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Friday, December 19, 2008

Friends

For those of you who don't know, we had a really terribly traumatic weekend beginning last Friday. Andy was returning from San Francisco and the kids and I were so excited. Delta called to say Andy's plane in Atlanta was going to be a bit late. He already had a layover there- so that put him not getting home until mid-night! Well in my head I thought, "So I could pick him up, have dinner, drive home, and put him in bed before he even leaves the Atlanta Airpot! I'll just go surprise him!"

Ok, so....Andy doesn't like surprises as much as I do. That is truly something I need to remember at times like these. I spontaneously loaded the kids in the Explorer and took off on an adventure. Well, as I drove into Atlanta I realized that I didn't know how to get to the airport, so I pulled off of the interstate to ask directions. I had to drive a little ways to find a populated business, and there discovered that I had a flat tire! I panicked but remembered that I have a friend from Operation Christmas Child whom I thought lived close by so I called her and she came to get me and the kids. We went and picked up Andy from the airport so that he could come back and change my tire....so much for the getting him home to rest!

So then we're on the road home. We got off 85N onto 20W and decided to get off at Douglasville (close to Six Flags) for gas and Burger King. We filled up, got back on the road, made it 6 miles, and the next thing I knew there was a loud POP and some kind of thumping! Smoke started coming out from under the hood. Luckily we were right at an exit so I was able to get it off of the interstate. At this point it was 11 o'clock and 29 degrees outside!!!!

We have roadside assisstance through AT&T so we called them and they sent a wrecker that took an hour and a half. Then we called our dearest friends who set up a hotel room using their reward points for us and came to pick us up the next morning. (Needless to say, Andy would have had a better night's sleep in his own bed even if he got home late!!!!!) We got in bed at 1am and when we left the next morning, we waved good-bye to our truck. It's still in Atlanta, somewhere.

We have to get a new engine. That Explorer didn't even have 88K miles on it!!!!!!!

So our finances have been frozen because it will cost about $2000.00 to fix the truck. We still have Christmas presents to buy, a trip to Momma's to make, all kinds of thoughts were going through our heads. We began trying to scrape together a plan....meanwhile our super close friends that we have a really tight "supper club" with began praying for us. They have called and prayed and asked and cared since the minute they found out about all of this. And today, well today I got a card in the mail with a $200 Wal-Mart gift card from "The Sup Dawgs"! We've also had friends offer to lend us the money to get the truck fixed!

Andy and I have a hard time with this as we are the ones who really like to help others. It's hard to express your needs to people when you know that they have things going on in their own lives that you want to help with SOOOOO badly! I think King David penned it perfectly in Psalm 133.1 when he said "Behold how good and how pleasant it is, when brothers dwell in unity!" Where would we be without our friends.....our brothers.....our sisters?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Finally.......


someone took a picture of me and Andy together! This NEVER happens, but I have a sweet Uncle who says he loves the pictures of the kids- but would like to see me too. So this one's for you, Uncle Charlie!
P.S. The pic got a little scratched so I apologize!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

HOOOOORAY!! WE'RE BACK!!!

Christmas at the Cains
Operation Christmas Child

Fall at the Old Baker Farm


Cain Olympics Medal Ceremony



The 2008 Olympic Torch comes through Crestwood!


Oh my goodness! We finally have our computer fixed after being hit by lightening and I am so excited to be able to share so much with you! Much has passed since my last post....in AUGUST!!!!
First let me say that we had a terrible drought and completely lost the garden- right at it's peak! I didn't feel comfortable watering it everyday when I knew Lake Purdy was drier than a ditch in Albuquerque! (For those of you not from Birmingham, Lake Purdy supplies a vast majority of our water!) We were so sad, all of that hard work and anticipation! But we sure did learn a lot and will certainly give it another go next year!
School has been very hard for us this year. It seems that as soon as we get on a great roll, something knocks us off course and I have an incredibly difficult time getting back on! But Abby is reading and Ben recognizes 98% of his letters and knows 13 of the letters sounds! Quite impressive, I believe- for just turned 4!
Operation CHristmas Child finished up the Monday of Thanksgiving week, and we went for a drive to Atlanta to visit the processing center on Black Friday (after I completed my shopping, of course!). The economy has certainly impacted giving this year, but God is GREAT! And greatly to be praised! Millions of children will hear the gospel through the simple gift of a shoebox filled with love! By the way, this year pooped us out more than any other year has, and we still haven't gotten our wits about us!

