Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas in Dixie

My dad loves that song. As a matter of fact, he loves just about anything from the group Alabama. The verses of this song came to mind with the events of the last 24 hours. We have snow in Alabama on the 11th of December. Can you believe it? I have a feeling it is going to be a very cold winter.

Lots of inspiration for some frosty photography......

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Sorry I have been MIA a lot lately on the whole blog thing. The amount of time I have in a day to sit down for even ten minutes in now severly limited by my motherly schedule and the other 4 people that live in my house.

We have been trucking right along. I am still getting used to this whole "stay-at-home mom" thing. The funny thing is that I very rarely seem to stay at home. There are trips to take every one to school, get groceries, run errands, pick up the few remaining Christmas gifts, lunch with friends (Happy Birthday Becki, BTW!), and then pick everyone up from school. All while dragging along my two year old potty training sweetie. All I have to say is how in the world did I ever work like I did? I am more exhausted these days than I have been since I had newborns in
the house. YIKES!

Becca is adjusting quite well to not being in daycare. She still asks to see her friends and her favorite teacher, Mrs. Christina. She is enjoying the amount of free play and the never ending barage of kisses and hugs that she gets from me everyday. We have cooked, played "tay-doe", shopped, lunched and napped (love it!) together. But we are having a little trouble with misbehaving. Can you say R-O-T-T-E-N? HAHA....Ain't it great!

Sarah Grace & Darby love getting picked up everyday and being home by 3:00. We have a snack, a cold juice and a little down time before bath and homework. It is so cool to see them so happy to see me and still in a good mood when I pick them up. Before, they were so tired by the time I got to pick them up after work, everybody was cranky. Now we are all in a better mood and love to talk about the happenings of their day and sing with the radio. God has blessed me with three silly, giggly, talkative, beautiful little girls!

Derek is also reaping the benefits of me being home now. My love of cooking and his love of eating compliment each other well. I told him last night as we were finishing up the leftovers of crockpot dressing, corn casserole, mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese, mac & cheese, stuffed eggs and rolls that if I didn't start to school soon we were both going to weigh 500 lbs!

One thing I have been trying to make an effort to do is to "do him good all the days of my life" from Proverbs 31. Just trying to have the girls bathed, the house somewhat straight and dinner ready when he gets home from work. That way he can read, watch TV or just enough playing with the girls when he gets home from a long day of working with the public. His hard word is a huge part of me being able to stay home and I appreciate and love him for it!

Hope you are all doing well. I have lots of projects to post pics of to keep you up to date on all my crafting craziness. One of my blog followers is Deanna, check out her profile and blog link under "followers". She has all kinds of neat ideas for kids crafts, cooking projects and gifts. I used her magnet idea to make gifts for my Sunday school class party. It was neat to be able to share my "joy" with others...more to come!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thankful Thursday = Open Windows

When God closes a door, he opens a window...

Tuesday, November 4th was more than just a historic election day, it was my final day of employment with a company that I had worked for almost 12 years.

We had all expected it for months now, work was slow. The decline of our countries economic situation has affected us all no matter where we are employed. We had exchanged home addresses and phone numbers with our dear friends because we knew the end was inevitable.

And then it happened, one by one they came around to our desks and called us to the conference room that we had sat in months earlier when the first round of layoffs came. Our supervisor was so broken she could not look up from her piece of paper that so eloquently and ceremoniously advised us that this was now indeed, our last hour at our home away from home.

We would be given a two week severance pay. (Funny, you know as I typed that just now I questioned my spelling of this word. The root of this adjective is sever.) We will be able to draw unemployment and have some decisions to make about insurances and 401k investments.

The most exciting aspect of all this that is as part of the Alabama Employment Services training program, we are eligible for up to two years of paid training. Colleges are included in this! I am currently the only member of my immediate family that does not have some type of degree. The opportunity to return to school, have it paid for and then pursue a carreer I have wanted for a long time is totally God's work!

The whole situation is all still very fresh and even with all the exciting prospects for change, my heart is aching and lots of tears have been shed this week. My dear sweet coworkers are also facing new opportunities and challenges as a result of the layoff. Please pray for them and for the ones that do not have the peace of our Savior in their heart.

Later, when I can, I would like to share a little more with you about the people that have shared my days with over the last 12 years. They have all impacted my life in some way. Work is stressful, tedious and often can be unenjoyable in the wrong situation. But we spent the majority of our waking hours with some of the finest people anyone could ever be blessed to be apart of the same team.

