Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Little Monkey

There once was a little monkey who loved to sing....

And daydream about trains, trucks, and other things...

 But his favorite thing of all to do, was to make "stinker faces" the whole day through.

The End.


I love my sisters.  As the oldest of the girls, I had the privilege of watching them both grow into beautiful women.

As a mom of three girls, it brings me great joy to see the close relationship that our girls have with each other.  

They love each other so much.  

Sure, they have their "moments" just like any other sisters, but for the most part this is what we see each day

And I hope and pray that it always stays this way. 



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hip, Hip, Hooray It's My Bloggy Birthday!

One year ago today this blog was born.  All that I can say is:

Woo Hoo!
Yeah Baby!
Aww Yeah!
Rock On!
Oh Wow!
Fabulous darling!

But mostly, I just want to say THANK YOU!!! to all of you who faithfully read this here little blog.

I really enjoy this creative outlet, and my hope is that you have somehow been encouraged, challenged, or even mildly entertained by reading "This and That" over this past year.

Here's to another year...



Monday, November 28, 2011

Knee Baby

Being from the south, my father's side of the family has a tendency to utilize words and phrases that often seem, ahem...strange.  Phrases like, "over yonder", "sit a spell", "shin dig", and "ya'll" flow freely from their lips.  If we are together for awhile, I find myself speaking the country vernacular as well.  And truth be known, I love it!

On a recent visit to my aunt's house, she introduced our youngest monkey girl as the "knee baby".  Now that is one phrase that I have not heard, so I had to ask for a translation.

According to southern tradition, the knee baby is the baby that was the baby before the baby came along.  Confused yet?  So was I, until I had another glass of sweet tea and some chew bread, then I went out on the porch and set for a spell.

Here is my "knee baby" with my "baby baby":

Ya'll come back now, ya hear,


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family Pictures are Fun, Fun, Fun!

My sweet and ultra-talented niece Heather of Lisbeth Photography is taking our family pictures today.  I have been brainstorming and looking at ideas online to see how creative we can get with this photo shoot.

You see, we are having the pictures taken in a lovely park where Music Man and I had our wedding reception. There are large oak trees, a beautiful lake and an amazing estate house.

I love this idea:

photo via

What do you think?

Hugs and Smiles,


Monday, November 21, 2011


Life is so full of changes and transitions.  Some seasons are more full of change than others.

In this season of our life now, change is abundant.  Job changes, body changes, attitude changes, dietary changes, kids growing, college, high school, potty training, driving lessons, and so on...

This past year there has been loss and gain.  Joy and pain.  We have laughed much, stressed much, loved large, and pondered profoundly.  Many milestones have been achieved.  We have taken two steps forward, and twenty backward, and twenty-one forward again.  We have succeeded in some areas and successfully failed in others.

I have always loathed change.  Lately, I just want to stop time.  I want to freeze-frame that toothless grin our girl has.  I do not want to make the crib into a toddler bed.  I choke up thinking about that upcoming college orientation. I still have that last maternity shirt hanging in the closet, because, well, just because I can not seem to take it down.

But, this season of life is teaching me that change is important.  Life ebbs and flows and each moment leads to the next, to the next, to the next.  I can go hide my eyes and plug my ears and choose not to move forward, or I can embrace it all.  All the change.  It's changing me...



Friday, November 18, 2011

Maybe You Can Fly a Jet, Maybe You Are a Vet..Are You Genetically Wired for a Certain Career?

This monkey is an aspiring fire-fighter and a bonafide mess-maker.

When you were a child, did you know what you wanted to do when you grew up?  Were you set on being a doctor, a lawyer, a deep-sea diver, a mom, a dad, or a race car driver?  Did your parents or other significant adults in your life model a career that you found fascinating?  Was your favorite uncle an Army engineer?  Was your mom a horticulturalist?  Were your grandparents restaurant owners? Did your dad write a book? Was your older brother a history teacher?

A fairy princess and a pirate!

What field are you working in today?  Is it your dream job?  Or are you just making a paycheck? 

Recently, I read review on a book that explores how some people are more genetically pre-disposed to being entrepreneurs.  Interesting!

