Thursday, July 31, 2008

Still Beachin'...

Yep, we're still at the beach. We have never stayed at the beach this long together, ever. We haven't even been to a beach (other than in the Caribbean) together in almost 9 years. Crazy~ We are having a great time with no time schedule, no plans, tons of sand & sun, great hanging out with family and the two little ones that we love to pieces!
(I'm going to be in serious withdrawals next week!!)

We can't wait until next time . . .

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun in the Sun!!!

Miss Layla

Mr. Tanner

Uncle Andy & Miss Layla sittin' on the 'gator that he made today!

Wishin' everyone else was here too....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Because I am leaving in the morning to head to the beach! I will be with wonderful husband, my great sister & brother in law, my funny niece and her hubby. Plus two of my favorite people in the world... even when she has this look....and even when he is covered in stickers. he he he he he he......... See ya soon!!

(Pictures of the kids *cough*stolen*cough* from Aimee)

Things God is trying to teach me this week:

Here are some rambling thoughts going on inside my head about things I've read this week in my devotional books. (Yes Katie, your blog got me started on rambling about it. Figured I needed to stop hijacking yours and ramble on my own.)

1) "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life - and place it before God as an offering." Romans 12:1 (The Message)

I love this, really love it and am working on memorizing this one. I love that it's not only the big stuff that God is concerned with, but he wants us to give him glory, thanks, praise and control over the "ordinary life" just as much. I may never be a missionary in a foreign country, may never stand in front of hundreds to share my testimony, may never work in prison ministry or start an orphanage. Those things are amazing and thankfully God has equipped others to do those things. I have had the priveledge and honor to pray with a child at children's camp when they accepted Christ as their personal savior in a little cabin in the mountains, I have been able to teach children the song "Jesus Loves Me" when they'd never heard it before at preschool, I've been able to hug a child at a back yard Bible school in an inner city that probably doesn't get many hugs, I have held the door open for elderly ladies in the grocery store and chatted a few words of kindness, told the cashier that she had a great smile after she'd just dealt with an unruly customer in a patient way and prayed for my preschool babies every morning of school. I've done these things, but how many things have I missed? How many blessings to others and myself have I missed by not committing the little things to Christ? Just a few months ago I posted one of my favorite songs by 33Miles "Thank You". I want to remember what that song says about starting each day with thanking God for all he gives me or even what he takes away. Because he provides me with what I need and he loves me, what else is there really?? I also want to commit to him the little things, the ordinary things: the driving in my car, working with kids, going out to eat, hanging with friends, being with family, working with others, being a wife, daughter, friend kind of things.......

2) "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins - offer hospitality to one another without grumbling" 1 Peter 4:8-9 (NIV)

Yeah it's that "without grumbling" part that gets me in trouble. I am human and a prideful one at that. If I do something good, way too often I want recognition for it,
I want someone to notice. That's not the way God wants us to serve him, serving others. I do things with a smile on my face and grumbling in my heart. That isn't
doing any good for anyone involved. I'm the one missing a blessing! I need to work on this, complaining comes way too easy and I need to concentrate on the spirit in which I do things!

3) Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, truthfully administering God's grace in it's various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

I use the excuse way too often "I don't have the energy, the resources, the time, etc..." to serve in a certain capacity. I don't want to drive to church every Wednesday night
to work with kids because gas is so high, I don't want to join the group going on a mission trip because we don't have time this summer, I don't want to volunteer in the community because it's way out of my comfort zone. I have volunteered before and I know the rewards in my own heart and that it is what's expected of me as a Christian. We aren't to sit on our rears and watch the world go by. We're to be "his hands & his feet" around us. I love this says that we'll have the strength God provides, we just have to seek it!!

***So there you have it, thoughts from a woman just pondering "out loud" this morning about what God wants for her life. *****

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Because I need something to entertain me right now.

(and Holly just sent this)

I bring you another question do hickey.

The great news is, I haven't done one in a long time!

50 ODD Things about you! ((I'd love to see some of you copy, paste and play along!!))

1. Do you like blue cheese? crumbles on my salad, yes. (blue cheese dressing, no)

2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? never ever

3. Do you own a gun? sort of

4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? none, i get a strawberry/lemon fresh fruit slush

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? more than i can even describe to you!!!

