Friday, December 31, 2010

Give me Five Friday- {my dad's favorite number}

If you ever seen one of my blog post, and it says "1 comment" at the bottom, most of the time that is my mom or dad. They are the #1 fans of my blog. They say they love what I write, but I think that's just to make me feel good so I'll keep writing. They really love the blog for one reason. Wait, two reasons now...Brandon and Collin. To be honest, they are very supportive. They have been supportive of all my crazy endeavors.
Yesterday, my dad sent me an e-mail about the new way he is going to comment on the blog. He is the artist formerly known as "Poppy," and will now just be #3. He included a list of reasons why he loves #3. (a love of lists must be genetic!) I liked it so much and conveniently, the list had five items, so today my dad will guest post and give you...

{five reasons my dad loves #3}
his words will be italicized

I read you blog and liked it very much. I did not want to sign my name, Poppy. So I changed it to this sign, #3. When you see this, it is me. Here's the reason three is my favorite number, 21 is a close second.

1. When I was growing up, I was the third Manus male. My daddy, my brother and three was me.

2. When I played Babe Ruth baseball my number was three. I played center field, I always wanted to see the ball before it hit me. I was the lead off batter. A lead off batter was a good hitter but had no power for hitting home runs. He was fast so he could score easy. I had all that, mostly because I was skinny.

3. The Great Babe Ruth's number was 3.

4. When I was 18 they had a lottery for drafting soldiers. Here's how it went. They would take all 365 days and give each day a number 1-365. It was done by a random drawing. My birth day, wait for it, was given the #3. With that low a number I was sure to be drafted. I went to be examined, I was 1A. That meant I passed. Within 30 days I would be drafted. But within that 30 day period of time President Nixon stop the draft. That is history.

5. Take your hats off and put them over your heart. Dale Earnhart's number
was #3. That's when racing was racing and real men drove the race cars.

There you have it, tell the boys about the #3 in their poppy's life. I love you and am very proud of you.

Signed #3

Well dad, there you go you are my first guest post! I think #3 is the perfect way to sign, but of course, I adore numbers. You know me well!

P.S. Does this make up for making fun of your "You Ruined Christmas Speech" on the blog?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blessing #18-

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I could sound cool and say I don’t, but usually I have at least one goal every year. Often, I don’t accomplish this goal, but I am better for trying. Recently, Jon Acuff at Stuff Christians Like posted his 40 before 40 list. I think it is impossible for me to resist making a good list. So this year instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I am making a 30 before 30 list. I have just 17 months to accomplish this list. I’m trying to be very specific in my list. I didn’t want anything vague like, “be a better wife,” but I wanted to be much more specific. Here’s a few of the things on my 30 before 30 list.

#14 Read five Beth Moore books as part of my devotions

#15 Get Shad a day on a four wheeler. (I attempted this on his 30th birthday, but he got injured 10 minutes into it. I really need to make that up to him).

#19 Make a sweet potato pie with my Mamaw

#8 Write 100 thank you cards (I’ve been getting things in order for this one this week. It’s going to be a weekly blog post!)

#22 Complete Project Life for a full year

#23 Take professional family pictures and actually get them printed and up on the walls

#24 Visit the Smithsonian

#26 Learn how to can

#27 Go to a play

#21 Calculate 100 blessings!

#2 Eat meatloaf and like it…maybe not like it, but at least not gag

#28 Visit Margaret Mitchell’s house

#29 Have an awesome 29th birthday adventure!

#9 Make every meal in Southern Plate cookbook (I believe this will be a weekly blog post as well. Me and my projects, they keep me focused.)

#17 Go on an overnight trip with friends

#30 Take a picture at Mason-Dixon Line

Some of these items are simple, but it seems like if you don‘t make a point of doing certain things, you just forget to do them. I realize that I may not accomplish all of them before the big 3-0 hits, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Project Life- December 20- 26

This week's pictures are mainly all on Christmas. Hope you enjoy! As always if you'd like to see other Project Life just go to The Mom Creative.

Friday, December 24- I slaved for hours...hour on this sweet potato souffle. I wrapped it in tin foil and a towel and Shad put it in the van to take to his family's Christmas party. We showed up and I got B out of his car seat. I had tunnel vision and did not notice that the sweet potatoes were under B, so he stepped on it. Fortunately, because it was so wrapped up, it was not ruined. I just made sure I ate the footprint indent part.

