Monday, December 29, 2008

What should I do?

I am so over this old blog. I want a fresh start. Here's my dilemma. Should I just try and improve on this one, or should I totally start anew - new blog, new everything? I am torn...I am going to resolve to *try* and do better with posting. So many of you post every day, or several times a day, or at least bi-weekly. But I have to remember that I can't post from my job, I can't leave my job at work - I bring it home EVERY NIGHT and have tons of work to do nightly, I have 3 terrific boys and a good hubby who are all full time jobs, I cook, read to and with my boys, wash clothes, iron 4 shirts or outfits daily, pack snacks and lunches for 4, try to check email, walk, read my Bible, etc. You get it. We're all busy. I'm super busy. So what should I do?

We had a great Christmas. The boys got tons of awesome stuff. We've been playing and reading up a storm. Pics and stories to come. First things first - what should I do about the blog? Drastically overhaul it, or start a new one?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Post #6 special ornament. My mom made this for me in 1981. The year that my brother, precious, precious Chris was born. This was my special ornament. And I loved it. Every year this would be the first ornament that I put on the tree. I am so glad that my mom never said, "No, this doesn't fit my color scheme...we're not putting it up." NEVER. I always put this one up, and Chris always put up his special ornament (Santa in a train). Well, I married and moved out, and this ornament stayed at mom's. She then put it up for me. I longed for it. I wanted in on my tree. But it stayed on Primrose Lane. UNTIL CHRIS ASKED FOR HIS. Yeah, Prodigal Son wanted his train. He whined and made train noises all the way from Louisiana. He'd call mom up and she'd say, "Hello?" and he'd just say "Choo-Chooooooo" in the saddest voice...she knew what he wanted. *FOR THE RECORD, I AM TOTALLY LYING ABOUT THAT PART. IT JUST SOUNDED FUNNY, SO I THOUGHT I'D THROW IT IN. DIDN'T IT IMPROVE THE STORY?* Anyway, you get the point. Chris wanted his ornament. SO HE GOT IT. So you better believe that I got mine. And on my beautiful tree, with all my special, beautiful boys' ornaments, among the beautiful lime and red fillers...there is my mouse, sleeping on a crescent moon, under a quilt. And I love it as much today as I did 27 years ago when my Mom made it for me.

Post #5

The top pic shows our new stockings, and our new stocking holder. We each have the typical stockings that have the stitched/needlepoint pictures on them with our name monogrammed. (see my mom's blog for examples...they are just like the ones hanging on her banisters) BUT, they just don't fit my theme anymore. So now, we each have our *old* stocking hanging on our bedposts. (CUTE!) I got these awesome LIME numbers from Mrs. Ellen, and she monogrammed 1 initial on each. LOVING IT! And, we're done with hanging them on the mantle. Actually, the mantle is full with lit garland, beautiful red and lime ribbon, and about 75 Santas. I've collected Santas since I was in high school, so I have to have somewhere to put them. They all don't fit on the mantle, but they look pretty darn cute all crowded up there. Hopefully I'll post a pic of them tomorrow night. The bottom picture is to show you my wrapping theme this year. ALL GIFTS must be in this paper, or the paper that you can see beside the dining room tree. It's ALL lime, red, and white. And all the gifts have either lime or white tulle or pretty lime, red, and white ribbons. I LOVE THOSE COLORS!

Okay, that's enough for tonight. I'm tired. Oh, but I almost more quick post then it's off to nights. (That's what Griffin says)

Post #4

This ornament says it all... I love my sweet boys.

Post #3

This is a truly terrible picture of the family tree. In fact, it is horrible. I will try and take a better one tomorrow bc it doesn't do this beautiful tree justice. (does it, Mom?) *BTW, my mom loves this tree* It's a 9.5 ft tree and it is covered with special ornaments. Each year, I get the boys each 1 ornament that deals with them, or something they were into that year. So when they get married, I will be able to give them all of their ornaments. What daughter-in-law won't love that?! And a friend of mine at school shared this wonderful idea...if you think the ornaments won't be "in style" or whatever when they are grown-ups, then their wives can do what Selena does. She has a vintage suitcase that she has in a bedroom at her house, it's opened, and inside she has all of her kids childhood ornaments. HOW AWESOME! So, back to my point...each year I get them each an ornament, plus an ornament for me, and one for Shawn. PLUS a family ornament with all of us, our names, the year, etc. IT IS AWESOME! Then the filler ornaments are all lime green and bright red. The top is a big lime and red plaid bow. And...everything in the living room has to match the color theme...from the new stockings this year to the wrapping paper. EVERYTHING is lime and bright red...better picture to come soon I promise.

Post #2

Roll Tide! It's the BAMA tree! I love this 3 ft. wonder. She's located right beside the front door. The pics don't do her can you take a decent picture without the lights screwing up the flash? Notice that she proudly wears NOTHING but Crimson and White. She has lots of crimson balls, and also lots of BAMA ornaments. And...the topper to top all toppers...a houndstooth hat! (What else could it be?) There is also a houndstooth tree skirt (bunched up fabric) and little houndstooth boxes tied with crimson tulle. I know! It's the cutest tree EVER!

Post #1

I promised Christmas pictures and tales. Here's a nice little start. This is the dining room tree. It is a 10ft tree, and it is COVERED in silver, gold, and clear ornaments. This is "the fancy tree." This one is truly beautiful, but it's a pain in the rump t0 decorate and to take down.'s worth it.

A job for you...

