors wanted me on medication but I am child-bearing age and can't be on medication -- for the safety of any unborn children I may have.

So, I was blog hopping/blog stalking today, whatever you want to call it and I came across a link for a FREE running program.

Apparently this is a program that you can purchase in stores but they are offering it for FREE. All you have to do is go to their website, "like" them on Facebook, then fill out their form and they will send you the link to download the book for FREE! I am SO excited about it!!

Here are my goals that I put on their form:
Goals in General:

1. To loose weight - obviously!

2. To learn how to run successfully --- I have had an "itch" lately to become a runner. My family and friends who know me have laughed when I have said that.

3. To look great in a bridesmaids dress for one of my bestie's wedding in April and to look great on my cruise in June!

4. To physically feel better. I am tired of being exhausted and out of breath because of my weight. I am tire of being embarrassed to go clothes shopping because of my weight. And I am tired of looking pregnant when I am not. My child is 2 years old almost and it is time to get rid of this weight!!!

5. To get my butt into shape so that I can become a certified yoga teacher!

Weight Loss Goals:
1. To loose 10 lbs per month

2. To loose between 50-60 lbs total - but I'll keep loosing if it is going good! LOL!!

3. To train to run my first ever 5K in October!!

I need this plan for several reasons. One being, as I stated above, I have never been a runner and really don't know where to begin. Second of all, I need accountability. I think this program will help me become accountable in sticking with a routine. Running can be a good stress relief for me and I am looking forward to using running as my "me time"!!

I hope that you will join me on this adventure. By the way -- I need a good accountability partner... anyone up for the task??? Seriously! I really do!!!

Here are some of my other "New Year's Resolutions":
1. To loose weight and learn to run (isn't that always the number 1 resolution??)
2. To learn how to sew --- I am SO Excited about this. I am ready to get my crafty juices flowing!! Goal for Christmas Presents for next year -- to make something homemade/sewn for everyone!!
3. To save enough money to pay for my Yoga certification -- this also goes with #1 resolution because I am pretty sure that you can not be an overweight yoga instructor. LOL!
4. To become a Successful Blogger --- I read blogs all the time that have hundreds of followers and I want to be one of those bloggers. SO -- (hint, hint) if you are reading this and you are not one of my "followers" can you do me a favor and "follow" me? (I just love being "followed"!) Oh - and feel free to comment on any of my posts. Let me know you "stopped by for a visit!"

I think that is all of the resolutions I will put for now. I could put some goals for 2011 but I won't bore you with those!!

2010 has become a great year for our family. I will admit that it started off very rocky and depressing. We have overcame some major hurdles this year and still have a few more to jump but God is with us and HE has brought us this far and will see us through. I am very grateful to Him for that. I pray that your year has been full of blessings and pray that 2011 is great to you as well!! 

Love to all!!


*note - Tips 4 Running did not ask me to post this for them nor did I receive any compensation for this. This was done at my own will.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Message From Grandma

As you know, Christmas is different this year. It's gonna be a tough one, I'm not gonna lie. I know that Noah is going to keep me very busy and entertained but I no longer have 3 stops to make on Christmas day - just 2. It's sad. There is family that I have seen every Christmas for the last 28 years and I won't see them this year. I often wonder what I would have done different last year had I known that it was Grandma's last Christmas with us. My first thought is that I would have spent more time there instead of feeling rushed. I would have taken in every minute. I tried to take in every minute because it was Noah's first Christmas but I was so overwhelmed. He had really mastered crawling so we were watching his every move.

I remember all of us gathering in the living room -- which was a very tight fit! We all watched as Grandma opened her presents. Tammy wrote down all that she got, so that we could help her remember who gave what, and I helped her with the boxes. She was pretty good at opening the presents herself. I loved watching her open each box - she was like a child, so excited to see what was inside.

So, this year will be different. I will make my stop to see Grandma and at least tell her Merry Christmas.

I have been following a Caring Bridge site for a sweet 9 year old girl with cancer. She made her transition to Heaven on Halloween day, the day that we "tucked Grandma in" for the last time. Her mom is no longer updating her Caring Bridge site but she has since created a blog and I am now a faithful follower. She posted this on her blog a couple of weeks ago and it brought tears to my eyes. I felt like this was from Grandma and she was comforting us for this upcoming Christmas holiday. So to my family -- this is the message Grandma has sent me and I want to pass it along to you. I love you all so dearly!!!  

