Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sweet Home

Well, the time has come to bid adieu to the lovely state of Alabama. It really is a lovely place and we didn't expect to leave so soon but life isn't always what you expect.

Oh, some background is in order. Yesterday, Travis got a job offer from Eric (God Bless Him!) at HMS and he accepted it. He's putting in his 2 weeks notice at Publix today and will start in 2 weeks. We called Beech High School about enrolling Amanda and we're trying to work out those details now. The plan right now is for The girls and I to be in town by the weekend so that Amanda can start school. Oh, I'm feeling a little dizzy. None of that is in stone but that's the plan for now.

But I must go and pack. Chloe says it's time to go Back to Tennessee! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I think we all know I'm not exactly "sewing inclined". I'm not sure if I'd really like it and I'm not sure I want to take the time to learn how. I know, I still haven't made Trav's pj pants. It's just that when I went to sewing parties I'd much rather talk and eat than sew. Travis has said that I'm not allowed to sew anything until I make said pants. So, I guess I'll have to make a trip to TN to go to a sewing party to make them. But after that I'm thinking of possibly making a little comforter for Halle. I can't find any that I like in the store and it doesn't look like it would be too terribly difficult. I bought a set before we moved but since we weren't using it and weren't sure when we would (and I decided I didn't like it anymore) we took it back.

So my question is- where should I look to research this? I could Google sewing but I'd have to go through a bunch of websites that may or may not be what I'm looking for. I don't want to do that because I figure you guys could point me in the right direction. I don't know what type of fabric to look for or anything like that. I don't think I could do anything fancy and thought basically I could sew two pieces together like a pillow, put some batting in between, and put little ties through it to keep it in place. I'm just thinking that would work, no ridiculing is allowed if I'm way off base. So, thanks for the help and I'm just thinking about it. I'll let you know. I may find one that I like on sale and that would be the end of it but I really do want to try to make one. I think it would be kind of fun and special. If not a comforter then maybe a blanket type thing that she could play with (that's what I'll tell people if it turns out really bad). Thanks again, and happy sewing.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Amanda's New Job

April 25th, 1990, at 2:19 pm, there was a cry from a brand new baby girl. She weighed 7 lbs. 9.5 ounces and was 19.5 inches long. She had brown hair, blue eyes, and was immediately adored by all who met her.

That little girl starts her first job on Monday.

AAAHHHH!!! My baby has a job!?!

OK, I'm fine now. Amanda got a call today from her friend Jennifer who works at a restaurant in Helena called Brickworks Cookery. It's a nice little place that serves food cafeteria style. I've never eaten there but I've heard that it's very good. Well, it turns out that the restaurant is very short staffed and they need her to start work ASAP. Travis and I talked about it and said it would be ok on a trial basis, no more than 20 hours and 3 days a week. We'll see how it turns out. She's excited though, as you can imagine. I have mixed feelings about her working so young, but with her homeschooling I think it will help to make things less boring for her. It will be interesting to see what her work ethic is like. I guess I'll see if we're doing as good of a job as I think we are raising her. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Pita Chips

I thought it better to just post about pita chips than to write a really long comment on my previous post.

A couple of weeks ago Travis bought some black olive hummus and pita chips. I told him I didn't like hummus and didn't want to try it. I had tried it on a trip to Atlanta during my college years and I thought it was too tart. Anyway, as he usually does, Trav insisted that I try it and I loved it. The pita chips were great but I didn't like paying $2.99 a bag for 3 ounces (I'm a cheapskate) and thought I could make them. So, picked up a bag of pitas for about a dollar, made chips out of them, and I really like them. They're great for hummus but you could also dip them in warm black beans. It's a really healthy snack alternative and I love snacking. That's actually the thing I hate about dieting. Anyway, here's the recipe (sort of).

Preheat oven to 450
Cut pitas in half open up the pockets and cut them in half again (along the crescent, does that make sense? Cut them so there are two halves exactly alike, I should have taken pics)

Spray a baking pan with olive oil, or pam
lay the cut pita chips on the pan and spray with oil of your choice
Sprinkle with seasoning- I've tried several and I like roasted red pepper and garlic the best, although just plain salt is good too.
bake to desired crispness

Enjoy warm with hummus, black beans, salsa, or the dip of your choice! They don't keep very well so it's best to bake them shortly before you plan to use them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Halle's First Finger Food

Well, today was the first time I gave Halle "finger food". I went to the mall with the girls because the power went out and it was way too hot to stay home. So we went to the food court and after we got our food Halle started fussing. Usually I just pick her up and eat with her in my lap but in the past couple of weeks that has become increasingly difficult. She has started squirming and reaching and will pull anything within reach of her little fingers off the table and into your lap. She will also (it's really cute) try to pry my lips apart after I've taken a bite, presumably to get to the food inside (well, that's kinda gross). Eating a salad is really a two hand job anyway and I was helping Chloe with her food so I decided to give her half of a cracker (since Chick-fil-a was kind enough to give me 10 packs). She handled it quite well and seemed very happy to have it. After that she took a sip of tea through my straw. I know, I know, bad Mom. Anyway, she has successfully dethroned Amanda as the earliest "straw drinker". I think Amanda was doing that at about 11 months.