Ben turned 4 in October and we had a fabulous "circus" party for him! That little boy has so many friends- we were so blessed to see more than 20 kiddos show up to celebrate his life with us! It was soooo much fun!
And now Christmas is here! We are going to Momma's to spend Christmas with her. It's our first time breaking our family tradition of staying home for Christmas- but after the year we've all had- I think we ALL just wanted to be together for Christmas. I'm really looking forward to it. I love to cuddle with my Momma on her couch, eat yummy Momma-food, and just be with her. It's gonna be wonderful!
We went to visit Santa today and the kiddos were tickled pink! Abby actually gave me quite a scare....you see- she and I weren't getting along yesterday and she ran to her room in a tantrum. I followed her in and found her barricading the door. In an effort to teach her that communication is best and brute force doesn't work against Mommy, I pushed her door open and went in to discuss matters with her. She promptly proceeded to tell me that she fully intended to ask Santa for a door knob that locks and will keep Mommy out! Needless to say, you can imagine how relieved I was when she told Jolly Ol St Nick that she wanted a Hannah Montana Bouncy Ball and Scooter! Whew, I've evaded DHR- whom I'm sure Santa would've ringed shortly after Abby's dismount had she asked for a locking mechanism to keep her Mommy away!!!!!!! ANywho... IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE!! And it's supposed to snow tomorrow night!

Here's some pics to catch you up a little. I'm so happy to be back on and I hope you will keep up with us! Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

P.S. A garden update

Oh, forgot to mention that we have 5 more cucmbers, 17 ears of corn, and I believe I counted 9 watermelon!!! Pretty happy with our first experience with gardening! Can't wait 'til those melons are ready to eat! Ben's most excited about this!

Summer's 'Bout Over!


Thank Heavens that summer is just about over- my least favorite season! Maybe if we lived in the North somewhere, I would have different feelings- but here in the South it is just too doggone HOT!!! The past 2 weeks have had highs in the high 80s maybe up to 91 and I feel like this is as good as it gets for summer in the South---and I wonder if next week will start a sweep of 100+ degrees days????!!!! We have taken advantage of the moderate weather and played some outside, at the zoo, etc. Ben got his first black eye at the zoo last week and he's all green and bruised now! (He ran into his friend in the fountains- she bounced and he didn't!)


This week we begin studying ancient Egypt and we're all excited about it! Also this week we kick off our Operation Christmas Child season with lots of hard work and a huge payoff come Collection Week. Please remember to make your shoeboxes this year! And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/ to find out how you can change the life of a child with just a shoebox!


Well, I'm sorry that I don't have anything terribly exciting to share with you, but we Cains have been laying pretty low lately! Hopefully next post I'll have something nice and meaty to share! Be blessed!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cain Olympic Update...

Ok, I have some awesome pictures, but sadly I can't download them until we get our computer fixed! Yesterday we had a fun day educating the children on what the Olympics are all about. I have always loved the Olympics. I love the idea that for a brief 2 week period, everyone can come together, put aside their differences, and enjoy being part of humanity. So I went to the local party store, found some gold and silver medals, a crepe paper torch, some head decor, and hand sized american flags. We carried the Olympic torch through the neighborhood, getting a couple of waves from neighbors. Then we had a relay race which Ben won, a brick throwing competition which Abby won, and a stare down which- believe it or not- Ben won! Daddy presented medals and we made our way inside to order chinese delivery and watch the openning ceremony. (If you didn't get to see it......shame on you! It was AMAZING!) Ben ate his weight- which if you don't know- is a HUGE feat in and of itself! It was a great day to be a mommy and daddy. Although, most days are.................

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Garden news!!!

I must brag that we have eaten 2 cucumbers from the garden in the past 2 days and will have another tonight!!! YEAAAAA! And might I also say, they are fabulous!! We have corn coming in and 5 watermelons!! The sad news, with a funeral dirge playing in the background, is that we lost the pumpkins. Aren't exactly sure what happened- they were doing great. But then it went south and they shriveled up and died in a matter of a week! If anyone has any pumpkin growing experience, I'd love to learn what we did wrong. We will replant! By golly, the pumpkins will rise again!

ok..fair is fair!


Ben is slightly jealous of the whole glasses thing! And truly did not appreciate my taking a picture of Abby and putting it on the blog and not including him. So here it is... fair is fair!
P.S. Ben is not bleeding, just coloring carelessly with markers!

