Monday, January 31, 2011

Flower Power! And A Wintery Mix...

Like my new hat?? I do. My friend Latonia made it for me. Isn't it amazing??? I would love to say I made it myself but Im not that talented yet. I stress yet.

For those that know me, I have been addicted to flower clips/headbands in my hair. I have a drawer full of them. All sizes and colors. And in Tru GapGirl style... they are BIG!!! So, you can see why I sleep with this hat on every night. Ha! Speaking of BIG, I bought an awesome huge pearl necklace and matching bracelet at Old Navy 90% off. Im assuming they had it left because only I would wear something that loud and proud. (Did I forget to mention the pearls have black lace weaved in and out of them. They are so cool. I would show you a picture of them but Im right in the middle of organizing all of my jewelry. I will do a whole post on it as soon as it is done. (the organizing tip that I got was brilliant!)

My Beth Moore Bible study has hit an all time hi Y'all. Just when I think she cannot out due herself, I am proven... W-R-O-N-G! I can't begin to tell you how awesome the bible is. I don't even think I have the right words to describe how BIG our God is and how HE orchestrated it ALL for our GOOD! How Genesis intertwines with Revelation. How, with it being such a HUGE book, it NEVER ONCE contradicts itself but proves itself over and over again. Scripture PROVES scripture. How true is that!!

We were challenged at the beginning of the study to pray that God shows us small Revelations each week and my how He delivers. Thru life and thru other bloggers like YOU!!! (do you think I am using capitals enough?? I just can't find any other way to express to you my excitement!)

He is also slowly teaching me to DROP THE BALL and stop dragging my chains around and give them to Him. Of course, I find it almost impossible to do and Im sure I have our sweet Lord banging His Holy head up against the wall at my stupidity. Im trying to. Honest but y'all know how stubborn and clueless I am. But He is patient and I know He will help me.

My heart goes out to the many people getting bombarded with snow day after day. My heart is also burdened for all those people struggling financially. I remember our days in expensive NY wondering how we would afford to buy oil. The prices were thru the roof but thats nothing compared to this year. Families are paying over $500+ a month just to heat their homes... not to mention high electric bills and snow disasters.

I thank God every day we moved. We are not rich by any means but choosing food over oil is a distant memory... I so wish it was a distant memory to all my dear loved ones struggling with that same dilemma now.

Not to mention all the other disasters all over the world... Egypt, Florida, Australia ... the list goes on. The kids and I were studying Rome today and just started the chapter on Christianity in Rome and how the rulers saw Christians as threats. They told me they are so happy Christian persecution doesn't happen now and also wondered if it could happen again. I quickly told them that living in America... we are often sheltered and too caught up in our selfish world to realize the truths that are out there... while we sit here complaining that our DVR didn't tape our show... Christians ARE in fact being persecuted and tortured for Jesus's name!!! We had a nice talk and then began researching all the ways the 12 disciples died...

Our lessons sometimes take us ALL OVER but I am able to teach my children the truths they would never know otherwise.

So tonight as we snuggle in our warm beds and kiss our babies... send up a prayer to all those thousands of others who would just die to walk in our shoes...

P.s. I started making my Ch-Ch-Ch- Changes already.... do you see???

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes...

Oh my word, nothing tears my nerves up more than other people touching my precious blog. My sweet hubby doesn't even mess with it. Its not that Im controlling because clearly im not but my blog is so personal and I think that He is a bit afraid of deleting the whole thing. If that should happen then I think I would become controlling... just a bit.

Anywho, tonight as you all know is our traditional Saturday night WING night. A night that my couz comes over for hot wings and good chatter. Tonight the hot topic is GUNS! One was recently purchased by one of them and they are as giddy as two school girls. But prior to that, a few adjustments were made to my blog...

Oh but thats not all. Be prepared... Be
very prepared. BIG changes are coming soon. Im not sure how soon though and I can't reveal too much because its a surprise... But its been talked about and will be in the works. Just be patient my dear friends. I do have 6 kids and homeschool...

My awesome Couz is co-owner of
SILVERTREND DESIGNS and is 1 of the best Graphic Designers I know. He also has done a complete website for my Father in Laws business. I would link you to that too but I have no clue where it is HA!

But we have
BIG plans.


Want a hint??

Ok, you twisted my arm.... I'll spill...

Something was said about a signature... a really cute button and a name change. Yes, you heard right... A name change... And I think he also mentioned something about a different URL.. not to mention a new header and picture and... well basically my blog now is just temporary. Its going to be a huge launch.... HUGE!

O.k , I don't think so. I KNOW! But I can't tell you much more than that. I do promise that you will NOT lose me along the way. Many measures will be taken to make sure you still all can find me no matter what cause I love you all and would just be heartbroken if we were parted.

But like I said, its going to take some time. You might even see small changes along the way. You even see some changes now! Good 'ol couz came to the rescue and fixed some minor problems I had over a Diet Coke and wings...

He also gives good advice on professionalism in the cyber world
and branding. Just sayin.

Go check him out and throw him some love...

Xoxo GapGirl

Friday, January 28, 2011

Circle Of Life

I have been waiting to do a post about a very special gift given to me by a very dear friend of mine THE CHATTY MOMMY. So, I figured I would write this and include it in her 2nd FRIDAY FOLLOW.

