Monthly Archives: July 2012

You might be a redneck…

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Does anyone besides me believe that God has an interesting sense of humor?  I truly believe that I have had Him slapping his knee, even though He knew what was going to happen before it ever did.  I can’t wait to laugh together with my Heavenly Father one day. Lol.

Yesterday was Caleb’s “girl—friend’s” birthday!  Her name is Paige and she is one sweet young lady.  I immediately thought she looked like a young Lauren Talley and if you know me, you’ll know how much I loved that!  Paige spent the afternoon with us Saturday and went with us to an all day benefit our church was hosting.  There were games, huge “jumpy” houses, food, a petting zoo, horseback rides, silent auction, etc.  It was great!  I enjoyed getting to know Paige and I was thankful for her kind, sweet spirit.  I think the moment she truly won my heart was when I saw her walking with Eli to the jumpy house.  I said, “Where’s Caleb?”  Paige said, “I think he’s by the horses.  I wanted to go to the jumpy houses with Eli.”  SCORE.  I called Caleb on his cell phone and said, “Hey, where are you?  Eli is dating Paige right now…” 🙂

You see, I like SLOW MOVING, confident young ladies; the kind that can walk without having to hang on to a boy; the kind that can sit on their own bottoms rather than the lap of a young man (and THAT makes me crazy.  Yes, I’m extremely old fashioned and proud of it).  I basically like to see the light of day streaming between the young couple…get my drift?  Paige is sizing up to be that kind of slow moving girl and I like that.  So, back to her birthday…

Sunday night, Caleb says, “Mom, can you take me out to buy Paige a birthday present?”  Of course I was going to take him!  And I made many suggestions to him:

“Do you want to get her some pretty flowers?”

“No.  I don’t think she’ll like flowers.”

“ALL girls like flowers.  Okay, how about a nice little gift basket from Bath & Body Works?”

“No.  Eww.  I’ll think about it and let you know.”

Monday rolled around and I knew that I had one lunch hour to help Caleb find his gift.  He calls me at work…”Mom, I need for you to take me to Tractor Supply so I can buy Paige’s birthday present.”

You might be a redneck…..Lord, help me.

This is where God’s sense of humor comes in.  You see, I want Caleb to wear oxford shirts and a bow-ties; he longs to be in camouflage.  His dad wants him to wear Nike’s and play basketball; Caleb wants to wear cowboy boots and go fishing every day.

But at the end of the day, who cares?  So we have plans and dreams for our boys…we’ve learned quickly that God’s plans and dreams are bigger for them than ours ever could be.  We learned this very thing through Wesley.  I knew that boy had strong leadership abilities if I could ever get him out of that “don’t put me out there” way of thinking.  But as his Mom, I wanted to “love and direct him” towards his gifts.  God knows I would NOT have directed him to the military, especially the Marines!  But it was during boot camp and through his military experience that God worked on his heart and used the Marine Corps to bring out the strong, caring, compassionate leader God created him to be.  God’s ways are so much better than our ways, always.

And God loves rednecks. 😉

p.s. Paige loved her gift!  It was a pink John Deere shirt.  *Sigh*

*  **  **  **  **  *

I want to brag on our Marine who just returned from a two weeks Corporal course in New Jersey.  Wes was tops in his class, missing top honor grad by .08 of a point.  BUT he won the coveted “Gung-Ho” award!  This award is voted upon by the Marines and goes to the one Marine they would most want to have fighting beside of them in combat.

We’re so proud of you, Corporal Wesley Fogleman!

Now for the funny stuff…

Eli found a magnifying glass and, as is the case with most anything we do, he found a way to have fun with it using my camera:

     

My nostrils look HUGE.  Whoa….:)

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Birds and beeeeeees…

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You know, it’s hard being the parent of a teenager for so many reasons, not the least of which is DATING.  And I’m referring to legit dating, not Facebook love.

We’ve weathered the whole dating thing with Wesley and whew!  Through God’s favor and mercy (and many prayers), Wes found the woman God created for him and they are truly blessed.  Of course, both Wes & Kendal dated other people before they met, but I do believe that prayer kept them looking until they found each other.

We now begin the journey again with our 15 year old.  It’s hard to believe that Caleb is coming close to the dating age, as in, “out on a date with a girl alone” (which, by the way, is 16 in our house.  It was good enough for me, it’s good enough for him. However, I was so ugly, I didn’t have to worry much about it…).  He’ll be licensed in September and I already feel the apron strings starting to loosen just a little.

Yesterday, Caleb was invited to hang out at a girl___friend’s house (not yet ready to say “girlfriend”…they just met not long ago) this past Wednesday.  On Tuesday, before we even considered letting him go, we asked Caleb a barrage of questions to find out as much as we could about his girl___ friend.  Once we were satisfied with the answers, we then made sure that the young lady’s parents were going to be with them AT ALL TIMES.