6. What do you think of hot dogs? love 'em, a favorite and no thanks on the bun!

7. Favorite Christmas Song? "Baby it's Cold Outside" .. over and over and over and over

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? a Coke if I'm cheating and a Coke Zero if I'm not

9. Can you do push ups? pathetically a few

10. What's your favorite meal? seriously? mcd's double cheeseburger & sweet tea .. or fiesta lime chicken from applebees...or california chicken salad from O'Charley's (without the chicken)

.11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? wedding rings (both sets, my husband rocks!)

12. Favorite hobby? Reading, taking pics of kids

13. Do you work with people who idolize you? ha, idolize... maybe more like put up with because i'm such an over they might want to strangle me....

14. Do you have ADD? about somethings sometimes, sometimes it's the opposite an OCD

15. What's one trait that you hate about yourself? i worry - i don't like speaking in groups

16. Middle name? Susann (think "Suzanne", i tell my Mom she spelled it wrong)

17. Name 3 thoughts at this moment: 1-Tracey just emailed and i need to go see what she said, 2-I will never sleep tonight, 3- I am so thankful I got out tonight with Misty (thanks again, you have no idea)

18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: yesterday - nothing, today was errand day

19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink: Coke zero, milk 2% and fruit punch crystal light

20. Current worry right now: just know there is one

21. Current hate right now? not hate, but i'm struggling with the letting go when I hand things to the i don't like NOT being in control of things, but I know that the one who has the best plan for me IS in control and I'm reminding myself to take comfort in that!!!

22. Favorite place to be? Walking down Main Street USA @ Disney World on the first morning of a long trip, makes me cry! ..After that.. the beach with a great book (or at the beach with my niece and nephew.. I can't wait for Saturday!)

23. How did you bring in New Years? We were at Disney World, but the parks were closed b/c of full capacity and we hung out in the hotel as the New Year arrived. Still was a great trip!

24. Where would you like to go? On another cruise, always. To Disney World ASAP! The beach Saturday!! :) Someday - Greece & Hawaii

25. Name three people who will complete this? Who Knows? They got tired of these I think.

26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? Anyone who has too much time on their hands

27. What color shirt are you wearing? White PJ's with blue flowers

28 . Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Sure, I like soft & cold sheets!

29. Can you whistle? Pathetically, I suck- in to whistle, Andy laughs at me...

30. Favorite color(s): Red & Pink

31. Would you be a pirate? Only if Captain Jack is there!!

32. What songs do you sing in the shower? Depends on what's on the radio in there.

33. Favorite girl's name? Not saying right now, but there are now 10 on the list (for some reason I am now adding names)

35. What's in your pocket right now? no pockets

36. Last thing that made you laugh? A bunch of things tonight with Misty, did I mention she rocks?!

37. Best bed sheets as a child? Holly hobby, duh. (Oh heavens, I just read your answer Holly and it's mine too!!!!! I still have mine. I have to take a picture and show you!!!!! Or better yet if you come to the Tanner Inn you can sleep on 'em!)

38. Worst injury you ever had? You're going to laugh, but it was the glue gun incident. It was the worse night of my life and was very scary! Andy still calls me lobster girl when I get out a glue gun.

39. Do you love where you live? Yeah, I do. It's close to our family & friends. (Most of 'em) It's close to "stuff", but it's still country-ish and small town. I love our house too and notice that more and more.

40. How many TVs do you have in your house? 3 or 4, Not sure if that one is still in Andy's downstairs room or not?

41. Who is your loudest friend? Does my Grandmother count? Not sure about loudest friend.

42. How many pets do you have? 3

43. Does someone have a crush on you? I'd ask him, but he's asleep.

45. What is your favorite book? I refuse to answer this, no short answer even possible.

46. What is your favorite candy ? Can I have it all? Skittles, Baby Ruth, M & Ms, I love it all though!

47. What is your favorite sports team: The Dawgs (that would be University of Georgia BullDogs for yall' yankees!!)

48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't want "them" to have a funeral when I go! (I'm very serious) Have a cookout, have people over for good food and good times. Play all sorts of random music if you must ... Christian, southern fried rock, country, Musical tunes, kids music, swing, I love it all.....

49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Watching my last "DVR"ed episode of "Tori & Dean"

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? What was I suppose to do today?????? Do I need to get up or hit snooze??????

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Flowers

We haven't had much luck with our summer flowers the past few summ
ers, it's so dry! Thankfully we've had a little more rain this summer than last though. We still can't keep anything much in our front flower bed. Our lantana though is growing like wildfire! We couldn't keep that stuff back if we tried, it's as tall as I am!! I forgot to take pics of my gerber daisies, oops!

