Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick Or Treat

I was able to leave work early on Wednesday, so I picked up Franklyn and took him trick or treating on the square in Manchester.  This is something I've always wanted to be able to do with him and I was really excited to finally see what all the hype was about!  The square was packed when we got there.  Children and their parents were lined up by the hundreds.  I can't imagine how much candy those businesses went through!
You can't tell by the picture, but it was really busy along the storefronts!  Manchester has a really beautiful town square.  It's fun to be able to participate in activities in a small town!

After making the rounds on the square, we made a quick trip to Starbucks before heading over to our church for Trunk Or Treat.  Lots of vehicles were lined up and decorated, just waiting to pass out candy.  Franklyn racked up on the treats!

I wore my Romney Ryan t-shirt to Trunk Or Treat!  Gotta show my conservative PRIDE!  Got some sideways looks, but I don't care!  Go Romney! 
Fun times!  Franklyn had candy for dinner that night.  I'm such a good MOM!  Ha Ha!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Poop and Football Players

A few weeks ago a friend of mine found a really neat idea on Pinterest.  I decided Franklyn would HAVE to help me put it together and take it for his class Halloween party.  We had a lot of fun putting the PUMPKIN POOP together!  Cheap project...  Little bags from Hobby Lobby ($1 for 100), card stock pumpkin paper from Hobby Lobby (about $3), and a big container of Cheese Balls (about $5.48 at WalMart)!  We bagged it up and he took it to school with him this morning.  I really hope the kids get a kick out of it!
Considering Franklyn is not at all a sports fan, I was shocked when he told me he wanted to be a UT football player this year!  Franklyn's school always has a costume parade on Halloween.  So, this morning I dressed him up in his AWESOME costume and sent him off to school.    I have to say, the costume was incredible!

Friday, October 26, 2012

On his heart.....

Last night when I was cleaning out Franklyn's backpack I came across the most precious project.  Around Columbus Day his class had to write what they would have done if they discovered America.  Each student wrote their paragraph on a sheet of paper attached to a picture of Columbus and the teacher had the projects hanging outside their classroom.  I didn't know anything about it until I pulled it out of his backpack.  I was in awe when I read what Franklyn wrote.  The most special thing about it is that THIS is what was on his sweet, little heart... 
Well, if you could actually read it, you would see that it says:
First, I would tell people about God and give them Bibles. Then, they would teach me how to shoot a bow and arrow. Last, I would call the new land CrishtenLand.
To know that my son had THAT on his heart when told to write about what he would do if he discovered our great country made my heart melt!  He would first tell people about God and pass out Bibles and he would then name our country CHRISTIAN LAND!  Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of that kid??????

A Pikachu Pumpkin

Franklyn always wants to participate in the Pumpkin Decorating Contest at school...  Knowing it means more work for me or Scott than for him, I normally discourage it!  This year, however, I had a change of heart.  I went to WalMart at lunch yesterday and bought supplies to transform a pumpkin into something I knew Franklyn would LOVE!  In the midst of our project, Franklyn repeatedly told me, "You're the best mommy in the world."  I'm so glad I decided to let him decorate a pumpkin this year!
Ta Da!  Here is Franklyn's Pikachu Pumpkin!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Turning 40.....

"I said, 'You are my servant'';
I have chosen you and have not
rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand."
Isaiah 41:9b-10
This past week was a tough one.  I never thought turning 40 would hit me this hard.  Physically, it's been rough.  I've been feeling it for the last 10 months or so.  Pain in the knees, hips.. even in my toes!  But, this past Saturday, the day before my 40th birthday, it hit me hard mentally.  I was in a funk the entire day.  I was fearful as far as what the next 40 years (assuming I will have that many) would hold.  I had to simply remember that the future and the here and now are both in God's hands.  I wrote this poem tonight while trying to destress from a stressful week...

