Friday, December 28, 2012


My grandpa has so many funny/cute little sayings. We all have heard them for years and can quote them all! Some of them are...
After he took a bad fall, he assured us "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."
Do you know what's ILLEGAL? A sick bird!
Great day for the race... the human race.
The Lord has done great things for us, therefore we are glad. Ps 126:3
One of our favorites is "SOS... Scoot Over Some"

My brother sent me this funny pic with the caption "SOS". It made me smile and I hope it does you too. Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Family Vacation... Every 6 Years

Now don't feel sorry for us, we get to go plenty of places... ball games, business deliveries, visiting family... but we don't take very many family vacations. Dwain HATES vacations! He likes to work, only. The last one was 6 years ago, but this year I was determined to go. The boys were all a good age to visit Disney so I started "planning" our trip.

Now most of you know what a planner I am... always thinking ahead, HAHAHA. We booked our airline tickets and hotel to go to Orlando about a week or two before we went. The boys remembered Legoland was in Florida, so that had to be on the agenda too. Off we went, taking everyone out of school and DRAGGING Dwain away from the shop.
(Chap's face cracks me up!)

It was Bo, Jake, and Chapel's first time to fly, commercially (they fly often with Papa Rex.) They were all so excited!

Our first theme park was Disney. The night before we started googling tips for the Magic Kingdom and quickly realized we should have started that 6 months earlier. Thankful for last minute tips from Facebook friends, we got crash-course advice.

It was... magical ;)

I told the boys it was hard to look tough in a teacup but they did their best.

Chap and I rode this over and over again, waiting on the bruders to ride the big-boy rides.

Some days I'd like them to be tied up!

The next day we were at Universal Studios. We enjoyed the Despicable Me show the most!

It was also fun seeing all the characters.

Our 3rd and best day was spent at Legoland. Deacon loved the rides at Universal but all together this was our favorite park. It was so clean, friendly and not crowded. They had such cool attractions!

This Legoland was built over the old Cypress Gardens so it had especially amazing landscaping. This was so interesting to me, Dwain and I have always loved renovating rather than building new so we enjoyed seeing how they restored a theme park :)

We were there on October 18th - Jake's birthday. He wants to be a builder, lego-builder that is, so it was the PERFECT place to celebrate with our Jaker.

Seriously impressive displays! I'm so impressed with the Lego company as a whole, we ♥ legos!!!

Lego Driving School

Lock-down the Banners!

And this place... Build-A-Car, we could have spent hours!!! The boys walked in and were given 4 wheels each. Then they got to pick from all the parts in the room to create their own car. There were ramps and racetracks... all kinds of fun ways to test your creation. 

We had a GREAT week and look forward to our next vacation... when Deacon's 18! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Itchy Bum... For Real

Last night one of the boys (who will remain anonymous) came to me upset that his bottom was itchy. "Mom, it hurts so bad... I cleaned it so good too! I even used wipes!" I had no solutions to help rather than "well go take a shower" and apparently that helped because I never heard another complaint. This morning as I was cleaning the boys' bathroom I discovered the problem...
Disinfecting Wipes aren't the same as wet wipes. :)

 Just like McDonald's coffee requires a disclaimer
 "Coffee is  Hot"
Disinfecting Wipes should make the disclaimer
"May Cause Itchy Bum"

Thursday, December 13, 2012

KFC Mishap... For Real

After a ball game we stopped at the local KFC. The boys were rowdy as usual and I was having trouble keeping up with them all. Bo announced to the restaurant he had to go #2 and then he disappeared.  After 15 minutes I realized I hadn't seen him... sent Jake to check out the situation. Poor Bo had been locked/stuck in the bathroom the whole time. It took 3 KFC employees and a patient dad to coach him out of the...  stinky predicament.