I am at school right now, teaching. But I need a favor. If you read my blog, please leave me a comment with your mailing address. Our Christmas cards were delivered last night, and I need to get them in the mail. So, leave your address. Even if you're just a stalker. If you can't leave a comment, then email me your address. is home (it gets everything) (school - filters out a lot)

More to come - Christmas pictures and tales galore!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Here I am...

Hey Peeps.
This one will be short and sweet - Mama's tired.
Yeah, I know it's been a while. Take a walk in my shoes. I'm stressed, I'm tired, you get the picture. I've put up 5 Christmas trees, 2 more to go. Pictures to come soon. I love Christmas.

Bama won - wondermous. ( I made up that word and I like it) I've taken 6 long years of obnoxious CRAP. It's OVER. I SOOOOO wanted to do something along the lines of a. drape the entire school, or at least the 2nd grade hall in crimson, b. give my sweet neighbor at school, (who has really dished it out for 6 years) lotion with crimson ribbons (inside joke) or houndstooth kleenex (they exist - my Mama got me 2 packs) or c. just run my mouth like there is no tomorrow. But you will all be proud to know that I chose to do none of the above. I decided that the ol' "kill em' with kindness" is indeed my route. I couldn't, however resist commenting on the audacity/sheer madness that Tuberville displayed by strutting down the Tiger Walk holding up 7 fingers. What the crap was that? And now - he's gone. I feel sorry for him, until I remember the whole 7 fingers episode, and the fact that he is getting 6 million bucks IN THIRTY DAYS for leaving. Nah - I don't feel sorry for him anymore. I wish that I had the option of walking away from my job for 6 million. Shoot - I'd do it for half. :)

Just wanted to let ya know that we are all alive and well. Our trees are twinkling and beautiful. My boys are great, all 4 of them. I am tired. I am stressed out. I think I'm gonna go to bed. More later...sometime.
ps - PLEASE see the YouTube video of Siran Stacy before the Iron Bowl. Amazing...simply amazing. What class. What an inspiration. THAT is God at work. THAT IS ALABAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROLL TIDE!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The BEST DAY of the year...

Every family has special celebration days. Birthdays are a given. Around here, we have 5. Then there's Christmas, Thanksgiving, anniversary, and all the other random holidays. Today is our favorite. It's the most special of them all. It's one that not many families have - we are so lucky! Today is family day.

4 years ago today - everything became official. God's plan from way before we were even created came to complete fruition. We all *legally* became what we had always been - a family.

November 17th, 2004 - adoption day.

A girl who had once only had empty dreams was suddenly all she ever wanted to be...a mom.
A boy who always wanted boys to play ball with a son of his own suddenly had an entire infield...ready made. :)
2 boys who were lost and hurt were suddenly found...and healed. AND used to heal broken hearts and dreams.
AND a little 8 month old baby who was a miraculous, unexpected first-born became the youngest brother.

We couldn't have written it any better. We NEVER IMAGINED the depths of God's plan for our lives. We wanted 1...we got 3. We wanted *now.* We we told *wait.* We waited...for 3 years. Every single minute was worth it. Every penny spent on infertility treatments. Every month on Clomid. Every Lupron shot. Every follistem shot. Every disappointing meeting with the doctor. Every failed IUI. Every tear. Every prayer. Every bit...worth it.

Each November 17th, we celebrate. We have a special breakfast (Daddy cooked biscuits, sausage, eggs, bacon, etc - not our usual cereal). We have a special dinner (the boys chose - Sonic. AGAIN). We talk about what it means to be adopted, and how that means that you are chosen. We talk about God being perfect in His planning and timing. We talk about loving a child and having them grow in your heart while they grow in somebody else's tummy. We talk about being a family FOREVER, and never having to go live with another foster family again.

I knew that Shawn was going to cook breakfast, I didn't know he even bought accessories. When we came into the kitchen, he had balloon plates for everyone with those #4 candles that usually are on a 4-year-old's bday cake. I LOVE that he chose all of it himself and that it was special. Each boy had a 4 in his biscuit...4 years together. Keith couldn't wait to get to school to tell Miss Tisdale and Mrs. Tidwell and Mrs. Vicki that today is family day. "Mama, everybody doesn't have a family day, you know?" "Yeah Keith...I know. We're just lucky..."

Sometimes I wonder where she is...what she's doing...if she remembers them. Does she miss them? Does she wake up at night and wonder how they look, if they're good boys, what their laugh sounds like? Does she miss them? Does she cry for them? Does she ever call out their names? Does she realize the incredible gift she gave us? She gave us what we couldn't give ourselves...the gift of life. We gave them what they needed Safety. Shelter. Future. They gave us more than they will ever realize.

It's only been 4 years, but I can't remember life before them. 4 years ago...we were 2. 4 years later...we are 5. 1 birth... 3 children. 3 children... 2 mothers. 3 children... 3 fathers. Mathematically it doesn't add up. I've never been a fan of math anyway.

We are so blessed, all of our children have an amazing story. Griffin is our miracle boy. We were told that we'd never conceive without medical intervention. 6 months of clomid. 7 IUI's. (Jon and Kate only needed 1...YIKES!) Countless shots. All equaled nothing. Doing nothing except praying for God's intervention on behalf of Keith and Zack equaled Keith, Zack, AND Griffin. Miraculous.

We tell K and Z how special their lives they are chosen by God and have a special honor. Moses was adopted. Esther was adopted. Samuel was technically adopted. Pretty special people. And God compares us as adopted children, brothers and sisters of Christ.

