Saturday, July 31, 2010

6 Days & counting

Ben has a wedding that he was asked to do (photography) in the Florida Keys. The couple got the delux package, which come with a 2nd photographer. Being that i haven't undergone any major photography training, Ben has been using a good friend of ours , Lillian Prince, whom we met at church, to do photography with him. My two little men keep me so busy that i haven't been able to stop and become a "2nd shooter" for my hubs, (plus i have this overwhelming feeling that i do not have the radically talented eye for things that he does)...Lillian is very talented, but has two little people to care for all day everyday, so she is limited to how many weddings she can take on, so...
Lillian, her husband Ryan, Ben and me are going to Florida to do this wedding. Because it would be a little odd for Lil and Ben to go alone AND because Ryan and I are welcoming the thought of something that resembled a vacation we are all going! Now to add some more fun Ben's mom sales Time Shares. We called her to see if she had somewhere down there that might be a good deal..and hooray! We are staying at one of her resorts for a great deal! We have to rent a car because we are flying down there and are there for a week. The only ones available were a convertible or a grandma car (i can't remember the names of either)! You guessed it!
Now for the "kicker"...our babies are staying with their grandparents! Yep FOR 8 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOA!
I should send nerve pills and energy pills along with the boys luggage!..I am PRAYING they sleep, that Brennan is compliant, & that they like us when we return! (both our kids and my parents) :)
SO i am packing packing packing this week and i am part excited, part anxious...BUT
"Be ye anxious for NOTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God..."Phil 4:6

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

So this morning when i asked Brennan what he wanted for breakfast and he asked for grits...then as most two year olds..he changed his mind..Knox didn't mind! He took over Brennan's seat, bowl, spoon and appetite. And as soon as you break out a camera this boy brings out the "CHEESE". He says it too if you can tell by the expression and shape of his mouth..HE is a DOLL!!!! Loving this kid today. And for all of the many many Brennan posts, i thought Knox "deserved" this post all to himself!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Check out these exerpts from a CBS story!! A word for us stay at home moms!! I know this is long but hang in there and be encouraged!
(CBS) Look around these days, and you'll find women in positions of real power: a woman at the helm of the National Security Council, two Supreme Court justices, and female board members of every Fortune 100 company.

It's just as it was supposed to be 40 years after women got in the front door.

But look for the women of the next generation -- the ones everyone assumed would follow in droves behind them, and you're likely to find many of them walking right back out and staying at home.

Lisa Beattie Frelinghuysen was on her way to the very top of the legal profession. At Stanford Law School, she was president of the law review. She went to work for a top law firm, and she clerked at the Supreme Court for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

But after she had her first baby seven years ago, she left, and never went back. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports.

"I know myself, and I know that when I'm working at something, I work hard. When I was at the law review, I was working until midnight every night. And my husband started a surgical residency where he was completely unavailable," recalls Frelinghuysen.

"I was afraid that if I was working, there would be no parent there with the children. And I wanted to experience getting to know my children, being there in a consistent way."

She's hardly alone. Every Wednesday morning, a church in suburban Maryland is filled with professional women who have chosen to step out of the full-time work force to spend time raising children. They have organized a lecture series for intellectual stimulation.

Tori Hall, a former analyst with the Congressional Budget Office, and Sheilah Eisel, once a top sales representative for Oracle, come each week. They, along with Ann Geldzahler, a Yale graduate and lawyer, are all stay-at-home moms.

"The bottom line was, it was an emotional decision not an intellectual one," says Hall. "It doesn't make sense to give up a great job that pays a lot of money and has a lot of satisfaction for myself, just to walk away from that."

"I think about it for a little, and then I think I just, I love what I'm doing for right now. I do," says Geldzahler.

"I would say the first six months there were days that I had serious doubts, did I make the right decision," says Eisel. "Now, there's like bumps in the road but I'm very glad that I'm staying at home."

Could it really be that this generation of women, the first to achieve success without having to fight for it, is now walking away, willingly, and without regrets? Census bureau statistics show a 15 percent increase in the number of stay-at-home moms in less than 10 years.

Linda Hirshman is a lawyer, philosophy professor, and author. She didn't believe it, until she started researching the high-powered couples who announced their weddings in The New York Times in 1996.