Saturday, December 25- This is an imperfect picture, but I love what it captured. I love all my boys.

Saturday, December 25- I was going for a posed picture, but I love this one so much better. There is nothing cuter or funnier than a baby yawning. ***Life Lesson 28,483- If you plan on taking pictures, get up early on Christmas and put on some makeup.

Saturday, December 25- Brandon's Mom-mom gave him the gun and holster on Christmas Eve. As you can see, he decided to open all his presents with his gun.

Saturday, December 25- Our family always goes to Waffle House for breakfast every Christmas. Growing up, my family always did that because we traveled to North Carolina every Christmas day. Anyway, we went there for supper this year. My brother's family sent B a snake for Christmas. "Snakey" had to go to the Waffle House with us. As a mom, I cringed when we left as Snakey's tail dragged all along the ground of the Waffle House.

Saturday, December 25- B loved watching the Cook cook (that's repetitive). The cook decided to juggle for Brandon. B thought it was amazing. When he was done the cook made sure to tell B not to juggle eggs, but to practice with tennis balls. Thank you Cook. You saved me alot of cleanup.

Sunday, December 26- I went to Walmart the day after Christmas to get supplies for a threatening snowstorm (I'm southern we have to prepare). I found these votive that perfectly matched my Christmas centerpiece. I had some votives already, but they didn't match good. You've gotta love 50% off.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Blessing # 17- Lankford Family Christmas Project 2010

As you can tell, I love traditions. We have about four or five traditions for Christmas time. One of my favorites is the Lankford Family Christmas Project. Every year Shad and I pick out a way for our family to give. This year, we decided to give 20 dollars away, 5 dollars at a time. It's not a lot, but it's something.

We put each $5 in an envelope with a note that talked about Christ and Christmas. On the outside we put, "Merry Christmas to Whoever," so people would know it was for them. (whoever or whomever I always have that debate every time I write it) We then got to pick where we put our envelopes.

Envelope #1- We passed a homeless man, and Shad knew that is who needed his envelope. We pulled over and gave it to him. His reaction was great, "That's too cool!"

Envelope #2- I got to pick this one out, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I put mine in the Walmart parking lot. We parked our car so that we could see the envelope. Like a family of stalkers, we watched as about 17 people walked by the envelope. Every time someone would come near the envelope, we would all say, "Pick it up pleeeease." When a man finally got it, B was so excited he yelled, "Give me five,Mom!"

Envelope #3- Shad picked a grocery store and wanted to put the envelope in a buggy. So I ran up and put the envelope in the first buggy. I noticed a piece of lettuce in the same buggy, but someone was coming and I had to go. I casually walked back to the car, and we waited for someone to get our buggy...and waited...and waited. Finally, a lady approached our buggy. We were so excited, but then she looked in the buggy and moved it to the side. Nobody would get our buggy now. I told Shad, "You have to get the lettuce out!" In stealth mode, he ran up to get the lettuce, but before he could get there a man came up and got the buggy!

Envelope #4- We liked it so much, we put it in the buggy again, but right after I put it in the buggy the wind blew it out. I then had to get in the tight space between the buggies and the wall to get it. (so much for being inconspicuous)

This was actually a quick plan B project when plan A didn't work out, but we loved doing this project. The idea came from Shad constantly looking for money on the ground. The best part about this was how much Brandon liked it. It allowed for our entire family to get excited about giving. Well, maybe not Collin. He slept the whole time in his car seat.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Give Me Five Friday- {the unexpected of Jesus' birth}

If you've missed it, here's the short version of Give me Five Friday. I like making lists. Every Friday I'll make a list. The only rule is it has to be five things.

I mentioned in last week's Give Me Five. how I had been thinking about Jesus' birth alot this Christmas season. Well, here is what I like best about Jesus' birth, God did so many unexpected things. Things I'm sure that surprised everyone, but God. Here's the ones I could think of.

{five unexpected things about Jesus' birth}

1. the mom- A simple, ordinary but surrendered girl. A self-declared "handmade of the Lord."

2. the dad- A carpenter, not a nobleman but a carpenter.

3. the timing- God did this before they even got married.

4. the place- In a STABLE!