All of my bloggy friends know that The Chatty Mommy is near and dear to my heart. We have known each other for 7-ish years but it seems much longer. I remember being pregnant with Molly and she asking me if I was having a baby shower. I actually had been thrown a HUGE bash of all bashes by my mother -in -law, so I explained to her I had everything I needed. I knew that if I told her I needed baby items, she would have thrown a shower for me... Why is this so unusual??? Because at that point, we had just met.

But thats the kind of person she is. Unselfish. I didn't like her at first. Honest! I was drawn to her for some odd reason but then before long our mouths would open and we would be in a battle of wits. Our usual brunches together almost always ended up with one of us calling the other and apologizing.

But over the years I realized what a true blue friend she is. I don't have many friend. Im very social at times and will talk to just about anyone I see but my inner circle is very small. Im very guarded and most people just don't get me (at least in the south! Ha!) But TCM and I talk all the time. As if we still lived a few blocks away and as if I just saw her in nursery last wednesday night.

While I was on my Babymoon with Penelope a small package came in the mail. I opened it and inside held the most dainty little silk bag. Once I opened it up and pulled out its contents, I held back the tears... I didn't even need to read the note, I just knew who it was from.

I immediately wanted to call her and yell at her for spending ANY money on me.... But could not stop looking at this most precious gift she had given me....

A necklace that held all the names of my beloveds... in a perfect circle.
Before I knew them, I loved them.
And with that love, there is no end...

I wear it all the time and hardly take it off. Whenever my hand grazes it or my sweet baby holds the chain in her fist, I am reminded of the most precious friend I left behind....

Im not sure she knows how much this necklace means to me... or how much she means to me. But I think about it every day when I look in the mirror.... or graze my hand across my neck.

So thank you Chatty Mommy, for calling me all the time because I have no long distance, for talking me off the ledge about a zillion times, for reminding me that I need to pray more, for showing me a great example of a christian wife, for not forgetting about me since I am 800 miles away....

And for moving down here right next to me cause I know we can't be apart anymore... (ok I added that part in but its my blog right??)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Tonight

So tonight was church but you already knew that right?? It was day 2 of my brandy-new Beth Moore bible study. I love Beth.. I really do. To me, she is a dear "friend" who for once a week, fills my head with all kinds of bible knowledge. I know women who don't like her. I mean, she tends to have a personality that makes coffee nervous but thats so my speed.

We left our house early and left 2 kids behind with daddy but of course, we ended up late. Time is my enemy and I often have moments when I think I won't be truly happy until I destroy all sense of time. Does anyone else feel that way?? Please say its not only me... please...

Dinner was left on the table just as we left it and the poor girl at CVS might not have gotten the biggest smile at the checkout when I realized my favorite color of lipstick was not sale. I had already rung up over $50 worth of make-up... (my almost once a year stock up so don't judge) whats $5 more???

I NEVER get cash back when using my debit card. Its just not practical in my eyes but I needed some cash to pay for my girls upcoming trip to Fine Arts but of course the limit of CVS's cash advance was $5 less than what I needed... THUS resulting in yet another stop...

Which leads me running thru the church parking lot and breathlessly falling thru the doors of my ladies bible study. They all smile and Say my name... a warm welcome.

My brain immediately goes haywire...

"How bad do I look?"

"Do I look like I skidded into the church on 2 wheels and basically kicked my kids out of the moving van?"

"How frizzed is my hair..."

" Do they realize what it took for me to get here?????? DO THEY???"

Sitting down in the back row (since all the good seats were already taken) I knew what kind of night it would be.

There goes this weeks lesson. I know the signs... pure unadulterated ADHD about to go full force. Im to hyped up to settle down to listen.

My cell phone goes off. Most people know I have church wednesday nights and refrain from texting me. It turns out its hubby... I miss him...

As Beth Moore begins her dramatic beginning I remember I didn't lock the van. I always lock the van. Now Im going to have to inspect it before I let the kids in because im paranoid like that. (Im from NY remember?? and I was raised by a cop... a recipe for paranoia)
I remember why I didn't lock it... We were bringing home an extra kid for a sleepover. They will be dropping off her stuff sometime during youth.

I did listen some and took as many notes as I could. Perhaps sometime during the week, I can review my notes and try and remember what tonight was about.

The lady next to me kept getting texts... and the lady in front of me played with her iphone a bit...

Then I had to pee. I fought it for about 5 minutes but for all of you that have had many kids know... you either go to the bathroom or... go to the bathroom... the only choice you have is where! Get my drift? So I get up and go.

I could hear the music vibrating off the walls which means youth is out... im wondering where my kids are?

Before long my usual herding children began. With only 4 in tow this week, it was a breeze.

Off to Target we went for some basic essentials like milk, cute dresses for the girlies and leggings.. you know... necessities.

So 11 pm and here I sit. Exhausted. But happy I conquered another wednesday night. I lived to tell the tale.

Im not really sure what this post is about actually? I think the bases is... I need sleep.

Did I mention I forgot to grab my cup of coffee to guzzle in the van on my way to church? Yeah... that was fun.

