Saturday, November 29, 2008

"Fort Bell"

Did you ever make a fort when you were younger? You know, get out the blankets and pillows and whatever else. I remember making ours with the kitchen chairs... Well, I had to take pictures of this one. It is complete with several little American flags flying proudly. My den is a mess, there are no cushions on the couches, but they had fun. The OCD side of me wants to make them clean it up, but I didn't. They are sleeping in it tonight. That's what makes being a kid fun, right?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another fun-filled family day for the Bells! We got up at the crack of dawn this morning. I know, you're thinking why would we get up so early? Brennan, Tanner and I had registered to run in the HELPline's Turkey Trot 5K Run. It is sponsored by the Crisis Services of North Alabama. You see, in October I ran my very first 5K at the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run. Brennan had asked me if he could come, and I didn't know that he could until too late. So, I signed us up for this one. I told them not to worry if they had to walk (since it was their first time). We practiced Monday at Sparkman Middle so that they would know what to expect. I just thought it would be fun for us.

Well, when I got up this morning, Darrell woke up and said he wanted to go with us. He was going to take pictures and be there for the boys if they finished in front of me. (Good thing.) We arrived at UAH all bundled up and got ready to run. I think I was more nervous than they were.

Needless to say, my children never cease to amaze me. Brennan finished with a time of 24:00 minutes! He tied for 5th place in his age division. This was 3.1 miles!! Tanner finished with a time of 27:42 and won 1st place in his age division!! Mom didn't do so bad either...I finished at 29:53. (My Liz Hurley time was 32:34) It was a ton of fun, and for Tanner to win a trophy was icing on the cake!!

We finished off the day by stuffing ourselves with turkey :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"God is Great, God is Good;
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Thank you Lord for our daily bread, Amen."

I must've said this prayer a gajillion (yes, that is a number) times when I was growing up. It was "The Blessing". As I was just washing dishes tonight, I was thinking about what it means. I don't think I really ever thought about the words as a child. It was what we said so we could start eating! When we got old enough to understand what "The Blessing" was supposed to mean, we said our prayers in our own words.

Today my family experienced a first. Every year, our church buys food and gets volunteers to go to Soul Burger in Huntsville. (A restaurant on Triana Blvd) There is turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, desserts galore....THE WORKS. They set up tables and feed anyone who wants to eat. This is mainly an outreach to the homeless in the area. We signed up this year and decided that the boys are old enough to understand and maybe learn a little from an experience such as this.

I knew we were in for questions when another kid at church told Brennan and Tanner that...well...the people who come to eat don't always smell good (that's putting it nicely). Tanner couldn't seem to process this thought. "How come they don't just take a bath?", he asked. So, as best I could, I described what some of their situations might be and that they live on the streets.

It went very well. Darrell and I both were able to serve plates for about half an hour. There were actually more volunteers than there was work to be done. What a blessing! The boys helped hand out drinks also. I look forward to doing it again next year!

So many of us go through life with our homes and cars and jobs and food on the table and on and on.... and never think about what life would be like without all of these luxuries.

For the next four days, my family will have "Thanksgiving Dinner" almost everyday. These people got ONE dinner - this YEAR. Maybe the only hot meal they've had in a long time. Maybe I got more out of our family outing today than the boys, but hopefully today did instill in them a sense of what it means to serve others.

Thank you, Lord, for all of the many blessings you give us!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Wow! Am I getting consistent or what?? I am proud of myself!