My First Christmas in Heaven
I see the countless Christmas trees
around the world below
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow

The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above.
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.

After all, love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
It was always most important
in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other,
as my Father said to do.
I can't count the blessing or love
he has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year


By the way --- this is the first Christmas that Grandma and Grandpa have spent together in 30 something years. How amazing is that thought! Puts a smile on my face!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa ... I'm trying!!!

I SO totally stole my blog title from another blog but it completely describes how I am feeling. I pre-apologize for this blog post. This one is completely coming from my heart and is how I am feeling today.

It seems like I keep trying, I'm trying the hardest I possibly can and I keep getting knocked backwards 10 steps. The phrase - "Can't win for loosing" keeps coming to mind. I feel overwhelmed without being overwhelmed. I feel stressed without stress. Does that even make sense? Can that even be so? I just can't catch up!!

1. Christmas Shopping -- I am NO WHERE near finished! I've bought a few stocking stuffers here and there but other than my Black Friday all nighter - I've not bought anything. Take that back -- I ordered the photo book for my Nanny and I ordered a small something for my dad and I ordered Noah's toddler bedding - other than that - nothing!! Keith and I planned on finishing our shopping Saturday night but that didn't get to happen because he did not receive his paycheck like we planned. He has since received it (ie: today) but it messed up Saturday night - not like I can go back to Saturday night now. Noah and I were supposed to go to Atlanta with mom, Meghan and Rinda Wednesday afternoon and come back Thursday - can't happen now because someone has to finish shopping. Bunko tonight - Santa tomorrow night (cause we tried last time and someone threw up in the line) then shopping Wednesday night. See - can't win!!! No time!!

2. Money -- why does money always have to put a damper on everything. I mean - seriously!! Keith and I are trying hard with our money this month to help prepare for Ahmed coming to live with us in January. We are not "behind" in our payments but we are trying to get ahead to be better prepared for having a teenage son! Gosh - that's overwhelming in itself!! So, Keith got his paycheck, it went in, but I don't have much money left for all of the gifts that I have to buy. I came up with the perfect gifts for Keith's family but can't think of a thing for my family. Crud!! Shouldn't my family be easier to buy for because they are my family?? Anyway -- Keith decided that we are not buying any presents next year. So family members - use this as your forewarn! No presents next year!! Kids only!! Meghan -- I do still consider you one of the "kids" even though you will be 19 by then! When realizing how much money we have left for Christmas -- I jokingly said that we may not be buying my family Christmas this year! Keith was not as amused. But I will say --- with what little Christmas money I have left - I will be buying for the kids first before I buy for the adults.

3. Christmas Cards -- you would think that I would learn to put "Merry Christmas AND Happy New Year" on my cards so that I could send them out later. Next year, I think I will put "We hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year". I have had them in my possession for 2 weeks now but didn't have the extra money for stamps. I WILL be using some of my Christmas money for stamps today!!!

4. The Perfect Christmas -- all of Keith's family is coming to our house for Christmas lunch and presents. I am SO stressed about it. I feel like everything has to be perfect and I know that it will not be. I don't have all of the fancy Christmas china -- heck, I don't even have all of my fine china. We don't have room at our table for all of us to sit. Its gonna be cramped. My momma keeps telling me that it will be ok but I am scared to death. WHY did I tackle this project. I have been so excited about it all year up until now. I am still excited about hosting Christmas but I want it to be perfect. I want it to live up to every ones expectations. And I don't mean that bad when I say that .... it's not that the family has expectations or that I we don't live up to their expectations (well, that could be a different post all in itself) ... but I'm just stressy about it!

I told Keith last night I feel like I have lost my Christmas spirit. And that is bad. I feel guilty for it -- I really do. SO - I'm going to let loose and totally let all of this fall behind me. The meaning of Christmas is not about presents, and Christmas cards, and having the perfect Christmas and money. It is not. It is about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. If it wasn't for his birth then I wouldn't be here. I want my son to grow up knowing the TRUE meaning behind Christmas. I don't want him to think Christmas is about Santa and presents and STRESS!

Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. I am sure that it does not make sense but it sure does make me feel better!!!


