This is officially my first Wednesday's Walk post. I happened upon a wonderful blogger and this is one of her efforts to record memories for her family. Each Wednesday we post a favorite memory from the past or one that has just taken place. At the end of the year we'll have a wonderful gift to pass along to our children. It's like an online journal I suppose. So here goes my first attempt.

Today I visited a nice little blog called Expecting a Surprise at and she had a music gadget that was toodling some sweet little spring tunes. One of the songs that played was Tooralorah by Kenny Loggins. The minute I heard the first strains of this precious melody I was transported back nearly 14 years ago.

We had just moved into our brand new home. At the time there were just the three of us, me, Kevin and little Skye. She had just turned one and this was our first real house. We had spent the previous two years in a small, cozy apartment. Our first few months in the new house were a little scary. It was a wonderful feeling to own our very own place, but on the flip side it was scary to think about the big responsibility and commitment we had entered into. Kind of like having a new baby. Skye did not like sleeping in her own room and we didn't mind having her with us, so each evening we'd all three snuggle in our bed and pop in Kenny Loggins Return to Pooh Corner. One of Skye's favorite songs was Tooralorah. She'd hum along as she nestled her sweet head on my shoulder.

Before she was born I had purchased a little light show toy for her nursery. It was a small dome with colorful animals all around it. When you would wind it up and turn out the lights it projected all of the little animals on the ceiling and walls. The dome would slowly turn and the animals would dance through the night much to the delight of my little girl. The three of us spent many an evening watching those dancing animals and humming along to Tooralorah. We felt safe and happy, like three little birds in our nest.

Now, nearly fourteen years later, I sometimes wish I could go back to those evenings. I could snuggle with Skye and watch the animals dancing in the night. We'd hum her favorite tune and all of the big, scary things in the world would be shut out from our safe little nest. As she quickly heads towards adulthood I find myself looking back at the days when she was small. Oh how simple and lovely they were. The world was bright and beautiful to her and every day held new discovery and adventure. She was loved by all and she spent her days dancing and singing.

Time goes by so quickly and before we know it an entire season of our life is gone.
As I write this tonight I am quietly humming Tooralorah. I'm sure as my eyes flutter to sleep my dreams will be filled with dancing animals.

Getting To Know You!

O.K. ladies. I'm getting dead serious about my blogging here. I've joined two blog rolls to try and get my name out there and now I am participating in this fun event. Getting To Know You is hosted over at a beautiful blog by the name of Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground. Click the button up above to visit and find out what it's all about. I came upon this lovely little blog in my usual circumspect way. I was visiting a friend's blog and from there I visited one of her friend's blogs and low and behold I saw the button for Getting to Know You, became overwhelmed with curiosity, clicked, and here we are cowgirls!

Please visit and read the simple rules to participate. It's a great way to get your blog out there for other folks to read, assuming of course that you want to do that. I want to share my little Flitter Flatters site with others. Not because I'm an awesome writer or anything, but I just think it's a fun way to meet new people and share a little of myself with the entire world. Hmmm. To hear it put that way makes it seem kind of creepy. Sharing myself with the world. Well, this might be the avenue God had in mind for me when He gave me a desire to write. Instead of a degree in Journalism from good old UGA I might just share my heart on the world wide web and call it a day.

A Gentle Place

God, in His own perfect timing, has set in my heart the desire to create a home from the house that we've lived in for almost 14 years. You see, I have quite the creative little spirit. I just love to write and plan and dream. But when it comes to nesting and making my home all warm and huggy, well let's just say that the chicken has flown the coop. Heck, who am I kidding, that bird never came to roost in the first place.

I've never been known for my organizational skills, ability to plan much past the next five minutes or good housekeeping skills. It's never been my desire to peruse the home decorating stores or create dream books of my favorite home ideas. Nope, I'd rather just curl up on my non-Febreezed couch with a good book and while away the hours. Our house has over the years became rather bedraggled with the neglect and lack of love given to it. Kind of like the ugly step-child or something. For years I've explained my poor ability or more truthfully lack of desire to do anything about it on my free spirit. We just are who we are I would say. This is home. We live here so it looks lived in. For many years this sat well with me, but in the past few weeks all has not been well with my soul.

As I have begun digging out from under the dirt and debris that has covered my heart and my walk with God I have begun to see rays of sunshine here and there. I'll see a picture or read an article and suddenly my heart will swell up and say "Hey, you could do that to your home." With much thanks to my friend Lindsey who does fabulous things to her home as evidenced by the beautiful pictures she posts, I have started visiting some of the blogs that she follows. I have become entranced, enraptured, enthralled with the beauty I have found. These bloggers are mostly mom and wives, just like me. A whole lot of them don't have tons of money. Many of them shop at Goodwill and yardsales and breathe new life into found treasures with a .99 can of white spray paint and a good eye. I have become inspired to change not only my life, but the life of my home as well.