Finished decorating the tree today....YAY ME! Still alot to do, but that is my "Bah Humbug!". You see, my tree is 12 feet tall and about 6 feet across at the bottom. It is way bigger than we thought it would be when we spied it in the store 3 or 4 years ago. Although, it is pre-lit and I've never had a minute's trouble out of the lights. (knock on wood)

My stepmom, Jami, surprised the boys (and me) today by picking them up at school. They were so funny, like they had to catch her up on everything new in the house (i.e. toys from birthdays) They talked her ears off! did I! Anyway, it was so sweet when she had to go, Brennan just kept saying "Did I show you this?" or "Come see this in my room." He didn't want her to go. It kindof reminded me how Moma used to "stop by" and see us after work. Good memories :)

Last night was Brennan and Tanner's first basketball game of the season. We played against Madison Academy, and I kid you not, those kids are 5 inches taller than our boys! What are they feeding them?? Anyway, we only have 6 players on the team and they played so well! Brennan scored 17 of our 19 points, and we only lost by 2. Tanner had a little problem last year with not being aggressive enough. It was like he was afraid to touch anybody on the opposite team. So last night, he asked Darrell (aka Coach Bell) to let him play "up top" in the last quarter. Darrell just looked him in the eye and said "Are you gonna stay on them?" Tanner nodded insistently and said "Its mosquito time!". That's our little nickname for him. He did so well! He played more aggressive than I expected since it was the first game.

And the best part of the night... We were down at halftime, Darrell gave them a little pep talk and sent them to get water and use the restroom. Now mind you, 4 out of the 6 of our player also go to church with us. So they are all pretty good friends...anyway...Brennan came back and sat down beside me (I was keeping the scorebook) and said confidently, "We all prayed in the bathroom." I was so proud. I didn't say anything about it then, but this morning I asked Brennan and Tanner about it on the way to school. Apparently one of the boys initiated it and then they decided that Brennan should pray because he is the team captain (first I'd heard of that). So he did. He even commented that he was glad they prayed because they only lost by 2 points. What's more exciting is that one of the boys that was in there doesn't go to church at all! What a witness! What a boldness! I pray that he will always have that!!

Would I have the boldness to do that if in the same situation? Would you?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thats what I get for planning...

Today, I had it all planned out...

Get up and take the boys to school. Brennan is on "Safety Patrol" duty this week, so he has to be there at 7am...(I know!!) Then I was going to run by Bowers Plumbing real quick and put an update on the accounting software. I am the self educated tech support for Bowers. Its really pathetic, I know. But none the less, I am it. After that, I was going to go to the fire station and take on another of my 50 million jobs. I am secretary for the Toney Volunteer Fire Department. This entails alot of paperwork and keeping up with who goes on calls and filing reports, blah, blah, blah....

So as you probably can imagine...things DID NOT go as planned. I got to Bowers at 9:30am and left at 3:30pm. I was at wits end and ready to scream! The good news is that I did get the computers all up and running. Bad news is, for half the day, no one could their work...although they didn't seem to mind :)

Thats what I get for planning...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I love Saturdays that aren't particularly busy. Sleeping in...laying around a little... it doesn't happen very often, but today was one of those days. Relaxing. Last night Darrell and the boys "camped out" in Tanner's room so I had the whole bed to myself. I think Brennan kinda felt sad that I wasn't invited to their party, but I insisted that they go ahead with their "boys night". I think its great. They made a fort with blankets and what-nots...and Darrell sacrificed a good night's sleep to make them feel special. They are so fortunate to have a Dad like that. I guess that makes me lucky too :)

I keep looking at this 12 foot tree...and the 10 foot ladder in the middle of my den. I can't bring myself to finish putting the decorations on. Maybe tomorrow... I'm not stressing over it today! I went to the gym, then to basketball practice and now we are going to watch the Havoc play hockey tonight! I love family time!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thanks for the ride, Disney!!

What a fun week! The boys are at the perfect age for a trip like this! We rode every ride we wanted to...some more than once! No one complained about walking too much, and to top it all off, we did it all TOGETHER!! Riding, talking, laughing, playing...TOGETHER!!

Waiting for our plane...Disney here we come!!

If I didn't know better, I might think that they actually like each other! What do you think?

Beautiful sunset at Epcot! Even though it rained almost every day at some point, we had a great time!

The whole family posing at Hollywood Studios. This was our favorite park....

When asked what their favorite ride was, the boys quickly respond "Rockin' Roller Coaster!" We rode it 3 times!! I have to admit, it was my favorite, too!