Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lazy Days of May Heading into June

It can no longer be said...well, not much longer anyway...that these are lazy days because school is letting out soon and I'm "skeered." I normally have a very well-planned out time for my girls. Mind you, my planning is not for their cultural well-being. There are no trips to museums, latin lessons, or gourmet cooking classes to attend. There is however, usually, every opportunity for a "kid to be a kid." Along the way, they are cultured, and being bilingual myself, I might speak to them in Spanish, just so they feel like I'm smart, and that they have been enlightened. We, instead, take trips to whomever will loan us a pool, eat Mexican food (hello, opportunity to speak Spanish) and we grill out (no gourmet, but my girls do love to help their Mama in the kitchen...errr, outdoor kitchen). So, I'm taking the approach of bring it on SUMMER! Show us whatcha got! We're ready to be thrilled, surprised and just plain carefree!

OK, OK, this may last a full week for me. I am, after all, a gal who loves a plan!

So, here we go, taking the leap to summer. We do have plans to go on vacation here, grill every meal outdoors that we possibly can, visit the grandparents (hello, grandparents, get our rooms ready!), go to church here, and whatever else may surprise us. Until then, here's a little glimpse of what May has been like for us.Duh, of course you know this!
McKenna finished Soccer up
I had a makeover party with some girlfriends. :-)I'm the only one you get to see be a guinea pig...well, at least in public anyway! ;)the end result of the hair color changeA little plantingThis is a permanent site at our home during the summerQuinn is fascinated by the caterpillarLymanfestThis is just cute!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Me With You Winner!

I completely did not want the responsibility of choosing a winner to fall on me, so I pleaded with my author cousin, Kristy, to read all of your comments and choose a winner. Apparently, indecisiveness runs in our family, because she couldn't choose a winner either, so in good 'ole school random fashion, she opted for the draw a name out method. I will post what she had to say about each of your comments and you'll see at the end how she made her selection. Very creative, if I do say so! Here's what Kristy had to say....

I absolutely couldn't pick a winner. Each time I thought, "Oh, yes, this one" and then I'd read the next one and be hooked again.

I wanted to pick Vanessa because of the many, many memories I have of homemade strawberry ice cream with my Papa.

I wanted to pick Autumn because I think it's adorable that she called her grandpa Grandkad, and it reminds me of our cousin Allen calling our grandma Nannoo and then that is what all the cousins ended up calling her too.

I wanted to pick Lynna because of the loving sacrifice she made in caring for a grandmother whose mind has gone and because when she reads ME WITH YOU she may see herself more as the adult in the story.

I wanted to pick Tricia because
I too remember running my fingers over the veins in my Nannoo's and Grandma's hands. Why did we find those veins so interesting? :)

And I wanted to pick Donna because she honed in on what I think is so true about grandparents: "She knew how to make everything in life special." I know the time I spent with my grandparents was like that, and I think it's one of the key themes in ME WITH YOU.

I wanted to pick "The Pettigrew's" because their story reminded me, once again, of my own Nannoo. She was loved by so many and a stranger to no one. Her name lived on because of the love so many had for her.

So, all that to say, I couldn't pick and I just wrote all the names down on a piece of paper, folded them all up, threw them all up in the air, and when they landed on the floor, the dog picked up one of them and brought it to me,


So, congratulations, TRICIA! Another reason I (Amy) just could choose a winner is that all of you are such sweet friends to me that I want you ALL to win, which leads me to say, "Tricia, you so deserve this! I can see you now reading to Ashley, Nathan and Daniel." I wish I could send a copy of this book to all of you, but I do hope you will make this book your favorite gift to give, favorite story to read to your children and lasting memory to hold on your bookshelf!
Tricia, I'll get your copy in the mail to you soon! :)

Friday, May 15, 2009


Comments are now CLOSED for this post...Stay tuned for a winner by tomorrow, the 20th!

Update...You have until 8am Tuesday morning to post your comment. All comments should go through without having to be moderated by me, so no more worries that your comment won't get posted. I will disable comments 8am Tuesday morning and reveal a winner by Weds., the 20th....Happy Posting!

OK, I'm trying my hand at this again. I have lots of cute gifts up my sleeve, so if we have some good success at this giveaway, it might just be a frequent thing around here at The Hickman Happenings!

