Friday, March 29, 2013

A Piece of My Childhood Burned

It paralyzed our community for months as ice fell and encrusted everything that was exposed to the outside, and knocked out 100% of electricity to our county. The Ice Storm of 2009 still haunts us as we see a totally different landscape after thousands of trees were toppled and destroyed by the heaviness of the ice.

Other than that, it’s beginning to become a distant memory, except for that Bible.

When I was a little girl I sat for many years in a non-denominational church, not understanding the preaching, but under the rule of a snappy finger that kept me from lying down in the pew and falling asleep. Many a Sunday I kept myself entertained with my daddy’s Bible. It had the most fascinating art inside its pages that depicted some of the great Bible stories.

I told him many years ago that all I wanted left to me in his Will was that Bible and a set of chocolate/vanilla ceramic ice cream cones that sat on our kitchen counter-tops for years and served as his filing cabinet/piggy bank.

In February 2009, in the midst of the Ice Storm, my daddy’s house burned to the ground. As the electric was being turned back-on, a spark from the electrical box in the garage caught fire. The house was a total loss.

Inside were daddy’s Bible and the ice cream cones.

My heart was broken.

Last Saturday my sister Buffy asked me to come over and help her decide on some decoration ideas for her bedroom. I always love to hang family items, hand-drawn art of the babies, or heirlooms. As she began to dig through her treasure chest she pulled out the most precious item…

My daddy’s Bible.

I was so excited to see that it was not in the house fire, but all-the-while, in Buffy’s treasure chest.

She also found a card from my Aunt Carmen, who we lost to cancer in the mid-80’s, which was addressed to my Grandfather Henry. The card was a true sign of the times as the front depicted a cigarette laying in an ashtray and the inside greeting ended with the word gay – used in its original meaning of happiness.

My how times have changed but one thing that has stayed the same…the word of God – it’s true and sharper than any two edged sword.

On this Good Friday, I challenge you to try God if you never have. Today, 2013 years ago he was crucified for us, on Resurrection Sunday he arose and overcame death, hell and the grave. Praise God for his spotless Lamb...

Thursday, March 28, 2013

N-u-m-b-e-r 1…N-u-m-b-e-r 1…

From the deep thoughts of Sweet Brown I say this, “Somebody get a cold pop, these girls are on fire!”

I watched the middle school form a volleyball team last year – more less a feeder program for the high school team – my girl was in 7th grade and didn’t make the cut. She continued to practice with the team after accepting a position as a manager.

She was the only 7th grader not make the team and she was so disappointed.

As the practice season was coming to an end the coaches presented her with a jersey…she said, “I thought mine would look like yours.”

The coach so proudly said, “We want to put you on the team.”

“I think I just want to be a manager.”

Just like a girl.

She ended up playing throughout the season and they did OK – nothing to write home about but they were a first year program.

This year the girls, out-of-the-blue, hit a point of blaze.

Smack, Ka-Pow, Whoot Whoot!

This middle girl has grown so tall and has morphed into a confident player that will smack down, given the opportunity. She went from not making the team to playing all-around...never being taken out of the game.

These girls have played so well together and their future high school volleyball career is really beginning to excite me.

They traveled Tuesday night to play in the championship game against the Rebels…they fell the first game.

They came back to win the next two, and just two years into formation, these girls brought home the GRVC Championship Title!

In other Thomas Family business:

Our new puppy Lil’ Lassie found a new home yesterday to two little girls who couldn’t wait to pick her up. We found that she was being crated most of the day and we felt it was very unfair to her. Her new home has a big yard she can run and frolic in. I did however, miss letting her in this morning and feeding her.

My heart will go on… :(

The eldest girl is helping out with Jr. Spikers Club this week after school and is beginning to prepare for DECA National competition later in April.

The boys have been playing basketball, leaving socks and shoes at the front door, wet, and eating everything they get their hands on.

I began Week 9 of Jillian Michaels 90 Day Body Revolution… *$#^@#$%$:&”@...I feel better after getting that out.

