Joyfulmamaheart’s Weblog

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L’s guide to Grocery Shopping September 6, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 6:02 pm

Alright, everybody, after an extremely trying morning of having to go grocery shopping with my Mama, I decided to write down some guidelines for successful grocery shopping. My Mama seems to need all the help she can get…

Ok, first of all, lets get this one little thing straight: I will sit in the cart, but don’t you dare try to buckle me in. This buckle that came with the cart cover? It’s not a restraining device, it’s a NECKLACE. So don’t try to strap me down, accessorize me!!!

Let’s just face it: Grocery shopping, for me, is a tad on the boring side. Being the brilliant baby that I am, I’ve devised a fun game for us to play. Hand me that package of Jello. Ok, now I’ve tossed it on the ground, pick it up! I toss, you pick up. I think it’s only fair to warn you that if you try and toss the jello into the back of the cart, that is technically considered a penalty, and so I’ll just shriek the “penalty siren” until you give it back to me.

I can be distracted from this game with your cell phone.

And by the way, while we were shopping, I called and hung up on most of the people in your address book. Just a little F.Y.I.

Next, at all costs, keep me away from that weird old guy who said, “She don’t need no hairbow to tell she’s a girl!” He scared the living daylights out of me, and frankly, Mama, I’m disappointed that you let him get so close to me that I could see that I have more teeth than he did. And by the way, I’m going to SCREAM uncontrollably every time we run into him again. Adjust your shopping route through the store accordingly.

Ok, listen. I know daddy was laughing, but I think he may have been serious when he said no more buying clothes for me. I was in the closet with him right before he found you and said that, and he was grumbling something about me having so many clothes crammed in my closet he can’t even look at what’s in there. I think he was pretty serious about the ban, so put those shoes back. I know, I know, shoes are not clothing, but I’m willing to bet that my daddy doesn’t understand the difference between clothing and accessories. And never will.

And don’t you even try to blame that Hannah Montana cd on me. We all know you were the one who wanted it, Mama.

Could you keep my adoring fans away? I’m about tired of having to listen to how adorable I am again and again. The next time someone approaches our cart, I’m going to stage a meltdown. That should get rid of them quickly.

Hand over your shopping list. and pen. NOW. I’m bored.

Also, just so you know, that lady who saw you take my picture thinks you are crazy. Your smile and explanation, “It’s for my blog!” didn’t help. She’s over in produce wondering what the heck a blog is and why it needed a picture of me in the shopping cart.

I know it’s a lot of work, Mama, but for keeping my rules, you get to enjoy the presence of my company while you shop.

And my company is pretty precious!!


apparently belching isn’t all he does well… September 5, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 4:09 pm

Yesterday morning, B, L and I were all sitting around the breakfast table, when B raised his hand high up in the air, looking expectantly at me like I was supposed to call on him. I said, “Yes, B?” and he let out the biggest belch I’d ever heard. (Um, I have to amend that. The biggest belch I’d ever heard that didn’t come from my sweet little sister. You just can’t even compete with her.)

After a brief plea to please not do that in class, I whisked him off to school. My day progressed, and between buying groceries, bringing poor sick R food and water, and wiping L’s endlessly runny nose, I listened to my voice mail. I was surprised to hear from the mother of a little boy in B’s class.

Honestly, at first, I was really worried… and my mind started racing. WHAT had B done now?!?! Oh, I just knew it was something bad for this poor little boy’s mama to track down my home number and call. MAN is that boy in trouble…..

But I had jumped to the wrong conclusion.

This woman told me the sweetest story on my voice mail. She said that she and her husband had been so worried about their little boy starting Kindergarten because he is so shy. She said that the first day, he came home just so excited because another little boy had been nice to him. He had been his friend all day! This mom encouraged her boy to go back to school and find out his name. He came back the second day and told her his name was “B”. She said that her son was so excited to go to school and play with B, and the transition has been so much easier than they thought it would be. Did I think it would be alright if the boys played together some time?

Oh, boy. I was just tearing up listening to that message!!