“Yes Mom, gah, they’re going to pick me up and bring me home and they’ll be with us the whole time.”  *Sigh*…we conceded to let him go.

Please know that any apprehension we felt had NOTHING to do with the young lady he was visiting.  It was just…hard.  I’m not ready for him to grow up.  I still want him playing with G.I. Joe’s and dressing up in his military or cowboy garb.  I want him to stay my little “Cay-cu-bus” for as long as possible.

Cay-cu-bus and Mommy

On Tuesday evening  I said to Caleb, “Now, you need to be sure you treat this young lady with the utmost respect, okay?”

Caleb – “I know Mom, gah.”

Me – “And don’t let yourself get too familiar with her; cherish the purity that God gave each of you.”

Caleb – “WHAT?  Oh my gosh!  Mom, please…I know, okay?  Just…quit talking about it.”

Me – “It’s important to know that as a Christian, the Lord is always with you. He’ll help you when temptation comes…”

Caleb ‘ “Mom!  Please. Stop. Talking.  Oh my gosh…”

Alright, I felt satisfied that Caleb got my drift so I let it go.  But as fun as it was watching him become more and more mortified by our conversation, I can tell you, I hit my knees with a renewed fervor Wednesday morning.

**PARENTS, prayer is the strongest and sometimes the only weapon we have.  For our children’s sake, we MUST be prayer warriors for them. *End of sermon.

We met Caleb’s “friend”, Paige, and she’s a very sweet young lady.  Her mother is just as nice and truly made me feel at ease for any future hanging out they may may do.

But Caleb is 15…we’ve got a long way to go.  And kids nowadays start learning about “the birds and the bees” a lot sooner than my generation ever did (and if you use that term, they’ll look at you like you have two heads).

Our handsome Caleb.

 God please surround that boy!

I believe if every tween and teen had the same viewpoint as our Eli does about the “birds and the bees”, there would be nothing for parents to worry about.  Here’s why I say that…

Eli, Steve, & I were in the car together not long ago, riding through Elon, NC, the home of Elon University where I work.  Eli voiced an observation, somewhat out of the blue, that caught us by surprise big time.

“I bet a lot of these college kids have STD’s.”

As you may imagine, Steve & I were a little taken aback by this comment,  but more than that, we were curious as to why he would say it.

Me – “Eli, what makes you say that?”

Eli – “Well, in my Health class, we’re learning about…you know…”it”, and they said that’s one of the fastest growing problems with young people because they…you know…do “it” with so many people.”

Me – “That’s sad but true, Eli.  It’s why we teach all three of you boys to WAIT until you’re married to have sex and to have it only with your WIFE.” (Eli winces at the word “s-e-x”…so funny!)

Eli – “I know.  And who wants to have a baby when you’re in high school or college anyway?  That’s dumb.  I don’t get it.”

Me – “What do you mean?”

Eli – “That’s why people do it, right?  To have babies?”

Me – “YES.  YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT.  And you don’t want to have any babies until you’re married.  Don’t ever forget that.”  😉

Eli – “I mean, you and dad don’t do it do you?”

Now it’s getting really interesting…I can’t help myself.

Me – “Oh yeah we do!”

Eli – “WHAT?  WHY??  You don’t want to have more babies do you???”

Me – “No.  It’s just something married people…”

Eli:  “Okay.  Stop.  I can’t take this conversation anymore. That’s just gross.”

Good ‘ole Eli.  I really believe he’ll be a preacher one day.  

Praying…

Before I sign off, I have to share some very proud news!  Wesley is away doing his two weeks training for the Marines.  Today, he texted me to say he won the “Gung-ho” award which is voted on by his fellow Marines.  It is awarded to the one Marine they would most want fighting by their side in battle.  ARE WE PROUD OR WHAT??

Gung-ho, baby!  OOH RAH!

Wes during his deployment to Iraq.  

Yep, he pretty much holds the sun and moon as far as we’re concerned. 

A magical vacation…

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Home again, home again…

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I am attempting to write this blog from my phone as we travel home. Quite the feat for me, I must say. Please forgive any crazy auto correct words….

I have a lot to write about in the days to come when I can use a regular keyboard, but I have to say what an amazing vacation it has been. It was great watching Caleb and Eli experience the Disney magic for the first time.

We are on the road now. We left at 6:45am to get home…9 hour drive. Eli woke up a while ago and said he needed to pee BAD so we stopped to take a much needed potty break and top off the gas tank.

Both boys see “FIREWORKS” and go crazy wanting to take home illegal fireworks (the good kind). These guys are so easily distracted! We have 8 more hours to drive! Let’s go!!