Here she is......


Now, I know this isn't a great picture- but it's from my phone. The computer we are using while we get our fried one fixed doesn't have a port for my camera card! So this will just have to do! Isn't she precious? Even blurry.............

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Coming soon.....to a monitor near you....

As if it were possible for her to get ANY cuter......Abigayle will be donning glasses in the near future! Pictures certainly to come!

Finishing some projects






We had some friends over for dinner Sunday which provided us with some good motivation to finish up some projects! We finally, after 7 year of having a dangling bulb, have a beautiful light fixture and fan in the bathroom- along with a new faucet and caulking! We manged to get the schoolroom MOSTLY finished before school started yesterday, and the kitchen cabinet doors are back where they belong after almost 2 years! Our dear friends, the Walkers, also GAVE us a china cabinet! Isn't it beautiful?!!! It's coming together very nicely and I welcome all of you to come for a visit anytime!

A great Father/Son moment



I enjoyed snapping this quick pic of Ben and Andy last night. Ben had pulled out his Disney train after school yesterday and waited ALL day for Daddy to get home and put it together with him. They had a blast and I thought it was absolutely precious. I don't know whose admiration for the other is greater!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Catching up!

I'm sorry to be going so long between posts! It seems the time just slips away. The last two weeks have been filled with working on many projects around "This Old House"! Andy, God bless him, has put a new faucet and light fixture in the bathroom, re-caulked, worked on electrical, and on and on and on! My huge project of late has been preparing to start school this coming MOnday. I've been re-setting the schoolroom with a new-to-us table and chairs and all new curriculum and fun stuff for learning! It is so exciting planning for the schoolyear! Nothing brings me so much pleasure as a great back to school supply sale these days!

I'll post pictures of the new and improved bathroom as soon as he rehangs the light-fixture--he just took it back down to re-do some electrical work! Next??? You'll never guess!!! The much anticipated...dare I say it?????? SHOWER!!!!!!!! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Ballerina's Back!








For a one time, standing in the drieway performance ONLY! We finished up ballet camp today with a most wonderful presentation put together by Kathryn, the beautiful 15 year old teacher of the camp! She did such an amazingly awesome job, making costumes, sets, and original choreography for all of the dances performed. It was the best $50 I have ever spent! NOt only did Abby have a fabulous time, but Benji and I got to spend some time together. We went on a hike at Oak Mountain, painted pottery, shopped at the thrift store for a new bike for him, and just enjoyed each other's company! Here are some pics from this morning...




P.S. Kathryn and Heather, if you read this------thank you so very very much for making Abby's summer so special!
P.S.S Please forgive my pictures for being over-exposed! It was soooo very sunny out!

Our Country's 232 birthday!






GOD BLESS AMERICA! The Cain Clan headed to the American Village for their annual 4th festivities and my goodness- what a great time we had! Patrick Henry gave the "{Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech, we saw encampments, artillery exhibitions, Thomas Jefferson preparing to write the Declaration of Indepence, a kids pie eating contest (which was the funniest thing I have EVER seen), and some spectacular fireworks. We also had the opportunity to recognize all of the veterans and active service men there and that nearly brought me to tears. This is certain to be our 4th of July yearly tradition now! Where else can you have so much fun for $5????!!!

WoW! Haven't blogged in a while!






Ok, I knew I had been out of pocket for a while, but I didn't realize it had been almost a MONTH!!! SO sorry about that! We had a lot happen since the last post...a girls' (and boy) trip, 4th of July festivities, and today was a ballet camp performance!




I'll start with the very spontaneous 4 girls and a boy trip.... My girlfriend,Leigh, and I had said that when both of our husbands went out of town for work at the same time, we'd like to take the kids and run off somewhere fun together. Well, I got a phone call one Monday and the voice at the other end of the line said, "So how spontaneous are you?" To which I replied, "Just tell me what to pack and when!" So we left the next day for Chattanooga! What a blast we all had.....but I highly recommend if you are traveling with kids...get 2 adjoining rooms and at 10:00pm...if their still hyped up on being on a trip together....lock the kids in one room and the mommies in another!!!!!! (Ok, like me OR Leigh would ever do that.....but at 10 we were sure thinking it!) I also recommend, if traveling with a woman in her first trimester, set the alarm very early so you can get up and make sure they have food by...oh...say.... 5 AM!!!!! (Love you, Leigh!) We went to the Creative Discovery Museum...here's some pics

Monday, June 16, 2008

Peas and carrots!....