It was such a proud mama moment!!

I just had to marvel at how that same breakfast belcher could be such a wonderful friend to the shy boy at school. B sure is a rambunctious little guy, and at times has left me wondering what to do with him. But he is also such a tender hearted and sweet little boy, genuinely interested in everyone around him.

I feel so lucky to be his Mama, belches and all.


Seasonal Outfits… and an explaination!

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 3:07 pm

It started raining recently at my house… and wow, it has cooled things off! What a relief from those dog days of summer!! Of course, the cooler weather has me thinking about fall… and seasonal outfits, of course!

I am so delighted to have two little ones that I can dress up! L still loves being my own personal baby doll, while B is starting to feel a little bit too cool to wear duds sewn by mama…

Regardless, my sewing machine has been a-humming!


lil Turkey outfit for Sweet Miss L


It’s a girl Turkey… had to have a hairbow! 🙂


And for Mr. B… a matching tie!

Now on to the explanation…. if you are anything like me, you are wondering what is going on with all of my abbreviations! Am I a chronic initial user? Do I really call my children “B” and “L”?

It’s kind of a long story. I do hope you’ll stay with me… it’s about my son’s lunch money.
So my husband, R, is pretty sure someone is out to get us.

I know, this sounds silly. But let me tell you, working at his job in computer security, tracking down fraudsters and hearing all about the different ways to steal money and identities and not have it traceable have left him very paranoid.

In R’s case, it’s left him with a set of enormous identity protection rules to keep our family identity safe. Now that I put some more thought into that, I’m thinking it’s just to keep our bank account safe, I’m not sure how in jeopardy my identity is. Really? Someone else out there want to steal my identity? ‘Cause after a trip to the ER with B this weekend (ear infectionS) and a sick hubby today, I’m thinking I’d love for that identity thief to come try my job out for a day. How’s tomorrow look?? I’ll just kick back and catch up on those 14 hours of sleep I lost in the last weekend. And I’m sure once the trial identity theft day was over, the poor person would be handing me back my identity and running fast in the other direction. At least this week, with all that sickness going around. (and yes, I do understand that that technically is not what identity thievery is. Please understand, I’m very sleep deprived, and when that happens, I start to think I’m funny. We’re all in trouble! Thank goodness I can look this over tomorrow after I’ve slept and hit that delete key if I’ve embarrassed myself too much.)

Now that I’m done rambling, I’d like to get back to the subject at hand, which is that handsome paranoid hubby of mine.

R’s main goal is to protect us, as I’ve stated. He knows he can’t stop every angle of identity theft (cause those thieves, they work the angles.) He just wants to make sure we are not what he refers to as “the lowest hanging fruit”. He wants to make sure that if someone is out there looking for people to defraud, we at least look harder to defraud than the neighbors. (so that they get defrauded instead of us? Man, as I’m typing and thinking about this, that doesn’t make R seem very nice. I’m going to have to go discuss this some more with him. Maybe identity theft protection is not very neighborly.)

So back to those rules. They are pretty simple. He has us do things like not leave checks in our mailbox. I drop them in the locked drive through box at the post office. Apparently if your check falls into the wrong hands, it’s super easy for those thieving bad guys to run off with all of your money. So he’s super careful on this one. I’m not allowed to ever write my credit card number down on anything. If I think I want to order something online, he wants to have a glance at the website first. It’s pretty straightforward. Oh, and we need to have a special bank account for B’s lunch money.

Yeah, you read that right.

It started with B bringing home his school folder just chock full with things requesting our cash. PTO Donation….Fall Fund raiser tickets….School Pictures….and, yes, a little lunch money.

I whipped out the check book, got ready to write a few, when thank heavens for our family financially security, R stopped me. He said he was more comfortable sending cash than a sure-to-be-stolen check, and couldn’t I just go through an ATM later on?

