Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My theory on running.

Every so often my dear husband will suggest that I get up at the unlawful hour of morning (read before 5:00 AM) and go running with him.

Running, you know that activity that involves moving ones legs rather fast and in a forward motion.

Sadly, my dear husband, even after 16 years of marriage, just doesn't get me. You would think after this many years of wedded bliss he would know.

In high school, I played sports. Softball and volleyball to be specific. Guess what, I was always the slowest runner on the team. That's when I weighed 105 lbs. and had not yet birthed any babies. Now, years later, more poundage and a few births later - I'm still slow.

My theory is, I don't run because I've got my great-grandma's legs. I remember my great-grandma on my momma's side. She always fixed me bacon and pink-eye purple hull peas. I also remember that we called her Big Grandma, one because she was the oldest and to differentiate her from her daughter, whom I affectionately called Little Grandma. And, secondly, well, she was big. I don't mean big as in way overweight big. I mean tall and sturdy big.

Actually one of the main characteristics I remember about her was how 'sturdy' her legs were. I would get a glimpse of said legs occasionally during the winter when she would back up to the fireplace, hike the back side of her dress up and 'warm her buns'. Can I add she was also a character?

That being said, the one trait that I am known to have inherited from her, are her legs. Yep, I have a sturdy understanding as my mom likes to joke. See, Mom can because she got Little Grandma's dainty limbs. You can actually see my mom's ankle bones. And mine? Well, they seemed to have disappeared around 1997.

As a matter of fact, Little Grandma came to my house the other day. She will be 80 years old next week. Arthritis has become an issue for her, it and heart issues have caused her ankles to swell. When she came over the other day she was telling me how painful and swollen her one ankle was. So, I looked at it and agreed that it did indeed look painful and swollen. To which Grandma replied, "Yes, when I saw how swollen it was I thought, 'My ankle may actually be bigger than Michelle's.'" Then she laughed.

Even my own Grandma thinks my legs are fat.

So, with that my theory is my legs were not born to run. And as a word of caution, if you do ever see my running, you might want to start running too. 'Cause I will trip you, to let whatever is chasing me, catch you first.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reality - Not

The other day, I was channel surfing. It was lunch and I wanted some background noise while I ate. And I landed on a channel that had "The Real Housewives of......" Obviously I was in need of some comic relief, because they were showing was not reality.
When I think of a real housewife, I think about the mommy with 2 toddlers running around and a baby on one hip. Trying desperately to hold on until nap time. Making sure tummies are fed, butts are wiped and boo-boos are kissed.
Knowing that the laundry will wait, but little hearts that need shaping will not.
Or the mom of school aged kids, wanting to serve hot breakfast  and feeling guilty when it's cold cereal instead.
Getting breakfast and lunches made before it's daylight.
Checking homework. Signing the endless stream of papers from school.
Loading the dishwasher.
Scrubbing toilets.
Juggling schedules to make sure everyone gets where they need to be on time.
Buying groceries.
Unloading the dishwasher.
Putting the second load of laundry on.
Folding clothes.
Loading the dishwasher.
Driving children to appointments.
Cleaning up vomit.
Holding children, whenever they don't feel good.
Refusing to take 'I don't know,' as an answer to any question.
What I saw on this show was not reality, and maybe that's where the irony is. We watch these shows labeled as reality, but they are so far removed from what reality is that we become mesmerized. Sucked in by their personal chefs. The chauffeurs. Luncheons with girlfriends, and drinking champagne. The nanny's. The fake hair. The surgically enhanced figures. The designer clothes. The glitz, glamour and parties.
Seriously, Bravo, you would do us real housewives a favor if you would drop the "Real" from the title. Maybe you should replace it with "Spoiled" or "Pampered" or "Pretentious".
Anything, but real.....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday morning smile

I needed a pick me up this morning and found this video by one of my favorite performers.

Mission accomplished :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


After the girls get ready in the mornings and breakfast is done, I let them go outside and play two-square or jump rope or just burn some energy before they head to school. This morning after a few minutes of being outside, Madison came running in. She said, "Mom, you've got to get a picture of the sunrise, it's awesome." So, I grabbed my camera and headed out.

She was right....