My inside flower that my kids gave me at the end of the school year. It's in a huge pot. They had each bought me gift certificates from different places. They were on little wooden stakes all in the plant sticking up. It was super cute!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Summer Time

Getting to spend days at my brother & sister in laws pool with our great niece & nephew is so much fun! We suddenly decided this week to take off with them to the beach soon. Brother & Sister in law, niece, nephew, great niece, great nephew (and us) will all head to Gulf Shores next Saturday for a week of fun! It wasn't planned on our side, we just decided this week to tag along. It makes it even more exciting as a surprise trip.

I've had visions of kiddos giggling, drooly babies, hearing the waves, board games, lots of laughs, good food, bright sun, swimming, reading, putt putt and maybe a round of golf dancing in my head this week! I can't wait!!!

Tanner this week

Layla this week:

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Some Dreams Take a Little Longer to Come True"
By: Barbara J. Hall
(From the book: I believe in You)

"Perhaps you've poured your heart and soul into a project, but it hasn't flourished as you'd hoped. It hasn't come alive the way you know it can. It hasn't taken on the shape of true success.

Now...don't give up. Sometimes one plan moves slower than another. Sometimes it creeps and crawls along it's path. But just remember, so do caterpillars, and look what they become!

Wait a little longer and you, too, can see that happy ending to your dreams."

My Grandmother bought me this book about 8 years ago now. It has all sorts of short stories and poems. I wrote this one down 4 years ago in my devotional notebook and ran across it flipping through just this week. It's funny how things can bring different meaning to you, depending on the circumstances in your life. This week as I become frustrated that our phone doesn't ring and we don't get emails in the inbox from potential birthmoms, I do take comfort in the fact that it will happen. The best things take time. God does want to bless our lives with a child, we believe that with our whole hearts. I guess what we do in the meantime will be character building for us.

So we pray, wait and take comfort in God's promises.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife
by: Audrey Niffenegger

This book is absolutely one of the greatest books I've ever read! (EVER) It's one of my top 5 for sure, could be top 3 books ever. I am such a reader and have lists of things I want to read. However; buying for a reader isn't always easy. I know, because I have friends & family members that are readers and I buy books for them. You never know just what will interest them, what they've read before, what genre they are into. Dawn, who became my assistant and great friend this year at preschool, gave me this book at the end of the year. Dawn, you rock!! This book also rocked, rocked my socks off!!

When I read the title, I wasn't so sure. Time travel, seriously? I read the back, hmmm... still not so sure. Sounds like a cross between science fiction and fiction, I just don't know about this one. But.. I love to read on cruises, so I'll pack it along with some others.

HOLY MOLY, WOWIE ZOWIE, HOLD THE PHONE! This book is edge of your seat, very complex, makes you smile, a little shocking, what in the world is going to happen, a deep love story and are you kidding me? All thrown into one!! I spent a good deal of the first half of the book confused, but it's ok. Confusion is expected in a way with this book. You really aren't meant to put it all together, that's the way the story flows. I became WILDLY obsessed when I got home though, with websites on the book and rereading sections of the story to put it back in order, for my small brain to comprehend. Do NOT think about trying to figure it out the first time though, just read it.........

Oh and I found out through the website, there is a movie coming out in December, Christmas Day! Rachael McAdams, whom I adore from The Notebook, plays Clare. Eric Bana plays Henry and I can't wait! I'm sure I'll continue to love the book more, but I love when the books & movies go hand in hand. (For you Nicholas Sparks readers, did you know "Nights in Rodanthe" is coming to theaters in September? Diane Lane & Richard Gere!)

The website forum is very interesting for anyone who enjoys that type of thing. The author actually comes on from time to time answering questions. It was her first novel and to win so many awards, gain so much success, it's awesome to hear what she thought as she wrote it.

Clare befriends Henry, he's the time traveler. When they first meet she is 6 and he is in his 40's. This is the beginning, well .. the beginning for Clare anyway. The story unfolds in just amazing ways and I'm not sure I can even describe it to you. Read it, I say!