K and Z have new birth certificates. They read that on their birthdays, in the hospitals where they were born, Amy Garrett Martin gave birth to them. Shawn Webster Martin is listed as the father. NOWHERE is there an asterisk...nowhere does it say "these aren't the real parents, these children are adopted." They are as much "mine" as Griffin Christopher is. (actually, if you've seen Griffin's behavior, you will know that he is WAAAAAYYYYY mine, especially if you happened to see him getting his little tail blistered in the car rider line this morning). I don't remember where exactly I was on July 15, 1999 or August 31, 2000. But I know where I was on November 17, 2004. Becoming in the eyes of the law what I had always been...Keith and Zack's mom.

Soon we'll be saying "Happy Thanksgiving." After that it will be "Merry Christmas." Then soon after that we'll have to sing "Happy Birthday" to both Shawn and Griffin. Then will come "Happy Easter," then "Happy Mother's Day," then "Happy Anniversary," then 3 rounds of "Happy Birthday." All are wonderful days; all are great things to say. But...nothing will be better than what I heard this morning. 3 sweet boys with messed up hair and sleepy eyes sitting around a kitchen table with birthday candles in biscuits singing, "Happy Family Day to you...happy family day to you...happy family day 5 Martins...happy family day to you."

I have pictures of the morning that I want to share. But our Daddy is at a Men's Dinner at church, and my camera cord is in the car outside. It's cold and dark...I'm not going out tonight. I'll post the photographic evidence tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A proposition for ya...

Okay - raise your hand if you love to laugh. (lots of hands up here) Now, raise your hands again if you love to eat. (again, lots of hands) Finally, raise BOTH hands if you love to eat GOOD food and laugh till you want to pee on yourself. GOOD! I have just the thing for you! My church is having a Comedy Dinner Theater on Sat. November 22nd at 6:00. The food is going to be super yummy. And, I can ASSURE you that the comedy is going to be off the chain ! (isn't that what all the cool kids say?) How can I make such a guarantee? Well, because I AM PRODUCING THE WHOLE SHA-BANG! Yep, you heard right, this is my comedic debut. Well, for those of you who know me, you know that I've been funny for practically EVER. :) But I have pulled together a night of a thousand laughs, and you HAVE to come! Remember the More Cowbell Skit from SNL? It's there. And SHAWN is playing the Will Farrell part. Remember the Spartan Cheerleaders? I can tell ya, they ain't got NOTHIN' on "The Martin Cheerleaders." Yep, Craig and Arianna will be there as the form of Shawn and Amy. That's about it for my acting roles, but I've written a few original skits and recruited some uber-funny church pals to star. I simply can't wait. YOU CAN BE THERE TOO! This is a fund raiser our mission team; we are sending a team of 20 something to Costa Rica for a week next summer. This will be my dad's 2nd trip to Costa Rica...Gigi's first! We planned well, there are NO BAMA or Auburn games on the 22nd. So you're free! The cost is $15 per person, that includes dinner, dessert, and comedy! If you're interested, (and you know you are), let me know. We are ending reservations this Sunday, and we're booking up fast. So check you calendar and make your reservations. Cha Cha Boochie...Cha Cha Cha Boochie ROLL CALL! (just a little taste from Arianna)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I said it's be...

from ALABAMA! What a game! What a year! What a team! For the record, I am not now, nor have I YET bragged about "what we will do" or anything like that. I am simply savoring each victory as they come. This particular one was *especially* sweet. Um, hello. To quote my sweet mama, "Aim, they burned Coach Saban in effigy. That is klu klux klan behavior!" was. I still haven't figured that one out, yet. They can burn scarecrows on crosses. I'll take a win on the field ANY DAY. So...who's with me? Who is LOVING the Tide this year? Um, hello...who isn't?!?! Hit me up with a comment, what a better way to start the week than with a big Roll Tide?


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3 in one day? Are you KIDDING me?

In conclusion...(one more time) I must share this epiphany I just had. I can see it now...2012... a new Presidential team. 2 mavericks. 2 deep thinkers. 2 influential candidates. We need a "shake up," and I have just the team for us. They might not fit in the box of either political party, but I think this lethal, um, logical combination is a sure thing for America. That's right...I am stepping out and going ahead and calling the next leaders of the free world...Amy Martin and Kristin Fields for Co-Presidents, 2012.

Can you even IMAGINE how stinking CUTE the White House would be? And how much laughter, and spanking of children would take place on Pennsylvania Avenue?


One last political word...

I just watched John McCain's BEAUTIFUL concession speech. I was touched. Everything he said, I pray that we as Americans will commit to achieve. In defeat he showed more class and honor than I would think possible if I were in his shoes. While I may not agree wholeheartedly with the party he represents, I also don't agree wholeheartedly with the party of our new president. I do wholeheartedly love America. I hope that we can do as Mr. McCain said, and come together with the common goal of making an even better America for our children.

Things I learned today...