So, tonight was church.

What was your night like?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


OOHH what a crazy 4 days it has been...

It has been 4 days since I blogged last right??

I can't remember... Anyway. My bananas party was a hit! It was a hot pink zebra hit. Lots of girl drama of course and some good pizza and wings to end the night. I retreated to my room at a decent hour and let them stay up as late as they wanted... with some small restrictions....

-Upstairs by midnight

-Don't make a mess/any fires in the kitchen

-If you wake your siblings, you take care of them and they join the party

-If you wake me, well then it just won't be pretty.

- Don't even think about leaving the house... not even to step a little pinky toe outside. Daddys motto is shoot and ask questions later so if he thinks your late night antics is an intruder then don't come crying to me...

With the basic understandings in place, the evening was fine. The girls that came to spend the night live right across the street (next to each other) and are very good, respectful girls.

Banana also received some birthday cash which has already been dropped at Target... several times.

Im still painting my foyer and upstairs bedrooms. (YAWN) I know!!! I can sure drag something out can I? But with all I have to do, I am only able to do bits and pieces at a time. Im fine with that. Thank God my understanding hubby has been fine with that too. After 15 years I think he is finally getting used to the fact that somewhere, someplace in my home is always getting painted or reworked. PHEW... That was a long 15 years. Ha!

He did insist that we hire someone to pain our master bathroom and our powder room... with an offer like that, how can I resist??? I already have the colors picked out and my new shower curtain is waiting at Target for me to bring her home. I might have to order my zebra print bathroom rug online. Shhh, hubby is not totally sold on that right now. Im trying to convince him that yes!!! Zebra print is manly and masculine. You know, jungle man, Tarzan and all that. Do you think he will buy it??

My Miss P. has been growing. I spent a good part of the afternoon sorting thru all of her clothes and putting away all her 0-3. =(.. I can't believe she is already big enough to go to the next step.

Today I heard her chattering away in her crib after her nap. She had quite the conversation with her green blanket. I just stood back and listened. I didn't want to interrupt. She also realized she has FEET!!! She grabs them every time she remembers that they are there. Its so funny. Even though I have been thru this 5 times before... everything with her feels so new.

I know how fast they grow and im trying to soak in every second. But it just seems I can't. Because it never seems enough. I just love her so much.

Speaking of Miss P. She beckons... can you hear her??? Im quite sure you can ;)


Friday, January 21, 2011

The Birthday Girl

Ok, So I don't usually link up and follow but I just love THE CHATTY MOMMY so much I just had to ;)

Today is my Hannah's 12th birthday!!! I can't believe how big she is. What a wonderful lovely young lady she is becoming.

Her favorite color is pink

She loves to cook

She is a natural nurturer

She adores her siblings

She too loves her little red house

She has a sense of style like her Momma =) (actually better)

She beat up a boy once. =)

She is an expert sharp shooter... with the bb gun. But Im sure once we upgrade her to a real one she will excel

She is one tough cookie underneath that sweet smile...

She makes me proud every single day of my life

Now pray for me!!! Im having tweens/Teens sleep over tonight with lots of pizza and wings....



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

You Know, The People You Never Think About...

Lately I can't stop thinking about the people that most of you never think about. I can't help it.

My past has been haunting me like no end... in a good way... in a nostalgic sort of way. A sad..." I can't believe that part of our life is over" sort of way.

Did you know I was a military bride?

Did you know I married a new soldier?

I never had a honeymoon.

1 day after our wedding Hubby had to report to the local recruiting station for volunteer work.

8 days after our wedding our 1987 white Volvo 240 was packed to the gills with our life possessions and we left home.

800 miles away.

Our first road trip. But we didn't care. We were together. After months of being pulled apart. I was now His and I went wherever he would go. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth and back if only it meant we didn't have to be apart anymore.

Military life is a very different life. A life no one else understands. That's why the bonds between spouses and friends are so strong.

We lived in a hotel for 6 days and waited for base housing. We were oh so young. 19 and barely 20. To our surprise 90% of enlisted men and their spouses were that age as well. Did you know that? The men and women protecting your country are THAT young. We were all far from home. We were married young. Most had similar stories like ours.

Boyfriend joins the Military. Miss each other like crazy and before long, the justice of the peace marries another couple. They are whisked away to military-land. Children in love thrown into a world full of hard adult problems.

We lived in an empty home. No money and no furniture but we didn't care. Looking back now, those were some of our best times. We hung out with other couples, dated (finally) worked and enjoyed each other.

We were lulled to sleep every night by f-16's flying over our head and we all screeched into our driveways as fast as we could and threw ourselves thru the front door of our home before Retreat began playing. If you were outside while it played you had to stop.

So young and so in love. So innocent by what we were surrounded by. I would watch the news in fear. Every phone call was one ring closer to him being called away. It happened often. I would cry for days and say goodbye to the man I loved the most. Never knowing where he was or when he would return until I got the phone call.

During deployment time we would hold each other at night and I would cry. I would hear the jets leave and know that jet was carrying husbands away. I knew the next jet I heard would be hubby's... we just waited for his number to be called.