Friday, November 30, 2012


I couldn't be more proud of my new niece! Why you ask am I proud? Well I love her daddy (my baby brother) and her mamma (my precious sister-in-law) and she's GORGEOUS and I know she will grow up serving the Lord and serving other people just like her parents! I won't mention her name because I'm not sure they want that published to the world but below are some pictures...
proud cousins!

proud Aunt!
jealous Chapel... hahahaha

Many of you know my sister-in-law grew up in an orphanage ran by a ministry my parents have supported for years, Hopegivers.  We love and believe this ministry is doing AMAZING things spreading the gospel in India and around the world! Check their website for more details. They, Kenny and Meena, have a HUGE heart for India and the orphans. The COOLEST thing is that this sweet baby was born ON ORPHAN SUNDAY! Can't wait to see the wonderful things God has in store for her life!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Bubble Wrap Sunday

We noticed right before we went to bed that Chapel had "bites" all over his bottom. Well we knew he had been outside so we assumed we had another fight with chiggers. Thursday morning I had an early meeting and got a phone call from Dwain, "Chap has chickenpox."

Dr. Harris told us to keep him cool, don't let him scratch too much, told us what meds he needed and then said "All the other boys have had their vaccinations, not sure how Chapel slipped by us?" One of my favorite friends immediately started laughing when she heard this "that fourth child always gets forgotten." In my mind though I was blaming the dr's office. I knew I had taken him in, asking for all his shots. It wasn't until Deacon reminded me, "Mom, remember the nurse thought Chap had had too many shots that day and told YOU to bring him back in after a week or so to finish up the vaccinations" then I realized it WAS MY FAULT. My poor little sweet baby would suffer through the pox because of me.

Luckily good friends made things better by bringing gifts and candy... but he still itched!

Friday afternoon Deacon and I and some friends took off for Columbia, MO for a swim meet at MU. We are trying to sell our Suburban so we took my little car. Just as we got past the first Eldon exit, a deer chose to play chicken with us... and we both lost. My car would no longer get us to Columbia.

Things couldn't have worked out better though because as you know, Grandpa & Grandma Banner live in Eldon. They showed up within 20 minutes and sent us on our way in their car.

Saturday's swim meet went well. Deacon got to swim in a pool that played underwater music and held a Micheal Phelps World Record. We headed back later that afternoon, stopped in Eldon for lunch, then Grandpa & Grandma offered to drive the car-less crew back to Bolivar.

Just as we were getting close to Bolivar, my phone rang... Dwain proceeded to explain Bo had hit his head playing basketball and on their way home he started getting nauseous and losing his vision. Dr. Harris told Dwain to get to the ER. Darin was at our house watching chickenpox-Chap, Grandma & Grandpa offered to stay for awhile so Darin and I jumped in the car and headed to Cox South. This is what I found when I walked in Bo's room...
Bo had started vomiting at the ER so they got very serious about his treatment. After hours and hours and hours and a cat scan, they decided he had a concussion. They moved him to another room, unhooked him and started making sure he could see, eat and walk. We could tell Bo was perking up when he pointed out the new room's number.
(Bo wears #1 on most uniforms)

FINALLY we got home and started to process all that had happened in the last 3 days. 

We thank God for his protection over our family. There were so many things that could have turned out much, much worse than it did. We could see God's provision in every situation. I must admit though, I am a spoiled child in the family of God. As we were sitting in the hospital with Bo I had a peace about everything. I just knew my "Father" would see things through, I knew Bo would be fine and even felt confident he would get to go home that night. 

However I am compelled to acknowledge that things won't always be "okay," there will be those times when tragedy strikes. Does that mean my "Father" DIDN'T see things through? That he doesn't want to spoil me or that he doesn't love me anymore or loves me less than He use to? 
By all means, NO! 

When I am stricken, 
when I feel hopeless, 
when I feel alone, 
I pray I will still KNOW I have a loving heavenly Father, 
I pray I will still praise Him,
I pray I will still look to Him for comfort, and
I pray I can honor him through trials. 
This should be our cry
   "the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

Thank you Lord for the comfort You give us when we seek You!!

So today, Sunday... I am "bubble wrapping" my family in prayer.

