Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Some Funnies

This blog was originally intended to be something the grands could look at and enjoy hearing funny stories about the kids.  It hasn't really been that, has it?  It's been funny, serious, sad, about the kids, about me, Bible studies, friends, you name it.  So, I thought you would enjoy hearing some cute little sayings that they've said at one time or another.  Some may be recent, some may be old.  See if you can guess who said what, then I'll reveal the answers at the bottom.

"When I grow up I want to be a policeman.  Because I love to speed." (Tonight)

"Hey, Mom, don't Daddy and Bubba put fires out?  If they do, and if that sun is really on fire, they need to go put it out."  (Long ago)

A parent asking, "Do you like your new teacher?  Why?"  A child answering, "Yeah!  Because we get to blow something up!!!"  (Recent)

"Mommy, are you gonna get married again???"  Hmmm, maybe.  KIDDING!!!   (This was recent.)

A child singing the days of the week song..."There's Wednesday and there's Friday, there's Tuesday and there's Sunday and then there's Monday."  (At dinner tonight)

Me asking, "What do you want for Christmas?"  The answer..."Cupcakes".  Seriously.  Two Christmas' ago.

"If there's Santa at Christmas, who comes for Halloween?"  

Me asking, "What do you want for Christmas?"  The answer..."A diver suit."  And mom nearly choked on her drink.  

"Can you put those babies back?"  Long ago.

"Daddy lets me watch COPS with him."  

"What's your last name?", I asked.  The answer..."Lloyd."

"A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y and Z..." A child sang this.  I asked, "Where's the P?"  That same child answered, "running down my leg."

One week later...I'd bought Jonah and Noah some flash cards that were on clearance at Walgreen's.  I opened them up and looked all through them, and could NOT find letter P.  I asked the kids..."WHO TOOK THE P???" Thinking that somebody had pulled a really good prank on me...but the P was nowhere to be found.  That's probably why they were on clearance.  I promise...true story.

And the answers, are in order...

Jonah
Graham
Drew
Jonah
Noah 
Noah
Jonah 
Jonah
Drew
Jonah
Noah
Drew
And the last one was me wigging out at the kids...although I'm still not sure if Drew wasn't pulling my leg.  

Hope you enjoyed this...some make me sad because they were so long ago.  I'm actually impressed that I remember some of them.  Love to all!

Resting...

Well, since I'm sick and supposed to be 'resting', ahem, did you catch that Mom and Phyllis? I am, I am, I thought I would take some time and write. I am feeling better today, the inhaler is a miraculous thing. It's amazing how much better I can breathe. I wasn't really aware of the fact that I couldn't breathe yesterday. After the breathing treatment, my lungs just seemed to fill with all this wonderful air. Hmmmm, maybe wheezing is NOT normal, after all. I am kidding, I know it's not, it's just that I didn't really think about it. Okay, enough about that.

My hubby is home today. He's downstairs, I'm upstairs. Isn't that nice? I had some stuff to do for our neighborhood and the boys' school, so I came up to the office to work. His ankle is throbbing...we have a cold front moving in, and I think this is the reason why it hurts so much. You can pray for him if you want...he'd appreciate it.

I am our neighborhood's coordinator, and I did NOT ask for this job. It fell into my lap three years ago when the old ones resigned, and the job is officially supposed to belong to Todd and our neighbor, Brian. Yeah, right. I took over since they didn't seem to have enough extra time. Note: both men are fathers of four children, active in church, and active in sports. They were
given that job. This job was one of the reasons I came upstairs...to work on our get together and some school stuff for the boys' teachers. I'm officially resigning from this coordinator job as of next Tuesday. It's not really that hard, you just have to plan the event once a year, but I have enough other stuff to be doing without having this to add to it. Especially with my new job!

I thought I'd share some verses that jumped out at me this morning...taken from the NIV translation...

Amos 4:13 He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth~the LORD God Almighty is his name.

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

Nahum 1:7 The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Haggai 2:9 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house', says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace',declares the LORD Almighty.

I really like this one. It reminds of my brother and sister in law who have been in the throes of adopting a Guatemalan baby for the past 2 years. They just got word last night that they can pick him up next week! They will leave on Sunday as a family of three and return on Thursday, a brand new family of four. Praise God! I will include a picture of sweet little Joseph Max Goodwin, 2 1/2 years of age at the end of this blog.