Thank You, Father, for the little, beautiful moments.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunbelt Ag Expo 2010

This is the first year we have taken all 3 girls, at least that they have been able to remember, to the Sunbelt Ag Expo, in Moultrie, Georgia. We had a wonderful time checking out all the vendors there and also all the animals. I think the girls may have been a little overwhelmed at the sheer size of Expo.

One thing's for sure, they should sleep well tonight.

Here are a few pictures from our day....

Petting the horses

The girls watching a presentation on electricity, and some of their Nissley cousins in front of them! 

Walking to the next stop. Ralph's rocking that pink, camo shoulder bag. I'm so thankful he doesn't care and will help out when my shoulder gets tired.
Here is an Alpaca. The girls & I are trying hard to convince Ralph to get one.
Watched a Barrel Racing demonstration.

And free face painting - Morgan's butterfly.

Laney's lady bug. She decided to go bold, whole face.

Madison's whimsical, with Gator colors.

All 3 together when we got home. They hated having to wash their face tonight! 

And finally, when we first walked in a reporter for WCTV, channel 6 news in Tallahassee, FL asked Ralph he would mind doing a little interview. He of course did not and was on the news this evening talking about Expo - here it is...

It was a good day for making memories for the Yoder family, at Expo.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Are they part squirrel?

Today I took on the challenge of cleaning the van. It is one of my least favorite things to do, but it is an act of service that speaks volumes to my husband. So, I decided to talk to him, in his language.

And this is what I found-

It. Was. All. In. One. Door.


What were my kids thinking? Were they stashing it back in case of emergency, or just being lazy? Wait, don't answer that, 'cause I don't think I want to know the answer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This was the view from our porch this morning.

What you cannot get from this picture, is the sound of the cows munching on the peanut hay.


It was a beautiful morning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Open Letter.

This is an open letter.

A letter to anyone running for office.

Dear Candidate,

When running political ads, please view it through the lens of what this ad would look like to a child. Chances are, with the frequency they are being ran, a child will see one of your ads. That being said, do you really think that your opponent will release convicted felons back into society? Well, now thanks to your ad, my seven year old does. She is in fear that your opponent will be elected because of your ad. Was that the market you were going for?

Furthermore, if every ad you run is a slam on your opponent, that is a red flag to me. It's a red flag that you are trying to divert attention from your short comings. Please, tell me what you will do if you are elected, not what your opponent will do. Because, honestly, if you are able to predict what your opponent will do with their two or four years-I'm pretty sure standing on the street corner, with a crystal ball would be more profitable for you.

If you make a call to a constituent and you do more talking, than listening, you are in the wrong business. SERVING in office is a privilege, not a right. LISTEN to those you SERVE.

Lastly, stooping to the level of using the tactic, "But I knew your dad/mom/grandparent, etc., and they always supported me." That tells me that you are desperate. This just is not wise, especially if mentioned relative is dead.

Desperation is an ugly cloth to wear.

The sad thing about our government is that it seems we are electing politicians, not statesmen. Where have all the statesmen gone?

A wife, mother, daughter, sister and simply - an American voter

Monday, October 11, 2010


Every fall there is an aroma that fills the air. It becomes is so heavy in the atmosphere, you feel like you can cut it with a knife. It has been a part of me, as long as I can remember.
It's the aroma that ushers in fall.
For me it's remembering going to high school football games with my daddy as a little girl.
Falling asleep to the hum of the peanut dryers running at the peanut mill less than a mile down the road. 
Bundling up to fight off the chill in the air.
Bonfires with burnt marshmallows and hot dogs.
The promise that the holiday season is right around the corner.
The magnificent sunsets of orange, that match the leaves that are falling. 
The signal that summer is over and that my favorite time of year is at hand.
It's the aroma of peanut harvest.
As they've been picking peanuts out by our house this afternoon, I could not help but smile. God in His infinite wisdom, gave me a farm boy to be my mate. One who loves harvest and all that goes along with it, even more than me. The same farm boy, who's daddy would have had some responsibility for my early memories of peanuts being dug around my house.
It's an aroma that makes me smile

Monday Morning Giggle

Here's a video that was played at Catalyst this year, featuring Chris Tomlin. It's good for a Monday morning giggle.