Her top left tooth broke through about the middle of last week and the right one should happen any day now. She has started shaking her head "no" and said "bye-bye" more like "ba-ba" imitating my parents. OK, OK, enough about the milestones, but cut me some slack this is my last baby.

Chloe seems to really have an artistic bent and loves all things crafty, artsy, and musical. She's Travis and I on speed. It's really exciting to see her grow. Several nights during the week her bedtime story consists of going through a photo album that Grandma made her. It's an ABC and 1, 2, 3 book so she'll go through and spell things and count at the end of the book. She really likes to count in Spanish to 10. Thanks Joyce!

Amanda is going to be homeschooled again. We tried everything we could think of to get her into school and it just couldn't happen. I say couldn't because there was no way to make it happen. It's weird but around here instead of having just county school districts some cities have their own districts. Bessemer is one of those cities and so is Hoover. The Bessemer High School (that we're zoned for) has done so poorly on tests that under the "No Child Left Behind Act" they are required to let their students transfer. Well, Hoover High School was the only one that we felt was acceptable for her to go to but again, it's in a school district unto itself. You have to live in Hoover to go to a Hoover school. Same thing with Shelby county and there were just no other options. So, at least for now she'll be doing the home school thing.

Wow, that's all I have to write about. Oh wait! Pita chips. I forgot, making Pita chips is my new hobby. Hmmm, still boring. Oh well, I'll try to do something incredibly exciting and post about that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Well, I'm sure you all remember when we moved here and what we came here to do but I'm going to recap before I let you know what's going on now. This is a long one you might want to go to the bathroom and eat something first. That's my attempt at humor before you read this really, really serious post.

A little over a year ago we started talking with Mom and Dad about starting a church. I don't really remember how it came about or anything like that but we were talking and praying about it anyway. My Dad went to his pastor and said he was thinking about starting a church. Well, immediately the pastor went to his office with my Dad and called the State Evangelism Director for the Church of God. The pastor told him that my Dad wanted to start a church. The Director said that he'd been wanting to start a church in Helena for quite some time. Well, that was the city that we'd been praying about. As time went on Dad was approved to start the church and was told to find a building. That was around the time we moved here. Just prior to our moving here Mom and Dad found out about several inproprieties on part of the pastor of their church and it led to Mom getting fired and them leaving that church.

When we moved here we were still approved to start the church. We located a building that the State Evangelism Director approved and because of their former pastor it was disapproved the very next day. All of this stemmed from the former pastors sexual harrassment and character assasination of the chidren's pastor. Dad told the state officials what happened and asked for a full investigation into all of the allegations made by that pastor and the children's pastor. Mom and Dad sided with the children's pastor because of several lies they knew that the pastor had told and through their own investigation they found out about a number of women to whom he'd done the same thing.

The extent of the investigation into the matter consisted of state officials asking the pastor Did you do this? He said No, and that was it. BUT they said that the children's pastor was barred from ministry and if we were going to use her then they would not approve us starting a church.

Dad asked again for a full hearing in front of an impartial jury, so to speak, and they said they'd get back to him. After two full months of waiting Dad decided to surrender his license and pursue other avenues.

We looked at other denomination options but for several different reasons Dad decided to remain independant.

The things that we know are that Dad is called to pastor and that we did our very best to make this happen. We have exhausted every avenue of starting a church and it has failed. So, where are we now? Well, we're not going to start a church. That's where we are. I know what we came here to do, with much drama I might add. Yes, we uprooted our family, left our jobs, friends (who really are family), stability, etc., to start a church that is not going to come into existence.

So then, did we really hear from God? Yes, I believe we did. I had to ask myself, Is there a scriptural precedent for God telling you to do something and it not happening? Well, there is at least one.