A journey now stands before me that I would have once turned away from. It will be long and it will be hard. Many old habits will have to be broken and a lot of new ones will have to take their place. At times I will fall and may even be tempted to turn back to my free spirited ways. But I will not take my eyes off the prize. The destination I am headed for is peace. Peace in not only my spirit, but in my home as well. I desire to provide for my precious family the gift of peace. A clean and beautiful place to run to when the world is unkind and ugly. A haven to cling to when chaos chases us unrelentlessly. My heart nearly bursts with the desire to give them peace, a gentle place to love and be loved, a place to just be.

It's The MOST Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Yes, Christmas is over and now we enter what I deem the MOST wonderful time of the year! The madness of shopping, cleaning, cooking, decorating, entertaining, being entertained, spending all your money and just general STRESS is over. Now we can just sit back and enjoy a few days of peace and harmony. Everyone is busy with new toys and gizmos. My decorations are still twinkling and I seem to enjoy them much more now that the hustle and bustle is over. The house is relatively clean from having everyone over Christmas Eve so I don't feel pressured to be up and doing something. I'm completely broke so there's no question of going out for some after Christmas shopping. One word sums it all up for me: PEACE!

Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas, contrary to what my previous post may sound like. This year has been a little melancholy for me, but a few days ago I had a heart to heart with God and He filled me with a calming peace and placed the following verse in my heart. "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under Heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1 You see I'd been having a little pity party of one, me, because I was lamenting the fact that my babies are growing up and Christmas just seemed less "magical" for us this year. I missed the days of buying real toys and not expensive games and electronics. I missed the eager anticipation of Santa's arrival, replaced this year by knowing winks and raised eyebrows between my two oldest when the jolly old elf was mentioned. I just missed the past. After a tearful talk with God I came to the realization that Christmas never was meant to be "magical". It's true intention is to celebrate the birth of our Savior and remember the love and sacrifice that He freely gave so we could have eternal life. There is nothing "magical" about that. That's just plain, old fashioned true love!

My problem came when I began subscribing to the world's view of what Christmas was all about. The world thinks the reason for the season is to spend all of your money and stress yourself out in an endless search for the perfect present. Attend as many functions as you can possibly squeeze in just so you can be in the holiday spirit. Be utterly beside yourself with joy and abandon for the space of about 4-5 weeks, depending on when Thanksgiving falls and then boom! It's December 26th, back to the grind. For my entire adult life this is how I've celebrated Christmas. Beyond a momentary pause to think of Christ and His birth my mind was much more preoccupied with the "show" of Christmas. Many years I have spent the holidays secretly depressed because I was unable to give as much to others as they gave to me. I sat and watched family open presents and was silently ashamed of my "little" gifts in comparison to the overwhelming generosity they had bestowed upon me, Kevin and the kids. I was never truly happy, but I tried to put on a good front. Inside I was tormented that what I gave wasn't good enough. No matter how much thought I put into the gift I personally measured it's worth in dollars. There was no way I could compete though. With one income we just didn't have the money to give exhorbitantly at the holidays.

This Christmas season began with the same feelings of depression and inadequacy rearing their heads in my heart. We have been blessed beyond measure and after years of receiving so much I desparately wanted to give back to those I loved. As usual the money just wasn't there. Moping around with a scowl on my face I'd finally given in to the possibility that I should just embrace my inner Grinch and be done with it. Then came my talk with God. The verse I quoted above quelled my terrible sadness at my children growing up. Every stage of their growing up is a season and for every season in our lives there is a purpose. They can't stay babies forever nor would I want them to. But, the verse opened my eyes up to the fact that the "season" they are now in is prime time to be planting God's word in their hearts and that is something I've sadly neglected. My new purpose was made quite clear to me. I need to focus my energy on getting my family spiritually fit. This involves a complete makeover of my own heart and attitude so I can be an example for them. The second revelation that God gave me that day was that the greatest gift I was ever given was His son, Jesus Christ. Regardless of what I do, say or think I can NEVER match that gift. Here I was feeling lowly and inadequate because I couldn't give more in the way of materialistic gifts. I secretly felt that people thought I was cheap or didn't care as much about them because I didn't buy them expensive things. They didn't. Just like Jesus they loved me for me, not for what I bought them. And when I thought I had nothing worthwile to give, I had actually been holding the greatest gift of all right in my heart. I have the chance to share the love of Jesus and what He gave so we could have eternal life. I can give the gift of compassion and mercy; patience and love. By letting God's love shine thorough me I can share the greatest gift of all, Him!