Let me know if it makes anyone go out and get a bowl cut.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Good To Be Me" Uncle Kracker

Ok, this is probably my new favorite song. Main reason being it reminds me of Ralph! He has said this statement to me more than once, and the line about 'crazy, happy disease', fits him to a tee.  Two of the reasons I love him, his confidence and his positive outlook!

Just a warning - if you are at all bothered by language that would be labeled questionable, please do not watch.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

“The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews

“The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews
                                                            Illustrated by Philip Hurst
 “The Boy Who Changed the World” by Andy Andrews is a children’s book about a young man who grows up to effect billions of people, and how one action or influence can build and lead to a greater thing.
I really enjoyed reading this book and the illustrations that go along with it were vivid and engaging. I also loved the message of the book that, “Everything you do matters.” How one seemingly small act can effect the world in generations to come.
The real test of whether this book was good or not, was when I asked my 10, 9  and 7 year old daughters to read this. They sat down and read it and then wanted to discuss it. Success! We were able to discuss the meaning book and how their decisions and actions today can effect others, even after we are gone. I love books that open discussions of how our actions are important, even the small ones. This book definitely will lead to good discussion with your children.
I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to expand their children’s book collection or give a gift of reading to a child. It is a very worthy read. 

“The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews

“The Butterfly Effect” by Andy Andrews

The premise of this book is based on the theory that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it can trigger a hurricane across the world. How one seemingly small act can influence and change the world. Mr. Andrews tells two different stories in this book that if one decision was made differently, the whole world could have been changed.

I have to say that this book was first visually pleasing. The artwork and pictures interwoven throughout the text very much complimented the story being told.

This also was a very fast read. I was able to sit and read within 30 minutes.

Even more so though than being an easy read, this book has given me so much to think about and a challenge. A quote that has stuck with me since reading it is, “Every single thing you do matters.” It has shaped my view of how I go about my every day life. My interaction with my family and those who I cross paths with has become more meaningful. Because you truly do not know how one choice, one action can effect those in years to come.

I highly recommend this book. It is one that I will read more than once, and will share with my children. 

"Permission to Speak Freely" by Anne Jackson

I have to admit when the chance became available to review Anne Jackson's new book, I was very excited. I had read what the premise of the book was about and I was anxious to see if Ms. Jackson could deliver a book on conversations that need to be taking place in Church circles.

She most definitely did not disappoint.

I sat down and read the book on Saturday morning. Once the conversation started, I did not want it to end. The way Ms. Jackson writes is very engaging. The art dispersed through out the book was seamlessly worked in.

The thing I appreciated most about the book was the vulnerability with which Ms. Jackson writes, and with the truth. For me, as a Churched person, that struck a chord because it is not what I am accustomed to reading. Most books come with a story, redemption and then a 4-part step to make your life perfect. Life is not perfect, it is messy if we would all be honest with each other.

Ms. Jackson does not offer that perfect ending with a bow tied, like a present, into 4-step process. She simply starts a conversation with her story. Her story with all of its imperfections, hurts and still in progress.

I highly recommend this book for those who are conversation starters, or want a honest conversation started. This will encourage you to speak, and do it freely.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Seriously, there are some days that I just wonder, why bother?

Then God uses His paint brush to remind me - He is in control.
He cares.
He created.
He guides.
He loves.
Thank You, Father.

And thanks to Beaver for letting us know what we were missing outside our door!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Our girls have been saving their money from birthdays, lost teeth, Christmas and money they've earned over the last year helping with the new house. They have been saving it and they finally all saved enough to buy themselves an I-pod Nano.

Side note - Nano, I can't help but giggle and think about "Mork & Mindy" every time I hear that word.

Granted they all got refurbished Nano's, but they are great for the girls.

So, all three selected their colors and we ordered them. It was Christmas in August for them.

Morgan - Pink, Laney - Green, Madison - Blue

I think they are happy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Snaggle tooth

Miss Morgan is losing teeth, left and right. Well, more like top and bottom.

The best part is, she likes to pull her own teeth.

I can't stand to mess with a wiggly tooth, unless it's my own.

So the fact that she can pull her own and not freak out makes me a very happy momma.

What can I say it's the simple things in life for me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fun with Diet Coke & Mentos

School started Monday.

This is what we did Monday night to start the new school year out right....

Ah, barefoot living, indeed. It doesn't take much to entertain us!