Tim and Tracy began this adoption process when Joseph (then named Elder Antonio) was only a few weeks old. He was blessed to have a wonderful foster home with 'parents' who loved him. And though not biological to him, they were his parents at that time, because they loved him and took care of him. Now he's blessed to meet his NEW parents, who have loved him since birth. Before birth even, because they'd been praying for a baby for quite some time. Tim, Tracy and Nathan (who's just a few weeks younger than Jonah and Noah), have watched Joseph grow up through pictures on the computer. They did get to visit him two different times...the first time, together, and the second time, just Tracy went.

They've had one problem after another for the past two years, but the worst was when they weren't sure if they'd be allowed to adopt him. They wanted so badly to go and visit little Joseph again, but with the high cost of traveling and the unsure future, they were advised not to return. Even though times were tough, their faith and dependency on God carried them through...all the way up to the phone call they received last night telling them they could pick him up on Tuesday October 7th!!! Please pray for them when you're finished reading this blog...for traveling mercies next week, for Tracy as she prepared for this last process of paperwork and now traveling with Nathan to Guatemala, and mostly, for the transition process as they bring Joseph home. He'll have to get to know his new mommy and daddy, and his new big brother, and learn a new language. It'll definitely be an adjustment, but God has been faithful this far, and I know He will see them through this to the very end.

Lamentations 3:22 & 23 because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.



Monday, September 29, 2008

Time Past

Where does all that time go???  These pictures were taken 2 and 3 years ago...the one of Jonah and Noah was at my dad's house, in the trailer being pulled by his tractor, and I think they must have been 2.  Look how little they are!  The one of Graham and Drew was at the zoo, probably 2 years ago.  Look how young Drew looks!  He has changed so much!  Graham hasn't really changed all that much, at least not in looks.  His hair was in desperate need of a cut in this picture, but other than that, he looks pretty much the same.  I can't believe how much older they are now.  And here I sit, alone with them in school, as I write this.  Which, by the way, if I haven't spoken of it, Jonah and Noah are loving school.  They leave excited every morning, and come home, wanting it to be tomorrow.  You have no idea how much this thrills me.  I told my stepdad back in August, that I wish I could fast forward into October so everyone would be settled in school.  And here it is, almost October.  They're definitely adjusted by now, and loving every single second of it.  I'm shocked at how much Jonah and Noah are learning, Noah's really doing great on all his sight words and sounds.  Jonah is learning just as much, in a different way, but is able to read certain sight words.  I'm so proud of them.




Well, I have to go the doctor's officed now.  I was up all night, not able to breathe very well, so I'm going to see what that's all about.  I hope everyone has a blessed day...I leave you with this verse:

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. 1 Peter 3:12

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Our Weekend In Review

We had sooooooooo much fun last night.  We went to one of the most fun birthday parties we've ever been to.  One of our wonderful friends, Jeremy, turns 30 on Monday, and his gorgeous wife planned the best party!  We had amazing food, great laughter, we met new people, and we ended the party with an FBI scavenger hunt.  Yes, I said scavenger hunt.  Amy planned an incredible scavenger hunt, complete with costumes for our "team captain", which of course, turned out to be Todd.  We were the White Collar Group, so he had to dress in a white button down shirt and a tie.  We were given flashlights and a list of things in the neighboorhood to go find.  We did get to drive, since their neighborhood is pretty big.  I was the getaway driver.  Thanks to my ingenius driving, we won first place.  Well, I call it ingenius, they called it wreckless.  The last thing we had to complete on the hunt was to do 30 jumping jacks while singing Happy Birthday, build a pyramid and hold it for 30 seconds, and have one person do 30 pushups.  All on video footage. But it was fun, nonetheless.  

We left the party and went to see Fireproof....which was amazing!!!!!!!!  You have seriously got to make the time to go see it if you didn't make it over this weekend.  Great news about it...it ranked number 3 in the nation last night!!  The critics said that Hollywood was stunned that this movie that came out of nowhere ranked #3!  You could hear people all throughout the movie crying and sniffing...it wasn't sad, but very touching.  We saw the 10:00 show with some friends, Justin and Moni, and would have gone for coffee after, but then we saw that it was midnight.  And they had an early soccer game to get to this morning.  At least we got to sleep in...thank you Phyllis and Wiley for keeping the boys.  We had a blast.  

