Monday, September 1, 2014

random happenings

I usually clean and straighten up our house on Monday's and Friday's.  After and before the weekend, because that makes perfect sense.  The house is messier when we're all in it, all weekend.  After doing this on Friday, I sat down and loved my view.

I actually love my whole house.  We are colorful people, and each room is it's own fun color.  :)  See the arrangement on my piano?  My mom gave it to me on her birthday.  That vase is the greatest color, and might just be my newest favorite thing.  Most of the things in my home were given to me by Mom.  She's pretty awesome like that.


Friday night, I loaded up my car with kids and we went to the park.  Except that when we got there, it was closing.  So instead we went to see my in-love's.

Then to Sonic, for milkshakes.

This is Emma.  She's like the daughter I always wanted~fun, not dramatic, and she can sing like an angel.

I didn't think my kids would ever embarrass me as much as this one does.  He was dancing in front of my car and waving to everyone who walked past.   He is special, indeed.

I found this picture on the internet.

This is my best song right now, to quote a friend who always says that.

On Saturday, I did NOTHING but watch Netflix all the day long.  And I ate an entire bag of popcorn by myself.

Graham and Drew worked until two, and Todd watched football all day.  Jonah and Noah were at a friend's house the whole day.

At church yesterday, our adopted grandparents were recognized for their sixty-three years of marriage.  Mr. Frank was giving God the glory for that, and Mrs. Audrey was embarrassed that they had to stand up.

And Toddley worked the camera in front of me during the service.  I thought he looked cute and took this picture during prayer.  :)

I found another picture that I love on the internet last night...I love this verse, we talked about it last weekend at the Beth Moore event.

I say this verse all the time~when we allow the enemy to get a foothold in the smallest way, that small foothold can quickly become a large thing, if we aren't careful.  We constantly have to be on guard against the enemy~he is very real, and he can play tricks on our mind.  He is smart and knows our weak points.  So...stay alert!

Last night we had community groups, and we ate an insane amount of nachos and watched God's Not Dead.  Well, the teenagers watched and the adult leaders sat and talked.  ;)

It was a great weekend.  And it's not over yet!  I'm thankful for another day to be off.  I am letting my kids off the hook with school today, since it's a national holiday, and we'll be enjoying dinner with my mom and step-dad tonight.  We're having a fish fry.  Graham and Drew are working until two today, then we'll go out to Mom's after that.

I pray that you have a great day and that whatever you do, you enjoy it!  Love to all.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy birthday, Mom!

My beautiful mom turned fifty-nine (again) yesterday.  :)  Truthfully, she turned seventy, but she doesn't look a day over fifty-nine!  Graham thought she was turning sixty yesterday and corrected me when I told someone she was turning seventy.  Isn't she beautiful?

We went to Carrabba's for her birthday dinner.  It was so good!  It is so expensive for us to eat out as a family, so we never do this...needless to say, last night was a treat, because it was a real restaurant!

They brought her birthday ice cream.

My step-dad with Mom.

We met at the one by The Clark Tower in Memphis.  My boys were mesmerized by this massive building.

I took this picture while Graham and Drew took pictures of their own.

Here's Drew's version.

He did some editing, but still.  The kid has a great eye for photography.  Imagine what he could do with a real camera.

Mom with the boys.

And me with her.  I am so thankful for this sweet lady.  She was and still is a wonderful mom.  She gave me her love and skill of cooking, she is the best baby nurse I ever had and she is an amazing caregiver.  I witnessed her take care of her mom for years, and she took great care of me when I was in the hospital after my surgery.  She's the only person my husband would leave with me.

I love her dearly and am so glad that we got to celebrate her last night.

Love to all!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

catching up

The rest of our weekend was a blur to me.  I had to take a nap after I got home Saturday afternoon, because I knew that we had a long night ahead of us.  We went to a Redbirds game~the last game of the summer that would have fireworks.

We met up with Todd's parents, his brother and their family.  I love getting together with them, we never see each other as much as we'd like, so I knew it would be a fun night.  Even if it was a thousand and nineteen degrees outside with not enough wind blowing.


Sweet cousins...I hate that I didn't get a picture of all three of the eleven year old's.  Nathan is about six weeks younger than Jonah and Noah and they are best buddies.  They love being with him!  Joseph is below the picture of Nathan and Noah.  I love his sweet smile!  This boy is full of all kinds of joy.