Us wives stuck together. Eating dinner together, sleeping over each others houses and managing household problems together.

"How do you handle your babies night terrors?" I would ask...

"Oh don't worry, once daddy comes home they go away. You'll get used to them and so do they...." was a common answer.

Husbands drank. alot. A real lot deal with being away from home.

Wives had a hard time adjusting to the husbands being home once they returned.

We saw so much during those years. Such sadness. Such brokenness.

Young couples who could not handle the stress and life of military-la la-land.

Could you blame them? When all the odds are thrown against you... how could anyone make it thru?

All of our friends are divorced now. Many never made it past the first 4 years of enlistment. Some cheated, some ran back home because living this life was too much to handle , some just fell apart. A few passed away...

I thank God hubby and I made it thru. It was such a special time in our life. A very hard life but it created who we are today. Our foundation was built on solid rock. In a world where civilians didn't understand and all we had were each other, we built a trust and a faith that could never be shaken.

So, tonight. I am thinking of all those young women who kissed their husbands goodbye and go to bed alone each night.

I can't help thinking of the worry they face every single day. The tears they cry. And the loneliness they share.

I see them in their base housing rocking their babies to sleep... wishing their husbands could see their sweet childs face.

I have been there. I have walked in those shoes. They left marks that will never go away.

I will pray for them. I will pray for all those brand new military brides who are so happy to finally be with her soldier. Hopefully the innocence she has now will not crumble when reality hits. I pray she is strong for the road that lay ahead of her.

I hope you will remember them as well. Pray for them. They are so young...

Do I wish we were still in??

Some days I do. Its how we started married life. Its how we work, even 11 years later... who we are is based on that.

But I don't want to ever say goodbye and feel like that again.

Tonight I will hold my hubby tight. I will hold him for all those thousands of women who can't...


Im SOOOO excited. I have so many fun things going on right now that I just can't share!!!

I want to tell you so bad but big Daddy says NO!

He sometimes worries about our life being so..out there...

Ya know?

But Im praying that THE CHATTY MOMMY will join in on the fun...


(she doesn't have a blog cause she ain't cool like that =p)

My friend Michelle already said YES! Cause she is cool like that...

And good 'ol Sissy-Cindy Lu who from who-ville might also jump on the bandwagon...

Are you just dying of curiosity??

Are you??

Im going to ask MAMA OF 9 if she wants to join in the fun as well (watch your email)

Along with JESSE from Sparkle City, sc

Oh how I can't wait.

Its going to be so much fun.

Book your flights now girls...

You know who you are...

And Chatty mommy....

my offer still stands...


you get a phone that texts!!!



Tuesday, January 18, 2011


At exactly this moment I have a child jumping off the couch onto my decorative couch pillows

At exactly this moment a little princess is singing a sweet song to me... she refuses to wear her pants but for those who visit often, know this is normal.

At exactly this moment the house smells like brownies. They should be ready...

At exactly this moment we heard a strange beeping noise from the kitchen. After 3+ years of living here, we finally heard the microwave timer. (I didn't even know we had one)

At exactly this moment my 2 oldest girls are getting addicted to the Xbox.

At exactly this moment hubby is helping them improve their score.

At exactly this moment, my little boy is rolling around on the floor.

At exactly this moment, I am sitting on the living room floor blogging.

and this is exactly what happens every time I try to blog...

Monday, January 17, 2011

What Do You Do???

What do you do when you spend a valuable Monday night in an old firehouse at an HOA meeting??? Come home and eat wings of course...

And that is exactly what we did. Hubby, Cuz and I all attended the yearly HOA meeting where we were subjected to the highest level of stupidity known to mankind. For all of you who have ever attended a neighborhood meeting, you know exactly what I mean.

But 'nugh said about that.

Lets talk about the wings!

We needed to decompress, chilax and watch some tv together. Did I mention we all live in the same sub? With my Aunt and Uncle 5 houses down...

but you knew that already.

We joke about that when the revolution happens, we got each others back. HA!

Today sweet hubby and I picked a vacation destination. WHOO HOOOO.

We are super stoked and can't wait to pack our bags and our kids and hit wide open road. We are headed to the shores....

And thats all im sayin.

But you know im going to tell you all about it when we get back. But don't be upset... its not for a while.

But I gotta go. Sweet hubby and couz are eating all my wings. Its the one time im outnumbered and this girls gotta fight for her food.



Ask GapGirl Pt 3 !

*** You can read part ONE and part TWO of Ask GapGirl by hitting the links or ask me a question HERE ***


Dear GapGirl,

Can you give me advice in how to improve my relationship with my daughter?

How do you keep an open line of communication and closeness with your girls?

When do you have the body talk?

Im not an expert in raising girls, but perhaps after my Penelope leaves the nest I can say I am! Ha!

No, Im just kidding. My oldest is on the verge of turning 14 and although im just sticking my big toe into the teenage years, I can honestly say so far so good.

I credit a lot to homeschooling. Being around your children all the time not only improves the relationship, but also creates a bond with the family that just won't happen when you stick them on the bus. This doesn't mean I will never send them back to public school. That could be very near in their future for all I know. I take one day at a time, but I do know they are not surrounded by 1 million different influences that tear the very basic family unit apart.