I have a ton of quotes I love. I just recently found two HUGE boxes of notes myself from my past. They were in my parents attic, instead of long ago tossed out like I'd thought. So I have been reading through them all again, slowly but surely. They are bringing back all sorts of hilarious (albeit somewhat dramatic) moments of my life from 4th grade-high school. Craziness. Things I'd long forgotten, but it all comes back in such great detail as I read it through the eyes of my closest friends. That makes me love and appreciate this top favorite quote all the more. In this age of email, instant messages and texts, most people wont have these to go back and read through. Times change for sure. Though I've tossed away garbage bag after garbage bag of these old notes, I am keeping a box of them to remember, the craziness that made me, me!

"...take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. sit. feast on your life..." by: Derek Walcott

(that feast on your life part, I love it more each time I read it)

A funny quote that is typically how complex the book is.

"I don't usually tell myself stuff ahead of time ... I don't even like having myself around, so I try not to drop in on myself unless there's no choice." - P.21

When Clare, at the young age of 6, is trying to figure out what in the world is going on with her new friend.
"I worried all day about pants for the man cause he seemed like he really wanted pants." . . . "Well, I guess he just made up that he was coming and he didn't want pants so bad after all." P42 & P43

And one more before I get carried away, there are SO many!

"... it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you loose it, than to be just okay for your whole life." ... P239

My Mom tried to read it twice and couldn't. She tried too hard to figure it out. If you buy this book (and you SHOULD, no matter what kind of books you like) please, please be patient with it when you begin. Do not try to figure it out, you can't. It's the beauty of it though and eventually you will understand and it will flow, it will all unfold in it's own time. I tried to read so fast through the last chapters because I was so caught up, I couldn't get going fast enough. I read it in a day and again, took this book on our cruise everywhere I went. I took it with me to eat, to shows, to bingo, I stayed awake until I was done. Go ahead, pick it up .. then you wont be able to put it down.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Reading
2008 - Part 1

My reading this summer can be summed up in one word, strange and slow. By this same time last summer, I'd read 28 books. (I went back to count, no kidding) This summer so far I have read 11, not counting two I couldn't finish because they were boring me to tears. Last summer I started a reading journal. I write down just a few sentences (or a few pages) for the books I read so that I can go back and remember them. I SO wish I'd been doing this years and years ago. I've found funny quotes to hang onto and quotes that touch my heart, then there's everything in between. I have been busy this summer with days at the pool, lake days, crocheting, cross stitching, visiting friends and working in the nursery. Still, I am just not finding books that suck me in like normal.

I need reading HELP! I am at a stand still. I have all of these favorite authors, whose books I devour the day or two after they come out. That list is growing quite lengthy, but right now there are no new ones. I have found my fantastic summer finds already and am afraid there aren't any more of those to come this summer. We have a surprise beach trip that we're taking in a few weeks and I don't know what to read. I want something that I can't put down, something that either makes me laugh out loud, warms my heart, is super fun or a fabulous page turner mystery. I have two stacks of books in our guest bedroom right now and I just went through them. Some I bought and some are borrowed, but right now NONE of those really strike me as "I can't wait to read". Ugh! So unlike me. So help my reading friends, make some recommendations so I can do some research and buy a few new books before our beach trip!!

The main book I could not get through no matter how hard I tried - "Wicked" - I have been hearing about this book for years, how fantastic it is. I hear rave reviews of it on Broadway and people swear the book is amazing. "You'll love it" they said. I have been trying for the last month to plug through, much less "love" it. Ugh, yuck, ick, I can't do it!! I hoped I'd be sucked into the fantasy world of Oz and fascinated by the characters. Just what makes The Wicked Witch of the West .. Wicked?? The language, characters and fantasy world was just too much for me. It reminded me a little of the Harry Potter books, they are a little harder for me to read than most of my books. The thing is, I fell in love with the characters and was so interested in the things Harry would get into (and out of). They take me awhile to plug through the first few chapters, but then I'm hooked again. (Well, not anymore, they're over) But no matter how hard I tried, I just can't continue "Wicked". This one is going in the trade/sell stack and on we go-

I've read 3 Phillip Gulley books this summer. One of them is called "For Everything a Season" and it's short stories about there being a time for everything, like the Bible tells us. It's full of heart warming and funny stories, I enjoyed this a lot. It's not one of my favorites, but a good read if you like the short "true" kind. Then I read 2 more of the "Harmony" books. If you read the "Mitford" series, these are a grea deal alike. The narrator is a Quaker pastor and the town is filled with fun, crazy characters. The stuff that happens is a hoot and I love these books. There are a few more in the Harmony series and a few more of his short story books, they're on my "to read" list. *Speaking of Jan Karon & Mitford. I also read "Home to Holly Springs". The 1st book in her brand new Father Tim series. I enjoyed it b/c it was Father Tim and there was a good story going on. I didn't "love" it though and was a little let down. I will continue to read them b/c I am invested in the characters, but I don't count down the days or anything"

