Friday, December 9, 2011

A rose....

"God gives us memories so we can have roses in December." My Grandma had this quote written in the front of her Bible and it has rung so true for my family. My Uncle Richard shared this story at the memorial service & I wanted to share it here. It's such a powerful story that I want my children to know about it for years to come.
At the age of 8, my Grandma lost her mother. Her life after that was not easy, as she & her siblings were sent to live with various family members. Eventually, my Grandma met my Grandaddy and they married. (Another post for another day!) They left Colorado and moved back to my Granddaddy's hometown of Atlanta, Ga.
After moving to Atlanta, my Grandma began having this reoccurring dream. She would dream about her mother. She & her mother were outside and her mother would be on one side of a fence and my Grandma was on the other. Her mother was singing a beautiful song and reaching out to her. My Grandma would try to get to her mother but would always wake up before she reached her. My Grandma didn't know the song that her Mom was singing but in the dream, she always sang the same song.
At some point, we're not sure when, my Grandma found out that the song was the old hymn Whispering Hope.
Sometime in the 60's, my Grandma took a trip back out west to visit some of her family. While there, she shared with her Uncle Victor, her mom's brother, about the reoccurring dream. It was then that he shared with my Grandma that he had played Whispering Hope on the violin at her mom's funeral.

Now we have complete understanding of why this song meant so much to my Grandma.
When she was in the hospital, my dad sang the song to her, and when it came to the chorus, she sang along with him. And at her memorial service, my sister Laura & a family friend sang Whispering Hope.

"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil. Hebrews 16:19

My hope now is that my Grandma has been reunited with her precious Mother & together they are in the presence of Jesus.
Love y'all dearly!

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Sweet Grandma

Lydia Olguin Fitzgerald
March 25, 1925 - December 2, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Festival & Halloween

Last Wednesday, our church had a Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat in conjunction with Awana. At some point during the evening, my camera went missing & is still lost. So all my pictures are what I took with my phone.

Throw a pie at the pastor was a big hit!

I forgot to take a picture of my trunk but instead of decorating it with the typical Halloween/Fall decor, I decided to go with a UGA theme. I took everything UGA we had in the house & even downloaded some UGA music to have playing while the kids came by! I don't know what everybody else thought about it, but I loved it! I may or may not have continued to listen to the UGA music throughout the week.

On Halloween, we were looking forward to trick or treating in our neighborhood. Emma dressed up in an 80's outfit & volunteered to hand out candy. Dougie didn't dress up but wanted to walk with the little boys & help Asher carry his basket, which was his UGA helmet. (Dougie's idea!)

I tried to get a video of Asher going up to a door & saying "tick-a-teat!" but it was really dark & you couldn't really hear him. =(
When we got back to the house, Emma told us how she had run out of candy & had to resort to handing out gummy snacks. Good thing I'd just bought a bunch of them!

We had a really good time & made some great memories! Love y'all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jr. Pro Football 2011

Our school offers a football team for 3rd thru 5th grade called Jr. Pro. Dougie played when he was 3rd grade but didn't play in 4th grade because he chose to be on a travel baseball team. But I think he really missed playing football & couldn't wait to play this fall. He mostly plays on offense in the running back/wingback position.
I want to be able to remember what this season was like for Dougie, so I've tried to remember what he did in each game.
Game 1- vs. Briarwood 28-6 W Dougie scored 2, 2 pt. conversions & a touchdown.
Game 2- vs. Brentwood 14-0 W Dougie scored a 2 pt. conversion
Game 3- vs. Bulloch 12-6 L
Game 4- vs. Bulloch 6-0 L
Game 5- vs. Briarwood 34-0 W Dougie scored a touchdown & a 2 pt. conversion
Game 6- vs. Thomas Jefferson 26-6 W Dougie scored a touchdown
Game 7- vs. Thomas Jefferson 36-0 W Dougie scored a 2 pt. conversion & he made a touchdown saving tackle on defense. (Yes, I realize that every tackle could qualify as touch down saving but this really was! Ok, so I'm a proud momma!)
Here are some pictures that my friend Kristy took at game 6. It was our last home game.

Here are all the 5th graders. I can't believe this is their last year of Jr. Pro & next year they'll be middle schoolers!

It was a great season & Dougie, we so enjoyed watching you play. Thanks for the memories!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Traveling in a foreign land.