Oh - and I won't be participating in tomorrow's Home Tour Tuesday. The home tour is on wrapping presents -- show how you wrap presents. Let's see -- I only have 3 under the tree and they are as far from fancy wrapped that they can be. No bows no ribbons. Gonna save me that embarrassment tomorrow!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flash Back Friday --- HOME SWEET HOME

In trying to keep with my "Flash Back Friday", I decided to stay in chronological order. Next after our engagement was buying a house. We knew from the time we got engaged that we wanted to buy a house - Lord willing. We kept our options open and looked at apartments, even touring one, and even looked at townhouses. In all that we looked at, we still wanted a house. Our game plan was to buy in the late summer to give us time to get ready for October. Momma Gena and I drove through a neighborhood on the way home from Jennifer's bridal shower in February. It was obviously dark but we liked the neighborhood. A week later we drove through it again, this time with GrandDanny and Keith. They had several houses that were built and open for visits. We walked through several and really liked the floor plans. We REALLY liked the kitchen in one of them but did not like the driveway area.

We moved over to another street and found another open house that was a different type of floor plan. This one was a story and a half - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a loft area. It was a house after my own heart - it had stairs and the master bedroom was upstairs. I have sense had a change of heart on the stairs and my bedroom being upstairs!! We walked in and Keith immediately went upstairs. I instantly felt at home in this house and I remember thinking that I was going to savor looking at the house. I wanted to take it all in. Momma Gena and I walked through the living room and into the kitchen. I remember walking back into the living room with Keith yelling down "If you come upstairs you will buy this house immediately!" I walked upstairs and fell in love with the loft area. (Ha - if you looked at the loft area now you wouldn't think I liked it too much! Hopefully that will change soon!!)

We obviously loved the house, put a contract on the house later that week and closed March 31st. It took longer on the mortgage stuff than we expected and took a while to finish the few little details in the house. So we closed March 31st, took immediate possession and I moved in April 23rd. Keith moved in October 29th though he didn't stay there until after our honeymoon. I think he had spent 2 nights in the house prior to the wedding when I was out of town for work.

Here are a few pictures from the house the day we put the contract on it. They aren't good pictures but they work for what I want. I never did any "after" pictures --- guess I should do that one of these days!!

This is the back of the house

Back patio

Front door -- into the living room area

Living Room from the loft

 Stairs to the loft and master bedroom 

Looking up at the loft
Me, Jennifer, Laura (our friend and realtor) and Paul

Kitchen to the Garage
(see me walking in the backyard)

 This is why we bought the house ---
This is our view from our driveway. Let me tell you, it is beautiful
when covered with snow. Papaw always looks out for deer in the back.
He wants to cover the field with deer corn and watch them feed.

Hope you have a great weekend. Ours is filled with Clay-Chalkville High School Color Guard Christmas Party at our house tonight, basketball tomorrow, Christmas shopping with the hubby tomorrow (date night!!), church Sunday morning, bridal meeting Sunday afternoon and Mom and Dad's church Christmas Cantata Sunday night. Ahmed is going with us so I am excited to introduce him to everyone!!


Fun Phone Photo Friday ... Noah Noah

Webbisodes does Fun Phone Photo Friday each week and I have decided to join in today. 

My "Fun Phone Photo" today is obviously Noah. This picture was taken while he was in the bath tub. My baby boy LOVES his "bubba bath" as he says. And you know -- I wonder why I have spent money on bath tub toys because he insists on playing with empty soap bottles and cups from the kitchen. The "hat" on his head is a part of a plate. Crazy Boy!!!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time for Another Blog Change

I am sure that I am bugging you with all of my blog changes. I just can not make up my mind. I wanted something really cute and catchy but just couldn't find my nitch. I keep looking at all of these other fun blogs and joining in on these blog games and feel like my blog is so blah compared to some of these others. I intend on spending a little moo-lah after the first of the year and giving my blog a makeover. SO, before I have my face lift, I wanna change my blog name. My new blog name will be My Mommy Thoughts ... not sure what my "catch phrase" will be but I am sure that it will hit me.

This is so typical of me. I have great ideas, start with it and then come up with a better idea to my original idea later on. SO - welcome to the NEW and improved blog!! I hope you enjoy this ride cause I am excited to have you along!!! It may be a bumpy road along the way but what better way than to share it with my family and friends!!!

Love to you all!!


Wordless Wednesday - DOUBLE TROUBLE

Noah and my nephew, Jake, are just 8 months apart in their ages, Jake being older. I am so excited because they are going to grow up being close. They already are close. But let me tell you, they feed off of each other and sometimes (most of the time) they are a handful!! That's why I am gonna call them DOUBLE TROUBLE!!! But they have so much fun together and it is worth every minute of trouble --- though Jennifer and I may pay for it later on in life!! HEHE!! 
Here they are playing Jake's drums that his Aunt Melissa gave him.
I am not sure what Aunt Jennifer did to Aunt Melissa for her to give him drums. LOL!