As I pondered genetics and careers and such, I found that a lot of the interests that my parents and grandparents have, are my interests too.  My grandfather loved biology and anatomy.  He was a medic in the Army.  My mom has a heart of compassion for children with special needs.  She and my dad were foster parents to many children and adopted two boys with special needs during my high school and college years. My grandmother was a teacher's aid for over twenty years.  

And me?  Well, I started my career as a Speech and Language Pathologist working with people with special needs, and now I am mom of six monkeys, who I have home-schooled for the past 11 years.

Who knows what the future holds?  I heard a rumor that my third cousin, twice removed was a performer in the circus.

Oh, and did I mention that my great-aunt raised monkeys?  Coincidence?  I think not!

And this guy?  Heaven knows....



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do You Ever Want to Just Get Away?

Photo found here
 Somedays, not everyday, but somedays, I just want to get away.  Like those days when I can not even take a shower without someone (usually a little monkey-child) needing something.  

 Here are some places that I daydream about, when I am feeling particularly crunchy:

Photo found here
Photo credit

Photo credit

Photo credit
How about you?  Do you ever feel like stepping off the crazy train of life?  Do you daydream about island cabanas, mountain retreats, or remote farmhouses? 

Heck, I would just be happy with some uninterrupted time in the bathroom these days.  Sorry, this blog is my therapy and it just had to be said.  I feel better now. 



Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Our oldest monkey girl is 18 years old today!  I can hardly believe it!  Just yesterday it seems like she was in diapers and now, now she is driving.  Excuse me while I go cry hysterically for a few minutes...

Here is a little letter that we shared with our man-child monkey (our oldest) when he turned 18 a couple of years ago.  We made it more personalized for our birthday girl and gave it to her today.  It is just a collection of 18 thoughts / encouraging words about turning 18.

18 Thoughts to Ponder on Your 18th Birthday

1. The world may tell you that you are “free” now, but you were set free the day that you decided to follow Christ.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

2.  Celebrate your 18th year of life with a purpose.  Each day is a gift, each year even more so.

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1

3. Rebel against the “status quo” not the “life you know”.

“When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.”  Proverbs 28:2

 4. 18 year olds still need their parents’ guidance.  In fact, sometimes now more than ever, you will want to perk up those ears and open your heart to our instruction.  Remember, we have the advantage of already lived through our teens, twenties, thirties, and into our forties... With age comes experience and wisdom.

“My daughter, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”  Proverbs 4:20-22

 5. God has allowed us to parent you this many years, and you are turning into a Godly young woman.  You turning 18 does not change our God given responsibility to guide you.  You turning 18 does not change your God given command obey us and honor us.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Honor your Father and Mother- which is the first commandment with a promise- that it may go well with you, and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.   Ephesians 6:1-4

6. It has been “going very well with you”.  Let’s not forget that and let’s keep God’s commandments.

7.  Before seeking a friend’s advice, seek God’s wisdom and instruction first .  He has your back ;-).  Your friends may be good listeners, but remember they are on the same page as you and they do not have the “bird’s eye view” that God has. They can only offer advice from their limited experience.  God gives us his all knowing wisdom.

“For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.  Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.  Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, thus you will walk in the ways of good men and keep to the paths of the righteous.  Proverbs 2:10-12, 20

8.  You are on the threshold of adulthood.  Picture yourself standing in the foyer of a house looking into the house.  The house represents your future.  You will need to begin preparing the rooms of the house for your future husband and family.  To do this you will need to prepare your heart.

Here are some ways to prepare for adulthood:

9.  Talk to us.  Your dad is a godly man.  He has prepared a Godly home.  He is the leader and servant that God has called him to be. Communicate with him. You are VERY blessed to have a dad who loves the Lord and his family.  Picture yourself marrying someone with the qualities that you admire in your dad.   Consider your mom and her example in your life.  She is also seeking to serve the Lord and establish a home where hearts are safe and peace abounds.  Proverbs 31 is her instruction manual.  Read it and you will understand what it means to be a woman of noble character.  Then strive for it! Also, if God sends other Godly women your way, then seek them as well.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17

 10. Work hard and use your time wisely.  You will one day be a wife and mother.  Your God given role is to provide a loving home for your family.  Develop a good work ethic and stick to it.

“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth”  Proverbs 10:4

 11. Study God’s word and grow spiritually, so that you can be a good leader and servant.

“Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance”

12.  Pray, pray, pray.  In private, in church, everywhere and anywhere.  Everyday, morning, noon and night.  Boldly, conversationally, with deep love and respect for God.  About anything and everything.