1. It's amazing how quickly you hear from people that you NEVER hear from when you mention politics. Hello strangers! Welcome back to my life. Where have ya been? :)
2. It's nice to have intelligent people as friends who both stretch and challenge you. (hello Kristin)
3. It's OKAY to disagree. Really, it is.
4. It's nice to hear that your opinion has in some way influenced the thinking of other people. Especially when that's what you were trying to do in the first place.
5. It's FUNNY how just expressing your disagreement with the views of a certain political party automatically equates to campaigning for/endorsing/"being in cahoots with" another certain political party/candidate. Someone please show me where I said that I was an Obama supporter on my previous posting....I can't seem to find that particular section. :)
6. I tend to ramble when trying to convey my point. I INTENDED to talk of my absolute disgust at labeling those less fortunate as "lazy and deserving," my hatred of racism and how rampant it still is today, and so forth. Instead, I came across as a torch bearer of Universal Health Care and Barack Obama.
7. I should find a good seamstress. I need to have a scarlet letter crafted up. Mind you, I don't need a scarlet "D" or "O." Instead, I'd like one of those nifty ghost buster circles with a slash mark surrounding a big ole' scarlet "R." (that is for you, know who you are....I am having a scarlet letter fashioned for you as well) :)
8. Good Lord...we need a good laugh! (Thanks Codie!) Codie has really thought out the Presidential issue, and she is supporting Mickey Mouse for Pres. I must know me...I'm a maverick. (LOL!!) Well, maybe not a about a pot-stirrer? :) I can't support Mickey Mouse for President. Instead, I am supporting Buddy the Elf from Elf. He is good at smiling, smiling is like his favorite thing. He is always happy, and he has a great strategy for settling hot disagreements/wars. He would simply meet with the people who were against us, call them "Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins'" and be done with it. He might say that they smell of beef and cheese, but come on....they probably do.
9. If McCain/Palin win...we'll be fine. If Barack Obama wins...we'll be fine. Tomorrow is another day. The sun'll come out - tomorrow. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow.
10. Joannie Spates - I stinkin' love you. You are the most positive, uplifting person I know. And I love you. You are a blessing.
11. Just for Kristin - I will share this number. This morning around the breakfast table, the Martin boys were talking politics. K and Z were discussing that today our school would be voting for President. Keith said, "Zack, who are you voting for?" Zack said, "Well Keef, Obama is da' blue one...Johnny McCain is da' red one." Griffin said, "Daddy, who are we voting for? Obama or Nick Saban?" Without missing a beat, in unison, we both replied, "NICK SABAN." Come on, people...can ANY of us argue with that choice?

I love you all. I do. More funny postings to come. But get ready...I still have a big ol' rant on racism that I've been itching to get out. It's coming...when you least expect it. :)


Monday, November 3, 2008

Here it political blog! Please pretend this picture is at the end...not the beginning...

So...the election is tomorrow. I've sat patiently by and listened to all the political fodder forEVER. I've received all the jokes, poems, video clips, etc. I've watched the debates, done the research, read everything I could find on both candidates. I have long debated sharing my opinion because it stands in contrast to almost everyone around me. Shawn and I have the same political feelings, and by the time this post is finished I hope that you will understand why. Many times I find that my tendency to convey my point and my normal headstrong ways are overbearing, so I have just chosen to remain quiet for a long time. I believe what I believe, I am 100% confident in the validity of my beliefs. Nothing that anyone can say will sway my opinion. Honestly, I'm not out to change the way that people will vote. I just hope - I pray to change the way that people think.

I've long debated how I should convey the basis for my political views. I've had a draft blog saved for about 7 weeks now. I've never posted it. Much like a journal, it did me good to actually put my beliefs and thoughts into visible words. Even then, it was very wordy and very "Amy." Tonight, I am going to go in a different direction. So here goes.

I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived a perfect, sinless life, and died for my sins. I believe that He rose on the 3rd day and that He is now in Heaven, seated at His Father's right hand. I believe that with every fiber of my being. My Christianity outranks any political party allegiance, any presidential vote, etc. I fail MISERABLY every day in living a life worthy of the name of Christian. But I try. I pray a lot, ask for a lot of forgiveness, and keep trying.

I used to say that there were many aspects of religion that sickened me. I am finding it more and more difficult to distinguish between religion and Christianity. That saddens me. It keeps me up at night. It makes me sneak into my bathroom with all the lights off and turn on the fan so I can have a little noise to stifle my whispers. While there, I pray. I cry. I ask God why people are the way they are. Why Christians are the way we are. Why we are so easy to judge, why we think that it's our JOB to do so. Why we are so quick to label and feel NO REMORSE when we do just that.

I despise abortion. In my opinion, it is not justified, ever. You can't argue with the Word of God, and it says, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." What more do you need to prove that life doesn't begin at conception, it truly begins BEFORE conception! Therefore, abortion is the taking of life. It is murder. It is wrong. Period. End of story. When Shawn and I were struggling through infertility, we often cried out to God begging Him for a child. I couldn't understand why some people could get pregnant, then would abort the children. I couldn't even get pregnant. It wasn't right. It isn't right. EVER.

Here's my HUGE issue with the republican party. I agree with them on the pro-life stance. I TOTALLY disagree with them on their view on what to do with the children once they are born.

I've received all of the emails. All the poems. The trick-or-treat cartoons stating, "This must be a Democrat's house, they want to give our candy to the kids who are too lazy to go trick-or-treating." And I must be honest...I have found them all repulsive. Sorry to say it, but it's true. I hate them. I hate the opinion that people who are less fortunate are "lazy" or "deserve it" or aren't worth helping out. I can't stand it. It keeps me up at night. It invades my prayers daily. It is a major issue with me. Know what else? It is a MAJOR ISSUE with Christ. Yep, that's true. IT IS.