I stand in the light, yet the shadows surround me,
 Obscurity draws fleeting fears.
Confusion, bereft of a focus upon Thee
 Yields faintness of heart and despair.
This lack of fullness in the kinship I claim
 Engenders distress and dismay.
Longing for calm in this restless abode
 My soul thirsts for strength in Thine sway.
Lord, shoulder mine doubt and consume mine unease,
 Uphold me and carry mine woes.
Illumine mine life with the truth of Thine Word,
 I trust Thee; Thou art mine repose.
Kari W. Whaley
October 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Henrietta (a.k.a. Whaley)

We had a visitor arrive the first week of August.  Scott was in St. Louis on a trip with some friends and Franklyn and I were home by ourselves.  One afternoon we discovered a cat camping out in the bushes in  front of our house.  Knowing Scott would freak about adding a cat to the family, I was determined not to feed it and not to show it any attention.  We didn't want it sticking around.  That determination didn't last long...  After 5 days, the cat was still there and I just knew it had to be starving.  I fed it and we all loved on it.  Franklyn decided to name her Henrietta.  No clue how he came up with that name.
Henrietta decided she had found a home.  We couldn't get rid of her.  Scott said he was going to take her into town and leave her somewhere to get rid of her.  He SAID he was going to several times, but never could bring himself to do it.  We didn't want her around the house because of all the dogs that run around our neighborhood and because of the kid across the street who fancies shooting cats with his rifle.  The fear of her meeting a male kitty and making babies was another reason we weren't too thrilled at the thought of taking on an outside cat.  We finally decided to take her to the vet and have her fixed and then try to find her a home.  A family from church agreed to take her in, so we loaded her up for a trip to the vet one Saturday morning.
The surgery and all the shots were going to cost us around $250.  I have to admit, the thought of spending all that money on a stray cat made me sick, but it sure did feel good to know we were doing a good thing...  Well, the surgery was set for Tuesday morning.  I was thrilled when the vet's office called me around lunchtime that day and said they couldn't do the surgery because Henrietta was ALREADY fixed!  We got out a lot cheaper than expected and Henrietta got a wonderful home.  The family that took her decided to keep her inside and to name her Whaley.

Mimi and Papa

Mimi and Papa came to visit back in June and Franklyn was so excited to see them.  He wanted to wear his camo shorts and Army shirt to impress Papa.  We had a good day.  Lots of shopping!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Franklyn making a timesheet request video for me....  Circa 2006.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We've made Starbucks a Saturday staple....  They get wayyyyyy too much of our money.

The First REAL Field Trip

Franklyn's first grade class went on their first REAL field trip outside of Manchester last week.  They went to the Discovery Center and Chuck E. Cheese in Murfreesboro.  Since my office is in Murfreesboro, I decided to cut out of work for a couple of hours and run by Chuck E. Cheese to spend some time with Franklyn and the rest of the kids.  Franklyn had sooooo much fun!

Franklyn and Saul waited a long time to get on the virtual roller coaster....  Not long enough.  Franklyn ended up moving on to something else!
Lilly had a boatload of tickets before Franklyn even had ten!!!!  How in the world did she do that?

It's all about the tickets.........
...and the cheap prizes!

House Update.... Moving?

Well, after my "stressed" blog a few weeks ago, I guess I should give a little update as far as what's happening now...  We signed a contract on "the house" that we were in love with LATE in the evening on April 16th.  After signing the contract we started getting VERY excited about the move!  We started pulling stuff out of the attic for a yard sale and tried to finish up the few items left to fix from the home inspection.  On Wednesday, April 18th, we got a call from our realtor saying that the couple buying the home of the lady buying our home lost their loan.  Everything fell through.  They had been pre-approved, but then it fell through in underwriting.  Thanks to the domino effect, everything just completely stopped.  The couple couldn't buy Karen Johnson's house, Karen Johnson couldn't buy our house, we couldn't buy "the house......"  So, now we wait - again.  I am completely at peace with it though. It took me a few days.  I was angry at first.  Why would God allow me to struggle so much with making a decision on which house to purchase knowing that it was all going to fall through in the end?  After a few days though, I was fine.  I know that God protected us from something.  Maybe from a bad decision, who knows?  However, at the moment, we are staying right where we are.  The lady with the contingency contract on our house extended the contract through August 15th, so we are still in limbo.  We still have a contingency contract on "the house" and we are just waiting for God to move us.  He may not, and that is fine.  We're just praying for God to guide us.  He's pretty good at that. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Beautiful Boy


William Franklyn Soo Bin Whaley....  my beautiful boy!  I can't believe how grown up and handsome this kid has gotten!  Everywhere we go people exclaim, "He is getting so tall!"  All I can say is, "I know. Scary." 