This lead to a heated discussion of just how really stinking likely it is that the school secretary is going to try and run off with our money (apparently, sweet little old ladies sure can steal identities with the best of them) Isn’t it more likely that our adorable five year old would pocket or loose the cash?? (R argued that at least that is only loosing $15, and not the whole bank!) And finally, don’t we have some sort of identity theft protection through the bank? Say said school secretary runs off with our cash, doesn’t the bank have some sort of account protection? (R came back with the “even so, why go through the frustration of that whole process when a little bit of prevention could save us the trouble??” argument.) I could see I just wasn’t going to win this one.

Honestly, for me, it really came down to the fact that for every time I want to send money up to the school, I didn’t want to have to run to an ATM and try and figure out getting the correct change.

I finally just told R that, and it’s when he suggested to Lunch Money Bank Account. (LMBA)

R’s just sure the LMBA will solve all of our problems. By opening a separate account with just a little bit of cash in it, when someone steals B’s lunch money and tries to run off with the contents of our bank account, low and behold, won’t they be upset when they realize all they got was a measly $12.50 of some kids lunch money??

But y’all, since I did promise some honoring and obeying, I guess later today you will find me down at the local bank branch opening our LMBA.

I just really, really hope they don’t ask me what the bank account is for…

I hope this gives you a little bit of insight into what I’m dealing with here. When I wanted to start a blog, after months of enjoying many of yours (and feeling like a creepy lurker, not leaving comments!), R had MANY concerns over our family safety. Again, that honoring and obeying thing came into play… 🙂
So I’d like to introduce myself. I’m J… a stay at home mama to two wonderful little kiddies, B (5) and L (1). My often funny and always protective hubby is R.   Welcome to my little spot in the blog world!  I hope you can overlook our quirky initial names,  and come visit me every now and again!


Why does my minivan… have to SMELL like a minivan?? August 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 10:23 pm

These days I’m driving the ultimate mom-mobile…. a bright red minivan.
Most days you will see our van cruising around town, with some soft kiddie-bop music playing, B singing and L dancing along, and toys hanging from the ceiling. (B has discovered these weird velcro circles on the ceiling of the van and loves hanging toys from them. It entertains L, so I’m great with it… but what the heck do you think these things are really for???)


I was not one of those girls who swore she would never drive a minivan. I was happy to take it on! Give me a minivan, stick some babies that look like R in the back, and I’m happy.

The one thing I did promise myself is this: MY minivan would never smell like a minivan! You all know what I’m talking about… that weird sour milk- old gym socks- McDonalds combo that just about makes you sick.

I guess I underestimated the incredible ability of my little ones to generate that smell so quickly!!!

Miss L has learned the thrilling effects of turning her bottles and sippy cups upside down and shaking. B DID leave his shoes and socks under the back seat after Saturday’s baseball game. (I honestly don’t understand how I missed him running into the house barefoot, I think I must have just discovered that L had shook empty an 8 oz. bottle out on the seat next to her while we were driving home from the ball field…) And yes, while cleaning out the minivan, I do occasionally find a stray french fry… or goldfish… or yogurt container… (DON’T ask!!) And to top it off, the summer heat sure isn’t helping.

Bottom line: My minivan smells horrible!

Today we had to go out to do a little shopping. Afterwards, I loaded the kids in the van along with our purchases. I was a bit annoyed that the smell was so strong today– and there was a new smell that I couldn’t identify that had added itself to the mix… oh joy! Before we had gone into Wal-mart, I had cracked open the back window, hoping some ventilation would help. (It didn’t.) I went to walk the cart over to the coral and B yelled from the vented window, “This is the minivan monster! {giggle, giggle} I love you Mommy!! I mean I love you J {giggle, giggle, giggle!!}!! ” (I’m sure B was thinking that since the windows are tinted, I would have no idea who was randomly yelling at me!!)

I smiled as I walked back to the van… Ok, so it might really smell like a minivan, but it is filled with little minivan monsters that do look like R!! And I can always put them to bed when we get home and go start scrubbing upholstery again, right??


thoughts on the boy

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 1:37 pm

We all headed to church bright and early on Sunday morning. Our little L was not really in the mood. Almost as soon as we arrived, Dad was back in the hall with L. B and I stayed to enjoy the hour without our grumpy baby!