But regardless of whether you homeschool or public school, there are many many ways to make sure you and your child are on the same wave length.

I am a firm believer in capturing your childs heart. They are going to find somewhere to stick their loyalty and trust no matter what... so its up to you to make sure they give it to you. Each family is different .

At night is when I really am able to listen to their hearts and improve our relationship. During the day it sometimes gets crazy. Its go go go go go but at night when the little kids are in bed and I had some decompressing time, the older girls come alive. Sometimes I will be in my room watching tv and they will just come in and chat away. As much as I just want to be alone, I know THIS moment is the moment their hearts need to be heard. We talk about anything and everything. They know that they can come with me and discuss anything under the sun. Same with their dad. Nothing is off limits. They relax on my bed and we laugh and talk and I give advice.

Same in the car. Whoever gets a turn sitting in the front seat gets my ear... and I have found this is the best time to chat. They think and they talk and they share. Sometimes I want nothing more than to just sit in silence and just drive but I know these moments will come and go. So I take them as they come.

I also notice any changes in behavior and will ask them if anything is wrong. When we come home from church I ask them a million questions about their night in youth group, or drama practice or church. who they sat with, what they did. This gives me a glimpse into their life. They know its normal and this often sparks conversations that would not have happened if I would have just said...

"How was your night?"


and let them walk away.

Tweens and teens come alive at night... when us parents just want to sleep. Such is life. Parenting is non-stop selfless service and the rewards are astounding!

As I am raising my daughters I will NEVER be their bestie but I will be a friend. Our relationship is in the process of changing as they gets older and I hope and pray that I have instilled enough trust in them that they seeks me out for advice on navigating thru this world.

Talk to your daughter, listen to your daughter, make time for your daughter and provide a stable environment where they feel secure and loved and wanted. Their home needs to be a rock of stability in a world where everything gets shaken....

As far as the body talk. I had it with my oldest at age 11. We talk very openly about periods and changes and body care... I had the talk with my second daughter at age 9 because she would hear me talk to my oldest. Even though Molly is only 6 she too knows some things about body changes simply because she has older sisters.

Having daughters is one of lifes greatest blessings. I love the young women they are becoming and I can't wait to see what God has in store for their life!

Friday, January 14, 2011

*** EXCUSE ME ***

please excuse me while my blog is under construction. I am currently trying to figure out how to make it pretty. You caught me without my make-up. EEKKKK. (didn't I just blog about this???)


I Just Had To Tell You

Im working on more Ask GapGirl questions but I just HAD HAD HAD to share this new bible study I am starting next week. At 5:30 this morning, Sweet P. had me awake. She was chatting and cooing in her bed and my mind started to think about this new study starting this wednesday. I can't wait.

I have never studied Eschatology before my Daniel study. It has been an eye opener to say the least. My Nana and my Aunt are experts in end-time prophecy. Its something they have studied endlessly. Its a bit confusing to me but Beth Moore breaks it up so perfectly.

The last few nights I have been re-reading and studying the last 7 weeks of my Daniel study. Re-studying the prophecies and dabbling in Revelations has been a great review and I believe will be perfect to start this new study. I am ready! I am prepared!!

Im not interested in cracking codes or creating a perfect timeline. I don't believe thats the purpose of the book. Im just looking for a general idea. Knowledge to look forward to. To me, Revelations is meant to get the believer excited about things to come... and its meant to reveal just how GLORIOUS God is and I can't wait.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Quick Break...

I still have plenty of Ask GapGirl questions to answer but thought I would break it up a bit to show you this precious picture of my baby P.


This picture really captures her sweetness. She is coming ALIVE! She discovered her toes and her hands and whenever she can, she stares and concentrates on them as if they are thee most interesting thing in the whole wide world.

Her reflux is better although she loves nothing more than to be snuggled in Mama's arms. She only cat naps during the day which is a new experience for me. All my other babies were good nappers... but come 7 pm. she is ready to go night night and only wakes up every 4 hours for a bottle. Once 7 a.m. hits she is ready to party!!!

When I go over to her and kiss her good morning she just GLOWS! She smiles and cooes and kicks her legs. She truly is SO happy to see me. It really melts my heart. Im really savoring every second with her and am already getting so upset that she is 3 months. Where did the time go???

I thank God for her every single day and still look at her with awe and wonder....

Ask GapGirl Pt 2.

*** Ask GapGirl Pt 1 post can be found HERE ***

Dear GapGirl,
How many bedrooms do you have and how do you do it? We have 3 but 2 are really tiny with no bonus room. Does all the stuff take over?

Dear GapGirl,
What do you do with all the toys and other things that come in? No one wants to give anything up and I am drowning in a sea of clutter.

Well, first let me put this BIG DISCLAIMER... Our home is under construction. I have been busy painting, room switching, re painting and all that fun stuff. Since Im trying to do this with a new baby AND while homeschooling, many pictures will show half-painted walls, and half decorated rooms. I do it as I can.