5. the first visitors- simple shepherds

The unexpected in Jesus' birth speaks to my heart because God has done the unexpected in my life. I love to see examples in the Bible where He did the unexpected. I've looked around before and thought, "Really God? You want me to do this?" Maybe Mary at some point during her labor looked around and thought, "Really, God? Birth in a stable?" Ultimately though, she was the "handmade of the Lord" and followed Him, and that is the desire of my life. My God is the God of the unexpected...unexpected to me...not to Him. His plans are better than mine, not always easier (just ask Mary), but better.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Curse #6- Pictures of Myself

Shad and I have an ongoing argument. It usually occurs right after Shad takes a picture of me. He’ll look at the camera screen and say, “uh….Let’s take another one.” When he’s done, I look at the pictures and I always come to the same conclusion. Either Shad is terrible at taking pictures, or I’m not photogenic at all. Shad is wise enough to know he shouldn’t say I’m not photogenic. Instead, he always blames it on the camera by saying, “This camera stinks!“ Let me show you some recent examples of some pictures Shad took of me.

*****Warning***** These are not good pictures of me. Please cancel these bad pictures out by looking at a good one. Please refer to Friday's picture in Project Life- December 6-12 .

Do you know what B is thinking, "Mommy, open your eyes!"

Still not opening my eyes.

Did I just wake up?

This pictures not half bad. more closely. That man's head behind me blends into mine, and makes me look like I have a funny bump on my head.

I don’t know what you think, but I’ve reached my conclusion. For my pride’s sake, I won't say I’m not photogenic. I also don’t want to throw Shad under the bus, so I’ll agree with him and say…”Our camera stinks!!!”

Project Life - December 13-19

I missed pictures a few days this week, but I got extra on other days to make up for it. We've really been enjoying this Christmas season. As always if you'd like to see other Project Life just go to The Mom Creative.

Monday, December 13- I decided to sit down and get some pics of the boys for Christmas. We didn't have time to get the family shot this year (you know having a baby and all), but I got some great ones of the boys! This is my favorite shot of B.

Monday, December 13 (again)- This is my favorite picture that I got of Collin. I just love those baby cheeks.

Tuesday, December 14- no pic

Wednesday, December 15- no pic

Thursday, December 16- The first snow! This was my kind of snow, just a dusting.

Thursday, December 16 (again)- While Collin was having tummy time, Brandon decided to share his toys with him. I think we need to have a talk about 3 and under toys.

Friday, December 17- Shad had to get this year's ornament off of a tree a Cracker Barrell. It was the only one like it that we could find. It was really stuck on there.

Saturday, December 18- no pic

Sunday, December 19- We are making steps in the right direction. I still haven't gotten the "first church service" pics, but I got this picture as I sat down with Collin waiting on Shad to get out of Sunday school.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blessing #16- Ornaments

Our family loves traditions. Traditions give us something to look forward to, and someday they will give us something to look back to. One of our many family traditions is to get an ornament every year. Shad and I started this tradition the first Christmas we were married. We don’t collect lines of ornaments from Hallmark (we aren‘t that organized). Instead, we just find an ornament that represents that year or just sticks out to us. We also started the tradition for the boys. Brandon started picking out his ornament a few years ago. Let me show you his choices.

2 years old - tractor (He really liked this ornament. Notice the missing front wheels.)

3 years old - train

4 years old (this year) - fire truck

Do you see a pattern? He definitely loves things with wheels.

Shad and my ornament this year

Mr. Collin's first ornament

This was definitely our hardest year to find ornaments. It was a quest that has taken most of the month of December. However, I realized all of our trouble was worth it as soon as I pulled out all of our ornaments from years past. Looking at these ornaments takes me back to each year of our marriage, and each year of our sons. They aren't worth anything to anyone else, but to me they are priceless.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Give Me Five Friday- {Christmas spirit}

If you've missed it, here's the short version of Give me Five Friday. I like making lists. Every Friday I'll make a list. The only rule is it has to be five things.

As you know I’m a Christmas nut, therefore I am still in Christmas mode with my Give Me Fives. If you are struggling to get in the Christmas spirit, today’s five can help jump start your Christmas.

{five things that get me in the Christmas spirit}
1. A cinnamon candle- Cinnamon is the way Christmas should smell.

