Tuesday, March 27, 2012


A few days ago, Selah had the cutest little pigtails in her hair! I really wanted pictures of her, but after the first couple of snaps she started trying to hide from the camera.

She ran into the kitchen and headed for the pantry ...


"Bye-bye, Mommy!"
I did get one lovely shot, though, before I gave up:


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just In Time For Summer ...

Something very special happened in our house today! I'll give you a hint ...

This stuff used to be on Joe's noggin!

I finally gave in to both Jeff and Joe and gave the boy a real summer cut!

Hair or not, he's a charming little thing!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Rest of the Story

So, our planning for Philadelphia continued. I began researching the area and found that there were several great options for restaurants within easy walking distance of the interview location. Soon after I realized my only expenses would be food for the day and cab fare, I received a sweet, encouraging note from my stepdad. Included with the note was a check sufficient to cover those expenses and more!

Last Sunday I had finished lunch, put dinner in the slow cooker and had dessert in the oven when I sat down for a few minutes. Kaity hopped up a moment later and said, "Miss Amber is here! And she has Miss Hope with her!" This was unusual, since we don't typically have people stop by on Sunday afternoon - they know we're cooking and cleaning to prepare for the evening! Once inside, they announced they were there to kidnap me! I set the timer on my dessert and headed out the door with them. When we pulled into the parking lot at the outlets, they told me that we were going to Banana Republic, where our friend Kim works, and the three of them were buying me a new outfit for my Jeopardy tryout! I immediately started crying and Hope said, "Maybe we should have told her sooner!" I didn't want to go in the store while crying!

Inside, Kim took her break and the girls picked out several things for me to try on. After a few combinations of outfits, we hit on one everyone loved - grey slacks, a silky white tank, and a purple cardigan. They chose a pretty silver and blue necklace to go with it. I was so overwhelmed by everything that I kept tearing up and had to collect myself more than once. And I'm not even a crier!

Anyway, have one more thing to do before I go, and that is to come up with five short pieces for the interview portion - like on the show when Alex speaks to each contestant. It just needs to be something interesting or funny, or even embarrassing. I have a list of possibilities, but I'd love to hear from y'all - if you can think of something about me that would work well, let me know in the comments! 

Thank you all for your encouragement!

Monday, March 19, 2012

To Him Be The Glory

Psalm 68:19: "Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah."

Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

It never fails to overwhelm me when God chooses to bless above all that I asked or imagined! When I received the e-mail congratulating me on passing the Jeopardy! test and inviting me to an in-person interview I was incredibly excited, but at the same I knew that on a practical level I wouldn't be able to go. Well, Jeff encouraged me not to dismiss the possibility right away. We decided to think and pray about it and to make a final decision later. (I had two days to give an answer, according to the e-mail.) My specific prayer was that if it was the right thing to do, God would provide the money for a plane ticket - the only major expense involved in the interview. Again, Jeff encouraged me - sell enough cookbooks to go! Having realized that was possible, I accepted the invitation. The very next day I got a call from my sweet friend Kim. She said she had talked it over with her husband and they wanted to purchase my ticket with their frequent flier miles! I am so thankful that they allowed God to use them to be such a blessing to me!

At the same time, my friend Amber was considering going along with me. It turns out that she was able to organize things on her end to be able to come - another blessing!

The children would need to be taken care of for the day, too, and my in-laws were already scheduled to keep them the next week for a few days. It seemed too much to ask of them. Then, another friend came to the rescue - a different Kim this time. She agreed to watch the kiddos for the day!

During all of this, I sold a total of 11 more cookbooks - eight of them before I even knew I'd need the money for the trip!

Amazingly, the blessings don't stop there! I'll save the "rest of the story" for my next post. I just wanted to update y'all on how things are going. My interview is only 9 days away - on the 28th of March.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fort Pittard

The children made a living room fort yesterday. General Kaity was very specific about how she wanted everything, and eventually it stood long enough to contain our little troops for a bit.

Kaity used their school books along with belts to weigh down the blankets.

"Whatcha dooin'?"

Why, yes, that IS a lightsaber acting as a tent pole.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Beds

Much to our chagrin, Selah learned how to escape her crib at only 18 months. Jeff ended up taking off the side of her crib and rigging up the rail so that she could get out safely. A few weeks ago we decided that it was time to go ahead and upgrade the girls to a bunk bed. Their room is small and the crib was taking up space they really need. Anyway, we ordered it through our local furniture store, Sanders, and we love it!

Kaity has a reading lamp up there, too, so she can read before going to sleep.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary ...

I haven't updated in so long that I have a major backlog of pictures, but I can't resist jumping ahead a bit to the present before I go back and fill in. I've wanted to have a garden for a long time, with pretty much only one thing holding me back - I have a brown thumb! Well, this year Jeff said he'd like to have a garden and he's prepared to lay all the groundwork for me. I'm extremely excited about this new family project! I'm sincerely hoping he and our children have inherited enough of his parents' gardening talents to overcome my deficiencies. I have had an herb garden every year for several years, but I don't even do well with those! (Click the link to see pictures of my tiny children. Sigh.)
Jeff and Joe, clearing the land.

My hard-working little fellow.

Selah really wanted to help!

Kaity and Joe traded off using the pickax and shovel with each other and Daddy.

Some of us didn't work as hard as others. Some of us stayed inside cooking dinner and then went on a Dairy Queen run to reward the ones who WERE working.

"It's delicious!"

Kaity, enjoying her Blizzard while resting from her labors.

Here you can see that they have a good start on the garden plot. Still a long way to go, but it feels good to at least have a start!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Patty Cake

I was snapping pictures of Selah reading to her baby, Hopie, one day when she started playing "Patty Cake" with her. It was the sweetest thing!

Yes, she is wearing footie pajamas and two different shoes.

So then I did what every parent in America has done - I switched over the camera to video it, effectively making her immediately stop being cute. Sigh. But I did prompt her to do it again and managed to capture a short version of the cuteness.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

This ... Is ... Jeopardy!

I know, I know, you think I'm never going to update with pictures of the cutest kids in the world. Well, I'll get to it next time! For now I have some fun news to share!

A few weeks ago I took the Jeopardy! Online Test ... and I passed! I got an e-mail on Friday asking me to come for a follow-up appointment, the catch being that it's in Philadelphia. After talking it over with Jeff and praying about it, I decided to confirm the appointment and give it a shot! Basically what happens is that once you take the fifty question test, you're notified only if you pass. Out of those that pass, random selections are made to determine who gets appointments. Both times that I took the test in Atlanta (it was not online at the time) only 5-6 people out of the crowd of 80-100 passed - and no, I didn't pass either time!

Anyway, this appointment is the next step in the process. Sony Entertainment gives a run-down of the process here:
"Those selected to come to an in-person audition will be invited to their preferred audition city (chosen by user during registration) to participate in a full audition process consisting of:
  • Being tested with a new, different 50-clue test.
  • Playing a "mock version" of JEOPARDY! to assess your game-playing skills.
  • A short personality interview.
If you pass all the requirements to become a contestant you will be entered into the contestant pool. Adults for regular shows will remain in the pool for 18 months from the date of their in-person interview."
So, this is just a follow-up and in no way guarantees I'll actually be on the show. I figure it will be a really fun experience anyway, even if this is far as I get. I'll keep y'all updated!

In the meantime, if you want to help me earn the money for my plane ticket, feel free to order a cookbook or three! They make great presents for Mother's Day, weddings, birthdays ...