However, I do see a difference in my body. But, I’m not sure me walking around like a 90 year old is the goal here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Pull My Old Blue Jeans On…Shh Shh

If you know me, you know I love Keith Urban. If you don’t know of this Keith Urban I speak of, the title of this blog is Urban inspired…

I have not received such input on a facebook post ever, that I can remember. 52 total recommendations about people’s favorite jeans.

I set out a few weekends ago to find the best jeans ever…I was tired of what I had been dealing with. Jeans that were falling off after a few hours, too tight in the thighs but too big in the waist, heavy material that creased in a weird place down the leg while being dried…these things were making me crazy. I typically owned GAP jeans, Banana Republic & New York & Co.

My favorite thing to wear is a great pair of jeans and a sweater.

The Friday night before my shopping adventure, my friend offered me a pair of basically new American Eagle jeans that she needed a smaller size in. I bought these for $10 and brought them home thinking I was one pair of great jeans into my quest for the perfect jeans.

Out of my 52 post, around 35 recommended American Eagle jeans.

I continued on Saturday stopping in Elizabethtown to buy another pair of these American Eagle jeans that came so highly recommended…and I liked the feel when I tried on my $10 pair Friday night.

Now I have two pairs of jeans to stock my closet, and I am onto Louisville to look for the best pair of jeans in the world. To pull the curtain back a bit, pun intended, the trying-on of these jeans in the dressing room was a bit frustrating. I went through about five different cuts, two sizes and lengths, and settled on a pair…hold that thought.

So I headed onto Ann Taylor Loft to see what I could find there.

I discovered that I am buying the wrong size jeans…first problem solved. These jeans are Modern Skinny and a smaller size then what I thought I would purchase.

See here, this is the size I thought I would be…saggy front.

I got the next size down assuming they would not slide over my thighs, but they fit perfectly. I learned that they should feel a bit tight at first because the majority of jeans/pants relax throughout the day.

So I checked out. They were $60 a pair BUT they had a 30% off everything this particular day so I paid a total of $42/pair. Not too bad…

I left there thrilled with my new find and discovery of fit. I strolled past Cache’ and saw prom dresses. I made a pit stop just in case they may have the perfect prom dress for my girl. Of course, true to nature I saw the Clearance sign and began to browse.

Then I heard Hannah approach me to ask if she could help me. I confessed I was looking for the perfect pair of jeans ever – for a girl my age! She swore she had them.

I found a pair that were marked down from $88 to $39 but they didn’t have my size so I tried the next size down…didn’t work. Bummer…

Hannah brought me this pair in my size and as soon as I pulled them on…I fell in love, Love, LOVE! They feel like cashmere…they’re trendy but they don’t leave my butt looking like I sat in a jewelry box after spraying glue on my pockets.

Sorry if you like that - that’s fine - I just think that I am a little too old to bedazzle my buttocks and think it's inappropriate for work, which is where I will be wearing these.

Not only did I fork over the $88 for these jeans but Hannah asked if I would like to buy the discount jeans, have the store find my size and ship them to me for free…

Well, Heck Yes!!!!

I love these jeans, they grow just a tad and they keep my butt covered when I sit down (that pleases everyone) BUT they don’t touch the bottom of my bra either. They are a cute color, stylish, trendy and no jewels encrusted on the cheeks. They are the best jeans I have ever owned!!! Both pairs, my discounted pair came in the mail about five days later.

After these purchases I decided to stop and return the American Eagle jeans I purchased first, leaving me with just my $10 pair I bought from my friend.

I have waited to write this blog until I could wear all of my new finds and wash them to see how they would compare.

All the jeans washed/dried really well!