Genesis 22:1-12
Basically God told Abraham that he would be the Father of a great nation. He and his wife waited for the promise and Isaac was born when they were very old. Verse 1 says, " Later on God tested Abraham's faith and obedience". How did he do that? By asking him to sacrifice his son. The son from which the Lord had already told him that through him the promise would be fulfilled. So, Abraham did what he said. He took Isaac to the mountain that God showed him, carried the fire and the knife himself, bound Isaac, put him on the altar raised the knife, and then the angel of the Lord called out to him. "Lay down the knife...Do not hurt the boy in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God." Abraham got to the point of raising the knife before God called out to him to stop. I think it's Hebrews that says Abraham figured that God could raise the dead. He knew God spoke to him, he knew what the promise was, and he knew that God would make a way.

Am I putting our faith on the same level as Abraham? Um, not in this lifetime. Moving from TN to AL doesn't come close to sacrificing a son. It was hard and I wouldn't want to go through this again, but it doesn't rank up there with the faith of the father of the Jewish nation. I do believe, however, that the Lord tests your faith in order to develop the character, faith, and perseverance, (Romans 5) so that you can do the work to which He's called you.

All through college I told God, I'll do whatever you want me to do, go wherever you want, say what you want me to say," etc. But when things went wrong I cried, moaned, complained, and was angry with God. So, I said "Do whatever", what I meant was "Do whatever, as long as I'm incredibly successful and have the love, respect, and admiration of everyone I meet, and as long as I'm comfortable, yes, please make sure I'm comfortable. I wouldn't want to struggle or anything."

So now, I believe I can truly say, 'whatever God". It's not the whatever of someone so tired of life, so tired of fighting that it doesn't matter anymore. It's not the whatever of stoicism or sarcasm, it's the whatever of surrender. Am I completely surrendered in every single area of my life? I'd be a fool if I said yes. I hope that God's major project is done and that it will just take some tweaking here and there, but I'm not God.

So, where do we go from here? That's a good question. At best, we look foolish, at the worst we look like failures that think they hear from God but don't. I don't think you guys will think that, but people that don't know us will certainly think that. "There go the Buttons, the most unstable people you'll ever meet". I know people and I know they'll think that, but we have to go on. As soon as we know where we go from here I'll let you know. Sorry about the length but I wanted a synopsis so that you wouldn't think we just moved down here half cocked. Well, what I really wanted was to justify our move. Anyway, when I know you'll know. Until then pray for direction for us and for my parents. We're not discouraged. Actually, this is the happiest and most at peace I ever remember being.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Church Update

Well, we didn't get the building. There is a rule that the liason didn't know about that prohibits churches from renting the building unless you are currently in a building program. We're fine. We don't know what's going to happen but I'm fine with whatever. The lesson is obedience. Obedience in everything. So, from now on until we are in the building I'm not posting about it.

Much Love,


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Buttons and Kelsos at Big Mountain Coffee Posted by Picasa

Amanda and Chloe at Big Mountain Coffee Posted by Picasa

Chloe is sick so these are the best pics  Posted by Picasa

Chloe's haircut Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 08, 2005

Bangs or no bangs? That is the question.

Well, today was the day. I have been trying to decide for a year or two now wether or not to cut Chloe's hair. I've been afraid that if we had it cut that her curls would disappear. Well, this evening we went to the park and Chloe was doing her best to keep her hair out of her face but it's a constant effort. She really did look like a ragamuffin. Her curls are beautiful but a lot of times they get frizzy and matted and really are a pain for both of us to keep up with. To make matters worse anytime Chloe gets near Halle her little hands automatically grab a handful.

I decided it was time to take the plunge. So I did it.

Yes, I was cutter of the hair.

I can hear the gasps from here, but I assure you her hair is adorable. It is much shorter so I'm glad I started where I did. It's shorter and bouncy and STILL CURLY!!!! I'm happy. I felt like a creep though when she said "I love it! Now Halle can't pull my hair!" I should have done it sooner. I'll post pics soon.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I remember starting 3rd grade. One of my favorite things to do when school started was to look through my spelling book and see how difficult the words were that year. Well, in 3rd grade "the" word was miscellaneous. It would be several months before we got to that word, but every week I would look to see how long it would be before I learned to spell MISCELLANEOUS. It's silly really, the things you remember.

Halle, poor Halle. Tuesday when we got up, as usual, I sat her down in the living room to play while I made breakfast. Well she started screaming and crying which, even though she's a mommy's girl, was very unusual. I chalked it up to grouchiness, but was surprised because she's very rarely in a foul mood in the morning. Well, as the day went on I continued to try to put her down. I had to put her in the swing so I could shower and she continued to scream and cry and seemed to be seriously distressed. Finally I looked in her mouth and her top gum was amazingly swollen with the right side actually blue from her teeth trying to push their way out. We've had six days like that and now she's got a fever, runny nose, and diarrhea. I feel so bad for her and it's been kind of rough on me too. I haven't even tried to go to the gym since she's got to be in a good mood to go anyway. The left tooth has broken through some but not completely. Hopefully this will be over soon.