In case you are wondering how I am spending my days now, see my next post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Love Thursday

Some of the bloggers I read faithfully have a theme that they do on Thursday each week called "Love Thursday". Today I wanted to share a little "Love Thursday" with you all.

1. I absolutely LOVE anything from the '50's. Or maybe just the way that it is portrayed in the movies. The fab clothes, the simpler life styles, and the whole "June Cleaver"-ness of it all. Some of the things that I am striving for in my life, contentment (more on that to come soon), simpleness and happiness seem to be so abundant in that time period. If I had a time machine it would definitely be in my top five "place" to visit.

2. I love my children with all their own unique ways.
I love that Sarah Grace is just like her Daddy. Even down to the things that drive me crazy about him: asking me a million questions, writing everything down, making sure I am doing the right thing!
I love that Darby is always up for anything and has a zest for life like no other I have ever seen or met. She is a real spark plug kinda girl!
I love that Becca still has her "baby" smell. Kissing the "sweet" spot on the curve of her neck and smelling her hair makes my heart swell like nothing else in this world.

3. I love my Mom (Mawgrand) and the example for motherhood that she set for me. When I was a little kid, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up my a my mom. She can cook, sew, paint, draw, pull-out of her hat just about anything and everything you could imagine. We always had fabulous made to order homemade birthday cakes, Halloween costumes, the coolest birthday parties, the coolest MOM ever! One of my most prized possessions in the world is a birthday card she gave me last year. She wrote in the card that I was good mommy. It is so dear to me and I often think of it when I am having one of those "what was I thinking having three kids in less than five years" kind of days!

4. I love that my Mom is now working her coolness on my kids. Check out the FAB costumes she made for our sweet ones for Halloween! She is so awesome!

Thank you MawGrand! We love you and our costumes too!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fun, Irrelevent Facts about Me

In an effort for some of you to get to know me a little better, I thought I would post 25 random facts about my crazy life. Here ya go.........

1. My uncle once: called Sarah Grace to wish her a Happy Birthday. She was born on his 50th birthday and now he calls her every year to tell her Happy Birthday. Thanks Uncle Bob.

2. Never in my life have I: seen the Space Shuttle lift off at night. It is on my Bucket List.

3. When I was five my parents took me: to kindergarten with my hair in a ‘fro from sleeping in sponge rollers too long.

4. High school was: ok, but I wouldn’t go back.

5. I will never forget to: the first time Derek told me he loved me. He wrote it on a piece of paper and handed it to me. I still have it.

6. Once I met: Chad Brock the country singer on the flight from Nashville to Orlando on our honeymoon.

7. There’s this boy I know: who is the spitting image of my brother and he likes to shoot me with imaginary Spiderman webs! (Hey Joshy! Becca will be so excited to see you tomorrow!)

8. Once, at a bar, I: danced all night while my sweetie watched me from our table. He is such a good sport but the dancer, not so much. HAHA

9. By noon, I’m: ready to go outside and see the sunlight.

10. Last night I: took SG to the Dr., went pre-Christmas shopping at Toys R Us to get ideas with SG, ate at Wendy’s, went to the Fall Festival, worked at the Fall festival, went to Walmart and FINALLY went to bed. I am pooped today.

11. If only I had: enough $ to be a stay at home mom.

12. Next time I go to church: I'll be teaching Wee Worship with Derek. This week we are teaching about Abraham, Sarah & Issac. We are going to talk about how God blesses us with our families.

13. What worries me most is that I: won’t be a good wife and mom.

14. When I turn my head left I see: the sign that says, T-E-A-M, Together Everyone Achieves More.

15. When I turn my head right I see: a picture of SG & Darby holding Becca the day she was born. Big Daddy’s hand is in the picture too, holding Becca’s head. My FAVORITE. PICTURE. EVAH!

16. You know I’m nervous when I: fiddle with my earrings or bite my bottom lip.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: being young and carefree.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: the dramatic lead.

19. By this time next year I will: being closer to God than I am today.

20. A better name for me would be: Robin. Don’t know why, I never thought of myself as a “Shelley”. Meh.

21. I have a hard time understanding: how some things never seem to change.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: get my teaching degree.

23. You know I: talk, laugh, giggle too much.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: God. Phillipians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

25. Take my advice, never: put flowers that have been outside for a very long time in a van with three little girls.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Big Daddy does not like attention. He is not one to be the center of attention, doesn't like for a big deal to be made about his birthday and will probably not be crazy about this post at first.