"The first man I called answered the phone, and I told him what I was doing, and I said, 'Where's your wife?' And he said 'She's at home in Brooklyn taking care of our daughter.' And it turns out, so are all but 15 percent of the women I interviewed," says Hirshman. "Eighty-five percent of the women in my sample are staying home either full-time or part-time."

She's still in the early stages of her research, but the trend has been documented by other studies. And she's convinced it's going to be the 1950s all over again.

Why does it matter?

"These are the women that would have gone into the jobs that run our world. These were the women who would eventually have become senators, governors. These women would have been in the pipeline to be CEOs of Fortune 500 companies," says Hirshman.

"There were panel discussions about work and lifestyle issues, which as a 26-year-old, didn't mean a lot to me," recalls Hagan. "Until I had my own child did I realize what a juggling act it was going to be."

Do any of them wake up and say, "I'm June Cleaver. I'm living in the ‘50s?"

"I don't think we are. I think that's wrong," says Atkinson. "I worked for 20 years after college. And so my experience in leaving to have children is different than hers. I think I would feel differently about my choice to stay at home for a few years if I didn't have that experience behind me."

She says she's also different from many in Stahl's generation, who were determined to stick it out no matter what. These women say they don't feel they have anything to prove. They have been successful, and if they want to take some time out to be with their kids, why shouldn't they?

"I think there's a lot of focus on what I'm sacrificing by staying home. And what's hard to articulate is how much I get back," says Hall. "I do it really-- a lot of it is for me. I enjoy seeing and being with my children."........
........."These women are choosing lives in which they do not use their capacity for very complicated work," adds Hirshman. "They are choosing lives in which they do not use their capacity to deal with very powerful other adults in the world, which takes a lot of skill. I think there are better lives and worse lives."

"I think the women's rights movement was very much about giving women choices and respecting the many choices that women make," says Frelinghuysen.

Adds Hall: "I think there's some people with preconceived notions that because I'm at home with my children all day, I must be preparing husband-delight casserole in a cocktail dress. … The mothers groups get together and talk about Iraq policy."

Hirshman believes that women who remain in the workplace are going to be hurt by the ones who are leaving, that there'll be a backlash. Graduate schools will stop accepting women, and companies will stop hiring them. Well, first off, that would be illegal. And second, it's not as if men stay in their jobs forever; they leave all the time.

Harvard Business School did a survey and found that just 38 percent of its female graduates in their child-raising years were in the workplace full-time. But Kim Clark, dean of the business school, told 60 Minutes the last thing he wants to do is to stop admitting women. He says companies are going to have to change.

"I've had some friends say, 'It's driving us crazy. Why are they leaving,'" says Stahl. "I've heard that from businessmen. They're frustrated. They are investing in these women for years."

"They're asking the wrong question," says Clark. "The right question is, how do we change to keep this talent active and involved with us?"

One of his goals as dean is to convince the business world it's in their interest to come up with creative solutions to keep women in – as Eisel's company tried to do.

"They said, 'Come on back. Work part time. three days a week,'" says Eisel. "This is perfect! And it actually worked out incredibly well for about three months."

She was supposed to work 30 hours a week, but Eisel says it ended up being more like 40 hours on a slow week, to 50 to 60 hours. She says it really wasn't the part-time situation she had envisioned.

"I couldn't say, 'OK, this is a $3 million deal. I have a mommy-and-me play date right now with the music class. So sorry, can't come,'" says Eisel, laughing.

She says that working part-time also prevented her from getting top accounts: "I had great accounts, and then I had a very frank conversation with my manager who said, 'How am I going to give you the top accounts? You're here three days a week.' And I think part of it was I am there three days a week, but I can handle it."

But could she really handle it? "I couldn't handle many top accounts. But if I had one top account," says Eisel, who adds that the option was never tried.

"A lot of companies are simply cutting people off. And when they go part time, the part-time stuff is peripheral," says Clark. "It's not fulfilling, satisfying. It's not worth it. But I know from my own experience, you can create meaningful, high content, part time jobs."..........
"What changes if you're out of the workforce for a couple of years? You haven't lost your brain power," says Hagan. "You haven't lost your organizational abilities. Maybe you've gained some new ones managing at home. … I think people need to be just more open-minded."