I also did not get a picture of Zeke by himself, but he is every bit as cute as his brothers.  :)

All the Goodwin grands.  Left to right: Drew, Nathan, Zeke, Noah, Jonah, Joseph and Graham.  These kiddos are a hot mess when you put them all together.

My loves.  We were nasty and hot and sweaty and all fought over the showers when we got home.  I got first, though, and loved every bit of the coolness that sprayed me.

This week has gone fast~Todd was home sick both Monday and yesterday, but he was feeling better this morning.  We've had a great week of school work so far, and a couple of really fun days, with projects and experiments.  I'm thankful that my boys are loving this school year so far...I'm praying they keep that level of enthusiasm.  :)  You can join me in praying that same thing, if you would like! household stuff is calling me.  Love to all!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Living Proof Live, Memphis

I have been so excited about this weekend for months!  It's been a long time since I've gotten to see Beth Moore in person, and when I learned back in March that she was coming here, I bought my tickets in advance.  Even though I had no idea who I would go with, I figured I would find somebody.

I ended up volunteering to be on the hospitality team, and when I got an email confirming that I was indeed on that team, I knew I would have to go alone.  Either that, or I could have given up great seats to go with friends.  I chose to go alone, and I am so glad I did!  I think I enjoyed it more because I was by myself.  It was nice sitting anonymously in the crowd, and my seats were amazing.  I also met some new friends, two of whom I had the privilege of praying for and with.

I had to arrive at 4:15 on Friday, down by the center stage.  My dad dropped me off, because Todd didn't want me walking to the parking lot by myself at ten o'clock at night.  I thought that was sweet.  :)  He did not, however, offer to take me Saturday morning at 6:30.  He said I was on my own for that day~that the thugs would still be asleep.

There was already a crowd of women waiting to get in for good seats.  I was thankful to get inside, out of the heat, but I felt bad for them.

I was practically on top of the stage.  I sent this picture to my friend who wanted to be there with me.

I was a greeter for the weekend and smiled at and handed out programs to almost ten thousand women.  It was so much fun, because we all know how social I am!

At one point, I went in to peak at the stage, because the music I was hearing was amazing.

Beth Moore's worship leader, Travis Cottrell, is the music director at Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee.  He brought his own choir with him, and can I just say that they brought down the house?  Because they did.  Jesus' name was lifted high this weekend and I could not stop praising Him.

I was in the fourth row, on the floor.  :)  When Beth was done speaking, she walked by my side of the arena and paused to talk to the lady in front of me and me~she thanked us for being there~I might have gotten my hand stuck in her shirt sleeve.  I'm not owning up to it totally, but I just might have.


I had to be back at seven Saturday.

I enjoyed a nice little walk to the arena from where I parked.

I handed out more goodies to lots and lots of sweet women and settled back in for a great time once again.

One song the praise team sang had a drum line from Bethel University playing with them...I got a picture, but it's hard to see.

They were amazing!  Graham would have loved it~the music was thumping and I could feel the drumbeat in my heart.

It was like a mini-retreat, this weekend spent focusing on God.  I am thankful that I had no distractions and that I was by myself.  I honestly think that I got a lot more out of this conference because of that.  Lots of women accepted Jesus for the first time, high places came down and strong holds were broken.  It was amazing.  If you ever get the chance to go to a women's event like this, go!  It is worth every penny, even if it's a sacrifice.  I came away encouraged strongly in my faith and feeling like I had an encounter with the Lord Himself.  His name was lifted high.

I'm going to leave you with a video of one of the songs we sang.  Take the time to listen to it and enjoy.  Love to all.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

random happenings

We made a Costco run yesterday, and in doing so, Drew came across a book he has been wanting and asked me to buy it for them.  (We will all eventually read this book.)  Being the book lover and nerd that I am, I couldn't resist one of my son's requests for me to buy him this book.  Jonah promptly said to me, "So since you're buying Drew this book, will you take me to Academy?  I want another Nerf gun."

Lord help me.

Of course I said no to Jonah.  I did tell him that if he wanted me to buy him a book that I would.

But not a Nerf gun.

I don't get these boys of mine, strange creatures that they are.

Anyway, Drew came home and started reading.

And reading and reading.  He's about three quarters of the way through said book.  It's Divergent.  He's reading it now, and as soon as he finishes it, it will be Graham's turn.  I'll wait until last, then hopefully we'll all watch the movie together.