If you hadn't noticed, I've been away for a little while. Last Wednesday, Steven and I were able to go to Gatlinburg, TN with a group of Senior Adults for a conference called Jubilee. We left early Wed morning but not before starting the day at Cracker Barrel. From breakfast on Wed morning until lunch on Friday afternoon, we didn't pay for a meal. That group sure did a great job of blessing us and even spoiling us. We had so much fun laughing, eating, hearing great preaching, eating, hearing some great music and eating some more! I have to be honest though by Thursday evening, I was beginning to feel like a traveler in a foreign land. If you've ever traveled overseas, you'll understand what I mean. When you're overseas and all you hear is a foreign language, then suddenly you hear someone speaking your native tongue, you're immediately drawn to that person. There is like an immediate bond. That's how I felt when I would see someone who was not a Sr. Adult. We would make eye contact and kind of speak an unspoken word of encouragement to each other, like "hang on sister, I'm sure you can listen to a Chris Tomlin song on that phone you've got in your hand!" Because inevitably, every young person I saw had their phone in their hand!
Seriously though, we had a great time. I'm so grateful to my mom and dad for keeping the little boys for us so we could go on this trip! It's always nice to come home to a house and van that's cleaner than when you left it!

Love y'all dearly!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Learning to say no...

Now you're probably thinking this is some post about a pastor's wife learning to say no to church members who constantly ask her to do this or that. Well it's not.It's about Asher.
Now he mastered the art of saying no a loooong time ago.
But this happened last night, so I just had to blog about it.

Being the youngest preacher's kid & the fact that he is absolutely adorable, as soon as Asher gets out of the car at church, people are vying for his attention. Usually, he makes a bee line to his daddy. And after he sees him, then he begins looking for his other buddy, Jonathon. Jonathon is the teenage son of our music director and he & Asher have developed a very special friendship. Jonathon plays the guitar & since Asher loves music, it works out great! In fact, they have a routine. Jonathon will play this little diddy (can't believe I just used that word) and Asher will dance & play his air guitar. Jonathon then slaps the guitar strings to abruptly end the music & Asher will say one of two things,
"do dat tang." (In Asherian, Do that thang!)
or he will say,
"do gin Jonfin!" (Do again, Jonathon.)
In fact, because of Asher, our family now says "Jonfin" instead of Jonathon, not to his face, of course.
Last night, after Awana, I was trying to round up my kids to head home. Asher, of course was with Jonfin. I finally got all 4 of them headed out the door & when we got outside, Jonfin was behind us headed to his car. He came up behind Asher, pretending like he was going to pick him up & when Asher realized what Jonfin was doing, he firmly said,
"No Jonfin, I goin home!"

And that's when Asher learned to say no. =)

Love y'all dearly!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Whole Hand!

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It's hard to believe that Caleb is 5 years old today!
You bring so much joy & laughter to our lives. Almost daily, I'm amazed at the things you say or do. You have a memory like no other. It's almost scary how you remember people and places. As everyone who knows you knows, you love to watch tv and/or movies. I'm afraid that I've taught you that the library is a place to get movies, not books. You also love to play on the computer.
You do like to play outside but you're such a hot natured kid, you can't stand to be outside if it's real hot. You have mastered riding Dougie's scooter & you like to ride your bike too! You love to climb & jump. You worked & worked until you learned how to skip & you know how to write your name. Just the other day, you asked me to show you how to tie your shoe, so I know it won't be long before you have that mastered too!
Even though you were old enough to start Pre-K, Daddy & I wanted you enjoy being home for a little while longer. So now when people ask you if you go to school, you tell them, "I'm home schooled." You came up with that on your own!
Caleb we love you so much & can't wait to see what you accomplish during your 5th year!

But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it. Numbers 14:24

Monday, September 12, 2011

That kid....

I've been posting some funny things that my kids say on Facebook & since I want to be able to remember them, I'm going to share them here.
Last Friday morning, as Dougie was getting out of the van to go to school, I told him, "do good on your tests." From the back seat Caleb yells, "Make us proud!"
We were at Walmart buying a new shower curtain rod & I was letting Caleb carry it. As we're walking through the store, he points the curtain rod towards the sky & yells, "FOR NARNIA!"
We were at Dougie's football practice & I made the comment that I didn't know which one was Dougie (they don't have #'s on their practice jerseys) & Asher says, "big bubba right dere, in da white hamet (helmet)." Thank you, Captain Obvious.
Today we were walking into the bank & Caleb says to me, "let's pretend we're bank robbers." I immediately told him that was a very bad idea!
Lately, whenever Asher is tired, he comes to me with some kind of toy or stuffed animal & tells me that it's tired. It goes something like this, "Momma, my do-eee's (doggie's)tired. He need to yay (lay) down in my bed."
I'm sure there are many more that I'm forgetting but as you can see, life is never boring with these guys!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

While they were sleeping...