Here they are being sweethearts watching Toy Story 3 on the portable DVD player.
This was not a posed picture!!!

I must add a picture of my oldest child to the post.
Here is Maggie trying to take a nap. She was not really happy with me waking her up.

Wordish WednesdaySemi Wordless Wednesday Hosted by Flip Flops and Pearls

Thanks to Flip Flops & Pearls and to Supermom for hosting Wordless Wednesday!!! :-) I'm enjoying joining in your blogging games. So much fun and meeting such great new blogging friends!!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Home Tour Tuesday - Trim The Tree

So, I decided to try something new - and I am SO excited about it. My first blog hop is not that good because I am not prepared so I am going to do the best that I can!! So bear with me!!
This "Home Tour" is about trimming of the tree and my favorite Christmas ornament. I am not at home where I can take my pictures and put on the blog but I just so happened to have a couple of pictures on my phone. I'm sorry the quality is not the best and I definitely don't have a picture of my favorite ornament but I will do my best to make up for it later on!! :-)
Our Christmas Tree
(too bad you can't see the pretty Disney ornaments all over our tree)
Maggie's Ornament
I sadly realized that Maggie has been a part of our family since 2006
and she did not have her own ornament. What kind of Momma am I?
So here it is, Maggie's ornament - brand new this year. She is so proud of it!! 

Our new inflatable Mickey for the yard
Noah and Mommy had to test it out to see how it works
and how big it is. It's not as big as Noah and I would like but
it is still worth the $19.99 we paid for it. Maybe I'll invest in the
$60 inflatable Mickey for next year. Just couldn't bring myself to it this year!!

Here is our house all decorated!
We made the swap to LED colored lights this year and Keith
couldn't be any happier with the outcome. He and Papaw worked
hard on getting them up high! You can't see the inflatable Mickey
in the yard but you can see the Mickey outline in the wreath on
the door. We even changed his lights to colored LED and
he is much more defined now. I just heart him so much!!!

The family Christmas pictures in an earlier post showcase our mantel and Christmas stockings. If you can't tell, I am a DISNEY FANATIC!! I love Mickey Mouse and everything that goes along with Mickey. Keith and I went to Disney World on our honeymoon and bought Mickey and Minnie Christmas stockings. We went again in 2006, the first Christmas after getting Maggie and of course got her stocking while on our trip. We went again last year when Noah was 7 months old and it was only appropriate that we purchase his stocking while there. We couldn't find anything that just grabbed us so we got the traditional Mickey Mouse stocking. I love it even more because it looks like baby Mickey compared to Keith's Mickey stocking. 

I hope you enjoyed our impromptu Home Tour. I promise that I will prepare better for the next tour! LOL!!! Join in on the Home Tour with me by visiting Shannon at Webbisodes and Daphne from Flip Flops and Pearls.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Close call for Santa