Now... for my top 6 books of the summer so far. (3 of which I read the first week of summer, on our cruise) Drumroll please-

#6- "The Memory Keepers Daughter" by Kim Edwards. This book reminds me of some I was reading about 4 years ago when I read the Oprah book club books. It's a great fiction book! It's not in my typical comedy/romance, trashy/romance, Christian/chick fiction, inspriational or mystery fields. It's great though. I saw the advertisement ages ago on the Lifetime station, there was a movie make of it. I missed the movie (and in searching can't seem to find they're ever going to play it again) and thought it would make a great read sometime. I found it online for under $.25 and ordered it a few weeks ago. It is great!
Spoiler Ahead, but not really if you read the back of the book: It's about a man and woman who have a baby. Circumstances make it so the husband has to deliver his own children. They think there is one baby, surprise it's twins. The 2nd baby is born with down syndrome and in the time period (late 50s, 60s maybe?) families usually sent those children away. So the father decides to send the 2nd baby away, telling his wife that the baby died. It goes on to unfold on how the big secret effects the family, even though they don't know there's a "secret" there to unfold. Very good book, has some strange moments, but good.

#5- "Fearless 14" by Janet Evanovich. I can't believe this is #5 on my list, not higher. I love these books though and with James Patterson having two out as well.. it was hard to put them in order. Anyway... I wonder each time there is a new Stephanie Plum book, can it REALLY be as good as the others?? Is there really more story to tell with Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger & Grandma. The thing is, YES, there is always more story to tell. Each and every one of these books is just as fun to read! They all keep me guessing and every single one makes me laugh out loud!!!! *usually Grandma moments* I love these, hope they keep coming and wish they'd make a movie series. I think that Sandra Bullock was born to play Stephanie Plum!

#4- "Sail" by James Patterson. Why can't every mystery type writer be this good? Why can't they all keep me in total suspense, make it where I can NOT put the book down until I'm done. Those short chapters, he's so onto something with that!!! This one, written with a co-author as he often does, is fantastic as always! A family is off on a sailing adventure together, trying to get their family to regroup and get their act together again. Of course, in true James Patterson style, there's a big mystery and chaos thrown into this family vacation. Great, great read and I can't say more without getting into the story. Then YOU wouldn't want to keep turning the page. If you haven't read a James Patterson book before, WHY NOT????? They are fantastic!!!!

#3- "Sundays at Tiffany's" by James Patterson. This is one of the few (3 or 4 maybe?) romantic fiction novels that he's written. It is very ... hmm... odd. It's a strange story about an imaginary friend or is the friend imaginary? It's a true page turner and a very short book to begin with. I read it in one afternoon/evening while we were cruising and took it with me everywhere we went. The story is about a lady named Jane (I love that name more and more these days) and her imaginary friend, Michael. You just have to pick this one up to find out what happens. I could NOT put it down!

#2- "Love the One Your With" by Emily Giffin. I absolutely love this author. This is only her 4th book and one of my best friends, Misty, introduced me to her. I loved that first book ("Something borrowed") and I have counted days until each release of her books since then. This book is wildly edge of your seat, what will happen. Ellen & Andy have a perfect marriage. They live in New York, he's from Atlanta. (There's some southern charm thrown in this one) He is her best friend/college room mates brother. They are all one big happy family. Can you ask for better than that? Then.. she runs into her ex boyfriend and then the drama begins. It's a great story though and you wonder how in the world this one can possibly work out???

Ok and now for the #1 book. It is truly one of my top 5 books of all time. It ranks right up there and I am going to read it again, maybe on our trip. I was CRAZY shocked by how much I loved it and became obsessed with the story in a wild way. This post has gotten crazy lengthy though (as all my reading ones do) and I doubt anyone has bothered to stick with me here. (Other than Misty, I love you girl!) So... I will let you sit on the edge of your seat, wondering what my favorite book is so far this summer, until next time!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stephen Mark Tanner III

On July 8th @ almost 9PM we got a fantastic gift from Heaven above.
Our newest great nephew, Trey, was born.