I live in a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home which is a bit over 1800 sq. ft. We picked it out and built it to our liking during the end of 2007. It was a COMPLETE answer to prayer and I give God ALL the glory for blessing us with something so beautiful. Its big by NY standards but small by Southern standards but for us, its just right!
Our Master suite is on the first floor and all other bedrooms are upstairs along with a full bathroom. The first 2 bedrooms are cozy to say it nicely and our 3rd is our bonus room but when we were building we knew it would be a bedroom and had a closet built in. Noah has the smallest room and he is by himself along with the fish tank( and the tv and wii) . My 2 oldest girls just got switched out of the bonus room and into the 2nd largest bedroom. We have not bought them bunk beds yet but will in the next month or so. And the 2 little girls now have the bonus room with ALL of their toys. Penelope is currently staying with us downstairs but as soon as she sleeps thru the night she goes straight up to the little girls room. So there will be 3 girls ages 6 and under sharing that room. (thats why they got the biggest)
I am a firm believer in sharing rooms. After all, when in life do you really get a room all to yourself??? Not in college OR in marriage. Plus it teaches them basic skills like sharing and getting along.

I also am not a big toy person. My kids get toys on birthdays and Christmas and that is it. Maybe a treat once or twice a year... a SMALL treat but unless the grandparents spoil them or we get something that someone is handing down... we never make random trips to the toy store. We just can't afford that and to me, 95% of toys r us is a waste. I am always giving stuff away. I keep what they need and what they use most. I also don't ask them if they want to "give something up or get rid of something..." because suddenly it becomes their favorite toy. I do it when they are not around and they never ever miss it!! I refuse to let clutter control my life or take over. I get insane if it does. This is not a natural thing, its something I have learned thru the years. I am a natural pack rat. I love my home and walls filled with things. I still do. But its a neat cozy. NOT a cluttered mess.
Now, before this house I lived in a 2 bedroom 700 sq ft house with 1 teeny weenie closet. And we did it! Its all about the attitude. Use what you have and don't keep what you don't need.
Upstairs hallway (noticed unfinished foyer paint and pile of clothes I was taking down with me to wash?=p)
Kids upstairs full bathroom.

Noahs room. Also home to the tv (no cable hookup) and dvd player and the Wii!!

The 2 older girls room. Im still painting and decorating. Both of these beds will be replaced with bunk beds and a dresser and bookcase will be added.

Dear GapGirl,
What kind of role does your husband play in caring for the kids/ maintaining the home?

Were you and your husband raised in a Christian home?

Do you schedule date nights? or take them as they come?

Do you and your hubby miss Military life?

Do you have a home decorating budget?

A fav knitting book?

My husband has a BIG role in taking care of the children. I can't do it alone. I do most of it but rely on him to handle the things I can't. Baby #6 really changed things in our house. Especially since Penny is a bit high maintenance.
For instance. He puts the kids to bed every night. To me, thats MAJOR!! By 7-7:30 im done like toast so to not have to go thru the bed time ritual is a SANITY SAVER!! I give kisses and then send them off upstairs to hubby who tucks the 3 littles in, deals with the questions, prayers, one more sip of water... while I decompress downstairs and turn to my 2 oldest girls for their time. Penny is usually asleep by this time till 10 pm.
He also takes out the garbage, mows the lawn and does any other job that I can't or that is too big for me, but im not afraid to roll my sleeves up and get dirty.(but I do try and pass the dirty work to him)

I was raised in a Christian home and my husband wasn't. For me, a Christian home is defined by a mom and dad who raise their children to love Christ, put God first in all they do, attend church and place great importance on biblical living. My husband was saved in 2004 and I praise God that he is saved. We strive to give our children a loving, stable non-disfunctional home where Christ is center!

We don't have formal date nights very often and would love more. We take them as they come. Date nights for us are close at hand though as my oldest is just about babysitting age. Then we will probably go out bi-weekly for dinner.
But really we have date night every night. The littles are in bed early and the bigs are upstairs no later than 9. They stay up later but are given orders to NOT come down. We then hang out, watch our nightly tv shows and just chat. On weekends we buy special snacks to share or we might buy steaks and grill them for a late evening meal. We have fun on our limited resources! We NEED that time and look forward to it.

We don't miss Military life now but had a HARD time the first 3 years we got out. Adjusting to civilian adult life when all you knew was military adult life is a rough adjustment. If you live on base or have an active duty hubby, then I would expect a bit of rough seas. Being in the military is HARD! But there are some things you get used to... and their are great benefits. The military provides a great cushion. Its a whole different world, a world only YOU know about. When you get out, you feel abandoned... and a bit vulnerable. You don't have the comforts of the base and all they offer and that feels WEIRD but in retrospect im glad we adjusted to civilian life and got out. We would not go back in... No sir but we TREASURE every moment we were in and appreciate the experience. But you can keep the deployments...

I don't have a home decorating budget... but hubby might disagree. Im always picking something up every week but its always something that in very inexpensive or on sale for a great price. If its something major then I call hubby and ask him and he usually gives me permission to buy. He is very nice to me.=) He understands my need to shop!! Often... he also knows that when I say im off to Hobby Lobby its certainly not to window shop. Ha!

I learned to knit and crochet right on you tube. I watched videos at night over and over and over and over until I learned what I wanted to learn. Im not good learning from books.

