Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to My Husband and Son......

My husband and my eldest son share the same birthday. Since they share the day, they'll have to share the post.
I scanned these pictures in hurriedly before we left for the beach, so yes, I know they are crooked but I was in a hurry and that's just the way I am! :) Just gotta love me the way I am! :)

Wasn't Russell a cute little boy?

We went to different elementary schools and he was a year older than me but these are our school pictures from the same year. I was in first grade and he was in second. Click on the picture to see our sweet little faces up close!

There are many things Russell really loves and many things he likes to is one.

This was Russell's first birthday after we started dating and this is in my little townhouse. I gave him three little crepe myrtle sticks bushes. He planted them and today they are taller than our fence and dropped seeds making new bushes. We have even shared them with another family. I love that a present given 16 years ago will keep on giving for years.

Russell is truly a great dad! He was known as the best room mother/father around.

He taught Matt how to tie one on! Tie that is, he tied it around his own neck because that was the way he knew how and then Matt slipped it over his head and tightened it up and voila!

Russell with his parents at his 50th birthday party. These are obviously among the greatest parents ever.......just look at their son!

See that smile? That is simply how he is all the time. He can come in after working 14 hours and be just as happy as he was when he left that morning. He's very patient and very seldom gets mad, and if he does, he gets over it very quickly!

Russell is Gator all the way. This was his favorite birthday cake!

Russell with his siblings way back in the day! From left to right, Russell, Sue and Skipper. Sadly, Skipper died a few years ago.

He loves the grandchildren!

He loves my family! Very important!

He loves all the children! I just ran out of steam in finding pictures!

But most importantly, he loves the Lord with all his heart!
So happy birthday superhero and as always AML/AML!!


Happy Birthday to my eldest son, Paul! 39 years ago, I was in the hospital where I had been for nine days! I was a child having a child! I turned 18 on July 31 and Paul was born August 31. When I first realized I was pregnant, I was scared because I knew I had to tell my parents. I was scared, but I was already in love with my baby. I never had one moment of doubt about that fact. I loved him. The situation was not what it should have been.....I sinned. But I loved that baby then and I love him today.

Long story, but Michael Paul Dykes entered this world at a whopping 3 lbs. 11 ozs.
Paul stayed in an incubator for 28 days. During that time, I was at the hospital standing at the window looking at my baby twice a day.....the only visiting time for babies! I didn't get to hold him, just look at him through the glass! I don't think they understood how important it was for babies to bond with their parents!

Finally, at 28 days and weighing 5 lbs. I went with his grandma and papa to get him. The nurse dressed him and finally I got to hold my baby. We got in the car to go home and my FIL drove a little way, pulled over and just sat looking at Paul. Paul and I lived with my in laws for 9 months after he was born, while his dad was away in the Army. He was one loved baby! Living in the house with his grandmother, grandfather and two uncles, Paul didn't stay in bed much! Some one was always waiting to have a turn holding him.

This is the picture taken at the hospital when Paul was 3 weeks old. I took that picture everywhere with me. Click on the picture to get a little better look.

Here he is after participating in the Pinewood Derby as a Cub Scout.

He loved the water and being in a boat even as a very small child.

Paul and Cousin Andy in my parents' front yard.

And in no particular order! Mama and baby! This picture is in my family home.

Remember when these were popular on pictures? My mother loved them. This is Paul on the far left with a bunch of cousins and his brother.

This is a family reunion up in the I mean to shout country! I'm not sure what my two younger brothers are telling Paul.
I'm guessing this is Paul's 14th birthday. Please don't ask why I didn't make him put a shirt on, I can't remember! Paul, from now on, put a shirt on to have your picture made!

Here is Paul either the day we brought him home from the hospital or shortly after. I'm holding him and my little brothers are sitting on either side. Look how tiny Paul was!

Birthday pool party.

Panama City Beach with his children

A very happy birthday to my son! I love you!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Moon over Miami our backyard.....

Last night, I went outside right at dark and this was the sight I saw in the sky. The neighbors behind us have two palms and hanging right above them was this gorgeous fingernail moon!

I ran back in to get my camera.....I do realize this picture is dark, but I think you can see it o.k.

I was going to talk a little about the increasing and decreasing moon or what I've learned from people who actually read the almanac.

But first, just to get my facts right, I went over to read up on the moon. The following is an excerpt from the National Geographic website.