As you may remember, we moved into a house, that we are renting, this past January. When we first moved in, there were 2 rooms that I made some changes to immediately. I'm trying to link to the old post but it's not working, sorry.

But since then, I haven't really done anything. Although I have lots of ideas of things I'd do if this were our home but since it's not, it doesn't make a lot of sense to put a lot of money into it. But the other day, I was in the kids' bathroom and I noticed that the wallpaper was beginning to peel in several places. And I thought, "I could take down the wallpaper, use the paint I have left over from the dining room & be done with it. Easy peasy." Famous last words...

Here's some before shots~

As you can see, lots of brass and lots & lots of flowers. The thing we ALL hate most about this bathroom is the shower curtain rod. It was here when we moved in. It's plastic & brass with grooves & the hooks are suppose to slide through the grooves except that they don't! So to open the curtain, you have slide each hook individually! If I change nothing else, that curtain rod is going!

I started Monday morning by removing the wallpaper. If you follow me on twitter, you may have read my mid-morning tweet asking, "Is it common to wallpaper directly to the drywall? Sure makes it hard to remove." Yes, the wallpaper was directly on the drywall & it was not coming off easily. After several responses to my tweet, @HisHollySmith gave me some tips to help it come off easier. While the boys were napping, I was able to get the rest of the wallpaper off. My original plan was to paint immediately but because of the lack of primer on the wall, I knew I'd need to prime it first. When Steven came home Monday afternoon, I waited for him to see the bathroom but since he rarely uses this one, he didn't see it. So I decided I'd see how long it took for him to notice.

On Tuesday morning, I primed the walls, taped & painted the trim. I decided to spray paint the hardware with some rubbed oil bronze spray paint that I already had. I was too chicken to try to take the light fixture down, so this is what I did~

So professional.
I knew that if I got any of the spray paint on the wall, I could use the primer to cover it before I painted. See, there is a method to my madness.
While the boys were napping, I got the paint on the walls. Steven still didn't notice the bathroom.
On Wednesday, I painted a 2nd coat & did the touch ups.

Here's the breakdown:
paint- free, already had it
spray paint- free, already had it
2nd can of spray paint b/c I used all of the other can- $3
tape- $2
new shower rod- $10
shower rings- already had but they got a coat of paint
Grand Total- $15

On Saturday night, Steven came into the bedroom and (jokingly) said, "there's something different about the bathroom?" Ha! He couldn't believe that I'd done it without him even knowing.
One more side by side before and after~

Aaaaahhhh, so much better, at least I think so.

Monday, August 8, 2011

First Day of School...

Today was the first day of school for Emma & Dougie. Emma is starting to 8th grade and Dougie is starting 5th grade. Would someone please tell me how we went from this~
2007 4th grade & 1st grade

to this 2011, 8th grade & 5th

What's even scarier, this time next year Emma will be starting HIGH SCHOOL! OMW!!

If you need me, I'll be on the couch in the fetal position!!

Love y'all dearly.

Friday, July 29, 2011

South Georgia Sand...

Earlier today, my sister texted me this picture, along with the message, "Thought of MaMa & PaPa!! Wish I could send the scent through the phone. ;)"

When we were kids, we spent a lot of time each summer at my MaMa & PaPa's farm. We would help out working in the tobacco fields, even though it sounds like something you would dread, we loved it because we got to be with our cousins. And even though the days were really hot & long, we always made it fun. Anytime we headed back to the house, we always had to make a stop by the water spigot in PaPa's barn to wash up. PaPa always had a bar of Lava soap for us to use. One thing I will never forget is him telling us to wet our hands, rub the soap on our hands and then take our hands and get a little bit of sand on our hands and then scrub away. I guess the sand worked like an abrasive because our hands would get soooo clean!

When I replied to my sister's text, I asked her if she remembered rubbing the sand in with the soap? I told her that it was a memory I'd never forget.

A couple of hours later, I got a text from my older brother. I guess my sister had sent him the picture too and he was replying to it. He said that he had bought some Lava soap a while back but that it "just doesn't work without that south Ga. sand in it."
It's amazing the memories that can be brought back just by the sight & smell of a bar of soap. My precious PaPa went to be with Jesus 20 years ago this past April but his memory is alive and well in his children & grandchildren.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

11 years old!