Will you just look at these 3??!!! Peas in a pod! (or hammock) The one in the middle is Edie- Leigh's little girl---and Ben would tell you his best friend. Abby is off to VBS at the church where she went to preschool this week- so it's just me and Ben. Only that wasn't good enough for him, he wanted Edie all to himself at the park! So we went and got her and kept her for Leigh to have a little time alone shoppin' with her Momma! What a great day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

And the award goes to........

ME! That's right, ME! I was the gracious recipient of the "Wife of the Year" award today! Andy has a hard month of traveling for work so after much thinking, I decided to pay someone to come do our yard for us this morning so he could spend the weekend with us, instead of slaving in the yard! HAPPY FATHER'S DAY, ANDY!! Not only did they mow, but they also weedeated, edged, and blowed! Wow! Andy's face was like a kid in a candy store as he heard all of the different lawn manicure implements fire up! I can't tell you how happy it made me- not just because my yard looks BEAUTIFUL (sorry there's no picture but they deluge is back for round 2), but also because I know it saved some wear and tear on my precious hubby.

And maybe, quite maybe.....I have a better chance of falling asleep on the couch with him tomorrow!

The Garden is a Growin'!

Pumpkins
Corn
Pinkeyes
Cucumbers
Watermelons


We are in the midst of the daily afternoon deluge and I'm affraid that my garden is taking a beating! I hope they can manage through all of this peltering rain! I'm so amazed everytime I go out to the garden because everything has grown 2 inches since the day before! The tomatoes are the only thing struggling, and with the recall- they're what I want to grow most! We'll see!

Monday, June 9, 2008

VBoS= Vacation Bible old School

Ok, is it just because I attended a little white church nestled in the mountains of West hillbilly Virginia that I am TOTALLY blown away my Mountain Brook Community Church's VBS?(No offense, fellow hillbillians- I loved every minute of it!) When I went to Vacation Bible (old) School, we read Old Testament "Bible Stories" and made some beautiful craft out of popsicle sticks and macrame beads! Today, we made glitter tube keychains and had sad/happy face cookies for snack! We pretended to have leprosy and sang and danced! We were swallowed by huge bubbles and watched smelly wet chipmonks on DVD! We wore alarmingly bright t-shirts and watched a man in lab-coat and light-up glasses with a fro wig sing praise and worship songs! We were greeted by lots of enthusiastic Moms- and the humble face of the most awesome director of children's ministry that I have ever met!

I can't imagine the time and effort that was put into this week's major event better known as VBS! I am so grateful and amazed- and I know that no one from my church reads my blog- but I am completely dumbfounded by the sacrifice and expense that our church has dished out so that our kids can have the opportunity to not only have a blast...which is exactly how Abby and Ben described today.....but to also catch a glimpse of Christ during this summer which is slipping away fast!

I am just so eternally grateful.........

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Art in the Gardens



Oh my goodness! What a lovely morning strolling through Aldridge Gardens, all abloom with the most beautiful hydrangeas ever, looking at fabulous local artists fare! Every kind and color imaginable! Hydrangeas too!(Anyone who knows me knows that one of my all time favorites is hydrangeas!)


A new, precious friend of mine is an artist and she does the most beautiful work! http://www.amycrewsgallery.com/ I am pleased to say that after 12 years of saying that we would love to have REAL artwork on our walls, and not posters that we bought at Wal-Mart and had framed, we are the proud owners of two original pieces by award winning artist, Amy Crews. I'm only sad that my photos dont do them justice. Check out her website- you'll fall in love with her work too, I bet!
P.S. Amy won first place in the "Best of Show"!!! WAY TO GO, Amy!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It may be hot...but they're not!





After having the kids slave around the house this morning (ok, I made them clean the floors of they're toys so that I could vaccuum), we decided to have a little fun and cool off! It's so much fun watching THEM have fun! And it's also interesting to watch the differences between a boy and a girl. For instance, Abby didn't like that her feet got dirty or that water had the nerve to shoot itself in her face! Ben, however, was quite content jumping in the mud and hanging his face over the hoses! I believe Abby is a "tan by the poolside" kinda girl!


And just so you know, yep, I ran through a few times too!