I hope that answered most of them. I have ALOT more I will get to tomorrow so stay tuned!!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Im sooo excited. My VERY FIRST EDITION OF ASK GAPGIRL.I actually got questions!! And alot at that. Looks Like I will be breaking these up into 2 or 3 different posts so I get to answer each and every one. You were all so kind to ask me something, I want to make sure everyone gets a response back!

Im grouping the questions into topics because it seems I received a lot of the same topics. I will try to answer all questions very specifically so to not still keep you wondering....

here goes....
Dear GapGirl, Do, you have a cleaning schedule? Do you use chore charts with your children? How do you get them involved in maintaining the home?

Dear GapGirl, How do you stay consistent with chores? I have tried a chore chart but within a week it falls apart. How do you keep the kids motivated??

This is a hot topic with many moms I know! YES!!! I have a chore chart and have had one for MANY years. Maintaining a home of 8 people is hard work and if I tried doing it all myself I would go NUTS!!! Even if you only have 1 or 2 kids, keeping house keeps you busy. I am a BIG believer in kids being involved in the home-maintaining process. To my knowledge a maid does not come in the lease agreement and a nanny doesn't follow you home once you sign the hospital discharge papers so it is up to us moms to teach our children these very basic life skills.

Chores are done right after breakfast and right before school. Before the kids come downstairs they are to be dressed/ teeth brushed and bed made. This is not considered a chore, just what they need to do. If they don't do it or forget there are consequences. For instance today they didn't make their bed, so off to bed an hour early because of it. The older kids HATE this... and I can guarantee their bed will be made tomorrow =)

Same with chores. How Do I keep them motivated? How do I keep it from not falling apart? Easy! I make sure it gets done. PERIOD! I explain to them that its a team effort. Its our home and our responsibility to help maintain the blessing God has trusted us with. If chores do not get done then they have consequences. Its MY responsibility as a parent to make sure it gets done. No arguing with them, no debating with them, no nothing. Since we have been doing it this way for a while, my kids usually don't fuss. YOUR the parent and don't let it fall apart. Simple! We have exceptions. Like Monday we had a major snow storm so our schedule was out the window but we resumed today. Right back on track. I also ask them sporadic things if need be during the day as well. I do need to remind them but its such a routine, that its just part of the morning.

Im in the process of re-structuring my chore chart as Molly is older and able to handle a bit more. Hannah, on her own , has had Abigail as her sidekick to help her with her chores so Abigail thinks putting away laundry is SO MUCH FUN! LOL. Beds need to be made. The younger ones do it as well. Perfection is NOT necessary. Just effort.

For those moms who DON'T homeschool and realize their kids schedules are just too crazy. Simple solutions are great. Make them responsible for their room. Have an alarm clock in their room and have them up, dressed, bed made and room tidied before they go eat breakfast and catch the bus. Thats one less thing that Moms have to do (besides just going in and fixing minor things)

Teach them to pick up after themselves. With the exception of baby toys/equipment. I try to enforce the NO TOYS OUT OF THE ROOM rule. Maybe just one if your playing with it but then up the stairs it goes. This eliminates clutter in the living space.

After school, have the laundry already folded and have them put theirs away and laundry that is not theirs in the appropriate room. This helps GREATLY! and helps keep laundry under control... especially in a big family. On the weekends give them one or two chores to do that will also help you out.

I don't follow a strict cleaning schedule. I am cleaning all the time. I clean the kitchen every day. I windex and clean the appliances almost every day and clean the bathrooms about once a week. I do laundry 24/7. My laundry room is right off of my foyer so im in and out switching loads and I fold when I get a chance (im famous for leaving piles in my living room but at least the clothes are clean right?)

I like my bedroom clean along with my master bath, so I try and just keep that tidy. I HATE a cluttered foyer so whenever I walk in it I pick up or go tell the kids to pick up their OWN SHOES and place then in the basket. I pick up ALL DAY LONG and with 6 kids, my house is forever in need of cleaning. Ha!

Dear GapGirl,

How do you stay so fashionable/ take care of yourself/find time to shop? I have let myself go so bad.

I always find time to take care of myself. P-E-R-I-O-D! Some people call it vain, I call it sanity. Make-up, clothes and I are besties. You will never ever find me out and about in my raggy clothes, no make-up and messy hair. Its just how I always was. Its how my sister is and how my mom is. Its just in my blood. We WILL be late to ANYTHING we have to go to if I am not ready.
I also do not hang out in my home all bummed out. (with the exception of just having a baby) My "I just gave birth " excuse lasts for just a couple of months and then Im right back to it. Miss Pretty Penelope is quite high maintenance so I have found it sooo challenging but it WILL be overcome. I do have no make-up days and comfy clothes day. Especially in winter when Im locked in the house but as soon as the sun is out and we have school outside and go for walks and im gardening in the yard... you bet your bottom dollar im lookin good. I do it for myself and of course for my hubby. Its bad enough to be a frazzled mom but do I have to look like one?? Does my hubby have to look at me like that?? YIKES! Heck no! Yes, I agree Husbands need to love you no matter what Blah blah blah, and for better or for worse yada yada yada but honestly gals... if I came home and saw him dirty, messy, unkempt, on the couch with his hair a mess EVERY DAY of my life I would most certainly would wish my hubby looked like so and so. Neat and clean... its just a place you don't want to go. Men are visual and you gotta give them the visual they first fell in love with. PLUS you HAVE TO DO IT FOR YOURSELF. You will feel sooo much better. Plus make-up is FUN! Who cares if you have no where to go. Get dressed, doll yourself up, spray perfume.... watch the reaction you get when your man walks thru the door... its priceless.