(Funny side-story... while the nurse was hooking Bo up to IV's, explaining the needle and taking blood, etc., Jake leaned over to Unc D and said "I hope it hurts!" hahaha brotherly love)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election, Dust and Child Abandonment... For Real!

For years I have wanted to work an election. I volunteered a long time ago but never got the call until recently. Excited to learn the ropes polls, I showed up a little after 5am for a long day.

In elections you have to have a team of "election judges" and the team has to be balanced, 1 Republican and 1 Democrat. Each team checks in the voter (using an ipad for the first time in county history) and signs off on the ballot. Willa was my counterpart :)
Now she is the most precious thing, but don't let her sweetness fool you, she's a trickster! Willa made the most AMAZING apple crunch, and I mean to die for!!! I kept creeping off to the kitchen to devour it and it's highly probable that was her plan all along... that sneaky Willa was stuffing ballots while I was gone... I suspect :)

Half way through the day my handsome husband called and seemed a little disturbed. The construction project at our house had gotten a little a lot messy. While grinding/cutting a concrete floor in the basement for an additional bathroom, the air-return vent had been left open. The entire house was now COVERED in concrete dust, well, see for yourself...
Now I'm no housekeeper, but usually it's not this bad :) Being the wonderful man he is (and fearful for his life) he had a cleaning crew there in no time. I would never even have to see the mess, all the while I was still happily working the polls, getting full on apple crunch.

Naive to how the election was going, we happily closed our precinct, balanced our ballots and headed out around 8pm. While driving home I got a call from a strange number:
"Mrs. Banner?"
"Your son, Jake, is here at the Y and he is wondering if anyone can come get him? He's been waiting for about an hour."
"I'll be right there"
 It had been a long day for everyone and unfortunately that was before we had even started hearing election results.... :(

(PS: Don't turn Willa in, I was kidding about all that... except the yummy-ness of the apple crunch.)

Monday, October 29, 2012


 For my friends without Instagram, an update on our life...

 Fall in Banner-land
One of my only Pinterest projects, and Jake's toy. Is this a boys' house or what? Jake said the beans were quick-sand. :)
Have I mentioned I love being a sport's mom? This fall I created a section in my closet for school-spirit.
 Creator Designs - Breast Cancer Awareness tee
 He totally knows how adorable he is! Is there a modeling career in his future? After being so spoiled, he might not be good for much else.
Daddy's guard dog! She knows what Dwain loves.
Mommy's helper... keep those boys asleep Annie!
As I put on the Cold-Gear, headband, ipod, gps watch and sunglasses I thought... geez, when did running get so complicated?
Chapel begs to go to work with Dwain. He loves to "print"... ok, ok... maybe we'll skip modeling and go for a real job :)
Enjoyed a date with my precious mom and ornery dad. We went and saw Atlas Shrugged 2.

Pulled up at the bank and saw these bikes outside. It struck me funny... times are so bad they're repossessing bikes.
 Deacon brought some friends to cheer him on at the swim meet... great buds.
My favorite swimmer... this day anyway :)

You're thinking I'm at Bass Pro right?? No! It's my kitchen and I am in HUGE protest right now!!! Yes I agree it's a pretty bird BUT if we display everything all the #bannerboys kill, my house will look like a lodge... booooo It's time they buy a cabin :)

And last but not least, this is my favorite thing to do! Oh please don't grow up!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween... Evil or Not?

Hard to believe there would be anything evil about this? What a cutie... this is Chapel in 2009. I think almost every baby of mine wore this pumpkin suit, ♥ it!

But what Halloween represents is evil. My kids get creeped out by people's intense decorations, all the graveyards and skeletons. After studying up on Halloween one year, Dwain and I decided we didn't want any part of it. Living in a busy neighborhood, we shut our front door (which is never shut) and turned off the outside lights (rare also.) Our plans were to have a good evening as a family at home, feeling quite righteous... until the doorbell rang. 

