Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy Birthday, French Fry!

CJ and me at his preschool birthday celebration.
Today is my son's 4th birthday!

Four years ago, I was in the hospital getting ready for the birth of my first and only son, CJ (or as I like to call him French Fry). I'm not sure where the nickname came from, but I do love those hamburger sidekicks and I love my little man. As someone who became a Mom relatively late in life, it's amazing just how much having a son has changed my life.

I am so grateful to God for the blessing of being his Mom. I've never done anything as difficult and as rewarding as being his mother. When RJ and I dedicated CJ at our church, this is the blessing we wrote for him:

CJ, may the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the love and truth of Jesus always guide you.
May you be caring in all your relationships and
compassionate to those in need.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your understanding and with all your strength.
And may the Spirit of God always be with you.
Happy Birthday, French Fry!

CJ, just a few hours old
Enjoying CJ and mommy time

CJ, 1 year old

CJ, 2 years old

CJ, 3 years old

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Call Me Auction Queen

Our table of goodies at the Braxton Auction.

As I've mentioned before, my husband and I have recently gotten aboard the auction train. Inspired by the shows Auction Kings and American Pickers, we've got a small rotation of auctions that we visit frequently.

Last Friday night, we experienced our first table auction as sellers at Braxton's Auction. We've attended one table auction before, but this time we hosted a table with our own goodies to sell.

It was so much fun! At a table auction, whoever gets the highest bid has the option of purchasing anything on the table. For that price, you can get as many items you want. Bids usually start around $20. Once nobody will bid at least $5, the auctioneer groups together items until someone is willing to go $5 or more.

Since we were newbies, we had our table packed with items -- not being sure of what would sell. We had so many things on our table that the auctioneer took some items off and we covered two tables. We actually made a profit that night and ended up with some spending money for me to buy my own goodies.

These are the glass items that I really wanted to win -- especially the
honey box in the front.
I had my eye on a black/deep purple honey box made by Tiara. They were a company that sold glassware at home parties from 1970 to 1998. Most of the items were reproductions of Depression glass from the 1920s. I love Depression glass because I have some pieces from my grandmother. Most of those pieces are translucent pink.

Unfortunately, I was outbid on my honey box. No worries, there's still the auction next month!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sick Daze

Vintage Vicks Ad from 1946

I'll be the first to admit: I am not a good sick person. I don't like being sick and I'm "Grumpy McGrumpy Pants" when I do get sick. Unfortunately, sickness has come for a visit at our house hitting both CJ and me. So far, RJ has survived unscathed.

I have some sort of cold. Fortunately, having in-laws who are retired pharmacists has great benefits -- like getting recommendations on medicine. So far, their latest suggestion of Mucinex seems to be doing the trick. On a side note, Mucinex is the medicine with the cartoon commercial with the gross looking green guy. Meanwhile, their packaging has nothing to do with that green guy or the color green. It is a very nondescript white box. Looks like they would market it to help you find the product easily. RJ almost didn't find the right one since he was looking for the gross green guy.

I must give a sincere thanks to the makers of Vicks Vapo Rub. That stuff works wonders. It's one of the few things that keeps me from coughing throughout the night. It may just be the memories of having my Mom slather it on my neck when I was a little girl, but that eucalyptus smell always makes me feel better. I've heard of people putting it on their feet, but I've never tried it.

And, I have got to thank the makers of Play-Doh for helping me keep CJ entertained during the past few days. Looks like he caught a stomach bug and has been having trouble keeping his food down. This is a problem for a little boy whose favorite past time is eating. He keeps looking at me with his big brown eyes saying, "I'm hungry. Can I have just a little snack?" So far, his food has been very bland and in very short supply. I hope that tomorrow he can return to his preschool. I've been trying to keep him in the parts of our house without carpeted floors. Playing with Play-Doh in the kitchen has been an ideal location.