But, let me tell you, I am so very blessed to share my life with this man. I truly believe that God made us for each other.
'Nuff said.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008


Have you ever seen the movie with Chris Farley and David Spade called Tommy Boy? There is a seen in the movie where they get pulled over by the police and they jump out of the car yelling "BEES!". The police decide to let them go because they don't want to take a chance at getting stung. We had our own crazy version of this Sunday after church!

With no Saturday afternoon naps and being on the road most of the day, we were wiped out when we got home Saturday night. We got just what we had to out of the car, the children, the cooler of drinks we had taken and the groceries we had pick up when we stopped to see Sharon at Piggly Wiggly. It was so late and we still had baths and hair to do so we figured we will deal with everything else Sunday after nap.

Well, that was a bad idea! We left the old flowers that we had replaced at the cemetery in the back of the van. BIG MISTAKE!

I don't know if you are having this problem at your house but the spiders are terrible at our house this year. We have new webs on the front step every morning. Apparently they are bad in Athens this year too.

After early service on Sunday morning we decided to make a trip to Walmart to pick up a few things for the girls snacks this week. We came back to put our groceries in the car and there were spiders every where! No kidding, we killed like ten before we even moved the car out of the parking spot we were in. I figured out that they were coming from the old flowers, so I threw them away in the trash can by the buggy-holder-thingy. We jumped in the car to hurry home for lunch and didn't even get on the road before the next spider invasion took place.

Has you ever seen a little girl all dressed up from church with church hair lose her mind screaming and crying? Well, multiply that times three! There was lots of screaming and tears and "I hate this car" and "I hate flowers". We had to stop again in the parking lot to rescue our poor defenseless children from their eight-legged attackers. It was quite a scene.

We jumped back in the car to hurry home as fast as we could to get the girls out of the car and spray bug spray to kill the spiders that were left. I took off like a bat from the parking lot and high tailed it home. We were about two miles from the house when I flew around the curve and saw a policemen waiting with his radar gun in a clump of trees. OH MAN! He immediately turned his lights on and pulled out after us.

I was looking for a place to pull over when the next batch of screaming and crying commenced. the spiders were coming out in droves again and everybody was freaking out. Derek was furious cause he would never have been driving that fast and wouldn't have gotten us pulled over. (He drives like a Mam-Maw!)

We had just come to a complete stop in a parking lot, we the girls jumped out of the back of the van and I jumped out after them. Becca was losing it because she couldn't get out of her seat belt and Derek was pilfering thru the glove box trying to find the proof of insurance. I am sure we were quite the spectacle by the time the policeman made it to the side of the van.

He asked for my license and proof of insurance and I was blubbering trying to explain what had happened. He walked back to his car, snickering the whole time. It was a hot mess of crazy Pepper women in that car! He came back quickly and was nice as he could be. He asked if there was anything he could do and told me to slow down and be careful. YEAH! No ticket!

Moral of the story is, if you every get pulled over, a car full of screaming children will get you out of one everytime!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Visit with the Peppers!

Hope you all had a great weekend! We made a road trip to Decatur to see Granny!

We visited for a while at her house and then went to "Big Daddy's McDonald's". (For those of you that might not know, Derek worked at the '50's style McDonald's in Decatur thru high school and then several years into college.) The girls all had a ball looking at all the memorabilia and sitting in the red bumper cars.

After lunch, we went to the Adventure playground at Wilson-Morgan Park. Sarah Grace played in the sand and on the monkey bars until she almost had blisters on her hands! She is a real monkey!

Darby and Becca climbed and hid all in the cool playground area while we got to visit with Granny. It was really cool to visit and get to check out such a neat place.

The church across the road from the park had a make shift "pumpkin patch" set up in it's parking lot and even though we had bought pumpkins earlier in the week, we had to buy three more! They had the coolest kinds of pumpkins. Some were all knotty on the outside and looked like they were covered in warts. The girls loved feeling how rough they were!

By then, it was late in the afternoon and we took Granny back to her house and headed out to Athens. We put new flowers on John and Grace's grave (more to come about that later) and cleaned the headstone. Darby & Becca were asleep but it was very special for Derek to show Sarah Grace. She asked lots of questions and we tried to explain the best we could.

She is such a sweet child. She came up and hugged me and said, "Poor Daddy". She gave him a big hug and then ran off to read the other headstones.

We drove onto to Piggly Wiggly and visited with Sharon for a minute while she was at work. I think she was really surprised to see us. We all need to get together more often but life is so busy. Hopefully we will get to visit more soon with the holidays coming up.