"This is a new thing, that women are leaving the work place," adds Atkinson, who left her job as a producer at60 Minutes. "I think that women like us, who have choices … hopefully, we'll be able to make changes."

Cousins and a trip to the Farm

Here is Brennan driving one of the "Tractors" this one he got on all by himself..its actually a lawn mower..He would ride tractors all day if we let him!!!!

This is Charlie or "Char ee" as we call him.. My nephew. Isn't he a doll?

Makes me think of that  song 
"Well, I got my first truck when I was three, Drove a hundred thousand miles on my knees"

Here is my pretty sister, Hope and her two kiddos Anna Beth and Charles Benjamin Coon.

"CHEEEEEESE" says Knox. Yes it is one of his first words..would you guess his daddy is a photographer?
He LOVED this little Wagoneer car my mom got from my cousin..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

stay at home moms...

If you are a blogger you understand, when you realize that you have all these dear online friends who are kind enough to 'follow' you on this blog and then you go WAY TOO LONG without posting..I as for your forgiveness.. Onto a little update and encouragement.
We are great! GREAT compared to any amount of time we have expereinced for the last 8 months.  We are really are enjoying our children like we have not before.It is still not perfect. Ben's work has been really busy and somewhat stressful. My hands are still 'full' all day everyday. But no doubt we are relieved to have this time. 

So i want to ask all of you who are stay at home moms to consider something...Or if you know of some stay at home moms that you think may be interested. I did some research in college for a public speaking class about 2 incomes versus one. We had to do a persuasive speech and i persuaded half my class (we had to do a class poll after for part of our grade) become stay at home moms..
I am aware that there are some stay at home mom blogs, some church or organization based blogs relating to stay at home motherhood, but i was curious if some of you would be interested in helping me build a blog for stay at home moms to encourage them, to address and answer questions, to do some research about dual incomes vs. one etc. I want it to have several 'authors' and maybe allow each 'author' to take a different aspect and then feature certain topics on specific days.  Please let me know if you are interested. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

okay okay already

You may be saying "enough!" about this red dye biz, but i cannot describe to you the miserable journey we have been on with Brennan for about 8 months now. I have thought we cannot get any any more strict with him, we are being consistent, we are obey God's word about raising children, we are doing everything possible to keep him "well" barring putting him in a sanitary plastic bubble!
To read the list of symptoms of an allergy to red dye and to read the reports and blogs and sites about it have been a breath of fresh air! To read and i quote.."flu like symptoms, general irritability, non compliance, sleeplessness..." WHOA!!!!!! 
I have felt the glare of judgemental others seeming to say with knowing eyes..mmm hmm just another mom who needs to get control...
Add that to a sick child who the doctor kept giving antibiotics that CONTAINED RED DYE...making the poor guy WORSE..times 7 months..Yes the vicious cycle of of sickness has been almost more than this mother could bear..i have prayed and cried over this little trial so much that my dog looks at me ears back before she even comes near me..
I have no other way to explain finding all this information other than God leading me. We have an appointment with an allergist this Tuesday. Thank you to all you who have been praying!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

red dye made from insects?!

Yes that sounds crazy-beetles to be here if you are interested..i found many different articles stating that most red dye (except for #40) is made from dead decaying beetles from Mexico!!! Gross!! No wonder huh?! Here is an expert from the article i linked:

"...Carmine is used in ice cream, strawberry milk, fake crab and lobster, fruit cocktail cherries, port wine cheese,according to the FDA. Carmine's also used in lipstick, makeup base, eye shadow, eyeliners, nail polishes and baby products, the agency said.

Cochineal extract is used in fruit drinks, candy, yogurt and some processed foods.

Cochineal extract has long been made from the dried and ground female bodies of an insect called Dactylopius coccus costa. Indians living in pre-Columbian Mexico were the first to recognize the cactus-sucking insect could be used as a source of dye.

In the present day, when cochineal extract or carmine are included as ingredients, their presence can be noted simply as "color added".."

All i am saying is i am TRULY looking into this red dye buisness!