I'm hopeful and prayerful that the rest we've gotten today combined with some good medicine will get both of us back to our regular routines tomorrow. I'm watching way much too TV. But I'm having fun exploring some blogs that I usually don't have time to read.

By the way, if you've made it to the end of this post, I'd love for you to Follow Me with Google Friend in the left-hand sidebar of my blog. So far, I have one friend and I'm feeling like I did in middle school when I was the last one picked on the playground. Please help me feel socially accepted in the blogosphere!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love is patient

to my husband, Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is patient and kind. (like when you wash the dishes for me that have been in the sink for way too long, even though you cooked dinner)
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. (like when you affirm me spending time with the chicks so that I can have some girl time)
Love does not demand its own way. (like when you watch “SuperWhy” with CJ instead of Sports Center.)
Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. (like when you fill up my gas tank in the wee hours of the morning because I forgot that it was almost on Empty)
It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. (like when you help people at work who are struggling with loss after a disaster)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (like when you encourage my efforts to get in shape even though you’ve heard me make the same statements for the past 12 years)
Love will last forever … (till death do us part)
There are three things that will endure faith, hope, and love and the greatest of these is love. (I love you, wonderfulness!)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Wisdom of a Child

"Let me hear your Bible verse," I ask CJ.

"Let the little children come to me. Luke 18:16," he replies happily, doing hand motions that he's made up with the verse.

My heart gets warm and fuzzy when I hear my 3 year old almost 4 year old  son memorize Scripture. It's because I want to be a good role model to him that I'm attempting for the umpteenth time to make the Bible more of a priority in my life. As a book lover, I think it would great to actually know God through reading the Bible.

So here I go again I'm trying to read the Bible through in a year. As someone who named my blog Book Smart Mom and has loved books since I was a little girl, it totally mystifies me how I've never managed to read the Bible from cover to cover. You would think sometime in the 30 years that I've called myself a follower of Jesus that I could manage to read one book.

My inspirations for this journey are my little boy and a 7-year-old girl I've never met. Her mother, Kat, wrote on her blog Inspired to Action about her daughter reading the entire Bible. "I love that she just did it," Kat writes. "She didn’t talk about doing it. She didn’t list the reasons why she couldn’t. She just did it. One page at a time."

I've heard people compare the Bible to a library since it contains so many smaller books. All I know is that several times I've started reading the Bible through Genesis and Exodus only to get stuck in Leviticus.

Since I work best with a plan, I'm using Read Thru the Word with speaker and blogger Wendy Pope. Using a chronological version of the Bible, she guides people through the Bible in a year. Each day, she posts some main points and includes a 10-15 minute video of her thoughts about the reading.

So far, so good. I'm up to date with my readings and since it's in chronological order, I've already done the book of Job before starting on Exodus. We're on day 35 with 330 remaining, but who's counting?

"Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples,
'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them!
For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'"
Luke 18:16

Monday, January 31, 2011

Friend Makin Monday

Over at the blog "All the Weigh," there's Friend Makin Monday each week. The idea is to connect with other bloggers and find out more about each other.A Short Survey

1) What is your favorite household chore?  And what is your least favorite?
This is like asking what is my favorite torture device. I'm going to go with washing laundry as my favorite and cleaning bathrooms as my least favorite.

2)What is your favorite city?

3) Have you found real love yet?
Yep, it's been almost 14 years.

4) What's one thing you eat almost everyday?
chocolate raspberry Luna bar

5) What was your last thought before falling asleep last night?
I wished that my head would stop feeling congested and that I could just fall asleep already.

6) What's the worst injury you had as a child?
I cut my big toe on a floor heater vent. Gross, and I missed picture day at school.

7) Will you/have you worked out today?
No, enough said.

8) Do you tweet? If so, what's your name?

9) List three things you wouldn't want to live without:
My boys, my best friends and dark chocolate

10) Hold old were you when you had your first kiss?
I was either 16 or 17. I had to wait way too long for that big moment.
I'd love to have you comment below and answer your 10 questions or link to Friend Makin Monday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saying Goodbye

For two days, I dreaded having a conversation with my 3 year old.