Tonight we had dinner with Mom and Bill for the first time in 2 weeks, and my kids and Big Daddy were having serious withdrawals.  Todd kept yelling in short bursts, as he watched one of the MANY football games he's watched today.  That's what we're doing now...about to put the boys in bed, watching Alabama beat Georgia.  Sorry Katie.  =(  But yay for Todd!  =)

And speaking of Katie, our neighbors woke us up this morning...ha ha totally kidding Travis and Katie...I was reading.  But Travis thought it would be cool to stick a chisel into his hand.  Not really, but that's what happened.  Nothing serious was wrong, though, thank goodness.   And he's caught up on his shot again for the next 10 years.  I told him that he just wanted to be like Todd, back when he drilled through his hand.  Travis was not amused.  

We had a great weekend, I hope you all did too.  Oh, and when I got to Phyllis and Wiley's house to pick the boys, Jonah wanted to know if I was getting married again.  I do not know why he asked that, but he did.  Go figure.  Enjoy what's left of the weekend!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Few Moments

Well, I finally have time to write more than just a few sentences.  I haven't had time to catch my breath all week, and I must say...it feels so nice to sit here and blog.  I needed this outlet tonight!  I was going to take the boys to karate tonight, but they opted not to go.  I was so glad!  I wanted to take them to the library, so we did that after dinner.  Jonah and Noah are so excited over their books, they're the easy readers, and they already know some of the words.  

Drew really wanted some books called Wayside School, but they were all checked out.  He got these really cool adventuresome books instead...they're about kids that climb mountains, and get shipwrecked.  You know...boy stuff.  Right now, I am doing this, Drew's looking at I Spy, and Graham, Jonah and Noah are watching a Diego movie.  Todd just got home from work, and is now in the shower, so....here I am.  

I worked in the health room at school today, and when I resigned from my weekly shift (volunteer, I might add), the lady in charge of health room (a mom, just like me, but on the P.T.A.) got so mad that she threw a folder on the floor.  I kid you not.  She got mad because I got a job making money at the boys' school, and quit doing the VOLUNTEER work on Thursdays.  This is even after I told her that I'd gotten my mother in law to take one Thursday every month for the rest of the school year.  Which I did NOT have to do.  When it was time for me to leave, I walked into the front office, and this lady was talking about me to Kathy, the front desk lady.  I know she was talking about me, because the minute I walked in, she went silent and said goodbye.  If you don't want to deal with stuff like this, why volunteer to be in charge for it???  Simple question, difficult answer.  Who knows, anyway, it'll all work out, I just hate the thought of someone not liking me.

Anyway, I also turned down a P.T.A. position as co~chair for parental involvement.  Back when Todd quit P.T.A. I told the pres., Patty, that if she needed to fill his position with someone already on the board, I would take over their spot.  And at that time, I was more than willing to do that.  However, this job literally fell into my lap, and I had to turn her down.  The parental involvement person, Libby, got a full time job as a teacher's assistant, and can't handle all the duties involved.  That is a huge job, and while I can't co~chair with her, I told them I'd help when I was able.  My new job is from 11~2, and while it's only three hours each day, with it being in the middle of the day, it slices my day right down the middle.  So...I told the boys' teachers that I would still be around to help out when possible.  Providing I don't have a migraine from being in charge of almost 900 students in a two and a half hour time span.  =)

All joking aside, I am soooo excited about this!  I am really sad for my friend, Katie, who does this job now, but will stop tomorrow, her last day.  The poor girl has cried all week.  I am so emotional, so I really feel for her.  Pray for her to have strength if you think about her...she starts a new job on Monday, but this will be hard on her.  She loves these kids so much, and her heart is right there on her sleeve, for the whole world to see.  She told me she'd prayed that God would bring in someone who loves the students as much as she does, and voila, here comes me.  I do love these kids so much, that's why I'm so excited.  I've been told that some of these kids will see only one friendly face all day, and that'll be me.  They need a friend, a smile, an encouraging word, and sometimes a hug.  I am more than qualified to do all of the above, and I can't wait to start!

Well, Diego is calling me...and bedtime for the boys.  Two out of the four have a headache, and that, my friends, spells B-E-D-T-I-M-E.  Oh, and guess what???  I have a date with my hubby tomorrow night!  Whoo hoo!  We're going to a birthday party for a friend, then are going to the late showing of Fireproof!!!  I am soooooo excited!  The boys are spending the night with his parents!  And we're doing it all again next weekend, but that time will be in honor of our 12th anniversary!  