..."For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him saying, 'Lord,when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." Matthew 25:42-45

Notice, Jesus didn't say ANYTHING about people being lazy, not deserving help, etc. He didn't say, "You can go out and work just like I do. I'm a carpenter. It's good enough for me to work, you ought to work." Nope. He didn't ask questions, did He?! He said, "Whatever you do to THE LEAST of them, you do to ME." Those cartoons aren't so funny now, putting Jesus in the place of the "lazy" or the "undeserving."
Proverbs 19:17 says, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and HE will pay back what he has given." We sit and wonder why our nation is in the state that it's in. Why? We would MUCH rather judge the less fortunate than help them. Why let our tax money support lazy, worthless people? We are Christians. We've got it all figured out. We're working hard, we're better than them. This attitude disgusts me. It is so Pharisaical in nature, yet we feed it. We foster it. We are proud of it. God help us...God forgive us all.

WHO ARE WE to judge who deserves help and who doesn't? Jesus didn't put qualifications on the ones who deserve help. He said HELP THEM. What we do to them, we are doing to Him. Are you all comfortable with what we are doing to Jesus? Sorry, but I'm not. Seeing it that we, we aren't doing enough.

We push to get those babies born, and WE SHOULD. But when they're here...then what? What if they are born to young, uneducated, drug-addicted mothers who already have other children? Do we just judge that mom and say, "Look at her, she should know better. Why should my hard earned money go to people like that?" Look at Leviticus 19:10. "And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather EVERY grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD." He doesn't leave much room for guessing there, does He? We are to help. Not judge...not second guess. HELP. More red words coming...Jesus talking, here. :) "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." Matthew 7:1-2

There is an older praise and worship song that we sometimes sing at church. There is one part that always stands out to me. When we sing it, I can physically feel a pricking in my heart. It says, "May my life reflect the beauty of my Lord." I ask myself, does it? If not, what is my life reflecting? I John 3:17 says, "But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?" Really. Can somebody answer that one for me? HOW DOES IT?

So, unlike almost EVERYONE in the Bible Belt...I am FOR health care for everyone. You know that feeling we all get when we hear Barack Obama say that he supports the right to choose (abortion)? Well, I get that feeling when I hear John McCain say that health care is a privilege, not a right. I WANT my tax dollars to help others. I believe that we should do MORE for the less fortunate. I agree with something I heard from a McCain supporter, it isn't the government's role to provide health care and support for the poor - it is the church's role. Amen. It is. But, we aren't doing it. Instead, we are casting judgement. We are figuring out who "deserves our help" and who isn't worthy. We are making cartoons and poems and emails, and sending them around. Who do we think we are?

I remember 4 years ago on election day...I remember it well. A fellow teacher who happens to be A FELLOW BELIEVER came to me with this declaration, "Amy, I heard that you aren't a republican. Is that true?" I had to say, "Well, I don't agree 100% with the republican party's beliefs, and I don't believe 100% with the democratic party's beliefs..." She then interrupted me with this lovely word that has stuck with me ever since, "Well...if you aren't a republican, then you are a baby killer. I hope that you can sleep with the blood of innocent babies on your hands." Nice thought. Sweet sentiment. WWJD? That? I wonder....

I hope that you still love me, or if you don't, that you at least still pretend that you do. :) I believe that God is bigger than all of this matter WHAT, He is still on the throne. It isn't "Country First" like we've heard. It's GOD FIRST. Then family. Then church. THEN country. If we truly believe GOD FIRST, then we need to do what He says. I hope that I've done an adequate job of conveying what He says.

I'm going to end with this. Remember that young, drug addicted mother I spoke of earlier? Well, I've met her. Many times. I've taken her out to eat. I've sat across from her at court. I've accepted a letter from her written in her 4th grade level handwriting and vocabulary. I read this letter and choked back tears, hearing her try to convey her sincerest apologies, fondest wishes, and deepest regret for her sons. And...I have judged her. For a long time, I judged her. Then, one day, I heard from God. He said, "Don't you DARE judge her. You pray for her. You love her. DON'T judge her anymore." So I don't. It isn't easy, but He didn't say that it would be. He knows all the aspects of the situation. He sees her faults, and they are many. But He says, "Don't judge." In my heart, I know that this admonition isn't just for's for ALL who are less fortunate, unworthy, etc. We aren't given the right to determine who is worthy of compassion or help. Truthfully, we have all been given a gift far greater than anything we deserve. I don't know about you, but nothing that I have done, or could ever do makes me worthy of receiving salvation. I didn't earn it. I received it. Without judgement. Funny how we forget that, when we speak of money. As if money is worth more than salvation.

Lastly, (for real), I really took GREAT offense to the cartoon dealing with "those kids who are too lazy to trick-or-treat." I took offense to what it represents, what it stands for. MY BOYS are EXACTLY what that premise is built on. Less fortunate. Born to that very drug addicted mom. Remember her? The one God told me not to judge? THEY are the main reason why I will NEVER support any party or candidate that thinks that one class of people is better than another, or that one group of people don't deserve help. Are there people who abuse the programs? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT. Jesus didn't mention them. He said HELP. So while so many people that I know and love send the jokes, post the cartoons, I can't. I won't. When I think of "those people," I see these faces. Maybe the next time you receive one of those will too. (pretend that the picture at the beginning of the post is actually here)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

why the crap did my pictures load backwards?

This picture is supposed to be last; I don't know why they loaded in reverse order. Whatever. This is Griffin, who is obviously the last of my children who think that carving the jack-o-lantern is cool. He loved every bit of it.
Keith and Zack, on the other hand, would much rather play football in the yard. Notice Zack's play-clothes. Yes, he chose them himself. Yes, it's like 60 degrees and he is wearing his summer clothes. That's Zack!
All the rest of you amateurs can use your pumpkin carving specialty tools...this is how we roll. Straight up jigsaw, baby. That's my Shawn...
Halloween 08...