So, have you heard, Me With You by Kristy Dempsey is in stores now? What, you say? You did not know! Then you must not be reading my blog! I just happen to know the author. She's my cousin! We even sort of look alike! We smile the same, have a bold deep belly laugh and spent
many a day cavorting around know, back in the day! We have shared so many memories in our lives, from me wanting to be just like her growing up (she was a gymnast, and well...I just wanted to be one) to her coming to Venezuela to live with us the year we welcomed my little sister, Katie, into our lives, to later having Kristy be a part of my special day - my wedding. She and I have a relationship that, irregardless of the fact she currently lives in Brazil, when we talk, FACEBOOK, or actually see each other from time to time, we just catch right up where we left off...usually, that means laughing our tails off. So, you see, relationship is important stuff to us, and it just so happens to be the subject of Me With You. What began as a love letter to her husband, took the shape of a children's book that embraces the relationship of a grandparent with a grandchild. Some of our (Kristy and my) memories are shared together primarily because of the relationship all of us grandkids had with our Nanoo. It was at her home that we played, bonded, made memories. So, this book, you see, is really just the right thing to do! I'm so happy Kris envisioned this, and even more happy that here we are once again making memories together. I get the honor of promoting and bragging on her!

So, if you haven't viewed the trailer (make sure you pause my playlist), watch it's the following post. Once you view it, come back and tell me the most significant memory you share with your grandparent, or the person that impacted your life like a grandparent would. We'll pick the one we like the best and you will receive a signed (did I mention I KNOW the author?) copy of Me With You. You will also receive an all expense paid vacation to Brazil to meet the author! NOT REALLY! Got your attention, though, right? Nope, you can meet the author if you live in my area on August 11th at LifeSong Church. She will join us for a community wide book signing, along with craft time. It's the perfect BACK to SCHOOL event for all of your kids!

So, hop to it! Let's hear those stories about your grandparents! Tell your friends, and have them tell their friends about this giveaway. This will be a book that you will treasure for the rest of your life!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Me With You...Officially Released Today

You might be sick of reading about me telling you to go buy my cousin's book, but it'll be alright...
"Me With You" is the story of a grandparent's love. It is the perfect book/gift for that preschooler that you hold dear, and with all the kindergarten graduations occurring right now, it is the perfect gift for the little graduate. I would buy this book for each of your children to have has a keepsake, for sure! My cousin has always been extra special to me, and more of a friend to me than just a family member. She is so talented and her personality and love draw you in the moment you meet her, and from the very first moment you read that first page of "Me With You."

Let me know how you like it when you buy it. I am so proud of my cousin, Kristy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

I can remember the "I want a baby so bad I can hardly stand it" days in the beginning of our marriage. It was all I could think about, dream about, and think some more about! About 8 months into our marriage, I harrassed Jeff all the time about us having a baby. He always said, "It's not time." I thought those words meant he didn't love me, 'cause he always gave in to me before, which is also called my manipulation! I just always seemed to know how to look at him the right way and BEG, and then get my way. I never won on this. I didn't win on this, at that time, because God was using my man to lead lead our family. He knew that God had not picked that time, just 8 months into our marriage, to grant us a child. He knew that we needed to pray and be faithful to that which God had called us to do at that time.

Now, years later, I'm celebrating my 11th Mother's Day. I had McKenna at the end of April, and almost two weeks to the day, I went to church to celebrate my firsts Mother's Day by dedicating her that Sunday at church. Today, I saw some first time parents, and some longtime parents, dedicate their children to the Lord. It reminded me of doing the very same thing that first day, and then three more times after that. It has been a good reminder to me each Mother's Day of just how God was always preparing me for that which He has prepared me! He chose this for me. Even in the midst of never feeling like I'm that super of a mom, He saw fit to bless me with four of the most precious daughters. They each bring an extra special something to my life...

McKenna ~ my firstborn! She is increasingly more like a friend to me. Now, grant it, we still have to parent her, but I so enjoy my conversations with her about life. She makes me think hard, and she challenges me to be my best in all I do. I watch her tackle her fears head-on and not give up. She inspires me!

Bailey ~ She always makes me laugh. She is silly and so innocent, and in her innocence she makes me laugh the most. I love to watch Bailey catch herself having a "Duh" moment. She just laughs and laughs over "how in the world could I have thought that," in turn making me laugh at the sound of her laughter. I love the way her heart is bent for her family and friends. She never wants anyone to hurt or be sad. She is loyal through and through.

Avery ~ My free spirited child probably challenges me the most, but really makes me laugh the hardest. She was watching a movie the other day with Spanish subtitles and midway through the movie, she said, "By the way, Mom, can you write this movie down in my school reading log so it will count toward my weekly reading!" Points for trying, Avery!! The other day I was singing along with a Richard Marx song (who, by the way, I adored in high school!) and she said, "OH, please turn that old fashioned music off!" Ugh! OLD FASHIONED? :) I can see her calling me out on my wardrobe next!