We finally rally them back to the car and Steve says, “Caleb did you use the bathroom? No peeing bottles this trip.” Shoot. Ugh….we park again so Caleb can go to the bathroom. Eli’s door opens, too. “Eli where are you going?? You didn’t pee?? I thought you had to go bad!”

Eli – “I forgot.”

Oh the Riggins’ life….we might make it home before dark….

Let the sunshine in!

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You know the saying, “good things come to those who wait”?  Well, we have waited and waited and waited and it’s finally time. The money has been saved, the vacation days have been accumulated, the house sitter has been hired…Disney, here we come.

Our two youngest boys, Caleb & Eli, have never been to Disney World.  We did take Wes when he was 5 1/2, but that was nearly 18 years ago.  I’m pretty sure things have changed since then.  We’re about to find out just how much.

Steve & I worked hard to save enough money to treat the younger Riggins’ boys to the magical world of Disney, including the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.  But coming all this way, we were gonna get all we could out of this trip.  So we’re also taking in LEGO LAND for Eli, our resident legomaniac, AND Sea World!  While I know that this will not be a lay around the pool, read a book, relax a lot vacation, I’m sure we’ll make lots of fun memories.  The great thing about being with the Riggins…we don’t have to wait until Disney to make memories….

Over the past few weeks, I have been warning the boys about their behavior on this trip knowing we’d be stuck in a car together for 10 hours one way and it was going to be necessary that we stay together ALWAYS the entire vacation.  One day, a devotional I read inspired me with an idea…we were going to learn the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and practice them EVERY DAY while we were gone.  Practice makes perfect, right?

As a reminder, the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, longsuffering, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.  Man…do we have our work cut out for us…

We left Burlington Saturday night and spent the night in Florence, SC.  This took us about 3 hours into the journey so on  Sunday, we only had about a 5-6 hour drive.  It was during the beginning of our drive on Sunday that we started going over the fruit of the Spirit, discussing what  each attribute meant  and how we could better exemplify them, especially to each other.

Me – “Eli, how can you show longsuffering?”

Eli – “When Caleb is annoying me and constantly bothering me, I can just say, “Caleb, PLEASE stop, okay?  Instead of getting so mad.”

Me – “Good.  Caleb how can you show self-control, especially during this trip?”

Caleb – *Shoulder shrug*….”I guess I can…uh…I don’t know…be nice?”

Me – “Yeah, maybe instead of saying, “SHUT YOUR FACE!” you could just ask Eli nicely to be quiet?”

Caleb – “I guess so.”

Not exactly the answer I was looking for, but I’ll take what I can get.

Because we were ahead of the game time-wise, we decided to stop at a Cracker Barrel in George that was just before the Florida state line in order to sit down and have a meal that didn’t consist of a burger or chicken nuggets.  Despite the crowd, we only had to wait about 15 minutes before we were seated and ready to order.

While we waited for our food, the bickering began between the boys over who knows what.  For some reason, Caleb was annoyed by EVERYTHING.  Everything Steve & I said got eye rolls and “you’re so lame” looks from Caleb.  We had just been studying the fruit of the Spirit!  Seriously?  Caleb should be wearing a smile instead of a scowl, right?

It was time for creative parenting.  Caleb needed to smile (and whether he did or not, it would be fun trying to make him).  I looked at him and broke out in song:

“So let the sun shine in, face it with a grin,

Smilers never lose and frowners never win!

So let the sun shine in!  Face it with a grin!

Open up your heart and let the sun shine in!”

Now, I didn’t stand up on the chair and sing, but Caleb had no trouble hearing me (the people at the next table probably heard it, too).  And as expected, he looked mortified that I was singing to him in the middle of the Sunday lunch crowd at Cracker Barrel.  The entire time I was singing, he was shaking his head and saying, “Mom!  Be quiet!  Mom! Seriously…oh my gosh..!”

It was great.  I told Caleb if he didn’t smile, I was going to sing it again.  That’s all it took.

Eli thought it was real funny that I would embarrass Caleb into smiling by singing to him.  I thought Eli needed to be serenaded to as well.  I looked to him and broke out again:

“I’m happy in the Lord anyway!

And it really doesn’t matter what comes my way today

I’m gonna wear a smile, hold my head up high and say,

“I’m happy in the Lord anyway!” 

“Okay Mom, I’m smiling, I’m smiling!

Steve & I were experiencing the fruit of joy as we watched our tactics bring smiles to our boys’ faces.  Caleb & Eli do bring us joy, as do Wesley & Kendal.  I think it’s okay that we receive joy sometimes just in watching them squirm.  It’s still J-O-Y, right? 😉

Disney…HERE WE COME!