Just a Quick Note...

I got the job!!!!!!!!   My first day is Monday, October 6th.  Thank you for everyone who prayed for this...it's definitely a God~thing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Quick Update

I think I shared that I was applying for a job at the boys' school...maybe I didn't.  If I didn't you can call me and ask me about it.  But, yesterday I took my application down to the board of education, and they called me back yesterday afternoon for an interview today at 1:30.  I interviewed, and the man approved the principal of the boys' school for an interview with me in the morning.  So....yay!!!  I'm excited!!

As you can tell from my posts, or lack thereof, I've had a crazy busy week.  I can't really write much now, but I'll post more later.....love to all!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Ramblings

I can't believe it's already noon.  I hit the floor with my feet running this morning.  I usually do, but I really did this morning, because I didn't wake up early like I like to.  I really have got to start getting into bed earlier.  Ideally, I should wake up everyday at 6am.  Realistically, I'm doing good to wake up at 7.  It takes me a full 30 minutes to pack 5 lunches and 4 backpacks.  I send lunch with them everyday...even Todd~he's the #5...and I have to pack 4 snacks, 4 water bottles, and get all that situated inside their little backpacks.  And then breakfast starts.  On good days I have something actually planned.  Today they all had granola bars.  

I have to leave my house no later than 8:45 to get them through the carrider line, then this morning, I rushed home afterwards to start laundry.  I had a thirty minute gap to fill before I was off and running again.  I folded one load, and started two more.  One in the dryer, one in the washer.  I had to be up at the school at 9:30 to make all the kindergarten copies.  Well, I didn't see the kindergarten folder sitting on the front desk, so I assumed there were no copies for the kindergarten grade level today.  When that happens, you start the next grade.  So I started first grade copies.  I had a room mom meeting at 10, stayed there for 30 minutes, then ran back to the copy room to see if DewAnne (the other copy mom) needed help.  She was making kindergarten copies!!!!!  They had a ton.  She had to leave, and I couldn't finish, plus one of the machines kept jamming, so I left the office lady, Kathy, with the unfinished stack.  

Before I could leave, I delivered the copies we did get made, took all the copier paper back to the head teacher, cleaned up the mess from making copies, THEN left.  (Oh, and I told the front office I'd make copies for the principal...and I lost the letter I was supposed to copy. I am praying it's where I think it is when I go back later.)  And here I am typing at 12:26, and I have to go back at 1:00 to read to Jonah's class.  Can you tell I'm feeling slighty (MAJORLY) overwhelmed?It is so Monday.  I still have laundry to finish, a house to clean...or at least tidy up....and right now, all I want to do is take a nap.  Lord, grant me strength to finish this day. Then I have to pick up the kids, start dinner, get that cleaned up, and I am having a ladies night out.  This is the part where my eye is starting to twitch.  Ha, not really.  But it's a crazy day.  Not everyday is usually this busy, although most days are.  Just wanted to let you all know what this stay at home mom does almost everyday....and whoever said anything about free time???  What is free time?  So far, I've only had maybe 3 or 4 days of that since school started eight weeks ago.  I really will be o.k. I promise.  Well, maybe........  

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Prayer Request

I have something you can pray about this week.  There is a job opening that came up at Collierville Elementary School last week.  A friend of mine, Katie a.k.a. "the cafeteria lady" resigned from this position just Friday.  (Katie, I love calling you this...if I get this job, feel free to call me that, too!  Love you!!)  I am very interested in it!  It is very much part time, only 15 hours a week, and it means I can't do quite as much with their classrooms, but I've prayed about it, I've talked to Todd, and I've talked to the boys and it just seems logical.  This could lead to other job openings down the road.  I'd already decided that I would find a job next year when Jonah and Noah are in the first grade, but since this one came along, I jumped on it.  

