Monday, December 29, 2008
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
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!
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. firstname.lastname@example.org is home (it gets everything) email@example.com (school - filters out a lot)
More to come - Christmas pictures and tales galore!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
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
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 most...love. 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 are...how 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
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
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?
I LOVE IT!!!
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, M.E....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 disagree...you know me...I'm a maverick. (LOL!!) Well, maybe not a Maverick...how 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
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....
Saturday, November 1, 2008
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...
Monday, October 27, 2008
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
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!"
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.
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 side...it was priceless. I stinking love him. I want to adopt him.
Hercules, Hercules, HERCULES!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
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.
Monday, October 13, 2008
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
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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! :)
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.
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
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Maddie Moo accessorizes as well...notice the inner tube and gang signs. I LOVE THESE GIRLS!
Rock on, Cupcake...Rock on!
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 Emma...run. Run like the wind.