 13. Represent your family well.  You are a Lehman.  Now your represent our family and in the future you will represent your own family as well.  Your good name is worth more than gold.

“A reputation is like fine china, easy to chip and difficult to repair.”

Here are some ways to represent your family well:

14.   Be honest with yourself and with others.  Honesty is always the best policy.  That is why it is one of the Ten Commandments.

15.  Conduct yourself in a moral, upright way always.  Even when no one is looking.

“Even a child is know by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right”  Proverbs 20:11

16.  Be a faithful friend, employee, volunteer, etc..  You are God’s servant and so give generously!

“A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:17

17.  Make wise choices in your relationships.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.  For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with the darkness?”
2 Corinthians 6:14

18.  Have self control. Do not make hasty decisions.  Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. Your body is a temple.  Do not abuse it with lack of rest, alcohol, bad foods, drugs, or anything that would bring harm.

  Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, to do great things.  To share your gifts, your time, and your talents.

We LOVE you!!!!  Happy Birthday!!

Dad and Mom

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Watch Your Back Christmas!

Christmas has been lurking in the stores since August.  No really.  Did you not notice the aisle or end cap or two devoted to Christmas when you were purchasing your back-to-school supplies?

Of course, Back-to-School was the "star of the stores" way back in late June (Wait! Didn't school just end like yesterday, I thought to myself).  And then there was Halloween in July.  But, Christmas was already stepping on Halloween's heels by August.

I saw the first fully decked out Christmas house before Halloween! What? I found it a little odd to see one house with a make believe cemetery and skeletons in the front yard, while the next-door neighbor had a manger scene and inflatable Santa adoring their lawn.

And while shopping the other day, I could not help but conclude that Christmas better watch its back.  I saw New Year's lurking down an entire aisle and I am pretty sure Valentine's Day was taking over an end cap.

These Christmas decorations were up by November 1



Friday, November 11, 2011

The Virtual Classroom

I remember the first time that I heard the phrase "distance education".  I was in my first year of grad school, and my favorite professor was preparing to to teach a class that would meet in two places at once. The class that I would attend would be taught "live" at FSU and the sister class would be taught via video conference  at a location two hours west of us.  I was mesmerized by this process.  It seemed so futuristic.  The students at the "sister" site, would fax their questions in to our professor as the class progressed.  It was so cutting- edge.

Fast forward, (too many years than I care to admit) to more recent times.  Our middle-school-aged monkeys have been attending a grammar and composition class for the past two years. Their teacher is amazing and she teaches at the high school and middle school levels.  The super cool feature of this class is that it is completely taught online in real time.  Their teacher sends an email link to each of the students, the students log in to the class, and the learning commences.  It blows my mind!  There is a virtual whiteboard, video feeds of the teacher and each student, a "raise hand" button, headsets, and learning galore!  It's like the Jetsons on steroids.

The most fantastic feature of all to me is that this virtual class is totally portable.  We took the class on the road with us recently down to our favorite island in Southwest Florida.  As long as there was WiFi (Starbucks to the rescue), class was in session.

Adjectives, adverbial phrases, clincher statements, and thesis statements all over a frappuccino in paradise.  Not too shabby.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh, Say Can You See...

On this Veterans Day Eve, I went for a walk with the little monkey man.  The moon was full and so was my heart as I snapped this picture:

Full of gratitude for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country and to their families who have held down the home front while their love ones were on the battlefront.  We are so very blessed to live in the "land of the free and the home of the brave".



Coffee Talk

Our middle monkey is quite the character.  He is always joking around and often it is difficult to get into a deep conversation with him.  Here is a snippet from the end of one of our more serious conversations recently:

Me:  "So, is there anything else you want to talk about?  Is anything bothering you?"

Him:  "Yeah, my farts are really bad lately."

Me:  "Gross!"

Him:  (hysterical laughter)

So recently, I have been able to find the magic location and an elixir that seems to create the perfect storm for meaningful conversation with monkey boy. Something in that Salted Caramel Mocha just seems to get the conversation flowing.

Of course, the conversation can not be too serious for too long.  There is always potential for potty humor.  That's okay, I'll take the heart sharing with the fart sharing.