Oh and please spare me the womens lib stuff..... have you noticed the womens liberation advocates that were famous back in the day?? They looked like MEN! They looked like they spent the day sucking on lemons ...And they were single.. no wonder why.. WOOF! Just sayin.... I for one do not follow the "I am woman here me roar" motto. Call me old fashioned. Call me barbaric or better yet, call me HAPPILY MARRIED!

*** I will be posting more answers to questions tonight so stay tuned!!! ***

Projects, Snow and Ice...

*** Don't forget about my ASK GAPGIRL post coming tomorrow. Its not too late to ask me a question HERE ***

Well, we are still snowed in today. Its still as icy as could be outside. Schools are all closed, Banks are closed, most major businesses are closed and hubby is home from work.... again. The thrill of snow has worn off, besides all the snow is now covered in a huge layer of ice
. But my kids found some way to amuse themselves... see:

A lovely piece of art created by these two culprits...

Our lovely state ran out of salt so we are officially declared a state of emergency. Keep in mind they only salt the interstates so how much salt did they have to begin with? Sheesh...

Anyway, I have been up to some projects while I am housebound. One of them being my shelf in my powder room. My Aunt gave me one she wasn't using and it needed a bit of my touch!

So voila!!! Remember the leopard wrapping paper I bought??? It is now lining the inside of my shelves in my powder room and looks GREAT! ... and adds a bit of wild-ness to my home. I heart leopard!

Thats not all. I have more but that will have to wait for another day. I am sooo happy I received so many responses to Ask GapGirl. I will be busy tonight watching Live To Dance and tap tap tapping away!!!

Stay warm!


OH MY WORD.. Did I mention Im doing another Bible study?? It starts next week. REVELATIONS By Beth Moore. I can hardly sleep Im SOOOO excited!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beep Beep Beep

*** Don't forget about my ASK GAPGIRL post coming this Wednesday!! Read about it and post HERE ***

We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to inform you that we are officially snowed in!! After almost 6 inches + falling in the South, we then proceed to get HOURS of freezing rain falling and causing all of the white stuff to harden to one HUGE layer of ice.

The WHOLE state is shut down. Schools, offices, businesses, doctors and even grocery stores are closed and remain closed tomorrow as well.

Hubby even enjoyed a "snow day" from work.

Temperatures will remain below freezing all night as well as tomorrow. Plow trucks will remain on interstates only as they do not have enough to plow major roads. Back roads and subdivisions are even more treacherous. Until the snow melts from the sun... it shall remain.

Cabin fever has hit our home to say the least. I got some projects done around the house. I will post those pictures for you tomorrow.

My cousin walked over and we spent the day just hanging out and doing nothing. We are all hoping another "snow day" happens although im not sure im creative enough to keep the kids and us adults busy for that long.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another "SNOWED IN" update. and for up to the minute details of what we are doing in our Little Red House during this storm of the century, check my twitter account. I got Twitpics tonight and am having F-U-N!! Check them out.

Until tomorrow stay warm


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Its A Wing Thing...

***Don't forget about my ASK GAPGIRL post coming next week. Read about it and comment HERE***


Are currently in the oven and before long will look like these :

My cousin is over, we are catching up on Live To Dance. Don't tell me who wins!!
I also took a little trip to Hobby Lobby today and bought this AWESOME roll of Leopard gift wrapping paper. Believe it or not, Im going to use it to line the inside of my powder room bathroom armoire. Sound crazy?? Yeah, my hubby thought the same thing but thankfully, he just shrugged his shoulders and said.. "ok..." and we drove off. He is awesome.
Hobby Lobby has the coolest wrapping paper around and its nice and thick. great quality. For about $3 you get 50 sq. ft of whatever print you want. Its perfect for doing everything (besides wrapping presents) with. I will show you before/after pics as soon as its done. Im hoping to start tonight. Hubz and couz should be playing Black ops in about 1 hour so I will be free to work on some projects. Im also beading some wrought iron sconces. Im not sure where Im going to hang them though??

I also bought more paint for the foyer and upstairs 2 bedrooms. They WILL be done SOON! Then on to the powder room...

And here is another picture of my Sweet Penelope. She is getting SOOO big. Isn't she the cutest? She had a rough 2 days. You can always tell by her crazy hair. The crazier it is, the rougher the day... Looks like today was a doozie! We had lots of shopping and errands to do and she doesn't handle interruptions in her schedule very well. But she is sooo cute. I could never get upset.

They are forecasting ALOT of snow here tomorrow night. Yikes!!!!! They keep bringing up the big storm of '88 which dropped a FOOT of snow and crippled the State for weeks. Im really praying they are just reminiscing... and not predicting. I will keep you posted.


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