Today Dougie turns 11!

Last night around 11pm, I was putting some dishes in the dishwasher before heading to bed and my mind went to 11 years ago. I was getting ready for bed at right about 11pm and I had my 1st contraction. I didn't have anymore until about 3:30am. At that time, they were coming regularly and we headed to the hospital. By 7am, July 26 (his due date!) Douglas Neil Englund had entered into this world!

This birthday is different because I'm not able to wish him happy birthday. Dougie is away at camp for the very first time and he is celebrating his birthday with them. It's a little weird but I know that he is having a great time. But I do miss him.

Happy birthday Dougie! You are such a great kid and I love being your mom!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hey, who light?

I know that my last post was about Asher but his language is (finally) developing and changing so much, that I want to write down the things he is saying before I forget.
You have to be fluent in Asherian to understand some of what he says, so I'll translate for you!

ice shream- Ice cream

hibby doo- Scooby Doo

I on seep in bubba bed- I want to sleep in bubba's bed.

choky mook- chocolate milk

Big bubba/Dou-EE- Dougie

Lil bubba/Cayub- Caleb

Da-EE- Daddy

top art- pop tart

mamawpap (all one word) -Grandma & Paps

One of the funniest things he started doing is closing his eyes really tight and the yelling,
"hey, who light?"

I'm sure there's many more that I'll think of later.

Love y'all dearly!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Help da baby!

I shared this story with some family this weekend and realized that I hadn't blogged about it. And since it's something I definitely want to be able to tell Asher about, I better write it down!

Thanks to the picture info on my phone, I know that this took place on April 26th, 10 days after Asher's 2nd birthday. At this time, Asher wouldn't say his name but would refer to himself as baby.
So Asher had started a new game. He would throw his baseballs or any other kind of ball above the sofa and loved when they fell between the couch and the wall. There is enough space that he could crawl back there and retrieve his balls, just to do it all over again.
On this day, I was in the other room and I heard him crying. I came into the family room and I didn't see him but I heard him crying. When I called his name, he cried out, "I stuck!" When I realized he was behind the couch, I bent down and this is what I saw-

When I asked him if he was stuck, through his cries he said,
"Help da baby!"

And yes, I took the time to grab my phone and snap a picture. Just think, if I hadn't, I wouldn't know when this happened!

Love y'all dearly!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stop growing....

Last night we had a first in our house.

Caleb and Dougie had made a plan that they were going to sleep together in Dougie's room. When it came time to go to bed, Asher was not too happy that his big & lil bubba were going to be together and he was by himself! So when I took Asher into his room, kicking & crying, I asked him if he wanted to sleep in lil bubba's (Caleb) bed. He immediately stopped crying and said, "eesss." So we put him in Caleb's bed and he slept there all night and didn't get up once! I snuck in this morning and snapped a picture using Steven's cell.

So I guess we'll be taking down the baby bed soon and moving one of Dougie's bunkbeds upstairs. ***sigh*** My baby's growing up!

Love y'all!

Monday, June 13, 2011

What day is it?

Well, Summer is in full swing and we have been enjoying every minute. We were joking tonight because we were all confused on what day it was! Other than Sunday, our days are all pretty much the same.

Eat breakfast
Play outside before it gets too hot.
Come inside because it's too hot.
Watch D*sney, N*ckelodeon or Sp*rts Center (if Dougie has the remote)
Eat lunch
Take naps (usually just the little boys, but sometimes Momma too!)
Play board games
Play on the computer
Eat supper
repeat any of the above activities!
Go to bed waaaay tooo late!

We sure do miss not having access to a pool. But some friends in our church have offered theirs, so the kids and I are going tomorrow to swim! Yay!

Tomorrow night we are taking the kids to an Augusta Greenjackets game. They are running a special this week, buy 1 ticket get 1 free! I think I enjoy going to the minor league games more than the big leagues.

Later this week, we're going to ATL for a few days. Of course, we're all looking forward to that!

I guess that's about it for now. I'll leave you with this picture. we actually did something productive today and cleaned out the van and washed it! Asher even helped out and yes, he's in his pajamas. It IS summer, y'all!