Monday, July 5, 2010

More Answers

Our little Brennan has all the familiar symptoms upon Ben and i arriving home from a weekend away (MUCH NEEDED BTW)..
My mind has been whirling ever since...i have prayed my heart out and believe that God has led us to some very useful information..being the weekend of the 4th no one was open as i tried heartlessly to get him an appt. I say that because i don't feel that the doctors have really helped much.
I prayed and cried and prayed and read. I have no true explaination as to why i looked up what i did other than God that is why i say HE led me to the information.
I looked up symptoms of red dye allergy (which we knew he had since he was about a year old and got into some fruit loops)
The doctor had mentioned tons of kids have it and most outgrow it when he first diagnosed it. He didn't seem to concerned. i had thought that maybe we were on our way out of it i found 4 different medical journals reporting that when there is an allergy to red dye, it can react in the form of: (GET THIS..!) cold/flu like symptoms, irritabilty, lack of concentration (which who knows with 2 year olds??!!), lack of sleep, rashes, itchiness, swollen eyes, runny nose and swollen throat.
All of his symptoms, also explains why they keep reoccuring and then combined with some normal sickness we get sick brennan all the time!
FDA is not required to label RED DYE unless its a certain percentage, there are other code names out there..this mornings break out we found to be a reaction to teh sunscreen we sprayed on him at the pool got it-had red dye..its in some shampoo, baby wash, lotions, its in Benadryl (Yeah!! ironic huh?) its in some tylenols and vitamins! And that is not even touching food!
It also said that this is not always detected in allergy screenings unless the child is currently expeiencing a reaction at the time tested!..hmm.
Anyway. Just wanted to tell you dear friends of mine who have been praying! Thank you!! 
On to reading labels...

Saturday, July 3, 2010


So Super Ben to the rescue...he got the pics ready for me to put on my blog! Hooray! Enjoy the story as it unfolds!
Daddy and Ben driving up from the afternoon "excursions". Under the pretense of finding an air conditioner for our new sunroom, Ben had the difficult responsiblity of keeping Daddy away from 1-4 while we got everything set up. HE HAD NO IDEA!!!  

Can't  you tell by looking at his face?
Here our dear family friend Ms. Mary holding little Brennan I was upstairs with Knoxie giving him a bottle and i heard her say Joy your father is coming! was a rush for me and I got a smidgen of a glimpse into that glorious day when its is my Heavenly Father 'acomin for me!

Here is the big tent that my brother in law practically put up all by himself (and they said it took 5 men...!)
Here is Granny Smith (yes thats her real name!) She nurtured my father in his teen years and was the first person he ever knew to have family devotions in her home! A precious lady to all of us. She handsewed my mothers wedding dress, makes the most incredible peanut better cookies then stores them in her deep freeze so that they are handy for any young'uns who might show up. She has probably prayed more for him than anyone other than my mother. She was Daddy's best friend's mom from his growing up years in Center AL. She said the blessing over the food.

Here is my very talented cousin Clint. He can do anything from handpaint amazing detailed pictures, sketch houseplans, coach little league, do graphic design work, engineer name it..and his latest talent-writing meaningful speeches! He wrote a beautiful tribute to my dad!
And my mom doing a "survey" of how many in attendance he had performed their wedding, or lived under his roof (though i dare say that latter was due to her gifting)..
A very precious family to me..the Chunns..yes the ones with 9 children that i was a nanny for..Here Mary (another one) is holding Brennan. It was an instant bond for him and a joyful reunion for me. Mary is the oldest of the girls, and her presence felt more like a b'day present for me...
Here i am asking Daddy 'did he really have absolutely no clue?' i said i was sure he thought something was up!!
His lifelong friend Lynn Smith (Granny's son). Ironically he and Mama dated freshman year at Samford...
Anna Bethy and her beloved Papa. Its a very long story, but deep into the speeches she became quite hysterical. I don't know all the details, but sweet baby angel thought that because we were having this party that Papa wasn't going to have any more birthdays. She told her mama that she didn't want Papa to go to heaven! Ah a childs mind! Sweet pea..once she knew that it wasn't bc of that she was much releived!

And finally his Gadsden State roomie ( i think thats how far back they go??) Paul Harbison playing his  "git-fiddle" to timeless Paul songs like the one he rewrote especially for this day "Count your Many Wrinkles" to the tune of "Count your Many Blessings"...Gotta love him!!!!