I love this one...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Just a quick somethin'-somethin'

Hello Pals. Long time no blog.
Let's see...where to begin. Since we last spoke, I have taught school every day, gotten re-certified in the proper way to restrain "out of control" kids, tried to be a good wife, a good mama, a good teacher, failed miserably at all 3, and painted about 45 of those Trick-or-Treat buckets. Yeah, that's right. The buckets are taking over. I told my pal Kristin (from The Family Fields) that all this crafting, while once fun, is now for the birds. Shawn and I got the bright idea to have booths at the local MASSIVE Cotton Pickin' Festival at the Old Baker Farm this weekend. He sold boiled and parched peanuts, I did my bucket thing. Until Saturday, Shawn had NEVER boiled peanuts, and I am not exactly known for my craftiness. Long story short, Shawny-Boy sold ALL of his almost 200 lbs. of nuts and I painted buckets until I grew sick of looking at them. People kept coming up to his booth asking for his secret recipe, telling him that they were the best peanuts they'd ever eaten. All I can say is "Thank you, Jesus." I was on the verge of hysteria Thursday night, bc he had NEVER practiced or cooked a trial batch, but we had 200 lbs of peanuts soaking in our garage. He ran his first test batch Friday and brought them to school to the "car-rider" ladies for a taste test. They LOVED them. So, he boiled. I painted. I stayed up until 2:00 am Sat. morning, and got up at 5. We were at the farm until 5pm, went to Mom and Dad's to eat supper, watch the Bama game (ROOOOOOOOOOOOLLL TIDE!), and get our sweet boys. Back home, straight to bed, up again at 6 , I got the boys ready for church, took them to Mom and Dad's, then back to the farm. While I am thankful for the money that we made, I am literally exhausted. I told Shawn that I seriously considered getting a sub for today, I needed a day off from my real job to recoup from my side job. But I went to school and taught. On fumes. Here are some lessons I learned this weekend while on the farm.
#1. I have awesome parents. They kept my boys all day Saturday and Sunday. My Dad played outside with them, my mom helped them make dough Christmas ornaments and let them paint them. They are great parents, and EXCELLENT Gigi and Grandaddy.
#2. It sucks not taking your kids to church. We NEVER miss church. NEVER. But I have now missed 2 Sundays in a row. Last week, I took Griffin to the after-hours dr. with an earache. This week I had the farm. As I was getting my boys ready to take to my parents to take them to church, I felt uneasy. It just wasn't right. I knew that we had this commitment that we made to The Bakers, and that it was a 1-time deal. But it isn't right, not taking your children to church. I am THANKFUL that my parents ALWAYS took me to church, and that Shawn and I always take our boys to church. Griffin showed us the picture he made in Sunday School. Oh, how I wish I had a video link to share. It was of a queen standing before a king. (OT king and queen) He said, "Mom-tee...I GOTTA tell you 'bout this. This guh (girl), she is Es-tah (Esther). And dis boy, he's da king. His name is Nez-a-bess-nevah (Nebuchanazzar). I LOVE IT!
#3 I may have a little craft in me, but I am a teacher. It's like I told Shawn and Kristin, I had fun, but I'm not going to go running of to join the craft show caravan any time soon.

Poor Jennifer Hudson. I like her so much, and now she's lost her mom, her brother, and her sweet nephew. I can't IMAGINE. Please say a prayer for her, and for her sister, Julian's mom.
More to come...I need to go to sleep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few more money shots from this weekend...

I hate that I still don't exactly have this blog stuff figured out. I wanted to post all kinds of pics, but once I start loading, I realize that it will only accept 5 at a time. So I actually did the post under this one first, now I am doing this one second. I wish that I knew how to manipulate them and make this post come second, but alas, I don't. So just be sure to read both posts...okay?
So of course, we are down on the field for a while before we actually went to our seats. What we saw...that's another story for another day. And believe's a GOODIE. "Bingo - that was a goodie!" (if you can tell me who coined that phrase - you win a prize!) (not a real prize, but a prize of acknowledgement) Anyhoo, we were standing right there when Ole' Miss' band marched in. I happened to turn around and see a SENIOR CITIZEN in full band regalia marching with them. I believe that my exact quote was, "What the....?" And I was standing beside my preacher. I must honestly say, he was right there with me...WHAT THE CRAP?!?! I mean's not every day that you see Paw Paw in his band uni. marching. So I was hooked. When they took the stands...I couldn't let it go. This is one of 7 shots I took of him. I have to know more! What should I do, google "Old Man in Ole Miss band?" I will get to the bottom of this mystery, I assure you I will.
What a lovely sight.
This shot was on the Jumbo-Trons before the Tide took the field. The sound was DEAFENING. It really did give me chills hearing the crowd react to them *about* to come out. ROLL TIDE!
For the record, I was as fervent a BAMA fan for the past 7 years as I am now. Nothing has changed. I love em', win, lose, or draw. Draw? Maybe not so much. :) I'm not saying anything about any other team...I'm just saying that I love the Tide!
Nothing more to add to this. It speaks volumes. I'll leave you with the quote that I love so much..."THIS is ALABAMA football!"

God's Country...