It’s strangely quiet…

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We are experiencing a strange quietness around our house.  You know, the kind of quiet that’s a little eerie…quiet that causes you to check from room to room to be sure everything is okay.  That’s the quiet I’m talking about.  We know everything is okay and we have a reasonable explanation for our quiet.  Caleb is out of town.

I know that I have compared Caleb to the Tasmanian Devil before because that’s as close of a comparison as I can use to accurately describe him sometimes.

        =       

                                                             Hard to believe that Tas = Caleb sometimes, huh?

I’m amazed that he loves to fish like he does because that takes such quiet patience (unless he runs in the water and catches them with his teeth….I mean, we’re not around much when he goes fishing….?).

We do miss Caleb when he’s gone, but things are a lot more relaxed.  Not that we want a vacation from Caleb…let me explain myself.  When Caleb is at home, he must constantly be going somewhere or doing something.  Since he is not licensed, getting him where he wants to go falls to his dad and me.  And the thing about Caleb is, if he’s nothing else, he’s persistent when he wants something.  It can be EXHAUSTING.  I know, he’s a teenager full of life who constantly wants to be doing something, I get that; but I’m 46 and pretty tired by the end of the day and frankly, I just want to fix dinner and CHILL.  We don’t get to chill very often. But this week, we have CHILLED.

The quiet is still strange, though. I’m ready for Caleb to be home.

Eli misses his brother, too.  Having to be the only child, playing that role to it’s fullest potential, having NO ONE to push him around or give him a hard time about everything…yeah, he misses Caleb alright.  Actually, I think he kinda does miss him.  While Caleb is a social child, Eli is a home body.  He likes the familiarity of home.  And even if home does mean sharing a room with a brother who likes to lord over him sometimes, at least it’s familiar and consistent.  And Eli misses it (even though he will deny this 5 minutes after Caleb returns.  But we can cherish it for now).

One thing I love about Eli is he is very forgiving.  And once you’re in with Eli, you’re in for good.  When he was little, Eli referred to Caleb as “his Caleb”.  Eli knows “his Caleb” is in there somewhere and will find his way out again sometime. 🙂

Keep looking Eli!

I miss these days….

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On a different note, here’s a funny for you.  I shared a Facebook status a week or so ago that read like this:

Glad to say that I don’t need “Magic Mike” or “Shades of Grey” ’cause God gave me AMAZING STEVE. And WOW am I a blessed woman!”

I posted this comment because of the scores of posts from ladies going on and on about both the movie and the book series.  My comment got many “likes” and several comments; mostly supportive, and some explaining why they went to see the movie “Magic Mike”, why they’re reading the books, etc.  I didn’t post the comment to be judgmental of others’ choices.  I really posted it because my comments about Steve get his goat and, well, I do love to get his goat.

Eli was curious about what my post meant so I had to explain it to him.  I got the usual turned up nose and eye roll.

Yesterday at the pool, Eli tips his head back to get the slicked back look, gets out of the pool and….VOILA.  We now have our own “Magic Eli”.  😉

Magic Eli

Oh how I love the Riggins’ life.

Caleb, come home!!

R.I.P. Andy Griffith…

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I just saw some very sad news.  A true legend has died.  Andy Griffith, a man who truly set a high standard for men of integrity has died.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t seen an episode of the Andy Griffith.  In fact, I’m sure everyone I know can quote at least one line from his show.  First airing in October of 1960, the Andy Griffith Show ran until August 1968; however, because America as a whole truly wants that wholesome, family friendly show that portrays a constant message of “right” and hope, it has continued to air throughout the years and still plays locally at 5:30pm every day.  No matter how much I have seen this show, it never, ever gets old.

We have minister friends, Alan & Lorraine Knolls, from South Africa who visit us every couple of years.  During some of their first visits to our home many years go, they fell instantly in love with watching the Andy Griffith Show.  So much so that Steve and I purchased a video tape package with several seasons and mailed them to Alan & Lorraine as a gift.  It was a cherished gift and one we were proud to share.

I can’t really choose a favorite episode; I always loved those featuring Opie  (what a cute kid), Ernest T. Bass and, of course, Barney Fife.  Then there’s Clara and Aunt Bee…and who can forget, Goober, Gomer, Floyd, Otis, Thelma Lou, Helen Crump, The Darlins’…I’m sure I’m leaving somebody out, but I don’t mean to.  Every single character spoke to America, whether making us laugh or bringing tears to our eyes.

My boys love watching the Andy Griffith show and, while they realize it was made before even I was born, they were taken aback when I showed them a current picture of little Opie…haha…time has a way of changing us, huh?

So, move over TomKat…it’s time to give reverence to an unexpected loss.

Thank you, Andy Griffith, for setting the wholesome standard that I wish

ALL television shows were held to.

R.I.P. Andy Griffith.  You made the world a better place.