But I HATE the American Eagle jeans. I was soooo mad by lunch time as I was holding onto the side to keep them up, AND even before they stretched out I couldn’t sit down, my crack fell out! I HATE that. I was told to buy a size down, I tried but I couldn’t get them buttoned without pinching skin…these are terrible. They have been given to my teenage daughter who is better shaped for a junior cut pair of jeans. At 37, American Eagle jeans don’t fit this body…

I did not get to try on Buckle jeans, which came highly recommended BUT I find the look of those for more of a “going out” jean, not so much work for me AND they are around $100-$120 pair. Not interested after finding Cache’ jeans.

Thanks Hannah for your help and teaching me how to fit my pants!!!

(The jeans I have on in this pic are from The Limited, I do really like these as well, paid $20 last fall during a clearance sale. The Limited has the best fitting dress pants, but like jeans, I have to buy a size down in those.)

Final tip: Just try on three sizes, your size, the size down and one up. You will know they are perfect when they are a bit snug at first.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Great Squared

In a world of seven girls, which means six sisters for me, we have experienced some unique things over the years…me having two babies in a 12 month span may have been one of those unique moments.

But not near as unique as what my sister Annie has experienced this month…

Annie is the first of us sisters to become a grandparent; she is the mother of two boys.

Both of these boys made Annie a granny this month.

So, Granny Annie got herself a baby girl on March 2nd and a baby boy on March 19th.

This dynamic duo of ooey, gooey, baby lushness has the family astir.

This newest addition, Mr. Kaymein, made me a Great Aunt x 2.

He looks so much like his daddy but I can see his momma’s pretty eyes from the side.

I cannot wait to see these two little peas-in-a-pod grow up and surely become the best of friends.

As with baby girl, I will offer this prayer written down for baby boy so that each time it is read, it is prayed for him.

Dear Gracious Heavenly Father,

I pray over baby Kaymein the strength of the Holy Spirit fill his body and lead him into a life of prosperity. Let Love abound in him all the days of his life, protection of his baby cousin as I’m sure they will look to each other when they find themselves away from their parents, I pray that Kaymein be the man you formed him to be. I pray that this first born son receive his birthright, as written in the Old Testament, a fathers blessing, a double portion. I pray health, a desire for your word, a prayer life like Daniel the prophet, a warrior for you like Joshua, and wisdom like Solomon. Bless this child you knew before he was formed in his mother’s womb…

Make Me Cardboard!

If only I had a cardboard cutout of myself. I do believe this will be MY million dollar idea…a cardboard cutout of yourself that you are obligated to give to your spouse on your wedding day.

If I had one of the Husband I would drag it everywhere with me…all the places he can’t go or would rather not. I would never have to miss another double date opportunity because he can’t/won’t go.

How handy she would be…and she would need bendable knees so she could sit in bleachers at the ballgames and stand during bake sales and other various events where I find myself needing a clone.

This weekend my cardboard cutout would have been so handy…my girls are on a roll and I thought I was going to find myself at a crossroads.

The DECA squad hosted a bake sale Saturday to raise money for nationals in April. So Friday night I threw on my apron and baked all night long. I ended up with 13 entries, packaged for the upcoming Easter holiday season. We raised $1000. Thank you, local citizens for supporting us!

The middle girl had a volleyball tournament all day in another county. These girls are on fire! They play again on Tuesday night for the championship game!

The eldest girl was going to present her project in another county for the National Day of History competition, but her partner had a doctor’s appointment. So, she got to actually watch baby sister – who towers over mom and dad now – smack down on this other team. Her volleyball ability has come out of nowhere!
This picture is from her 8th Grade Night. I obviously married a very tall man…the funny part is, we weren’t for sure where she got her height until we had the chance to visit with some family members over this past summer.

The husband’s cousins have two girls who play volleyball, too, and like the middle girl, they are super tall, beautiful girls who have been successful in this game.

To top off the weekend, the eldest girl was invited to participate in her school's chapter of the National Honors Society next year. We are very proud of her accomplishments.

This kid works hard at school and is putting in about 20 - 30 a week at her job. She’s truly becoming a unique young lady who is on a path of making her niche in this world.

