Birthday Dinner Pictures

Today we had a HUGE dinner at Granny Ma's to celebrate the July, August and Sept. birthdays. We have so many in those 3 months, we have to consolidate the dinner into one or we would be eating all the time. The menu was smoked chicken, fried chicken, fresh corn, potatoes, okra, vegetable casserole, mac and cheese, turnip greens, green beans, deviled eggs, layered salad, rolls, fruit tea, sweet tea, Not Yo Mamma's Banana Pudding (Paula Deen's recipe), homemade chocolate pie, chocolate layered desert, and birthday cake. I am stuffed and have totally blown my diet today, but who cares...right?? It was great to see everyone and get to spend time with them. We made a few pictures today so I thought I would share.

Channing laughing at her sissy!

Channing and Granny Ma

Our family...together finally!

The granddaughters and great granddaughters!

Four generations


I'm Back!

I am back and I have so much to catch up on. It has been a great few weeks. My life has drastically changed in so many ways. The biggest change has been with Mike's career path. As most of you know, he was in the ARMY when we met and was stationed at Ft. Campbell. He served 8 years and travelled all over the world, including serving a tour in Iraq when the war began in 2003. At that time, Arden was 5 months old, I was in college and he was away for 6 months. Needless to say, it was a tough time, but looking back, I am glad it happened because I am better because of it. After returning from Iraq, he wanted desperately to become a state trooper, but when he got out the ARMY in October, there was no academy until April, so that was not possible. Lucky for us, he had been going through the hiring process at Bridgestone, while in the ARMY, and was in the hiring pool when he got deployed to Iraq. So after returning home from the war, he went to work there. What a blessing that was! He had a great job, with wonderful benefits. The downfall was he had to work nights, but anything was an improvement from being half way around the world. Bridgestone was very good to us, but Mike's heart wasn't in factory work. And trust me, I worked at Carrier the summer I graduated from college, and your heart has to be there or you can't do it! For all of those people who make a living in a factory, you have my respect!!!! He had pretty much given up on the trooper thing, but it never left his mind. He just assumed that it wasn't meant to be...until last October. Anyway, to make a long story short, he began going for interviews, psycholigical evals, polygraphs, and a PI came to visit our neighbors to check out his character. At the beginning of the process there were over 150 people selected, but only 57 made it all the way through. So when you see a trooper on the highway, know that they were one of the chosen few. Not just anybody can do this job; they have to want it! For the next 16 weeks he will be going through the academy with 44 other guys (12 quit after the training began). He has already made it through 3 weeks and the first 2 weeks he did not get to come home. Now he will come home on Friday afternoons and return to the training center on Sunday evenings. While being here with the girls during the week is rough, I don't regret his decision at all. He will be happy with his career and doing what he loves. Above is a picture of his class on August 1st (1st day of training). I know they all look alike because they are bald and wearing their BDU's, but he is in the first full row of cadets, 3rd from the left. We love you daddy and miss you alot!


Happy Birthday Granny Ma!

Today is my Granny Ma's 82nd birthday! She is an amazing woman who loves her family unconditionally and is the perfect example of what a christian should be. She never has an unkind word to say about anyone and puts God first in everything she does. I could write pages about how wonderful she is, but it still wouldn't be enough. She is the glue that holds our family together through the tough times, and heaven knows we have had our fair share, but she still never loses faith in God. She is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met and has instilled in her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to stay faithful and you will prevail. Another reason why she is special to me is because Channing is named after her. Channing's middle name is Cope, which is Granny Ma's maiden name. I had always wanted to name my children afer her, but when we were little, she pretty much threatened us within an inch of our life if we even mentioned it, because she did not like her name, Cartie Inez ,at all. The closest thing she would allow anyone to use was Carter and that is where Carter J's name came from. I loved the name Cope and thought it was the perfect compliment for Channing's name and a wonderful way to honor her.
We love you Granny Ma and hope you have a wonderful day!


Back for a bit!!

Hey everyone! I am back and ready to blog again. I hope all of you have had a great start to the new school year. I am LOVING my new job!! It is a breath of fresh air!! I feel so renewed and have such a positive outlook and can't wait to get to school everyday. My former students have made it very clear that they miss me, but doing what I do now, I get to help them so much more than I did in the classroom, even though they may not know it. One of my former students came to me on Monday and asked for help with her homework. Now that is what makes teaching worth while! Little things like that make my day!
Also, I have to give a little blog love to Channing's second set of Mommies, Mrs. Beth, Mrs. Paula and Mrs. LaJuana! Thank you for taking such good care of my precious baby girl. I never worry about her for a second during the day because I know she is in good hands!

I have tons to tell you about what's been going on in my life, but it is passed my bed time now, so you will have to wait a few days. Here's a little hint: He will be wearing a hat very similar to Smokey the Bear. (If you know what I am referring to, don't spoil it for everyone else, please!:) Got to go feed Channing and get ready for bed.

Please keep Tanya and Josh Houston in your prayers. He was having surgery today and I hope they got a good report.