I made Franklyn slow down for just a second Sunday morning so that I could snap a few pictures before speeding out of the driveway.  What a trooper!

Old Friends


We had some old friends come and visit this past weekend.  Patsy and Fred came to visit all the way from Hendersonville.  I worked with Patsy and Fred when Scott and I lived in Nashville.  They're truly two of the sweetest, funniest human beings God placed on this earth.  Such blessings in my life.  Patsy was such a support to me in the late nineties when I was suffering from depression and anxiety.  She and Fred were like parents to us at the time.  We were so young (mid-twenties) and so terribly stupid and naive.  We haven't seen them in about five years so I was VERY excited to finally get to hug their necks again!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Here I sit, stressed beyond words.  I am trying to find peace in this move, but I am scared.  We love our home and we never imagined we would be leaving it under these circumstances.  We thought a sense of adventure and excitement would accompany this move, but that is not the case.  Instead, we find ourselves struggling to make the right decisions, decisions that will bring glory to God.  We are torn.  Maybe it's just me.  I think Scott is more at ease with everything than I am.  Strange, considering I'm the one that moved countless times over the first 16 years of my life due to being an Army brat.  I love moving.  I always anticipate the newness of everything.  I love making a home.  However, this time, maybe because I feel so much closer to God right now than I have in a very long time, I am truly struggling.  I want to know that we choose the right home and that the home we choose glorifies the One that provides it for us.  I want to know that He is pleased with our decision.  I want to know that He chose the house for us long before we decided it was "the one."  I want to know that He will place His loving hand of protection over that home.  Seems kind of silly to some, I'm sure.  After all, it's not like we're making a life or death decision.  We found a home that we love.  It is a nice home.  A very nice home.  We have been countering back and forth with the seller and have come to a point that we are comfortable with the price and are ready to accept the counter and sign a contract to purchase the home.  However, the sense of peace I am looking for comes and goes.  Scott and I, when we decided to make an offer on the house, turned it over to God.  We said that we would use the house to glorify Him if we were able to buy it.  We made plans.  Good plans.  We said that we would have the youth over more often, we would have the youth parents in our home once a month, and we said that we would possibly start a couples Bible study...  All things that would glorify the Lord.  Then doubt reared its ugly head.  Now I am to the point that I don't know what to do.  I am seeking a clear answer from God, but I am not getting it.  I am fearful.  I am anxious.  I am in need of a word from the only One that can give me that true sense of peace.  I nearly had a panic attack on the way home from work today.  It was frightening.  On the interstate, traveling 75 miles an hour, I just felt overwhelmed for a moment.  I almost had to pull off into the emergency lane.  I knew that would be giving in to it though.  I kept driving and saying over and over again, "God is good.  God is good."  I made it home safely, but not without the spirit of fear riding along in the passenger seat...  I don't know if this fear is because it's possibly not the house God wants for us, or if this fear is simply due to the fact that we are leaving a comfortable home that Franklyn has known most of his life and I'm scared of messing up.  Last night I could barely sleep and I spent over an hour reading my Bible and then journaling, just trying to get an answer from the Lord about the house.  It's a beautiful house.  It's a house that would make me proud.  There is the word.  The bad word.  PROUD.  I'm afraid I will be prideful in that house.  I can promise over and over again that I won't, but God knows my heart.  God knows how easy it is for me to boast and swell up with pride.  I pray that, if we choose to buy that home, God will allow us to humbly use it to serve Him.  I pray this with all my heart.