I guess I will put cardboard cutout mom in the studio tomorrow morning while I take a nap…wonder if they’ll even notice…

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Guess What I Got

I got the most generous gift of my life today. My Aunt & Uncle and my mom and stepdad gifted my girl a generous cash donation for her DECA trip. The English language fails me when I attempt to express the joy in my heart for their investment into her lifetime experiences and education. I love that they are teaching her generosity, selflessness, and that families encourage each other.

I got an email from a man named Roy a few months ago complaining about the title of one of my stories. Brought to my attention was a mistake that I emailed him back to thank him for pointing out, I had not noticed. He was impressed that I responded…I stop here to say, why aren’t people responding and politely might I add? Roy emails me news story ideas occasionally and we engaged in a conversation about a book he thought I would enjoy reading. He purchased the book for me and had it mailed to the radio station; he asked me to pass it on when I was finished.

I got this book in the mail last week:

Britapedia said, “You have the neatest little life.” I kinda grinned and said, yeah, it is I guess, had never thought of it like that.

I got this “neat” little magazine in the mail a few days later:

It’s full of old age “fixers” like this product that is foundation for your legs. My God, tell me my legs are not going to get so ugly I have to paint foundation on them every morning, too.

I got a boy who took me literally and injured himself. After noticing the acne on his nose, I demanded he “scrub” his face with his Proactive. The next morning the bridge of his nose was so red I was worried he had injured him. By the next day it was a huge scab. After inquiring how he washed his face, he explained he rolled the wash rag up and pulled it back and forth across his nose until it hurt, “scrubbing” his face. Eieieie…

I got no sleep for five nights.

I got a husband who somehow would wake me up from a partial sleep, causing me to toss and turn all night.

I got Melatonin and Nyquil!

I got a puppy that learned to bark.

I got a husband who generously gets up and takes the puppy out to potty.

I got sleep last night!

I got peach cobbler! While on-air this morning we learned it was Pi day…as in the math term Pi. But we were much more interested in Pie…we began to talk about our favorite fried apple pies by Ms. Shirley, our favorite bus driver. By the end of the show, Ms. Shirley walked into the station with a peach cobbler she whipped up for us after hearing our conversation.

I got a lot of love for Ms. Shirley!

I got blurred vision on-air today. In the middle of our morning show my vision blurred…and didn’t stop. I got a sharp pain in the side of my head and it slowly moved to the base of my neck. I was convinced it was a blood clot or a stroke. I eventually lost my peripheral vision.

I got a mom that works for a neurologist. I infringed on his time immediately to have him diagnose my symptoms and he said, “That’s the onset of a Migraine.” I said, “I don’t have a headache.” “Not yet,” he replied.

I got meds…

I got to spend Sunday night in church with my dad, sister and her family.

I got happy!

I got a girl who placed 2nd in the Ky. State DECA Competition.

I got a lot of respect for this kids work.

I got a plane ticket to California to see her compete in the International DECA Competition.

I got hot rollers in the mail that do not work. (Baby Bliss – ick)

I got to take them to the post office tomorrow to return them.

I got to bring a piece of my teenage body into my middle age life with me. I was hoping my teenage body would hang around…Mother Nature allowed it. My acne will never leave the old me. So good to know.

I got a nasty house to clean.

I got four kids to help out. (yippy!)

I got to visit my former church family last night and so happy to see everyone. My friends shared their recent trip to the Holy Land and I tagged along so I could visit.

I got to work out with my friends every night this week as we attempted to power through this Jillian Michaels 90 Day Challenge.

I got to work out last night in front of two teenage boys practicing cheerleading moves in the same room with us. I’m sure this is how we looked to them, Jillian Michaels on the left, me on the right:

What I would like to get:

Rich quick.

Younger instead of older.

Buff without working out.

Skinny eating chocolate.

My kids through life without any injuries or hurt feelings.

What I don’t need to get is blessed…

For I already am and my cup runneth over each and every day and I am so thankful for all the things I get

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Was Made Great!