Jennifer text messaged me Friday afternoon saying they were taking Jake to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa and wanted to know if we would like to go. I figured out that Friday night was the best time to go so off we went. Keith and I were the last ones there because I had to work late because of a last minute order. Mom had Noah so they were there waiting on us when we got there. I brought him his new church shoes, khaki pants, white button up shirt and his adorable navy blue sweater. He looked so preppy!! I was so proud of him. We waited and waited and waited -- at least 45 minutes in line. Jennifer told me that the lady behind her had an extra pass for 7 pm -- meaning we had a ticket that gave us the opportunity to jump in line at 7 and see Santa without having to wait in the really long line. 7 rolled around and we waited. The "elf" told us that Santa had to "feed the reindeer" at 7 before he could see any other kids (ie: Santa needed a potty break.) So, we waited some more. Papaw entertained Noah best he could while Jennifer and I stood in line. They started moving us up in the line so Papaw brought Noah over to me. He did so good standing right there beside me. He wanted me to pick him up, which I did, and he put his head on my shoulder, tucked his arms and tried to put his butt in the air. This is the true sign that he is ready for bed/nap or is really tired. I knew that he must be tired because he and Nina had driven all over creation all day and he only took a 45 minute nap in the car. We are going to step forward in the line, Noah raises up, looks at me and throws up all over me and him. It was slow motion. I froze like I had no idea what to do. Off we headed to the bathroom --- my brain was not thinking. I had no idea at that moment what to do or what I was going to do. He kept throwing up on the way to the bathroom and I (like an idiot) tried to catch it in my hand. Like that was gonna help at this point!! Jennifer told Gena what had happened and fortunately she came to help me out. I have no idea where Mom and Dad had gone. Couldn't find them! (Called them on the cell phone as we were trying to leave and they had gone upstairs shopping. They did walk out with us as we left.) We changed his clothes - fortunately we had the original outfit in the bag. I was out of luck. It was all over me. Fortunately I also had a sweater on so I could take the sweater off and had my shirt underneath. We got him clean and then the thought of "How am I gonna get him home" ran through my head. Ah - a cup!! We begged the guys for a cup (aka: bucket) to help us on the ride home. I just knew we were fighting the stomach bug again. Twice in one year is not fair!! Poor thing was sick again before we walked out of Bass Pro, again in the car on the way home and then a couple more times at home. We were very thankful for our cup - though I am sure Noah will never drink out of a styrofoam cup again! He would see me hold the cup, push it away and say "NO". He was only sick about 2 hours and didn't throw up any more. I told GiGi that I was not sure if it was viral or not. He and I both did run a low grade fever Saturday morning but it was gone that afternoon. I never got sick but didn't have an appetite. We did head on to Tammy's house for the Dison family Christmas - and I am so glad that we did. Yes, I did ask permission from the family and everyone said it would be fine!

We did have to laugh though -- not really, but we did!! If Santa had not gone to "feed the reindeer" there is a strong chance that Noah would have been in his lap during his "incident". OR - if Noah had waited about 5 more minutes (not that he could help it) Santa would have been in trouble! We laughed at the part that Bass Pro Shop and Santa would not have forgotten Noah!! And oh, not to mention the Mommies that had been standing in line forEVER waiting to see Santa. That would not have been good!! LOL! Oops!! Poor baby would not have been able to help it, but poor baby would have never lived it down either!! See, it is kind of funny when you think about it! Gotta find some humor in it because I almost cried at Bass Pro. Good thing did come out of it --- I am no longer afraid of throw up! AND - you know that you are initiated as a mother when your child throws up all over you and you don't have extra clothes for the ride home! Yuck!!

Thanking the Lord Noah is better and praying Keith and I don't come down with it,

~Randi, Keith, Noah & Maggie

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flashback Friday - ENGAGEMENT TRIP

 I am SO excited to be starting "Flashback Friday" on my blog. I saw this on some one's blog and knew that I wanted to do it. Yes, I gave in to blog peer pressure. I wasn't really sure how to start it and then I came across our pictures from our trip to Gatlinburg when we got engaged. I knew this would be the perfect start. I really wanted to post wedding pictures but that is when my Grandma moved to Heaven and I never did. I planned on posting it on the month anniversary of our anniversary - again, never did. SO - I will just gradually work into the wedding pictures with my Flashback Friday. Don't know what I will "flashback" to once I complete this --- guess I will find something! :-) Hope you enjoy this......

Keith and I got engaged Thanksgiving weekend, 2004. His family planned a vacation to Gatlinburg for the week. Keith and I were not able to go for the week because of my work schedule, but we joined the family on Wednesday. I remember it being fun traveling to Gatlinburg with him. I also remember secretly hoping that I would be coming home engaged. We had already set our date for the wedding (though no one really knew except my parents.) When you are wedding photographers and want a specific date for a wedding, you must plan early!! I think we had set the date 2 months prior to getting engaged. Anyway.... I had no idea he had actually bought the ring but like I said, I secretly hoped that is when it would be. I kept looking for it when we would go places but it never happened.