About halfway through, B sat straight up all of a sudden and looked very surprised! He leaned over to me and said, “MOM! Hurry! We have to go meet him!!”

I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Who??” I whispered back.

“Jesus!!” B said excitedly.

“Huh?” I said.

“Jesus!!! That guy just said he was in the building!!”

I tried to remember what had just been said… and how B’s half-listening ears might have gotten the idea that Jesus was physically in the building, ready to meet and greet!

“Sweetie, Jesus isn’t actually… well … I’m not sure what you heard… but we actually can’t go and meet him at the moment… ” I tried to explain.

“Oh, Man!!” B looked SO dissapointed. “I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet him!!!”

After church, I had a horrible headache, and went to lay down while R fed the kids lunch and helped everyone settle down for afternoon quiet time. B asked about me and R told him I had a really bad headache and needed to rest.

“How much does it hurt?” B wanted to know. R tried to explain a headache in terms B could understand.

B responded, “Oh, poor Mommy! I wish that I could have her headache so that she doesn’t have to hurt!”

I just about cried tonight when I woke up and R told me what he said!!

We talk about this scripure- Matthew 18:3, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Little children have such perfect faith–B’s is a bit intimidating to me at times!! He wholehearted believes that Jesus is real and approachable because we have taught him that he is! B has a natural interest in and love for others. It is amazing to me how he seems to understand gospel principles at five much better than I do at my age.

I feel so lucky to be a mama… I get the impression that these little people I am raising have to be such strong spirits to face an increasingly scary world out there. I am so glad B is confident and a good leader, I think he will need these talents in life! It also makes me so happy to see him developing faith and compassion for others along with those other practical life skills… all the while perfecting some pretty sweet ninja moves!!


I never claimed to be a mathematician August 29, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 2:25 am

I have discovered the reason my brain never understood math. All along, it was just a set up to help me bless the lives of others.

I always strongly disliked math in school… I was such a stereotypical girl who loved reading, writing, history… and was baffled by math. I can’t even count the number of nights I sat at our kitchen table and dear ole’ Dad tried to help me understand my math homework. He rubbed his poor forehead bald in frustration, trying to help me understand that stuff.

I have a fiend who is excellent with numbers. I’m not sure how we stumbled upon this little factoid, but she is the only person I know who memorized pi for the fun on it. You know, that 3.14 thingy? Did you know it does on, um… forever? 3.14…15… on and on! She’s got it memorized to like 20 digits out or something. This is the same friend who is like a walking phone book- she’s got everyone’s number memorized in her head. And that is saying a lot, these days, in our era of cell phones that can store all of that information for you!

This friend is so handy when I’m quilting. Because quilting is actually very mathematical… you have to know how many little pieces to cut, how big to make them… oh, it makes my brain hurt. All that algebra. I’m just not good at it, and when I don’t have anyone to help me… well, let me just tell you the story of my friend’s baby blanket.

The baby blanket. (One of Four)

I started making this darling pink and black blanket for my friend’s little girl. I started by sketching it all out, writing down how much of each fabric I would need. Then I got out the trusty rotary cutter and went to town. After that, I started sewing it together… and then, holy cow. What happened to my BABY blanket? Why did it look like I was working on a king size comforter? Then I realized… my faulty math brain was at work.

The silver lining? Now my friend’s baby, L, and two other sweet baby girls get to snuggle in their homemade pink and black quilts!!

And then last night, the night of all that banana bread…

I decided kind of late in the day that I wanted to make some of my famous banana bread for family night. In my haste, I decided I wanted to double the recipe so that I had extra loaves to share with a family from church. I got to work, doing some quick multiplication in my head (I KNOW. MULTIPLICATION. I only wish it took some more complex math to double a recipe, to cover my shame… but alas, it was multiplication that was my downfall…) Anyway, I had the butter and the sugar creaming away in my stand mixer, and was about to add the eggs… and wait a second. It was another one of those “How did my baby blanket turn into a King size comforter?” moments.