Not sure which is weirder, the choice in place to nap, the pink Breast Cancer Awareness head-band (you can’t see in pic) he is wearing while he is NOT playing sports, the fact he setup a makeshift TV in a house full of TV’s, the pink dragon near his head or the fact the boy decided to keep him company in the hallway while he slept.

I cannot even begin to pull this apart because I want to brag about being great.

Moving on…

Saturday at 9:17 p.m. it happened. I was made great!

This sweet, gorgeous, chunk of a oooeey, goooey, soft, baby-smellin’ bundle of heaven came into this world.

I present to you my first great niece…Ms. Peyton.

She looks just like her daddy.

I remember being in 5th grade and my daddy waking me up to tell me that my sister had given birth to my first nephew, Daniel.

Oh he was so pretty with his dark hair and dark skin, and I was so cool because I was an aunt at the age of 10! That was a good day in 5th grade; I was full of bragging rights to all those kids who were just still siblings and nothing more. I was an AUNT! I had grown up to be an adult overnight.

This sweet nephew grew up to gift me with my first great niece.

I pray over this sweet baby girl this prayer and I write it down so that every time it’s read in this blog, it’s prayed over her again:

Dear gracious Heavenly Father, you are the creator of life, you are the giver of life’s breath and you knew Peyton while she was in her mother’s womb. Your word says she is a heritage unto you and the book of Jeremiah says you know the plans you have for her; plans to prosper her and give her an expected end. Encamp angles around her, and plant inside her a desire for your word, to hide in her heart. Endow her with wisdom and knowledge and protect her all the days of her life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Too Short Bangs

Tear filled eyes came towards me as the eldest child walked into the gym to hand me my change from her haircut. “My bangs are way too short,” she cringed.

I stop here and say that I normally would not blog about such things. Items that may really upset or embarrass a child are off limits but I want to show you something, a promise fulfilled by God.

Sometimes I think we Christians are waiting for the big BANG miracles, no pun intended, or the raised-from-the-dead moments with God, and we miss him working in our everyday life.

The verse Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

It broke my heart to know that at 16 too short bangs can alter your world, your confidence, your entire day.

I rushed home after my workout and before my meeting to try my hand and fixing the bangs. All the way home I prayed the above scripture over the situation claiming this promise and asking for God to spontaneously grow her bangs overnight.

When I awoke the next morning, I expected to see a sheep dog in her spot on the bed. I just knew God was going to grow her bangs so long that it would look much like a scene out of the movie Tangled.

Not even a millimeter…


She asked me to scrunch her natural curls and we pushed her bangs back away from her face – which is great for her because she has a small forehead and this hair style works for her.

The next morning we added a curling wand to our regimen. Beach waves are all the rage in hair right now.

I was sitting and talking with my pastors wife at a volleyball game a few nights ago and I said to her that I felt like my children were growing up way too fast, and that I felt like my eldest child was already gone. She’s always at work, school or with friends and I rarely get to spend time with her.

What I realized was after multiple days of trading my makeup time to curl her hair she and I had been spending the sweetest time together each morning.

I got to be momma again and whisper some valuable information to her about being a role model to her younger sister. This morning my You Version Bible was reading the Gospel of John and she and I talked awhile about why Pilot wrote the plaque “King of the Jews” and had it hung on Jesus’ cross.

God answered my prayer…he made too short bangs a blessing and used them for good…he gave this momma her little girl back for a few sweet mornings.

Now I am contemplating if I should cut them while she’s asleep…my point to ponder for the day.

Yes, that is a picture of my make up bag in my car...I sit in parking lots now and apply my make up, but that's ok - I'll trade the time for her any day.

I forgot to add to my birthday blog one of the coolest posts I received on my birthday.

I was scrolling through all of my birthday wishes from my facebook friends when I came across my mommas. It said, “After 27 hours of hard labor, you were born. Happy Birthday!”

Now that’s crazy!

(I refer you to the blog “Why He Gave Me a “27” if you don’t understand)