I feel that I should start the process by filling out an application and being interviewed, if it's meant to be, I figure I'll get the position.  If it's not meant to be, I have prayed that God will shut all the doors.  So far, every door is standing wide open.  So, say a prayer for me this week...I have doubts that maybe I shouldn't do this yet with the little ones only being in kindergarten, but then I think of all the positives, and they far outweigh the bad.  Just pray for my peace of mind.  Well, we're about to leave for church, I thought I would just throw this out there for all of you to start thinking about.  I have to go for now....love to all.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Night Out

I had such an amazing day!!!  I started off by buying Jonah and Noah each a pair of Merrill shoes at her consignment sale this morning...I got an amazing deal, and I got those and a pair of pants from Talbots and a long sleeve polo style shirt from Landsend, all for the grand price of $40.  What a way to start a great day!  I love a good bargain!

I spent the rest of the day with Sunny.  I hung out at her house until lunchtime, then we went and pigged out at El Porton.  Yummy!!!  I could drink their salsa.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at her house, until I picked up the kids, then I went back so they could play with her kids.  I left her house, and came home and Todd and Bill took the boys horse back riding.  

Mom and I went to dinner at Bolla Pasta...which by the way, my stomach is on overload since I had my 2 favorite foods today...Mexican and Italian!!!  We walked around in Marshalls...which I found a coat that I wanted to buy but refrained...then went to Hobby Lobby.  Fun stuff.  I LOVE me some Hobby Lobby.  I used to go there so much that the boys called it "Lobby Lobby". We came home, I made coffee, and we watched us some Madea!!!  You gotta love some Madea!  My all time favorite movie was on...The Diary Of A Mad Black Woman.  We watched it until Todd and the boys got home.  

What am I doing now, you ask?  I am sitting here on Todd's computer, while he's sitting with his foot propped up with ice on it.  What did he do?  He rode a BUCKING HORSE and....got bucked off.  Imagine that.  A little girl that Drew goes to school with, Taylor, had her birthday party at the ranch tonight.  She got out there and rode that bucking horse.  Todd went up to her and told her how proud he was of her because his boys were too scared to do it.  Well, they heard him say that, and they said, "Why don't YOU get out there and ride it??"  So, he pretty much had to.  Anyway, the horse lost his footing and ended up sitting on Todd's right ankle.  He came home and took off his boots to find a strangely distorted ankle bone.  He called David and Sunny...who are nurses, how convenient...and asked if he could come over for them to look at it.  The good news is it's not broken.  The bad news is that he probably got a bad sprain (which is MUCH more painful than a broken bone half the time), tore some ligaments and has to go see David at the hospital tomorrow to get a walking boot.  God bless his little heart.  And I am getting to take care of him for the SECOND time in less than a year.  Ha ha, I'm totally kidding about that last part.  Aaaahhh, the joys of having an accident prone husband......... 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Night

I am supposed to be watching Speedracer with my family, but I am not really paying attention.  Obviously, if this blog is any indication.  It's not as good as the previews made it look.  The boys love it, though, and that's all that matters.  They opted not to go to karate tonight in order to stay home, and read (for the read~a~thon!), and play outside with their friends.  All of which they did.

It is almost Friday and I am thrilled!  It's been a long week, and I will be glad when it ends.  Todd, the boys, and Big Daddy are going horse back riding tomorrow night, for their monthly riding lesson and Bible study, and I am going to have dinner with Mom.  She's had a really bad week, and is desperate for some girl time.  My grandmother is going down very quickly...hospice is at her nursing home daily, taking care of her, but it's probably just a matter of time.  Even though she's known this for a while, it does not make it any easier on Mom.  Please pray for her when you read this...she could really use it!

My dad and I usually spend Friday together, but tomorrow is his anniversary, and him and Sandy are spending the day together.  I am working at the school in the morning, then am spending the day with my friend Sunny.  We haven't seen each other in forever, so I'm excited.  I think we're going to have lunch, and after I pick up my kids from school, we're all going over there for playtime.  Our kids are having withdrawals from each other.  I told her we really have to start having our get togethers again.  I miss them.  And the Rusty's, as the kids call them.  

Saturday will find us busy with a couple birthday parties...one for a family member of Todd's, and one for a sweet man we go to church with who is turning 80, and having his very first birthday party ever.  That night we're going to church for a game night, complete with karaoke!  Whoo hoo!  Should be fun...the boys love these type events, because so many of their friends are there. And they're fun for us, too.  This is really boring, isn't it???  I'm in the mood to write, though, so here you go.  