This picture is completely and totally "borrowed" from Trisha's amazingly talented photographer sister, Molly. Molly, you deserve all the credit and I hope you don't mind me sharing this one!

Today, FINALLY, I got to meet him for the first time! Things came up all over the place that kept us from meeting him last week and I was getting close to having a nervous breakdown to get my hands on this precious little one! I was able to visit with Mark, Trisha and Trey this morning for a little bit and hold this sweet little boy. (Then I got a second peek as they came to Steve & Teresa's while we were still there!) It is the most amazing thing in the world to see these tiny people as they begin this journey of life. He just sleeps so peacefully, wakes up a moment to eye you, gives a big stttreeeeetttcchhh and then he's sleeping soundly again.

I'm not sure who took this one. This picture belongs to Molly too, I think. (If not Molly, then Aimee) Whoever it is, you did good work and I hope you don't mind me "borrowing" it. Here are 3 generations of Stephen Mark Tanners! (My brother in law, Steve. My nephew, Mark. My great nephew, Trey!)

I can NOT believe I am posting this picture because I am slightly scary! This is what happens in the summer when I do nothing more than put on a bathing suit, brush my teeth, throw a t-shirt & shorts on over it all and head out. I was heading to swim for the day, so I didn't mind my slightly scary appearance. I only share it b/c Trey is so darn sweet!

Anyone who thinks God no longer performs miracles obviously hasn't held a newborn baby recently. *Sigh*... A piece of Heaven on Earth no doubt!

(Why didn't I take a picture of Mark, Trisha & Trey this afternoon when I saw them again? I still had my camera with me. Ugh! I hate that I didn't do that. I blame it on being brain fried by the sun!)

Edit: I have already started calling everyone the wrong name. I read this thing a dozen times before posting and still, I called him Tanner. I'm sorry little munchkin and welcome to a lifetime of being called all sorts of things! (My Mom calls me by my aunts name and heck, I'm an only child!) Thanks to my sis in law for noticing.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

~Tanner Weddings~

May I proudly introduce you to
Mr. & Mrs. Luke Tanner!

Tonight we proudly welcomed the newest Tanner to the clan. Newest since just Tuesday when Trey arrived, but I'll get to that next blog I promise. Luke is the youngest of Andy's nieces and nephews and tonight he married Naomi, one of the sweetest girls on the Earth. The wedding was beautiful and the reception just gorgeous to look at. They are too sweet and we're jealous they're headed off an cruise in the next few days! Andy has felt old as his nephews and nephews have married off one by one and started having babies of their own. I feel the same way with Luke, I have all these memories of little Luke at children's camp and things when he was a little guy and my buddy. Wow! All grown up. They make a fantastic couple and we pray God's blessings on their marriage now and always! We love you both!!

I am so in love with Tanner who isn't old enough to be a ring bearer, but is old enough to have his own tux! He's the cutest thing!!

Yes, Miss Layla was all about the corn on the cobb! She is SO FUNNY, I love her so much it's crazy!! The food was like a back yard bbq with lights in trees, lanterns and candles hanging down in the trees. It was so pretty and we had mini hot dogs, mini hamburgers, corn on the cobb, baked beans, bottled Coke and the such. What a fantastic idea!! Wish I would have thought of that 9 years ago! Great, great idea!!

How sweet are first dances??
Is she the cutest bride ever or what??

Was it really 9 years ago??? I love this amazing man and his wonderful family that has become mine!

Miss Flower Girl, Layla Grace, with the bridge & groom!

My brother & sister in law, Steve & Teresa. They had a busy week welcoming their new grandson on Tuesday and marrying off their baby on Saturday!! Wowie!

And one more of Layla, simply because I can't get enough of her!

Friday, July 11, 2008

If the music stops, so will I.....

I knew this would happen. I even told Andy a few weeks ago that it would. Yesterday, it happened.

The Easter Bunny (gotta love that guy) brought me an IPOD shuffle 2 years ago for Easter. It's the tiny small one and I love it. It is PERFECT for taking when I walk in the neighborhood. I have it stuffed full of my favorite music. Everything from musical show tunes, praise music, contemporary Christian, country, rock, southern rock, you name it and it's on there. I have a certain section that is dedicated my "walking music" so that it's all fast paced music that keeps me moving!

A few weeks ago I accidentally pressed the pause button and the music stopped. The music stopped and so did I. I just stood there, dead still. When I realized what had happened, it cracked me up. What? I can't keep walking without music? It seemed that I couldn't. I told Andy, if the battery ever dies while I'm walking, I may never make it home again.