Helen, a family friend, recently died from lung cancer. Only a few weeks earlier, CJ met Helen for the first time. He brought a bag of dinosaurs and a shy smile with him to her house.

Although Helen had an oxygen tank and tube to help her breathe, CJ didn't seem to mind. After his usual initial moments of shyness, he soon settled in and began to scour for food. Helen had leftover Christmas goodies, so CJ quickly became her best friend.

I knew Helen was seriously ill, But, I had no idea that we wouldn't be able to keep the promise we made as we were leaving to come back to her house for lunch, bringing a bag of hamburgers with us. The moment to tell CJ about Helen's death would be coming soon. It happened during a car trip two days after her death.

"Mommy, look, I found my dinosaur that I had at Helen's house," says CJ from his car seat.

"Really? It must have fallen out of your bag," I say.

"We need to take some hamburgers to Helen's house," he adds.

Uh, uh, here it comes, I think.

"Pumpkin, we won't be able to visit Helen's house. She was very sick and she died like Casey and Lady (these are two pets that recently died )," I say.

"Why?" he asks.

"Her lungs were very sick," I continue. "Remember how we prayed for her and her lungs to get better? They just didn't get better and she died."

My tears don't start until this point in our conversation.

"I'm sad," he says.

"I know, I'm sad, too," I finish.

"I sure am glad I found this dinosaur!" he exclaims.

"Me, too."

With our conversation about that topic finished, I start another train of thought and we move on.

I met Helen when I was around 8 years old. I always loved how funny she was and how she never talked down to me. She loved my drawings. I learned at my last visit to her house that she kept a drawing I did in high school. I never knew until visitation at the funeral home that she also made drawings. 

I'm so glad that Helen is no longer suffering. But, I'm so sad that this world goes on without her. My family will miss her.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Question Friday: Day 5 of the Snow In

Since I think my brain power has drained away after five days of being home bound due to snow in Atlanta, I'm taking part in Five Question Friday from blogger Mama M.

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of? Definitely "The Princess Bride." I own the 20-year anniversary edition. Hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I watched this on video and got my first kiss. I love Cary Elwes in this movie. I love quoting this movie and drive my friends and family crazy talking while we're watching it.

2. What's your biggest pet peeve right now?  People who needlessly honk their horns while driving -- you know who you are.

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say? A sister from another mother

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living? I would write young adults novels during the summer and teach elementary school art the rest of the year.

5. What is your one "splurge" item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?
I cannot live without MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation NC20. I can go cheap on a lot of items. Lately, I've gotten the cheapest haircuts possible and have bought less than five clothes items for the past six months. But since I have basically no skin care regime and barely wear any makeup, I have to splurge on my Mac Studio Fix. It evens out my complexion and covers a variety of skin sins. Try it, you'll love it. There's Mac stores at some malls and Macy's usually has a kiosk that sells them. Of course, if you love my blog, you can click on the link above for Amazon and help me earn some extra cash. I'm shameless with the Amazon links but I have to keep myself in Mac.

I'd love to have you comment below and answer the five questions or link to Five Question Friday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One of the Things I Love About Blogs

I think my favorite thing about reading blogs is getting a small look into the lives of people who are so different from me. One of my current favorite is Storing Up Treasures. Courtney is a home schooling mom of 10 children -- ages 14 to 1 year old  (four of those she's adopted). While on the surface, Courtney and I don't seem to have much in common, I've enjoyed her honesty and vulnerability as she blogs about her everyday life.