Love y'all! Go eat some ice cream!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shannon Bailey Fitzgerald

March 7, 1972 - May 30, 2011

This is Shannon, wife of my cousin, Chris and mom to Mackenzie and Elliot. On Monday, May 30, 2011, Shannon unexpectantly went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Please pray for Chris, Mackenzie and Elliot, not only tomorrow, as they bury their precious wife and mother but in the days, weeks and months to come.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Love y'all dearly and thanks for praying.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Get Up, Grandma!

Last Monday morning, I called my Grandmother to see how her Mother's Day went & to just catch up. I knew that she had planned on going with my mom & dad to my sister's church for my nephew's baby dedication. She shared with me how her legs had really been hurting her for several days and by Saturday night, she'd pretty much decided not to go. She didn't want to be a burden to others because she would be getting around slowly. But when Sunday morning came, she got up, decided to move around a bit and see how she felt. She went into the living room to watch her favorite Sunday morning show, The Gaithers. But when she tuned in, she realized that her show had already gone off and that another show was on and Chris Tomlin was singing. Her words to me were, "I just love Chris Tomlin."

*I love the fact that my 86 year old grandmother loves Chris Tomlin!

So she decided to watch this show. As some point during this show Chris sang, "I Will Rise" which is an amazing song. And as my Grandmother listened to this song, she knew that despite how she felt or the fact that she might be moving slowly, she had to "get up off her rear and go." (Her words!)

There is so much to learn from this example that my Grandmother has set for me. When I first decided to write this post, I was thinking about how she is an example of someone who is willing to embrace change, especially in the area of music. But as I typed this, I realized that there's a deeper lesson to be learned, with me being the first needing to learn it.

My heart and mind are now churning over all that I am sensing the Spirit speaking to me about in my life.

Sometimes I just need to get off my rear and go!

When I grow up I want to be just like my Grandma!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Another 1st....

When Emma started 3rd grade at the private school, which she still attends, we began hearing about "social" classes. I was completely uneducated about this but after asking around I found out that it didn't start until middle school. But I can honestly say that by the end of their 4th grade year, Emma and Landon had already committed to being social partners!

In 6th grade, they offer a manners class and at the end of the year, they have a formal dinner, where they get to put into practice everything they've learned.

But in 7th grade, you get to go to "social". Twice a month, you attend a class where you learn different dances, hence the need for a partner. In December, there is a Christmas dance but it's just your age group. Then there's a Father/Daughter dance in February. But in May, it's the grandaddy of them all, Spring Formal. And it's some 2000 students, from 7th grade up to 12th grade, from all over the Augusta area! Since this was our 1st time, we weren't really sure what to expect. We were blown away! It was so much fun! We were thrilled that my Mom & Dad drove down for this event. It really was nice having another female to oooohhh and ahhh over all the different dresses with me!

Before the dance~

Emma and her brothers, who stayed with friends, which I'm so grateful!
With Grandma & Paps right before going in.

The Grand March~ in my simple-mindedness, I thought they would just march around the outside of the floor. But no, they did this weaving in and out pattern, which really enhanced the dress watching! :)

The next few shots are of Emma dancing. From the blurriness of the photos, you will see that my camera stinks, or it could be my lack of skills but whatever.

And finally, a picture of Emma & Landon after the dance!

Here's a video of part of one of the dances. It was so neat seeing the whole group move!

Untitled from Cheryl A on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A first!

I have been such a terrible blogger. I'm so far behind, I still need to post about spring break, Asher's party and I'm sure many other things. But something happened Monday night that I want to document. Hopefully, I'll catch up on the others soon!

I haven't really talked about Dougie's baseball season. If we're FB friends or Twitter friends, I've mentioned it some. But to be honest, it's been a hard season. At this point of the season, we're 0 and 8. And that's all I'm going to say about it. But at Monday night's game, it was the last inning, our team was down by 6 runs with really no hope of coming back. Our first 2 batters got out and guess who was up? You guessed it, Dougie.
With 2 strikes, 2 outs and nobody on, Dougie hit a line drive that went right between 1st and 2nd and ended up rolling all the way to the fence. As soon as he rounded 1st, I knew that he could make it all the way. His dad was coaching third and waving him on, as well as all the fans on our side! He was running his hardest and even though the other team made a throw to home, it wasn't even close!

So on Monday, May 9, 2011, Dougie hit his first homerun!

I am so proud of you, Dougie. Not because of the great hit but because even in the face of a hard season, you are playing your best, keeping a good attitude and being a great example. But it was fun seeing you hit that homerun! =)