More school work ensued today.  We've had a really great couple of weeks, and as much as that thrills me to say, I'm almost scared to type that!  Maybe I won't jinx myself.

Our day got started with a huge breakfast.  Well, huge for us, since I don't normally make breakfasts of this magnitude.  We had sausage and toast and eggs.

Since I was making eight pieces of sausage, two for each of them, I figured I'd go ahead and make sixteen pieces so they'll have another good breakfast for our school day tomorrow.  I love it when my brain kicks into gear and thinks ahead like this~trust me, it doesn't always happen.  ;)

Toddley came home early with a migraine-type headache and took a nap.  While he napped, Graham and Drew cut the grass.

God love this boy...he doesn't just cut the yard, he cuts it and sings and dances his way through working.  He cracks me up, this kid of mine.  I'm so glad he is so happy!  He makes me smile.

We had lunch, the boys finished their work, I took Graham to church early to set up for tonight, then I settled in and watched a couple episodes of this show.

Army Wives.  I love Netflix.  Have I mentioned that lately?  This is my latest addiction.  I love television, period.  I'm almost all the way through season one of this show.  Where have I been, though?  I guess having all these boys makes me not know about certain shows.  Parenthood and now this.  It was my reward to myself for a great (motivated) three days so far this week.

That's about it for this week~we're looking forward to tomorrow, when we go to our homeschool group.  Enjoy your night with the ones you love most.  Love to all!

Monday, August 18, 2014

afternoon habits

One thing I most love about homeschooling, besides all of it, are the lunches we have.  I love being able to feed my children a hot lunch everyday.  They love to eat good lunches!  I normally make something halfway healthy, but today they made hot pockets.

I also love those days when the work is flowing so smoothly, and the reading material is so interesting, that they say to me, "Let's keep going!"  That, my friends, is a great and near perfect day.  This is the boy that wanted to keep going today.

If you ever only take one piece of homeschooling advice from me, who is in no way an expert on this subject, it's that you should consider doing The Mystery of History with your kids.  I cannot stop reading this book and find myself reading over the shoulders of my kids.  The history buff in me is so excited over this book, and apparently, so is my Noah.  He loves history and today he read "his" story in this book.

Another thing we have done today is watch two full episodes of this show.

If you don't know who these people are, then I feel sorry for you!  This is Chip and Joanna Gaines, from HGTV's Fixer Upper.  A friend of mine enlightened me about this show and I am hooked.  We took a nice long lunch break today, and now that we're finished with school for the day, we're watching another episode.  :)

That's about all we've done on this day, with the exception of making a very quick run to Kroger for some dinner items for tonight, then we came back home.  It's been a good day for us, and for that, I am thankful.  Love to all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

on a lighter note...

My last post was kinda heavy, so I thought I would lighten it up for today.  First, I need to say thank you to anybody who has been praying for us this week.  Ahem, Phyllis.  This has been a really great week so far.  My boys have been super productive and have already gotten most of their week's worth of work finished.  I am especially proud of Graham, who had a hard time with time management last year.  He's had to finish a lot of work this week for chemistry, in order for him to go to his first class tomorrow.

So, thank you.  I appreciate your prayers!  I also know a few of my friends pray for me daily.  Ahem, Andrea.  :)  I love you both!

My loves.  :)


After the school work was completed yesterday, we left home and headed to Costco, Chick Fil A, then dinner out with my in-love's.  Interesting fact about Jonah~he cannot survive without chocolate milk each day.  It's his coffee.  That was one thing we had to get yesterday, chocolate syrup.  God love him.  He was a happy little camper this morning.

We then went to Chick Fil A so Graham and Drew could fill out their hours for this week.  I'm going to brag for a minute now, so if this repulses you, then exit this page now.

I am very thankful for these jobs that they have!  Chick Fil A is such a great company to work for, and I love that at this location, they get to fill out the hours they want one week in advance.  They may not get exactly what they want, but if they don't fill in a certain day, they will not work on that day.  It's great for times they're unable to work because of school, or a church activity or vacation.

I am also proud that they're making money, and that they're saving their money.  All kinds of life lessons are wrapped up in this, two of which are the fact that they're learning to be good stewards of their time and their money.

I'm done now.