Courtney is offering other bloggers a chance to increase their number of readers. She's created a "Blogs of Note" section on her site that you can get your blog added to. If any of you are new bloggers like me, I think this would be a great way to learn about other bloggers and get people to visit your site. Happy Blogging!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Auction Fever Continues

After an auction-free week, RJ and I made our way to Gallery 63 this weekend for some more treasure hunting. On Saturday, we went with CJ to preview the items up for auction. We weren't expecting the TV crew for "Auction Kings" to be there. To our surprise, they were filming on the preview day.

I tried my best to keep out of the view of the cameras. However, the gallery is really packed with items and somewhat hard to maneuver. It was difficult to keep out of camera range. When RJ and CJ went to look at a display filled with baseball cards, the camerman wanted to capture them together. RJ, not realizing that he was being filmed, asked me to join them. I reluctantly agreed (thankful that I had put on makeup that morning) and bent down beside them.

Thinking I had gotten through that easily, I breathed a sigh of relief and headed to the back of the store. A couple of minutes later, one of the crew members asked if shecould ask us a couple of questions. The three of us stood together with a camera less than 5 feet away. I felt a perspiration mustache forming on my face. I tried to wipe it off nonchalantly as I thought about how the camera adds 10 pounds -- not something that I need.

The interviewer asked us about our auction experience. What we were looking for at the preview, she asked. I hope that we gave her something she can use. It's terrifying to try to sound intelligent in a sound bite.

On Sunday, we left CJ with the grandparents and headed to Gallery 63 an hour before the auction start time. Cars already packed the parking lot when we arrived. We staked out our seats on the bleachers and waited. It was standing room only when the auction started.

We mentally picked out a few items that we were interested in buying, if the price was low enough. Unfortunately, only one item we wanted came up for bid during our three hour stay. We threw out an opening bid, but didn't win. The auction runs until around 7 p.m, but after four hours on the bleachers, I called it quits. I can't wait until month for the next auction. I'm determined to get an auction treasure, no matter how long I have to wait.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Auction Fever

The object of my auction desire.
Strat'ed for Cash [HD]The past three days auction fever has hit my family. We've been inspired by the reality TV series "Auction Hunters" and "Auction Kings." On Friday, RJ, CJ and I went to a storage rental building that had five units up for auction. Turns out we aren't the only ones watching these reality TV shows. The place was packed -- we counted about 80 people.

The rules are simple. Once the unit door is opened, you can look in to check out the contents. No touching anything inside the unit, no crossing the threshold of the unit. You bid on what you see: "As Is." An auctioneer keeps things on track. Our auctioneer was a young, 20-something who informed everyone that we could throw our cigarette butts in the back of his pickup truck if we needed. Let the auction begin!

I hung back for the first two auctions with CJ and didn't get to look inside the units. The crowds were intimidating. But for the third unit, I let RJ carry CJ and I made it to the front of the unit. This one had children's toys (how sad that someone was unable to come back and claim their stuff) and some four-wheelers. The four-wheelers made the bidding too rich for us.

As we headed to the last unit, the owner of the storage facility offered CJ a ride on his golf cart. I jumped at the chance. CJ and I whizzed past the other auction goers and headed to the final treasure hunt. Unfortunately, the last unit only had a couple of pieces of rolling luggage. Our adventure at the storage units was done.

But, the thrill of auction hunting had just begun. Next, we dropped CJ off at the grandparents and then headed to a large auction gallery. I figured that hours of sitting still looking at old things that aren't toys wouldn't be CJ's idea of a good time. RJ and I staked out our seats and went to look at the items up for sale. It was just a few minutes before I spotted a crystal penguin that needed to be mine. Unfortunately the penguin was a Lalique. RJ said that Lalique makes Waterford look like K-Mart crystal. I'll take his word for it. While I loved the penguin, I hate paying more for something just because it has a name brand attached to it.

It took awhile for the penguin to come up for bid. RJ and I had decided on a low price we were willing to offer. We didn't even get a chance to bid. The opening bid was $50. The penguin went for $700. I think I could get a real one from the aquarium for that money. Guess I'll have to wait for the next auction to get a treasure.