Sure enough... yesterday morning, before I even got out of the front door. It stopped. Battery dead... what's a girl to do? I had things to do and couldn't wait on it to charge. It was walk now or never. I sucked it up and out the door I went. I walked slowly and without purpose, I missed my music. (Can you feel the drama?) I decided I couldn't take it and after just a measly mile, I headed for home. I plugged that sucker in and she's all charged now and ready to go again!

So, what is some of my walking music you ask? You're dying to know I'm sure.. here are some things on the walking music section, not all and in random order.

-A Little Less Conversation -- Elvis
-I Got Rhythm -- From "Girl Crazy"
-Rock N Roll All Night -- Kiss
-Some Days You Gotta Dance -- Dixie Chicks
-I Believe -- Wes King
-Little Good Byes -- SheDaisy
-Come Together -- Third Day
-Leaving Tonight on a Freight Train -- Kinchafoonee Cowboys
-Livin' for Jesus -- Third Day
-Redneck Yacht Club -- Craig Morgan
-C'mon Feel The Noise -- Quiet Riot
-Catchafire (Whoopsi Daisy) -- Toby Mac
-I Love Rock N Roll -- Joan Jett
-Come on Back to Me -- Third Day
-Mountain of God -- Third Day
-Thank You -- 33 Miles
-Mighty to Save -- HillSong
-What Kind of Gone -- Chris Cagle
-Made to Worship - -- Chris Tomlin
-You Are So Good to Me -- Third Day
-Our Song -- Taylor Swift
-Call My Name -- Third Day
-Dive -- Steven Curtis Chapman
-"Trolley Song" -- From Meet me in St. Louis
-Beyond the Sea -- Bobby Darin
-Aint No Mountain High Enough -- Diana Ross
-I Wont Dance -- Frank Sinatra
-Summertime -- Kenny Chesney
-Jungle Love -- Steve Miller Band
-When the Rain Comes -- Third Day
-Back in Black -- AC/DC
-These Thousand Hills -- Third Day

Post from yesterday deleted for lack of participation. If you saw it, you know what I mean. If not, well.. you didn't miss anything exciting.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

He's here!

Our newest nephew arrived last night, about 9:00ish or so. Proud Pappy, my brother in law, called to let us know. We didn't get any details yet, he had JUST made his grand arrival. Everyone was great though and we look forward to meeting him this evening. Pictures and details to come!!

Monday, July 07, 2008

More on the Magic of Disney
..and a VERY lengthy review of "Monsters Inc."

First let me start by saying, Andy and I are both having serious Disney withdrawals. It has been almost 6 months since we've been to Disney World and we can't take it. Yes, we went 7 times last year and no, we never got tired of it! Andy said this weekend "I wish I was walking up to get in line for Test Track". We are true Disney addicts, thank heavens Andy has it as bad as I do. I have friends who say "How in the world do you like it so much? Don't you get tired of the parks? The movies are cute, but come on, there's more out there." You just can't explain it to people who don't have it like you do!! (Believe me, I've tried)

The fact is that I cry when I walk down Main Street at the Magic Kingdom on both the first and last day of any trip. I will wait in line for 45 minutes (if I have to) to fly with Peter Pan for about 3 minutes. I listen to sound tracks from the rides and parks when I'm not there. I have several versions which include but are not limited to .. bootleg music from the parks & soundtracks from rides, Disney produced park music, movie music and Disney bluegrass music. I love the movies, all the movies. Animated, live action, classics, new Pixar, it doesn't matter to me. I love the merchandise and have a fantastic t-shirt, stuffed animal and snow globe collection. (Stuffed animals are my favorite!) I have been active on several Disney related websites and in fact found some of my best friends that way, who knew I'd go on to have life long friendships with these crazy people!