Thanksgiving day, (I think), the family rode the ski lift to the top of Gatlinburg. I remember being scared to death because I am fearful of heights. I enjoyed the time at the top of the mountain but I did not enjoy the ski lift ride up. My palms are sweating right now just thinking/typing about it. Friday was a day at Cade's Cove. I had no idea that is where Keith actually planned to propose. God love him, he had the ring with him all day but never found the right spot. We got back to the cabin and made plans to go downtown Gatlinburg to have dinner at the Italian restaurant. Keith asked if I would ride back to the top of the mountain to get a picture of Gatlinburg at night. I didn't want to but he begged. Of course I gave in thinking that he might propose there. We got to dinner, put our name on the list and then found out that we had about a 40 minute wait. While shopping in the stores around the restaurant, Keith asked if we had time to go up and get the picture. So off we went. I knew that he would not propose because it was going to be rushed. Ha - should have known Keith and his making things difficult. LOL! We rode up, freezing by the way and I patiently waited while he tried to take the perfect picture. He kept playing with the shutter speed on the camera trying to get the picture. He finally asked me to try. I'm thinking, are you kidding?? You are obviously the better photographer, especially when it comes to a steady hand and you are asking me to take the picture. Boy, I was so naive. I took the picture and it didn't work. He told me to try again. I turned to show him that my picture was not good and he was down on one knee. I have no idea what he said but I know that I said YES!! I was SO excited. We rode back down the mountain - calling my parents on the way. I remember Meghan being at my parents house and getting to tell her my exciting news. On the way down the mountain, Keith had a brilliant idea of not telling his family what had happened. Apparently Jennifer and Momma Gena both knew his plans. We got down to the restaurant and the family had already sat down. I sat next to Jennifer and could tell that she was very anxious. We waited just a minute, long enough for them to get ancy and we finally told them the exciting news! We told them not to make plans for October 29, 2005 because that would be the exciting day!!!

Below are a few pictures from our trip - including my terrible picture from the mountain.
Keith and I at Ober Gatlinburg
I think this was on the Saturday after he proposed.

Playing in a tree at Cades Cove

My terrible picture when Keith proposed!!
We normally wouldn't show this kind of picture, but it has a lot of meaning to it! 

At the restaurant after we told everyone

Our family dinner at the Italian restaurant
Me, Jennifer, Paul, Aunt Barbara
Keith, GrandDanny, Momma Gena, Uncle Mike

Can't forget sweet Freckles. This was the one family vacation that she went on.
She had a blast smelling the mountain air and going on long walks at the cabin!!

Freckles all snuggled up on her bed with her Pooh pillow
Only a sweet spoiled puppy sleeps on a pillow!!
Oh how I miss that big tub of love, as I called her!!

Family Picture at Ober Gatlinburg
Keith, Randi, Momma Gena, GrandDanny, Jennifer, Paul, Aunt Barbara & Uncle Mike
(this is long before Noah and Jake came into the picture)

~Randi & Keith

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Pictures

Here are our 2010 Christmas pictures. We took these at our house a couple of weeks ago. The plan is to surprise my mom with Christmas cards with the babies on them. Yes, I know that I am posting them on here before she has seen them - or before she even knows that we snuck and took pictures - but I don't think she reads my blog AND she does not have facebook, so I think I am ok!! LOL! She'll see my Christmas card tonight and see her cards next week when they arrive, so it's all good!! Sorry that they are so small. Apparently this is what Keith uploaded to the ftp site so this is all that I have access to. It would be like pulling Maggie's teeth to get a larger version. I hope that you enjoy them either way!!

Merry Christmas from the Funderburg family!! We love each and every one of you!! :-)

~Keith, Randi, Noah and Maggie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Allow me to introduce....

This is Ahmed and he is from Egypt. There is a strong possibility that Ahmed will be moving in with us in January to stay until he goes home in June. Let me start off by saying Keith and I are SO excited and couldn't be more thrilled to have him. Ahmed arrived in Birmingham last Thursday. He has been in Nashville for the past several months and he has enjoyed it there. Things did not work out and God has moved him here. He will be starting Clay Chalkville High School (hopefully) this week.

It has totally been a God thing getting him to Birmingham. When we were first approached about Ellie or Konmek living with us, the issue was the principle at Clay would not accept any more exchange students. For some reason (God being the answer), he is allowing Ahmed to start Clay at the end of the first semester. How amazing is that!!

Ahmed loves ping-pong and soccer. Keith can not wait to challenge him to a game of ping-pong. Ahmed's dad plays with a group in Egypt so Ahmed may really damper Keith's winning streak! LOL!! Ahmed also plans to play soccer this Spring for Clay-Chalkville. You better believe that I will be a soccer mom there to cheer him on at each game. Noah will have a blast watching the soccer matches and anything to do with kicking a ball!! I have a feeling I may have some soccer matches in my own backyard between the 2 boys!! My heart will be so full!!

Keith, Noah and I will be very excited to have Ahmed join our family. Please keep us in your prayers in the next coming weeks and months. Please pray that this is an easy transition if this indeed does happen.

~Randi, Keith, Noah & Maggie