We all stared at each other, we hadn't talked about what we would do in this situation. I reluctantly went to the door and cringed as I saw trick-or-treaters with eager eyes, holding up bags, expecting a special gift. Starting to explain, "we are Christians and we don't choose to celebrate Halloween because..." their empty faces stared at me; they didn't understand. All they could hear was "I'm not giving you candy, blah blah blah, I'm a Christian, blah blah blah." 

After several episodes of this, it was that Halloween that Dwain and I agreed, this would never happen again! As youth in our churches we had often went door-to-door witnessing, hoping someone would accept a track. From the day we were married we knew our house would be a tool to serve the Lord. We loved and encouraged company and wanted everyone to feel welcome. It was these two things that made us realize how crazy it was to not give the GOOD NEWS and hospitality to our community. We would never again have a dark, un-loving front porch, we would never again have nothing to offer those at our door, we would never again miss an opportunity to love our neighbor. 

Our Game Plan: now Halloween is one of the most memorable nights of the year in our home. The boys dress up and look forward to giving others candy, often inviting their friends and classmates. My brilliant sister, Becky, wrote this poem for us to attach to our candy bars, and feel free to use it for yourself...
“Our gift to you, a special treat. Tasty candy for all to eat. But we like to tell all we meet... We know of a gift, twice as sweet. God gives Jesus, His only Son, Who came and died for everyone. You can accept God’s gift today,When the candy’s gone, Jesus will stay!”

We do give full candy bars, wanting to surprise people with an extra "treat" along with the message they receive. We want our house to stand out to them as one filled with love, hopefully pointing them to our loving, generous Father in Heaven.

Where do you stand on Halloween? Do you have a game plan? Whatever it is... "love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love oneanother. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Praise the Lord... what Satan means for evil, our God can turn to good!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Politics & Tebow

Did you watch the debate? Wowzers, it was a shellacking! Not to get too political but I was SOOOO proud of Romney. He showed all I needed to see. Someone I heard put it best "it looked like a business man was debating a politician, one had a plan and the other just talked." Considering that I wasn't surprised when I saw this statistic:

The percentage of each past president's cabinet who had worked in the
private business sector prior to their appointment to the cabinet.

            T. Roosevelt................... 38%
            Taft................................. 40%
            Wilson ........................... 52%
            Harding.......................... 49%
            Coolidge........................ 48%
            Hoover........................... 42%
            F. Roosevelt................... 50%
            Truman........................... 50%
            Eisenhower.................... 57%
            Kennedy......................... 30%
            Johnson.......................... 47%
            Nixon.............................. 53%
            Ford................................ 42%
            Carter............................. 32%
            Reagan............................ 56%
            GH Bush......................... 51%
            Clinton ........................... 39%
            GW Bush......................... 55%
            Obama............................. 8%

I heard an Obama campaign worker dismissing the debate like "well Romney practiced for this debate more than any presidential candidate has ever practiced." Later a news commentator said Obama hadn't taken it serious, he was watching football right before. WHEN did we start looking down on someone for taking their job serious??? Do we respect the athlete that just shows up for the game or the athlete that is disciplined and trains hard? Tim Tebow says it best "hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

Moving on... :)
My two Tebow fans looking tough. Deacon finished his book awhile back and often quotes him, Bo and I just started reading it this week. I'm praying that it will speak to Bo, challenging him on a deep level.
Our friend, Brody, claiming TRUTH like Tebow.

So, politics and Tebow... maybe now Dwain will print me the shirt I always wanted...


One more side-note... in 2008 our credit card was charge $2000 for "Obama for President". Of course you know we called right away to complain. The credit card company gave us the run-around saying we couldn't press charges because they would credit our account back. I insisted I didn't give them my #, that it had to have been stolen and that I wanted to prosecute. All this to no avail. I'm hearing this time around that somehow this is how the campaign is sneaking in money from overseas donors??? Have you heard anything about this? Does it concern you? Check your cc statement often! Sorry for all the politics... tis the season! :)
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