So now I have quite a different view of Christmas. My goal for the new year is to keep the spirit of Christmas in my heart year round. To always give the most precious gift I've been given by sharing the good news of Jesus with all I meet. To keep my heart in the right place by keeping God in it so that my life reflects His joy and love. Of course I still love the "magic" of Christmas. I'll still decorate and shop and Santa will still visit. But, now I have all of those things in perspective. While they are a fun and memorable part of Christmas they are by no means the true reason for the season and I will never let those reasons dictate my happiness again!

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

I am actually beginning to feel quite giddy about Christmas. Not, as you might assume, because it's almost here, but instead because it's almost over. This old gal is burned out on the holly and the jolly this year. I'm not sure what it is, but I just can't get into the spirit this year. I'm tired, cranky and just want it to be over and done with.

Usually I really love the holidays. Don't get me wrong. I've really enjoyed having my decorations up and just staring at my awesome bubble lights every evening. I'll always treasure the excitement that Devlin has had for Santa's impending arrival. Our days of the jolly old elf being so important are certainly numbered around here. I am completely and totally thankful of the time spent with my family and friends. But, something is just not right this year.

We're no more broke than usual. Actually, we're slightly better than past years. No one is sick and we didn't lose a loved one like last year when Mama passed away. No, it's something else. There seems to be an uneasiness in the air. I am in no way able to see the future and wouldn't want to, but I have a curious feeling of change and change that might not be good. I don't know if it's just change for my family or change for the entire world. It's possible that all of the doom and gloom espoused nightly on the news has burrowed into my heart and taken root. So many people are losing jobs, homes, everything. I can't help but worry about what the future holds for us. Things actually look bright for the new year with a possible career upgrade in the works for Kevin. Still, I wonder. What will next year hold.

Oh, some things I am sure of. Next year Skye will start high school, turn 15 and begin driving. Four more years and she can technically leave out on her own. This doesn't make me feel jolly. Logan will start middle school, turn 12 and begin his last year of "childhood" before entering those lovely teenage years. This doesn't make me feel jolly. Devlin will start turn eight, start 3rd grade in the fall and be my last little one in elementary school. This doesn't make me feel jolly. I think I've finally hit the nail on the head. Time will keep marching on, quicker than I wish it to. I miss those Christmas' past when three bright eyed little ones perched on our top step, eager to rush down and see what Santa had brought. I miss the excitement that a ride by a house covered with lights would garner. I miss shopping for toys. Not I-Pods and digital cameras, expensive video games the size of a quarter and golf clubs for a future pro. I guess you could say I'm in mourning.

That's what's not right with Christmas. Everyone has grown up. It's lost it special magic. Even teaching a class full of four year olds didn't bring it back for me. They are not mine to buy toys for and tuck in at night while listening to Christmas wishes. My babies have turned into young people and I am sad. I am highly regretful of the moments I rushed through and the memories we missed out on when they were little, just to get to the next thing in life.

Life goes by really, really fast. Before you know it your children are grown and Christmas just isn't the same. Oh, I'm sure one day there might be grandchildren to spoil and that will make things a little better, but in the end things are never quite the same after your babies grow up. For those of you with little ones or little ones on the way, cherish every moment. It will be gone in the blink of an eye! Don't miss a memory. Make every giggle, every twinkle in their eye a permanent part of your mental history. You'll never regret the time you spend loving your children!

Yehaw! Or, what to do for entertainment in Paulding County!

So, it's Saturday afternoon here in little old Paulding County. What on earth should we do to entertain ourselves today?

We start out with a birthday party at Stars and Strikes. This place has become the bane of my existence. I can't tell you how many times we've been there in the past month, including two days back to back for the boys' football banquets. If you've ever been to Chuck E. Cheese then you have a good idea of the size and scope of this place. A small, very small area of games that cost an arm and a leg to play. This microscopic little bumper car area. Very tiny Lazer Tag area and then two separate bowling areas. One bowling area is more "upscale" if a bowling alley can be called upscale. It houses the bar area and some coffeehouse like seating arrangement. Folks like to hang out here and get a little happy before their bowling time. After spending a few minutes in this place I was tempted to visit so called "bar area" and get a little happy myself. It is SO loud! You have to scream to make yourself heard. And the kids are constantly asking for more money to put more points on their game cards. There are a million people running around and the term "fun" is just not something I envision when I visit here. But, obviously 1/3 of Paulding County does find Stars and Strikes fun because they were there today. Don't anybody tell me we're in a recession. When folks can shell out untold amounts of cash to bowl and play arcade games then they're doing all right.