• How did the moon form? According to the "giant impact" theory, the young Earth had no moon. At some point in Earth's early history, a rogue planet, larger than Mars, struck the Earth in a great, glancing blow. Instantly, most of the rogue body and a sizable chunk of Earth were vaporized. The cloud rose to above 13,700 miles (22,000 kilometers) altitude, where it condensed into innumerable solid particles that orbited the Earth as they aggregated into ever larger moonlets, which eventually combined to form the moon.

This information according to.....

So, before I get on with my light and pleasant talk about the moon.....please let me say that the moon was formed on the 4th day of creation by the (who else??) Creator! You can read it for yourself in Genesis 1:14 - 19.

O.K. then.......I have always heard that if you want your hair to grow slower, get it cut on the decreasing moon, or the days after a full moon. If you want it to grow faster get it cut on the increasing moon. Of course, all that has to do with the gravitational pull of the moon.....the same thing that controls the tides. AND it may be vice versa, but hey, don't ask the *Nati*nal Ge*graphic staff!

I'm currently trying this theory out on my dogs. Last month, I apparently got their haircut on the increasing moon because in 3 weeks they were shaggy dogs. So I intentionally got their hair cut on the decreasing moon this time so we'll see if that works out for them.

Speaking of the little's Mikey who has one aim in life and that is to have one of those chickens thrown so he can retrieve it and bring it tback for you to throw again. Number 3 son and I were talking about him today. Matt said, you know, he's just always happy, not too bright, but always happy. In this picture, he's patiently waiting for Russell to finish working at his computer so he can throw the chickens.

And then there's Jack. He's bright, but moody, which seriously happens to be my husband's middle name. Moody that is! OH, and crazy! He's actually on an anti anxiety medication that isn't helping a bit!

Here he is staking out his territory by his daddy. What you see hanging out of his mouth are his manlegs. You read right.......manlegs was originally a cat toy and it was a man......but over time, Jack managed to bite the top half of the man off and was left with the legs. Well, over time, manlegs got chewed some more and became man LEG and will soon be man hip! After that, well it will be sad because he gets manlegs every night at bedtime and plays a game with Russell. He walks up to Russell and Russell tries to take manlegs, then Jack growling fiercely, runs back, comes back again.....I'm sure you get the picture.

He's very possessive of Russell and makes sure to get as close to Russell as he can at night. Russell calls him the birth control dog. :) I was calling his name in this picture, but he wouldn't even look at me!

Yes, it's obviously a dull life around here when our entertainment consists of the dogs.

Maybe Russell should try taking me to a movie!

Stay tuned for another fascinating day, or night, in our lives!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Missing Person

Driving in town the other day, I saw the cutest bumper sticker.....It said...

Some days all I want to be is a missing person!

Here's my poster....


Middle to older aged woman

Now has gray hair, but looks similar to this picture....well she's got a few more lbs on her now.

Last seen running down the highway pulling her hair out by the roots, having been driven crazy.

If you find her, for Pete's sake leave her alone.

Only a little joke folks! But really, some days don't you just feel like that?? You know you do.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I could mess up anything

Some of you may have noticed that some of my sidebar disappeared.  I thought it had something to do with my last post so I deleted it thinking everything would come back.  NO, all I succeeded in doing was to also lose my comments from the last post!  If you posted a comment, please post another one....I feel very sad about whatever happened.  

I'm going to work really hard to undo whatever I have done.  So bear with me!  

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Counting my blessings!

To make the most of your conversations, think before you talk.

I took this quote from can link to it from Every day they have a quote from a sermon and I particularly like this one as it applies to me!

If only!

You see, I am prone to talk first and think two days later. Then I whomp my self on the head and wish I had kept my big mouth shut!

This is not in reference to anything I've said recently, although I'm sure I have said SOMETHING that I shouldn't have said or that I should have kept to myself. I've often said that if I said everything I was thinking, no one would ever speak to me again! I am always thinking!

If you haven't see this, run over to Gigi's and watch this video. I promise it's cute, short and will bless your heart!

Other things that lightened my heart this week.....

Number 1 son........finished Phase 1 of Drug Court.....this is so much bigger than I can put into words. THIS IS BIG, HUGE, A SURE SIGN THAT GOD NEVER FAILS TO ANSWER PRAYER. Just not when and how we think He will. But after all, He is God!

Number 2 son.............worked all week! This is big too, because with all the cut backs and the slow work a day world, his job has been awfully slow lately. Another answer to prayer.

Number 3 son.....even though he lost his job due to more cut backs.....he missed the first two cuts....he has already sent out lots of resumes and we are certain and sure that God has a job for him. Also my DIL is working so that is a big relief! We know an answer to this prayer will come.