I started doing the math again, and realized I was creaming enough butter and sugar… FOR EIGHT LOAFS OF BANANA BREAD.

And no, the four sticks of butter did not tip me off a moment earlier when I added them.

And Dad, I can just picture you reading this at your computer and rubbing that spot on your head again.

Well, I wanted to share some banana bread with a family from church, and now not one, not two… but SEVEN families can be blessed! What banana bread joy I have created with my non-math doing brain.

And this really is a wonderful day, because my banana bread may just be the crowning glory of all my lifetime achievements… especially if my children turn out rotten!


Reason # 7982 August 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — joyfulmamaheart @ 11:22 pm

I miss B.

I know what you are all thinking, “Didn’t that boy go to school a week ago?!?!?”

He did. But if you thought I would be over it by now, you are sadly mistaken, my friend.

NEVER underestimate my ability to hold onto a good mope!
Today, I cried again when B ran from the van after morning drop off. It being week two, I wasn’t expecting it to hit me so hard. Oh, but it did.

L and I returned home and I decided I needed some retail therapy. I consulted the trusty internet to check and see if any of the department stores opened at 9 at the local mall.

Cause you know, waiting until 10 just wasn’t an option.

Luckily, JCPenny advertised they were opening at 9 am. L got some cereal, and we hopped back in the van and headed to the Promenade.

…where we were locked out of JCPenny. I stood there yanking on the door (I just couldn’t understand why the thing was locked!!) and a grumpy looking employee approached. She looked me over, cracked the door, and said, “We don’t open until 10.”

“But your website said you open at 9!!” I tried to argue. (I’m not sure if I really thought arguing was going to let me in early, but I was grumpy myself, so I gave it a good try.)

The lady stared at me for another second, then glanced out to the customer parking lot. I was obviously the only one who thought JCPenny opened at 9.

“Is that your van out there??” the woman asked.

What kind of a question….??? I turned around, where I saw my bright red minivan.

With the back HIGH IN THE AIR.

I hurried back to the van, feeling like such a dork. This is exactly why I need B around, to avoid making embarrassing mistakes like that. He would have quickly gotten my attention as I walked away from my wide open van, laughing and pointing at my silly mistake. Unlike his little sister, who I’m sure was just silently snickering to herself as we walked away.

I shut the darn van, and we killed an hour and headed back to the mall. Miss L and I found this sassy leopard print corduroy skirt at the Children’s Place.


Sweet Sassy Molassy!

It was on sale, so I applied the “spend to save” method and brought it home. And while she will be looking oh-so-cute come fall, it didn’t really help me feel better.

You know it’s a serious mope when the “spend to save” method doesn’t cheer you up.

After a moping through lunch, I decided I really needed to get out from under the dark cloud that was stalking me. So I reached deep into the “cheer myself up arsenal”, and I came out with my no-fail tactic: I was going to scrub the baseboards!

I spent nap time working on that little pet project, and while you can now see your reflection in my baseboards…. I still felt blue.

Growing up, I can’t count the number of times my mom said three little words to me: Nope, not “I love you”, but “GET OVER IT”. It’s not exactly something I’m good at.

This afternoon, we went to the school to get B. While we were gone, the UPS fairy visited our house!

We brought in our unexpected package, and opened it up to find this:


Oh, these pecans make me happy!


My grandma had sent me a giant box of pecans!! Because really, what is a southern kitchen if it doesn’t have 40 lbs of pecans in the freezer?

The pecans cracked. me. up. I have no idea why the pecans were the magic ticket, but every time I think about those pecans, I just feel happy all over. Maybe I was way off with the retail therapy and cleaning therapy, what this girl really needed was “cook a whole mess of pecan pies” therapy.

Every time I look at those pecans, I think, “Someone loved me enough to send me a giant box full of pecans!!!”

And that’s reason #7982 why I’m loving being Nannie’s granddaughter!