Next it was on to Teresa & Ronnie's. The girls loved looking at the cows and Becca was mooing at them as we were coming up the drive. Derek, Teresa and Ronnie all got to watch the last few minutes of the Alabama game. Poor Derek was so glad to have somebody to talk "football" with finally. Bless his heart, living with all these girls he doesn't get much sports talk. But he can paint some mean-looking fingernails! haha

They went with us to the "cheese dip" place in Rogersville. They got to see our girls in action with the cheese dip and salsa. Talk about some serious eating! If you ever want to bribe them, mexican is the way to go. It is like the truth serum for these little girls!

We did get home that night until almost eight o'clock after leaving that morning at 9:30! We were all worn out but still had to unload the car and do baths for church the next morning. Becca went missing and I just knew we had a potty accident on our hands. But do you know what.........our big girl went to potty #2 on the big potty all by herself! We were so proud that we had to do the potty dance which consisted of much laughter and celebration by all five on us in a very small space! If you have ever been to our tiny little bathroom, you know what I mean!

It was a great day of visiting and spending time together as a family!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday MawGran!

We celebrated MawGran's 29th birthday (haha) on Sunday, October 12th! The girls were so excited to decorate the house with balloons and a Happy Birthday banner for her.

My brother Lee drove in from Madison to celebrate with us. It was good to see all of them and the cousins all had a big time playing together. Becca kept reaching over and patting her "Joshy" during dinner. She has a serious cousin-crush on that boy! But who wouldn't, he is such a cutie. He is a mischievous little man with a devilish little grin.

We had crockpot lasagna and the works to go with it. After dinner, the kids all gathered around MawGran to help her blow out the candles on her Fresh Apple Cake!

We tried a new recipe for homemade banana pudding made with Splenda too. It was really yummy and will definitely be a recipe to make again for family gatherings with ones who watch their sugar intake.

Hope you had a great birthday MawGran! We love you!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lowe's and fishes...

This weekend Derek (who will from this point forward be referred to as Big Daddy), had to work his monthly Saturday. In an effort to get the girls out of the house for some free entertainment, we went to our local Lowe's for their free Build & Grow workshop.

If you have never checked into this before, I encourage you to check it out at It is a free children's workshop where they build or make two different projects a month. They give the kids a free Lowe's apron and a patch for each project the complete. This past Saturday was the skeleton marionette type doll. Lots of hammering and some stickers and we had a great time. We will definitely be going back for the Pumpkin Craft on the 25th!

When Big Daddy got home, Paw (my Dad) came over and helped up cut down some shrubs and do some major yard work! It was so awesome! The kids had a ball "helping" us and we all got some much needed fresh air and exercise. Paw even gave the girls a dollar for helping out! They were so excited!

MawMaw (my grandmother)called and invited us over for a fish fry that night. Aunt Diane and her youngest, Hannah, had driven up for the weekend from GA and they wanted to cook up some catfish. Paw watched the girls so we could get a quick shower and head out to the fish fry. After several hours of grueling yard work, that fish was SO GOOD! We all ate like pigs and enjoyed some good company.

So, that was our Saturday, Lowe's and fishes. HAHA!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Virtuous vs Vain

Most everyone knows the description of a virtuous woman from Proverbs 31:

She rises up early to provide meat for her family.
She is well favored in her community.
She helps others.
She is not afraid of the "snow", ie life's tribulations.
She is honored by her children and her husband.

But what about the vain woman? Until recently, when I thought of someone being vain, I thought they were proud of their worldy, physical beauty. But God has revealed some things to me in recent months that have changed my perception of vanity.

A few weeks ago, I attend my first-ever, since being married and babies, out of town, all girls scrapbooking weekend! I was so excited and had been planning details of the trip for months and months. My dear, sweet friend "D" was going with me and we were both looking forward to a weekend away and hopefully getting a few pages done at the same time.

One night at a crop, I asked our consultant if they had any kind of prayer breakfast or meeting on the Sunday morning of the trip. She said no but it was a good idea and she would discuss it with the other consultants. WELL.........God put his finger on me to try to organize this little meeting that Sunday morning.

I had never done anything like that before. Being so new in my salvation, who am I to talk to others about God. I got scared, I mean REALLY scared. Like I didn't even want to go to church scared, cause I knew I would feel God pushing me to do something that I was not comfortable doing AT ALL!

SO, I withdrew from God. A major bad attitude consumed me. Everything and everbody started getting on my nerves. What was their problem anyway? I could do everything by myself and didn't need any help from anybody. And you know what happened? I got into a major pickle! I was trying to do everything by myself without God cause I was scared. How crazy is that?