Number 4 son...............finished another round of rotations for pharmacy school and is home for a week before returning to school. He's less than a year from graduating.

Big, big thanks to my sister and her husband for taking him in and making him so welcome and comfortable that he convinced them to buy not one but two new t.v.s! :) Hey, he was just doing his part to bring you guys up to par with technology!

Did I steal this picture off my sister's facebook? YES! But isn't it a good picture?

This nephew got into a new brace and is much more comfortable! Although his injury put a huge dent into his summer fun!

I could go on and on with the blessings of the past week! When I started typing, I thought what did happen this week???? Nothing quite like counting your blessings!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Annual Birthday Dinner....

Birthday dinner 2009!

The three of us all have birthdays close together, so if we don't see each other any other time of the year, we make time to have dinner together sometime around our birthdays!

We three girls have been friends over 30 years and have seen the good, the bad, the tragic and all that goes with that stuff together.

You can tell we're getting older. This year after talking about the usual stuff, we added in health and beauty treatments! Or should I say beauty treatments and health?

We had a great time and as always laughed about things that most people would sob over.....we have learned that laughter is indeed the best medicine!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tropical Storm Claudette and the four million dollar house!

Just in case you don't have access to the weather channel......we here in the panhandle of Florida are waiting for Tropical Storm Claudette to come ashore with lots and lots of rain! Really, I had no idea a tropical storm was even in the Gulf until my MIL called this morning and told us the news. We are located on the weather map above between Pensacola and Tallahassee.....we're such a small town they didn't put our name on the map!

At church, the preacher came over and asked my DH if he thought we should cancel the evening service. Listen, ask ANYBODY except my husband about shutting ANYTHING down during or for a storm! Here's his answer.....It's just going to be a little wind and rain...I don't think we need to cancel. You see, my husband thinks NOTHING of a storm. Even if a Category 5 hurricane heads straight for our house, we aren't leaving. Nope, we're sticking it out no matter what! Everybody can come to our house and stay, cause we're just not going. Now me ??? I get crazy when the barometer drops a point. I rushed home and looked at the weather online and shook my head sadly.....the storm should get really bad about 7 pm.....about when church lets out!

And what does this have to do with the four million dollar house, you ask? Nothing.
After church, we ate out with a sweet couple from church and then rode with them to look at a house the company the husband works for is building. A four million house. Right on the gulf. I forgot my camera! So I'll just tell you that it's four stories and you use your imagination, because that's really the only way I can think of four million dollars anyway!

Oh, by the way, someone else with some storm sense must have been consulted because we got a call that church was cancelled after all!

P.S. It's just sprinkling and not even too very windy. It's 7:22 pm.......maybe DH was right.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Steve!

As so often happens in a large family, today is another Birthday!!! Happy birthday to my youngest brother Steve.

Steve was the caboose of the family, the final baby.

Here he is with his daughter, Bella recently.....

And here he is not long after we got him! Notice that car seat would you. Look closely and you'll see two metal hangers on each side that hooked over the seat. I can't tell that he's strapped in in any way.

Happy BIrthday Steve!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going once, going twice.....SOLD!

First, let me say I totally missed the meteor shower last night, or should I say this morning!

I stayed up specifically to watch it....... had gone out a few times to have a look see.....even though I heard it could best be seen between 12 am and 5am....then at 11 pm, I decided to
close my eyes for just a minute and there you go, sound asleep, missed the entire thing! Did any of you stay awake?

Oh, well! I guess I shouldn't cry over a spilled
meteor shower.

Anyway, for a few weeks now, my precious husband (trying to get back in his good graces), has been talking about going to a land auction. Pretty much if he's actually talking out loud about something, he's already made up his mind......just a little husband factoid.

I was
sooooooooooooooooooooooo against's not in a place I ever thought I would want to live, so for those of you who may live there, it will remain nameless for now......and of course, being the submissive stubborn, hardheaded, big mouthed wife that I am, I let my feelings be known right up until the morning of the auction. Thankfully, I have a very loving husband who rarely gets mad. I'm not saying he didn't, just that it's rare.

Off we go to the auction with the princess bride muttering under her breath,
we'll be the only ones there since no one in their right mind would want to own land there and I'm hoping he doesn't think I'm going to live there! The super hero was kindly ignoring the muttering.

Of course, by the time we got there, I had on my sweet wife face and was actually repenting in my heart for being so mean.