TUSCALOOSA! It's like my brother truly is God's Country.
This past weekend Shawn and I had a day to ourselves. The first in months. Literally.
And how did we choose to spend it? With 2 of our friends at the Bama game!
Here are a few little shots that I wanted to share.
Above is one of the fan shots that they sucker you into buying.
Call me a sucker. I bought it today.

I grow so weary of people complaining about John Parker Wilson. First of all, he holds the records for passing, most yards, completions, etcat Alabama. WHAT THE FREAK ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT? Statistically speaking, he's the best we've had.And he is the quarterback. OUR quarterback.So to quote Doug Heffernan from The King of Queens..."Shutty." Second of all - he is somebody's baby. Maybe it's because I'm a Mama to 3 boys...I really don't want to hear anyone complaining about him. How would his Mama feel? Thirdly - he is pretty much too cute for words. Seriously. Could he be any cuter? Before any of you get worried about my saying that, let me share an epiphany I had this weekend...I am old enough to be his mom. Literally. I just puked a little bit in my mouth realizing how stinking old I am.

Julio Jones...I love you too. I love that you are a phenomenal player. I love that when you score, you toss the ball back to the referee and don't act like you just cured cancer. I love that you act like you've done it all before. I LOVE that you'll do it a million times more before your career at UA is over.

Terrence Cody = Hercules. Surely you all know this story...if not I'll just tell ya.

I love John Parker Wilson.

I love Julio Jones.

I am OBSESSED with Terrence Cody. Seriously. I am. You've all seen "The Nutty Professor," right? Remember the scenes around the table where Eddie Murphy played all the roles except for the fat kid? TERRENCE CODY IS THAT FAT KID. Really. That's him. Remember, "Hercules, Hercules, HERCULES!" Mt. Cody is Hercules! This is a pic I took during warm ups, when they were doing the PA announcements of the starting lineups. We were ca-RACKING up when we watched him. He was getting all pumped up waiting for them to call his name. He was bouncing up and down, pumping his fists down by his was priceless. I stinking love him. I want to adopt him.

Hercules, Hercules, HERCULES!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Here's why I LOVE Kamin

Maybe it's just me...but I'm pretty
jazzed about these fellas.
I mean come on...
just look at these precious boys.

Kamin has such a great eye.
There is nobody, anywhere that I would rather take their pictures than our Kamin.
This shot will be one of my all time favorites, forever.

There are SO many wonderful pictures that she took that day, I will try and post more. If you live anywhere close, or even if you don' would be SO worth it to have Kamin shoot your kids. With her camera, of course. :) The best part is that she is just as wonderful on the inside as she is talented and beautiful on the outside. She's pretty much one of my favorite people...

Visit her blog...she's at "Behind K's Lens" on my links on the right. Tell her that Amy sent you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A quick post...just to say that I updated!

Not much new to post. I like this sweet snapshot of Keith and Zack. This was during our *professional* photo shoot with Kamin. These sweet boys had been so patient...they were resting on Gigi's quilt in the cotton field. I told ya, these are gonna be some AMAZING pics...can't wait to be able to share them. Anyhoo, they aren't models, ya know? They don't exactly enjoy taking pictures. But they were so good and so sweet...just taking a little rest while they waited. And I LOVE seeing Keith's basketball wallet peeking out of his back pocket...what a little man!
Then you have Griffin. He has a slight obsession with Spider Man (hence the web fingers). I have quite the dilemma on my hands. He totally wants to be Spidey for Halloween. I just don't know...he's always been something "cute" for Halloween, I don't think I'm ready for him to be something grown up yet. I know...he's almost 5. But he's my BABY! Here are his Halloween costumes of years past...The Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz (K was the Tin Man, Zack the Cowardly Lion...they were so darn cute!), Elvis ( I ordered this diddy online, and LOVED IT. It was a white velvet jumpsuit with red, blue, and gold sequin phoenix on the front. It was an exact replica of his Las Vegas outfit. Shelley, don't you have this now? If so...I want to see Mattson as The King.) Woody from Toy Story, and last year he was the CUTEST spider you've ever seen. He HATED it, he kept saying, "But Momtee...I look like a baaaaaaaaaaaaby." But Spider Man? I just don't know yet....
Another little number I took during out photo shoot with Kamin. Maddie is looking at Gigi's flower, and Breanna's feet are in the background. Sweet, sweet girls. I love my nieces to pieces! Have a great week! And ROOOLLLLL TIDE ROLL!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heredity explains it...

Of all of my mom and dad's 6 grandchildren, only 3 are biological. Keith, Zack, and Breanna are all adopted. (K and Z are my oldest 2 sons, and B is my brother's oldest daughter) All of us are so blessed by these precious gifts, and we are all certain that they were just as much of God's plan for our lives as the 3 biological. I always cringe when people say, "Now which ones are yours?" IDIOTS! All 3 are mine! All 3 are equally mine, equally me + Shawn. There is no difference WHATSOEVER in the love. I do imagine that this concept is hard for people to comprehend...people who haven't experienced it firsthand. It's like people who only have 1 child, they can't imagine loving another child as much as the one they have. Then they have a second one, and the love is just there - and it's the same. That's how it is with my boys. Now, if you know Griffin and Maddie (the first 2 biological grand kids) then you know that they are *delightful* little creatures. They are so alike with their strong wills, their fiery dispositions, and their drama filled personalities. Our favorite photographer Kamin took a TON of pictures for us this weekend. I CAN NOT WAIT to get these back and to share them with all of you. While Kamin was taking some individuals of someone, I spotted Griffin and Cupcake playing with some of Gigi's pumpkins. I told them REPEATEDLY to put them back, alas, they didn't. So I stole this shot. You've gotta love them...rebellion, er, individual expression is part of their's in their blood.