So, after having a major come-a-part one day, I gave up. The next morning, I got up extra early to have some quiet time. I prayed, OK God, you tell me what you want me to talk about if you want me to do this. I said a few more words and closed my prayer. When I went to open my bible to read, it was like the words were jumping off the pages at me!

First, it was Proverbs 31. I had seen this listed in my Journey study guide. I had heard the description before and felt like that I did not fit that description in any way. Then I kept reading. The fore word in Ecclesiastes stated that the whole book was about vanity. It described vanity as the "futile attempt to live apart from God".

WHOA! That is exactly what I had been trying do and it was a mess! God had given me a testimony to talk about. Being a crazy-busy working mother and trying to find peace and balance in my life. It all made sense and was just too cool.

I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat by now wondering what happened by now............I did it! God gave me the most awesome words to talk about in our little circle that morning. He was truly there with me, holding my hand.

One of the ladies came up afterwards and told me she really need to hear what we had talked about. She was having a hard time and needed some encouragement. It was too cool! Somebody felt the same way I did and needed to know what God has to say about it.

It made me come to realize what Bro. Brett had said in one of his sermons, God wants US full of him. We are all here for his glory. He can use each one of us in some way to minister to others. Everyone has a testimony and other people can benefit from hearing how God helps you get thru your walk.

Several verses help me to remember that I am not in this struggle alone and He is with me ALL THE TIME. God wants us to be full of joy and peace...

John 16:33
33"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Wishing you a peaceful weekend and some quiet time with your Heavenly Father....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankful Thursdays

OK, as you have seen thus far, I am not a very good blogger. There are too many ideas swirling around in my head to post about, and then I get overwhelmed and bummed about it, and the phone rings or somebody is whining about somebody gettin' into her pink poodle purse and then I forget about it! My train of thought lately is about five, make that, three (one for each child) seconds long.

So anyway, some of the blogs I often read have these cool "games" or post ideas that they use with fellow bloggers for topics. Wordless Wednesdays are cool cause you can post a sweet or silly pic with a small subtitle. I really like this idea since the whole blogging thing is new to me and I have boo-koo's of pictures of my sweeties.

The previous "BED HEAD" post is of Miss Becca Boo one morning a few weeks back. That girl is a crazy sleeper, all over the bed and turned in all different directions. One night, apparently her hair was attacked by a small band of roving mice that tried to nest in her golden little "bob" 'do. Needless to say, a bath with hair washing soon followed.

So, in turn, Thursday's will be "Thankful Thursdays" or something else if I urgently feel the need to change my mood. haha I will be selecting 10 things off the top of my head that I am thankful for that day. Hopefully, this will make for good subject matter. Let me know what you think, if anybody is still reading my ramblings by now.....

10 Things I am thankful for today, 10/9/08:

1. That Derek is taking Sarah Grace on a dinner date and to her AMSTI night at school. (Because this way, neither one of us will have to try to keep the other two quiet while the projects are going on.)
2. It is Thursday and the work week is almost over.
3. That everyone living in my house is healthy (for now...flu season is close at hand, have you gotten your shot yet?)
4. That Darby is such her own little person. Her teacher told me yesterday that they all love the way she says "I DO NOT..." do whatever instead of saying I don't.
5. That I remembered that when Darby was younger and we tried to get her to eat new foods she would say, "I DO NOT love it, Momma". Not that she didn't like it, she just simply did not love it. That is SO DARBY!
6. That the low carb thing is working for me. The weight is still slowly coming off.
7. That Derek is still doing good on the no "Coke" thing. He has lost almost 20 lbs!
8. That I found an old Christmas card of the Sarah Grace & Darby from our first Christmas in our house. They were so little & squishy then!
9. That hopefully all the (expensive) plumbing issues at home for the last week are now resolved and the insurance will cover the other stuff!
10. That thru Jesus, God has made a house for me in heaven that never has plumbing problems!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

There's a first time for everything....

After months and months of reading other people's blogs, I have decided to share the joys and tribulations of our little world here in Pepperville. In an effort to keep up with friends and family far and wide (spread out that is, not that they are wide, haha) we have decided to try to post here as often as possible. This way we can spread the word of how God continues to bless us on a daily and sometimes, moment to moment basis.

Since this is the beginning or fresh start of the blogging world for us, we thought we would we would share a little of God's word about new beginnings with you...

22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Eph 4:22-24