They filled in their hours, then we went to Corky's.  An old friend of Todd's family and his wife and children are in town, so we met them and enjoyed a yummy dinner and getting to know them.  I was in my happy place, because the mom of the family is a librarian, so we talked books.  And we all know how much I love books...and talking about them.  :)  She also homeschools, so I enjoyed talking with her.

After dinner, they said they wanted to try Jerry's Sno Cones while they were here, so we went with them.

A major perk of homeschooling~getting to do fun things like this on school nights.  :)  There was only a small line and the weather was amazing.  I tried a new flavor too, almond joy.  You would think that chocolate and ice wouldn't be good, but oh my goodness.  You would be wrong, because it was delicious!  I love anything coconut.

Graham, Noah and I left a little early because we had to go to my friend's house to pick up the chemistry book she is loaning us for Graham to use this year.  In driving to her house, we passed Bellevue.  (A mega church in Memphis.)

I love these crosses.  They're at a place that is very visible from the interstate.  And yes, I was driving while I took this picture, but I did slow down and Graham was helping me steer.

The boys got in bed pretty late, so we slept in a little.  Today our day has been peaceful.

Graham is doing chemistry, history and Spanish today.  Drew is doing history and Spanish.  Jonah and Noah were given the opportunity to go to work with Todd and will do their history, Spanish and spelling on Friday.  And this is a typical day in the life of us.  We actually do school at home, in case any of you were doubtful.  ;)  The subjects not mentioned are the ones that they've completed for this week.  I told you, they have been super busy and productive.  It's those prayers, so keep it up!

Well, laundry is calling me.  I pray all of you have a wonderful day.  Love to all.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

when bad things happen

On a day when our news is filled with such terror and tragedy in some parts of this world, what are we to do with that information?

I think first and foremost, we should take it to God.  The older I get, the more I realize that instead of talking about it and rehashing it over and over, just to take it straight to Him in prayer.  That sounds like it could be a song, huh?  It is, in fact.

"Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer."

I have learned the importance of taking things like this to God through some encouragement we received this summer through my homeschool group, Renewed Moms.

Another thing that I am doing is that I am using this information as a teaching opportunity for my kids.  One thing that is utterly terrible right now is what is happening in Iraq to the Christian people.  Horrific things that I won't even write on here, because you all know what I am talking about.  We're taking the time to pray for the persecuted people over there and it's showing them that we are a privileged people in America.

It's teaching them empathy.

Another news story we have talked about today was Robin Williams.  This story was a huge lesson for them, in that no matter how wealthy and famous a person is, if you don't have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you will not find your self worth in anything but Him.  You won't find worth in alcohol or drugs or any other kind of addiction.  It's one thing to have an addiction, it's something else to have an addiction while battling depression.  It's okay to acknowledge that you need medicine and to take that medicine and to get the help you need.  But this man was not alone in his life~it might have seemed like that, but none of us are ever alone.  Jesus is right there, if only we accept Him and confess our sin and our need for Him in our lives.

In homeschooling my kids and in a day and age that is so terribly sad for our world, I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to do this, and I thank God for it every single day.

I know not everyone is called to homeschool, but I am and for our family, this works best in our lives.  This post isn't about trying to talk you into taking your kids out of public school, trust me.  We had great experiences at our affluent schools here in The Ville, but God called me to homeschool.

My point in this post is this~talk to your kids about this stuff.  Chances are if you don't, someone else will.  Take the negative and try and put a life lesson in it, or look for the good, or just thank God that He is sovereign and in control.  I find that the more I shelter or hide my kids from things, the more appealing it is to them.  I would much rather be the one to have these kinds of heart to heart conversations with my boys, and I know much of you would agree.

Remember to take the time to pray for our world right now, too.  Find some Scriptures and pray them over your family, over our country, her leaders and our state and local leaders.  One of the passages I like to pray is found in Ephesians 6, and it's all about putting on the armor of God.

Also, it's okay to keep the television turned off.  I'm not even turning the thing on much nowadays, except maybe for the couple hours yesterday, when we were done with school and wanted to watch Shark Week on Discovery or Top Gear on the BBC channel.  (Mom of boys problems.)  Even last night we kept it off...we went to visit a friend, then came home to play cards.  After our two games, we went to bed.

I encourage you to just pray~it's okay to be sad, it is not okay to be fearful.  God did not give us a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  If you're fearful, pray this verse.  And take comfort in the fact that God is in control.  Even in tough times, He never leaves us, never forsakes us, and for that I am thankful.

Love to all.