Another week come and gone, another weekend fastly approaching, then ending all too soon.  All I can hope is that I enjoy every minute of every second that I am fortunate enough to be able to spend with my family.  I pray that everyday, I will take the time to truly enjoy them.  I am so blessed in my family life...with my own, but also in the extended versions as well.  I have great relationships with all 3 sets of parents...they're actively involved in our lives, and in the boys', and that thrills me beyond words.  We genuinely enjoy hanging out with all of them...whether at home on a Friday with Dad, or on Halloween night as everyone comes and goes at their own leisure at my house while stopping and talking over bowls full of taco soup.  I think what I love the most are traditions.  I crave the simple life...I would have loved to have lived before electricity, and modern conveniences.  I love reading those kinds of books, and in all of the ones I've read, their lives are centered on God and family.  They work together, play together and pray together.  They taught their own children school, they made treks to the general store (or whatever it was really called back then) once a week, there were no cars, no nothing.  Just nature.  What God intended.  Isn't that a logo for some product??

Those are the things that I want...to have a life centered on God, but not one that would judge or comdemn someone for choices they make.  I have a hard time with that sometimes...not understand why someone chooses to do what they do.  But it's not up to me to understand...all I am called to do is love unconditionally.  I think we're also called to admonish (GENTLY) when someone's about to do something that would harm them, or if something's a bad decision, but all we can do is say it.  We can't force it.  I had experience with that this week.  I think God used me through the situation, though, and for that I am thankful.  I know that He put the words in my mouth to say, I know I never would have thought of any of what I said on my own.  I think it was easier to live a godly life back in those days, is the point I'm trying to get around to.  There weren't near as many influences back then...maybe that's not the right word, but I can't think of the one I mean.  

I feel sad for my kids that they live in a world where it's a scary thing to not have them in your sight at all times.  I feel sad that they won't ever experience riding their bikes to a distance farther away than our neighborhood, and being gone until the sun goes down.  I hate that they can't see the stars that well from where we live.  When we go out to Mom's and Bill's house, their newest thing is stop to look up at the sky before we leave and trying to find certain constellations, and the big and little dipper.  And then I hear Drew say, "Man, I wish we could them this good from our house, I'd be tempted to sleep outside."  Not that that has anything to do with simpler times, but still.  These are some of the things I would love for my children to experience as well.  Of course if I tell my husband this, he'll be ready to pack up our house tomorrow and go buy a house near where his best friend, Bob lives.  And have me homeschool the kids.  Hmmmm, maybe I don't want it that bad.  

In the midst of all this, however, I am so blessed, and I know it.  I thank God everyday for the many blessings He has given us, for our healthy children, our home, cars, family, everything.  And this is my favorite time of year...well, almost anyway.  I love fall!!!  Graham pointed out to me just today that this is our last week of fall, and I'm thrilled because we actually may get to enjoy one this year, complete with cool weather and the colors of the leaves changing.  One of my most favorite times is halloween night, when I make a huge pot of soup (our current fav. is taco, however I think I'm going to make chicken tortilla this year!!), and our families come over and see the kids in their costumes.  Todd and I always leave with the boys, and the whole fam stays here and answers the trick or treaters.  It's soooo much fun!  Of course, Thanksgiving and Christmas I love even more than halloween, it's just that that night is the kick off for fall, it seems like.  

I am getting waaaaaay ahead of myself here.  This post is so incredibly random.  I told you I was in the mood to write.  Sorry for the length, as Todd so rudely pointed out, if you think it's too long, you can skip it.  I really do this for me...although if someone enjoys it that's good.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

In the past few days, I have found that marriages all around me are literally crumbling. I cannot even count how many. I have heard this same story again and again, it's just different people involved. Please pray for those that you know who are married, that God will protect their marriage and protect their hearts. Marriage is something so sacred to God, and the enemy is trying to destroy that. So many times in the Bible, God refers to us as His bride, and you can bet that if God loves something, satan hates it. My heart is so heavy for those that I know that are going through this.

This is also the perfect timing for the movie, Fireproof to come out. I am all about supporting this ministry that makes these movies, and I hope you will be able to see it yourself. I posted this a while back, but watch it again with me, and join me in prayer for those around you who are married. God bless.