I'm back...and I've got my CRAFT on!

Okay, so its been a while. I've been busy teaching, being a mom, and making these crazy cute little numbers! They are cauldrons, and they are way too precious! I bet that I have painted 15 of these babies since Saturday, and 10 of them are now in Louisiana. I got the idea from one of my mom's blog pals, Susie. (sorry for the link mess...that's the best I can do until I learn more) I am now selling these for $10. I can personalize with your child's name, or I have made some that say Trick or Treat (above), Boo-y'all, be*witched, spooky, etc. Just tell me what you want. Each is hand painted and has 3 different ribbons on each side of the handle. So, if you want one, or 4 or 5, let me know. I am actually enjoying this crafting crap, um, hobby.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

one more reason to continue the sarah palin obsession...

Forget McCain...just give it to Sarah.
ps, I am SO being Sarah Palin for Halloween. I am scrapping my original plan of being Daphne in a family-themed version of the Scooby Doo crew to be Governor Palin. I told Shawn that he could be McCain. He didn't bite. I'm still gonna be Sarah. You know, I can see Russia from my house! :)
RTR Sarah...RTR!

Monday, September 22, 2008


It is dying, but I think it's beautiful. This past weekend I went along with several other gals from church to a Women's Conference. It was GREAT. I got so much, I could never share it all. One thing that really stuck out dealt with seasons. Trees go through 4 seasons, but they only produce fruit in 1. In one season, they are basically dying. They have endure the drying up and withering time for new growth to come. In one season, they are dormant. Nothing is happening. They appear dead. No growth is visible, no beauty. But on the inside...something is taking place. The next season is the budding time. The weather around the tree may be cool and unstable, but new life is soon to take off. Finally comes the season of production. Visible, beautiful fruit appears. Often in abundance. The thing about it is this...all the seasons must be endured to get to the fruit. The tree has to die, it has to be dormant in order to grow. Isn't that like us? Have you ever felt like nothing was happening? Alone? Forgotten? Thank God that it's just your dormant time. It is necessary for the time of beauty and growth to come. And like my hydrangea...even the dying down season provides us with beautiful evidence of God's handiwork. We are so meek. He is so grand. I am so insignificant. He is so phenomenal. I am nothing. He is everything. I am thankful that He has my seasons planned out and all I have to do is simply be.

Late Bloomers

Can you believe how beautiful the Trumpet Tree is?
Shawn thought it was dead last year and cut it all the way down...but it's back!
This is my meager attempt to be Kamin...our favorite photographer. I am playing with the settings on my camera and tried out the portrait mode...focused on the bird feeder with the trumpet tree in the background. Yeah...I'm no Kamin. Go and visit her blog, see my links and click on Behind K's Lens. She is such a precious girl (woman). She and Kristin (The Family Fields) are practically family and we are pretty crazy about them both. Hit Kamin up and be sure and tell her that I sent you. Kristin has a site linked from her site where she is selling some of her beautiful stuff. Check it out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Long time no blog!
Those of you that frequent my mom's blog know that she is one crafty girl. She has this bunny that stands out by the light post, and this is not your ordinary bunny. Gigi (my mom) dresses her to fit the season.'s football season. So of course, being a smart, savvy bunny, our girl is sporting an ALABAMA jersey. We went to Mom and Dad's to watch the game on Saturday. Griffin wasn't into football, he wanted to play on the computer instead. Shawn commented that Griffin has better computer skills than he does. That's true. And scary. Seriously, part of Zack's 2nd grade technology curriculum is creating a folder, saving documents in that folder, retrieving documents, changing fonts and colors, etc. That's a flippin' lot for an 8 year old. Anyhoo, Griffin has mad computer skills. ESPECIALLY when it comes to The Wiggles. He's in the fan club. He receives monthly emails from them. This analogy pretty much sums up his Wiggle love. Griffin:The Wiggles::Amy:Loretta Lynn/The Eagles. Yeah. It's that hardcore. So of course, he took it upon himself to print out the masks of ALL OF THEM. For those of you who aren't familiar, that's Greg (even though he is no longer a wiggle), Sam (Greg's replacement), Murray, Anthony, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, and Jeff. Then, he cut them out (on his own...check out those impressive cutting skills) and he and Gigi made masks. When it was time to go, Griffin ran ahead and shouted over his soldier (that's what he calls his shoulders) "Hey Mom-tee...don't come out yet. I gotta go do sometin' important. " This is what he did. I thought it was pretty darn cute. And let me tell ya this...when we went to Gigi's to eat after church today...Bunny was still wearing her Anthony mask.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

1st Day of School in Wee-zee-ann-uh

B's 1st day in 1st grade! Even with the uniform, she manages to accessorize in a fab way. Notice the hair bows, Hannah Montana bag, and shoes.
Maddie Moo accessorizes as well...notice the inner tube and gang signs. I LOVE THESE GIRLS!
Rock on, Cupcake...Rock on!

A few things I am certain of...

Here are a few lessons I am presenting with the help of my sweet nieces. First, GEAUX TIGERS! (this week only)

Next, I really wish that we wore uniforms at school. Look how cute BB looks! Kids need to wear them, so do teachers.
Beware the blond chick with the devious grin. She's usually up to no good. That look and laugh are usually followed by something like this...
God love her. This is what happens when you can't get away from Maddie. Once you learn to walk, Sweet Run like the wind.