I've been blessed to share my favorite place on Earth with many of my favorite people of the years. I was going with my parents from the time I was a little munchkin myself and later as a kiddo and teenager, they let me take friends along for the fun. (Amanda and Stephanie are the two that I remember right off the bat) Then Andy & I started our adventures there with our honeymoon and many, many, many trips to follow. Andy & I have now gone with my parents on a handful of trips, it's great to put my childhood Disney love and grown up Disney love all together in a trip! We've gone with friends, the Kahle clan and the Shallenberger clan all love Disney as much as we do, which is fantastic! We've met friends down there from all over the world; Orlando, Illinois, California, Arkansas, New York and Sweden!! (Yep, Sweden!) We've taken trips with brothers & sisters in law and look forward to a Tanner family trip next year! (If you back out, you're going to break my heart you know) Then... there are the Disney Cruises, by far my favorite cruises of all time! We've done the short Disney Cruise twice and the magic surely continues out on the sea. Andy said last night how fireworks anywhere else doesn't compare when you've seen them over the castle with the music playing or better yet, over the ocean on a Disney Cruise!! I digress with my love of Disney travel.....

Last night I pulled out my brand new 2 disc version of Monsters Inc. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the extras on these movies and couldn't wait to see what goodies I'd find in Monster world. I decided to watch the movie first, I think it's been a few years since I've seen it. It was bed time for Andy or he would have watched with me, he likes the movies too!

Every time I watch a Disney movie, I am always joyously surprised about how much I adore each and every one. I have favorites yes, but they are all amazing in their own way. Sulley (John Goodman) has to be one of the most lovable characters ever created by Disney, despite the fact he's.. well, a monster!! When I see him at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I just want to run hug him every time!! Mike (Billy Crystal) is a hoot and full of energy, just like Billy Crystal. Randy Newman songs and music run throughout, there is nothing greater in Disney films than music that sets the stage, tugs at your heart strings and sticks in your head for days!! How can you not love "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story????

The detail in these movies are fascinating when you stop to notice!! I do love Pixar despite many "old school" Disney traditionalist who'd want to shoot me with that confession. There is something to be said for both kinds of animation I believe. The details in monster world are crazy: door knobs that are horns, paperwork and posters around that are designed for monsters, the props/characters that go into the "other worlds" when the monsters step out of monster world, the kids rooms and on and on and on... It's just one of the things that sets Disney movies out of the league with all the others! (I love the wall paper in Chicken Littles room that looks like chicken wire, for some reason that one comes to mind too)

The plot: Mike & Sulley are best friend monsters who work at the energy company in Monstropolis.. To get energy for Monster world, they must capture screams of children in our world, thus .. the monster in your closet. Then the worse thing to ever happen, happens .... a CHILD gets into Monster World!!! The monsters are terrified and much chaos follows. The child, Boo, is the cutest thing ever. Her unintelligible babbles (and singing when she's on the potty, yes on the potty) are the sweetest sounds! There are things to make you laugh out loud, a plot to be solved and some touching moments as well.

Which brings me to all my thoughts last night while I was watching... about our baby, our child, who we hope finds us very soon. Disney movies are fun, made for being family friendly and I can't wait to have someone else to share them with. Then I panicked a little, it seems to be happening to me on and off about becoming a parent with random situations. This one was: how will I know when our son or daughter is old enough to handle a movie about MONSTERS, after all, without being scared of them?? But, reality kicked in, thank heavens for that. My reality though.... Reality that the day we bring our little one home, we'll be listening to Disney music in their room. They will begin seeing and hearing Disney movies way before they have any idea what movies are all about. They will visit Disney World quite frankly, probably before they should and will become little Disney addicts right along with us! Andy & I have been talking about it for years when we are at Disney World, how we can NOT WAIT to have our own little one there with us! We have made plans, "when our son or daughter is with us...." for years now. We both confess that it's one, of the thousands, of things we can't wait for!!

Moving along..

If you haven't seen the "out takes" at the end of this movie, you have missed something incredible. I think this is my favorite part of Disney movies, when the characters have out takes. Are you kidding, who thinks of this stuff?? I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! It's in the details...

Then there is the bonus material. This may very well be my favorite bonus material of all time. It lets us look around the Pixar buildings where it all happens, the secret room (that even Roy Disney has visited) is just craziness. The monkey, what's with that? You get to see how much work goes from story boards and pencil drawings, to animation and character development, to adding color, details, shadows and lightning. It's a crazy process and I have no idea how people are so creative. I am thankful they are though! (I loved the entire walk through tour of animation at Disney's Hollywood Studio. I still love the tour, though it has changed a ton over the years.) I loved each and every minute of the extras and watching the movie again with commentary on. So much to soak in. (I especially love the "virtual ride" that you get to take on the "Little Mermaid" DVD extras, how cool is that????)

If you haven't pulled out a favorite Disney animated movie lately, do it, you wont be sorry!!!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

God Bless America!! Happy 4th of July!!