There were tons of people there! Who knew???? And the bidding was fast and furious. I was impressed with the auction company......... before the bidding actually started, they prayed!

We sat quietly while a lot of the land was auctioned off at higher prices than we were prepared to offer. Then it happened......I, the stubborn one who didn't want to go, said oh, bid $....... AND HE DID! Then the hard pressure started. The auctioneer started the "run the price up" chant.....NOBODY ELSE my desperation, I almost bid to run the price up.....fortunately, I realized it would still be us bidding and kept my mouth shut and my hands glued to my seat.

So, drum roll please......we are now the owners of a certain acreage in a certain part of the county. Now, I don't think we will actually ever live there, but I have one happy husband.

I now call him the Land Baron.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Happy Birthdays and FINALLY.....the beach pictures!

Today, my son turns 32 and our niece turns 15!

So Happy Birthday to you both! Hope this is your best year yet, and many, many more ahead!

Here is Sarah with her parents.

And David on the 4th of July!! Looks patriotic doesn't he? Happy Birthday!

And now, finally, after days of trying to get these pictures is our trip to the beach! It's fascinating so don't look away!

This is my sweet hubby who rigged his fishing cart so that it would pull behind our bikes. Even though the only pictures you will see here are of HIM pulling it with our chairs, umbrellas, cooler and beach bag, believe me, I did my share of the pulling it behind my bike!

I told DH that I was going to download that old song by the Rolling Stones "Beast of Burden" (if it isn't by the Rolling Stones, please don't tell me, I have trouble with band names!)
It was quite a little ride from our RV site down to the beach so we got some good exercise! Too bad that's the only time we get ANY exercise!

Pulling our cart down to find a spot, we saw a couple putting up the umbrella you see in between two other groups of umbrellas. Folks, that was really an umbrella, like you carry in the rain! He carefully put it in the sand and they put their heads only (that's all that would fit) underneath! We laughed, quietly of course, at the sight of those two full grown adults under that little umbrella. I figured they had been down earlier and the wife was nagging about having no umbrella so her hubby brought down the only one they had! Anyway, it really looked funny between all the other beach umbrellas!

Behind us are the dunes! We had these same dunes on Panama City Beach until lots of very greedy developers and a storm or two flattened them. DH and I fondly remembered climbing to the top of dunes as children and rolling down, then running into the gulf to wash away the sand! Which you never really washed away! Lots of it stayed in our bathing suits!

There were lots of clouds in the sky, but I knew we would have a beautiful sunset starting with this pink glow over this crystal clear water! I haven't seen the gulf this gorgeous and clear in a long time. Not a bit of seaweed!

The sky kept getting more and more beautiful......see the bird flying?

O.K. I took a lot of sunset pictures, but it kept changing every few seconds, which is how often I was clicking the pictures. The clouds were hanging low, which only made things prettier.

Can you see the tiny heart shaped hole in the clouds beneath the pink?

See, that water sparkled like diamonds! We didn't take floats, but we just floated on our backs over the waves and it was sooooo relaxing!

I was alternating taking pictures between the sunset and the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico!

I took a close up of this pigeon just to see what my point and shoot camera would do and when I took my laptop over to show my mama the pictures, she said, and I indignantly quote, Is that YOU???? I said, mama does that really look like me??? So ladies and gentlemen for your viewing pleasure, me in my pigeon suit!

Sorry, I just couldn't decide which water pictures to post!

I have probably said before that I think we use the word awesome too much and for things that aren't actually awe inspiring.......well, this is awesome! The creation in it's glory!!

The nice couple beside us took this picture of us in the sunset.

Did I mention that I love a good sunset!?

It always amazes me, how pelicans know to fly in a pattern. Just a few years ago, the pelicans almost disappeared from our beaches and they're back and we're glad!

AND another sunset!

Trust me when I say it was hard to decide which ones to show you! These are unedited because I don't know how to edit photos!

I am always baffled by those who don't believe in the Creator! As that glorious sun was setting in the West...........this also very glorious moon was rising in the East.
This from some random act??? No...all nature sings!

After we saw that sunset and moonrise, we rode our tired, sun soaked, happy bodies back to our home away from home. Just after we got in, the wind picked up and it started storming! So we slept to the sound of rain falling on the roof!

Then it was time to go! We weren't ready, but this one was! He's in the driver's seat saying, if I have to drive, we're going home!

And so as my dear grandmother used to say, the great battle ended and the sun went down! On another vacation that is! We had a wonderful, relaxing time! I think that's the first time I've really relaxed since I was last under anesthesia! :)