2. Watching Elf or It’s a Wonderful Life

3. Baking all the candies and cookies of Christmas

4. Giving to someone else- I love, lOvE, LOVE to give. It thrills me to think of that perfect gift or activity to show someone how much you love them. Isn’t that the point of a gift? A physical reminder of love.

5. Thinking about Christmas- This Christmas more than any other Christmas, I’ve been thinking about Christ, and the wonder of his salvation. Maybe it’s because I have a small baby. When I look in Collin’s eyes I think of Christ as a baby, and I am amazed at the salvation that He brought me.

I bet you thought I was going to say, “Listening to Christmas Music.” I think I’ve talked about Christmas music enough though. I hope you have a great weekend filled with Christmas cheer!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blessing #15- Christmas Photocards

I love getting Christmas photo cards. I count them as a blessing. I get excited every time I get one. I save them every year to see how a family is growing. It’s like getting a small little gift. Although I love photo cards, I do know how stressful getting the right picture can be. This week I decided to get Christmas pictures of the boys, so pictures are on my mind. I’m not a photographer, but I would like to share with you lessons I have learned about taking pictures of kids.

A Mother’s Guide to Taking Family Pictures Without Losing Your Mind

Lesson #1- Your child will fall and get a pop knot the day before you take pictures. Don’t worry it adds character (and also makes you look suspicious).

Lesson #2- Your picture will never be perfect. When you have pictures of children, something will always be off, a pants leg that got pulled up, drool coming out of their mouth, or a messed up pose. In this picture, Collin is looking at the camera, but seems to be slightly frightened while B holds him. That’s okay, it adds character.

Lesson #3- Master the art of the back picture. Will your children not smile? Just take a picture of their backs. This shows where you were, what was going on, and it looks artful and inspiring. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy, so I have many pictures of Brandon’s back.

Lesson #4- What annoys you now, may be cute years from now. Up until last year, Brandon thought smiling was closing your eyes really tight. It drove me crazy. I would go to take a picture and yell, “Smile! B, open your eyes. Smile…. No open your eyes!…. Say cheese…You CAN open your eyes.“ Now he’s learned how to smile the right way, and those pictures are a priceless reminder of that particular quirk. However, I have no idea what his eyes looked like from one to three years old.

Lesson #5- If you want to get your child to look at you don’t do this. “Look here Brandon. Brandon. BRANDON!” That’s just white noise to a kid. Instead, say, “rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrAyyyyaaaaaa,” like a canteen dancer. I’m not making a joke here. I really do this. It may embarrass them, but you’ll get a good picture.

Lesson #6- Just keep snapping pictures! This is probably the most important lessons. Don’t do the 1..2..3. If you have a trouble maker, they will make a funny face right at the last second. Just keep snapping. You never know the picture you might get. I am a firm believer in this. For every good picture I have, I have 20 bad pictures.

Lesson #7 - As a mother, you must master the art of face freezing. Your child could be looking right at the camera and smiling like an angel, but if you are not good at face freezing you could mess the picture up by moving. Pick your expression; maybe practice it in the mirror. When the pictures start snapping you freeze into your expression, no matter what your child is doing. We have gotten some really cute pictures this way. If you are a face freezing master you can even talk through your teeth in this frozen position, and say things like, “Brandon, if you don’t look at the camera, you don’t get any presents on Christmas.” (still smiling)
I have mastered face freezing. Notice the technique in theses two pictures.

Just follow these rules and you will have family pictures without losing your mind. Your pictures will be fill with lots of character, but you'll have your sanity.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Project Life: December 6- 12

Here's this weeks pictures. This week I really tried to get myself in some pictures. Again if you want to join in or view other Project Life projects just go to The Mom Creative.

Monday, December 6- They are starting to hang out more and more. So sweet!

Tuesday, December 7- I'm a cold weather wimp, so my little guy is very bundled up.

Tuesday, December 7 (again)- I know what you are thinking, "wow! She has got it all together!"

Wednesday, December 8- no picture

Thursday, December 9- no picture

Friday, December 10 (attempt #1)- This explains why Brandon does this in pictures.

Friday, December 10- Shad's work had their Christmas party, so I just had to get a picture of us on our date.

Saturday, December 11- B decided that Collin needed accessorizing. The watch does match the letters in his sleeper.

Sunday, December 12- We stopped by McD's after church. On the way home Shad turned around and said, "There's your picture of the day."