Next on our quest for fun journey was Wal Mart. Now, I like Wal Mart all right. My husband does not. He has nothing good to say about them after dealing with them because of his job. I, on the other hand, feel like their grocery prices are the lowest in town. Of coure that doesn't mean I buy my groceries there. I prefer the aesthetically pleasing Publix to anywhere else. I'll pay .50 more for something just so I don't have to smell the Wal Mart meat department. Anyways, Logan was in the market for some new football cards (I could write an entire entry on football cards and young boys fascination with them) so we hopped on over to Wal Mart when we left the birthday party. High on the excitement of Stars and Strikes, I failed to remember that not only was today Saturday, a prime shopping day for local residents, but it is also two weeks away from Christmas. We pull into the parking lot and it looks like July at Disney World. Folks swarming around like ants from a freshly kicked hill. Logan and his eagle eyes spotted a close up space and I only had to back up 40 feet and narrowly miss two shoppers to retrieve it.

As we enter the store the Salvation Army worker merrily rings his little bell in our direction. "Merry Christmas ma'am" he heartily cries. I clutch my purse tighter than I already was. What little bit of cash that is in there is staying in there. I'm broke people. While I wish I had oodles of extra cash to give to others, well, this year I'm doing good to buy for my own kiddos. Sorry. So, we head on into the mass of humanity and begin our shopping. Surprisingly we're not run over by any carts, yelled at by angry shoppers or involved in any fisticuffs over the last WWF wrestling toy on the shelf. Although I did purchase a WWF wrestling figure for Devlin and I felt very seedy as I put it in my cart. There is just something about wrestling that doesn't sit quite right with me, but anyways, who am I to judge.

We mosey on over to the grocery section to pick up a few items for tomorrows family get together and what to my wandering eyes should appear, but .88 2 liter Cokes my dears! You would have thought I'd found cash money laying on the floor. I stocked up on that stuff. Coca Cola is like liquid gold at our house. We can't keep it around. Lately, the price for a 2 liter has shot up to 1.79 at my beloved Publix. To find it for more than 1/2 off was like manna from Heaven. I'll be back in a day or two to buy more.

We finish our shopping and check out with only a 15 minute wait. The cashier is a right jolly old elf, with reindeer antlers and a name tag that says "Dancer". She was very pleasant and made the $100+ dollars that I shelled out almost palatable. Logan and I shuffle out to the van and toss our handful of bags into the trunk. Ten minutes later we're home from our day of excitement and all is well.

So, if you're looking for entertainment in Paulding County, there you have it. Oh yeah, Santa is hanging out at a tree lot across the street from the Shell station and they even have pony rides for those so inclined. We chose to pass up that little gem today, but hey, we might check it out next weekend.

Christmas Card Madness!

Well, after about three years of absolutely NO Christmas cards from the Dolph Gang I finally broke down and made one this year. I had grand visions of a perfect photo shoot with my three angels in non-matching, but complementary, fashionable outfits. Perfect hair, beautiful smiles and an out of the ordinary, random, highly artistic backdrop would complete my ideal photo. I had already decided on a very funky looking stacked rock wall at the football field for them to pose, non-chalantly of course, in front of. Then the photos would be printed out in black and white on a very modern black and white Christmas card template. I had it all planned out.

But, as with all of the very best of plans, things changed. It has been so cold and every evening we get in so late from picking Skye up at basketball practice that I haven't had time to take a picture. I looked at the calendar today, saw that it was already December 7th and decided to wing it. I made all three put on their coats and zip them up. I stood them on the porch together and took a few shots. Logan was not in the best of moods. The Falcon's lost today and he was mildly perturbed. The picture I've posted is the best I got. The more I look at it the more I love it. It is so MY kids! Evidently someone had just passed gas (my money is on Logan) and they found it completely hilarious! So, this is the picture I chose for my card. They are laughing and happy. No one is beating anyone up or sending glaring looks at each other. They are just being their usual loony, lovable selves!

I couldn't help but be semi-artistic though, so I chose a card layout that allowed for four photos. The main big picture is the one I took today of the three of them. Then there are three individual picture spots and I put one of my favorites from the past few months of each of them. All the pictures are black and white! I'm about to run pick them up, but I know I'll be happy with them. Sometimes the very best things in life are unplanned!