Man At Work

This afternoon while I was inside gathering and pricing yard sale stuff, Scott was outside fixing our front porch.  One of the items on the home inspection was rotted porch posts...  Scott went to Lowe's this morning and bought new ones and then started tearing the porch apart this afternoon when he got home from work.  I'm pretty proud of him.  He's done all the work himself (with two wild 7 year-olds running around driving him nuts)!  That's my man!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Mike, my former boss at work, sold me his son's BMX bike because he had outgrown it.  I brought it home yesterday and Franklyn was extremely excited.  This afternoon we went outside to start the process of learning to ride a bike (without training wheels) and Franklyn could barely contain his excitement.  He rubbed his hands across the handlebars and said, "Wow...  A real life bike.  I've never seen one in real life... except for Blake's."  Blake is a boy in the neighborhood that Franklyn has started playing outside with over the last couple of weeks.  I'm glad to see Franklyn getting out of the house and I'm VERY glad to see him roughhousing with other kids!  Much better than sitting around playing Pokemon or watching videos...  Well, Blake has one of those aforementioned "real bikes."  He rode it over to the house today to play with Franklyn.  Franklyn pushed his out into the driveway and parked it close to Blake's even though he can't ride it yet.
Blake and Franklyn ran around the yard all afternoon.  I sat in the house and worked on a new budget and read a little bit.  Not until after I snapped some pictures of the boys being boys though!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Sunday morning I woke up and prepared all of the goodies the Easter Bunny brought Franklyn overnight.  After staying up late, he wasn't too thrilled to climb out of bed earlier than usual for a Sunday, but I eventually coaxed him out from under the covers.
After we showered and got dressed I convinced Franklyn to let me get some pictures.  It wasn't an easy task.  He looked so adorable though!  My mom and dad bought him a sharp looking seersucker suit especially for Easter and I couldn't wait to snap some photos!  Franklyn is quite the poser, so he couldn't keep the solemn look for long...

We left the house in a rush because we had to run to WalMart to get donuts for the middle school Sunday school group.  After our WalMart run we stopped at Starbucks to see our buddies.  We meet a sweet lady named MaryAnne Douglass there every single Sunday morning.  She is a precious lady that started talking to Franklyn there one Sunday morning TWO years ago and we have met her there literally every Sunday since.  She goes to church with us each Easter and we just treasure the time we get to spend with her.  Over the last six months or so Franklyn has also befriended my former boss, the owner of Sain Construction in Manchester, Pete Sain.  He comes to Starbucks quite frequently on Sunday mornings and he has become a dear friend as well.  Franklyn adores both of his Starbucks buddies and looks forward to the time we get to spend with them.  I made sure I got some good photos of the three of them together that morning.
The church service was wonderful Easter morning.  God is so good.  Dr. Cox's sermon just reminded me again how truly blessed I am.  MaryAnne joined us for the service and then came to lunch with us afterwards.  We had lots of laughs and just enjoyed being together.

After lunch we headed home.  Franklyn and Scott took a nap while I worked out.  Then we hid eggs for the great Whaley Easter Egg Hunt.  Ha Ha!  Normally we plant a tree on Easter Sunday.  We've done so for the last five years and it has become an Easter tradition that we look forward to every year.  However, since we will probably be moving out of our house within the next 30 days, we decided to save the money and plant a tree when we move into our new home.  Franklyn didn't seem to mind.  He was too interested in finding the candy filled eggs!
We have no Easter evening service at church, so we always just lounge around in the den and eat junk food.  We each had our own half gallon of ice cream to devour, so we were pretty content!  Like I said, God is good!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

the worry bushes

This is a devotion that Franklyn wrote last night.  I was in the kitchen making dinner and Scott was watching a movie when Franklyn came running into the kitchen saying that he wanted to write a devotion called "The Worry Bushes."  I told him to sit at his desk and write away!  He grabbed his notebook and a pen and started writing.

The Worry Bushes
by Franklyn Whaley

A worry brings troubles.  But, at the end, Jesus will say, "take my hand and we'll go through it one more time and not a single worry will touch you."

I asked Franklyn why he named it The Worry Bushes and he said that he was outside thinking about how people worry sometimes.  He said that he looked at the bushes and the bushes made him think about how the prickly things on them are like the troubles that the devil tries to throw in your way...