Last night we went out to Rooms To Go just to look at furniture. I saw some really cute stuff. Then we came back home and watched "Lemony Snickett". I was a little bit intrigued when the movie came out but not enough to see it in the theater. Travis really wanted to see it, though and so we did. It really was a weird movie. I like Jim Carey in some things but not in this movie. I really didn't know what to make of it. If you haven't seen it I won't spoil it but there were gaping holes in the plot which always irritates me. It just didn't seem to be very well thought out. Perhaps the book was very good and it was just the screenplay that wasn't. The kids in the movie were fabulous though and I would like to see them in something else.

Well Halle is back in my lap now and I'm typing with one hand so I'll go, but one last thing....You must try Publix's "Buckeye Balls" Ice Cream, yum!!!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Well, I have a second to catch up on things that I should have posted weeks ago and didn't. Not because I never have a second but mostly because I haven't made it a priority. Bad Amy.

Gosh was it two or three weeks ago that the Kelso's visited us? I really should remember the date since it was a huge highlight in our otherwise very boring existence but I can't.

So the story goes;

Kris called and said they'd like to stop in for a bit on their way back from Florida to visit. I really admire that about Kris and Mary. They always seem to be willing to go to extraordinary lengths to visit friends. I'm sure if I was pregnant and traveling with a small child for several hours I wouldn't be inclined to make stops along the way but they did and we had a lot of fun. We were able to finally show them around Old Town Helena. We stopped in a couple of stores and then cooled off at Big Mountain Coffee. I say cooled off because it was in the high 90's that day and the A/C was very nice. They only stayed a couple of hours and it went by much too quickly but it was nice to be able to catch up.

Then this past Sunday Tisra came into town with the kids so that we could visit a mutual friend whose daughter was in a serious accident on Saturday and was in Huntsville Hospital. The little girl is OK but she is still in ICU with some pretty serious injuries. I won't go into all of it on my blog because I'm sure Tisra will cover it better than I could but the Lord was definitely watching over them. Anyway, Tisra stayed with us (we're 2 hours from Huntsville Hospital) so that we could visit with each other and then Dad, the girls, and I went to pray with LaDonna (the mom) and then with Amber (the injured child). Oh yeah, Tisra was there too. (Silly me, I rode with her)

It was great to see Tisra and the kids, I just wish it could have been longer. Chloe was very happy to see Grant and Dean, of course, it's just that she and Grant have been friends since she was born so they're pretty close. Lael and Halle will be good friends I'm sure but they're still to young to make much of a connection.

In more Halle news:

She now says MaMaMa, BaBa, DaDa, and NaNa. She's the most consistent in saying MaMa and really seems to be calling me or wanting me when she says it. I'm convinced that she's brilliant. But the big shocker was when we were at the hospital. We were saying goodbye to Tim (the girls dad) and his family and they have a little boy that is about 2 months older than Halle. Tim was saying "bye-bye" and was trying to get Allen to wave. Well, Tisra and I (and maybe my Dad) were saying "bye-bye" and waving and all of a sudden Halle deliberately stuck out her arm looked at it and waved her hand! Everybody saw it and we were all very surprised. I know, I'm a proud Mom and yes, I am bragging.

We have some prayer requests in regards to the Church getting started if you all would be so kind.
1. Approval by the board for us to actually have the building. This could be a mere formality unless someone wants to be testy. But we should be starting church August 21st.
2. Funds. We're not affiliated so we're on our own, with God of course.
3. Equipment. An immediate need is a sound system. Not anything huge just something that would sound decent in a lunch room.
4. Wisdom. That should have probably been first.
5. People. Well, you can't have a church without them.
6. Musicians. Travis tries but he can't do it all.

We have a space and 200 chairs at our disposal. It looks like we may need a Children's Pastor. As of right now it looks like I will be leading worship, doing drama, and at least some children's services. Travis needs a new job so that he can be at church. And we need the Lord's will in everything. This should have probably been its own post, oh well.

Our hearts desire is to know God and to be available for the Holy Spirit to work through us to change peoples lives. If this is truly what His will is I know that we'll have all these things, I don't doubt that. But prayer will help. I'm excited that it's finally happening. I know that God has great things in store for this ministry.