Quinn ~ I am in love with this little two year old. She makes me smile everyday. She grabs me around the neck every morning and says, "OH, my mommy!" Yes, I am, my sweet girl. I am so very glad to be your Mommy! I love hearing her say everyday..."I get my shoes on a minute I go outside." Not only does she say it once, but will say it a gazillion times until we get those shoes on and get her outside!

My girls have blessed my life. It challenges me to stay home. There's not a lot of glory in it. There are days, and yes, I had some of them this week, that I have felt alone and disconnected from the real world, but I know God has called me for "such a time as this," and I wouldn't trade it for a million and one paychecks. Having kids has made me a better me, in all of it's challenges, in all of it's ups and downs, not sticking to scheduled days, being lazy and doing nothing days, to the kisses to make it all better. Being a mom is the best job on earth!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

We Have a Winner!

I don't get a lot of views on my blog apparently, or maybe I mis-judged the cuteness of my artwork, but at any rate, had I gotten a gazillion comments, Allison would've won hands down. Allison, I read your comment and teared up! I felt like I was a fly on the wall watching this whole scene between Ava Love and your Mama. So sweet! I'll have your Family Tree to you soon!

Happy Mothers Day, Alli!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Amy Grant

I grew up thinking Amy Grant and I were related because we shared the same first name, until I realized that everyone from the mid 60s to late 70s named their daughters Amy. Trust me...I have at least five very good friends from high school named.....AMY! Anyway, I've always loved Amy Grant. I love her style of music and she was the very first concert I ever went to. She was with Michael W. Smith and when she sang El Shaddai, I cried. I did. I'm not ashamed. Through the years, I've celebrated Christmas with her..."Breath of Heaven." Even wanted to move to Tennessee just for Christmas...."Tennessee Christmas." I just like her. I do! I may slightly covet her hair, too...just maybe.

So, she has a new release coming out and I'm linking you to iTunes to hear some of it's selections.

OH, and if you like a Giveaway, you can link here and try and beat me. I dare you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Been Gettin' Crafty...A Giveaway

I decided to take on a little project I saw on a blog I read. I thought it turned out pretty cute. It's a nice perspective on The Family Tree. You can choose your fabrics and customize to the colors of your home, and even fill in more members of the family after the piece is done. This particular one was done for one of my best friends. She just moved in a new house and I hope she'll be able to find the perfect spot for it.

If you like this one, and would like one for yourself, I'm doing a GIVEAWAY! I'll pick a winner on Saturday, May 9th, but you must leave your comments by Friday at midnight EST. Just leave a comment telling me the colors you would like for your family tree and if you would like a
5x7 or an 8x10. I'll pick the winner by choosing from the sweetest story/memory you share with me about your mother in honor of Mother's Day... or anyone you consider to be Mother-like in your life. Don't worry, you won't be voted on just by me. I'm getting my four daughters in on the voting, too!
So, get to commenting and share this giveaway with your friends. I like getting to meet new people through doing stuff like this.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


We have a soccer player in the house. Admittedly, I like sports, and even more admittedly, I never really cared for soccer. I know you're thinking, "Grew up in Venezuela, doesn't like soccer?" Of course I watched soccer while living there, but baseball is the national sport of choice in Venezuela, so my exposure to soccer by my choice was only because I would go watch whomever it was I was dating at the time in High School. Just bein' real...

Anyhoooo, we've got a soccer lover in the household now, so I go watch my sweet 11 year old every Saturday. She's getting better and better every week, and might even be helping her Mama like it ever so little bit. :)

Quinn had to "coach" a little bit, too!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Birthday Palooza Time

Last weekend we had the big 11 year old's birthday, and this weekend, we're celebrating my sweet hubby's birthday. Today, Jeff turns 37. I guess we'll get to the point that telling, writing, blogging about our ages will hurt a little more, but so far, so good this year. I think we're feeling pretty good about the whole turning 37 thing. Truth be known, it probably hurts a little more knowing we have an 11 year old! :)

Celebrating Jeff is probably the most natural thing to do. You will not ever know a kinder, more compassionate, honest man than him. He has stood up against the odds countless times, and yet, God has continually blessed him and used him. He truly cares for people and desires to see souls saved. He just has passion in all he does. He is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of man. He is the same everywhere he goes. Our lives are blessed for knowing him and loving him. Straight up....we're just better people for having him in it.

We celebrate Jeff today. He's my partner for life, the one I will love until I draw my last breath. I am in awe to know that God gave this man to me to take care of me, but for me to take care of him. I truly have married my soul mate.

Our girls couldn't have a better Daddy. They are the apple of his eye. They light up when he comes home and respect him as their father. He takes time to really spend with them and invest in their lives.

We wish you a very Happy Birthday, Jeff. Each day with you is a celebration, but we are so glad to have today to show you how much we love you!