Monday, September 15, 2008

Growing Up




I don't understand where all the time goes.  It seems like just yesterday I was having my first child, and here it is nine point five years later.  I remember the first time they placed Graham in my arms, I thought my heart would just burst out of my chest.  I had heard that it was normal if you didn't love your baby right away...many mothers don't supposedly, and I was prepared for that detachment at first.  But that never came.  I have never known love like that until I had a child.  Unless you're a mom, it's hard to understand, but the love just grows and grows and grows.  

It was like that each time I had a child...when Drew came along, I didn't think I'd love him as much.  I mean, how could I?  I already had my heart all filled up with Graham.  But I did, I loved him every bit as much as I did Graham, and I didn't think anymore love was in me.  Then came Jonah and Noah.  I could not do anything for one I didn't for the other, but love them both the same, I did.  

Why am I writing this, you wonder?  Well, I was at the boys' school working today (imagine that), and I saw the fourth graders walk by.  Okay, first off, he's in FOURTH GRADE.  Secondly, all those kids are huge compared to my little Graham.  I said something to his teacher about how huge they all were and she said, "I know, I love him that small.  He's my little Graham."  And she smiled and walked away.   I finished my stuff, and went to leave, and saw his class again, leaving art.  He ran up to me and hugged me and said, "Mom, I need to buy some posterboard for school for tomorrow!!"  I said, "Okay, we'll talk about this afternoon."  I tried to leave but he stopped me again and said, "Mom, I need the poster because I'm running for student government."  You could have knocked me over.  I cannot believe my child is old enough for this...so here we sit, him making his poster by himself and me biting my tongue to make it nicer.  =)  The neatness in me is coming out.  But all I said was to write nice and big so people could read it from far off.  I just can't believe he's so grown.  I was talking to a friend tonight, and she said in a few years I'll be the mayor of Testosterone City.  Ugh, I am definitely not ready for that.  I guess I'd better get used to them being independent, though.  This is the beginning of the rest of my life....

A New Thing...

In case you are unable to hear for yourself, you will now hear music when you visit my blog.  If you don't like it, just mute it, or you can scroll down on my playlist and see if you find another more suitable song for you.  These are some of my most favorite songs, and they are a great way to enter into praise!!!  Unless you're at work, then I would not recommend that.  They'll think those pentecostal people are at it again!!!  Lol!  I will keep adding songs, and hopefully you'll enjoy them.  Love to all....I LOVE BLOGGING, in case you didn't know that.  Thanks, Tracy, for getting me hooked.  

And Now For Part 2


The first thing we did on Saturday was play. We played Phase 10, then we went out to the playground at the condo once we got dressed. This first picture and the next is of Todd cleaning the dirt off the slide so they boys wouldn't get all messy. We had to be somewhere at 2 and wanted them looking at least a little decent.

This is the picture of a daddy who loves his boys. And the mama is taking the picture, cracking up.


I didn't take any pictures of it, but the best thing we did in Hot Springs was to visit some friends of ours, Kirk and Marie Thompson. They are house parents for teenage boys at a children's home in Hot Springs, called Hillcrest. We got a tour of the house, the land, and actually met some of the boys at the children's home. Kirk and Marie were missionaries in Mexico for a while, but money just ran out. So they moved to Memphis for a while, then found jobs in Florida at a teenage pregnancy home for girls. I don't know the story as to why they left Florida, because they loved it, but this opening at Hillcrest came available, and it's close to home for both of them, so they took this position. They started in the teenage pregnancy area first, then were offered the house parent position for the teen boys. They weren't sure that's what they wanted to do, but it was obvious that God placed them there, and yesterday was proof that they are right where He wants them. These boys love and respect them so much, and Marie is just awesome with kids.

Right now they are house parents for nine boys, raging from 13~17. They are literally these boys' family. They eat meals together, Kirk and Marie drop off and pick them up from school everyday, they help them with homework, they have Bible studies together, they do chores together, everything. The meals they have and the luxuries provided in their "cottage", as Marie called it, are provided by churches that donate food and goods for these kids. They start accepting kids as young as five years of age, but we didn't see or meet any of the younger ones. The kids that are there are there from all different backgrounds. Some of the kids are placed there by D.C.S., and some are there because their families are unable to care for them.

Before we went to Hillcrest, Graham asked if we could "get" a boy and take him home. We didn't really answer, when he asked if Mimi and Papa could "get" one, so they would have someone to play with at their house. When I told Marie this, she just cried. It was such a humbling experience to see something like this. I am so thankful that the boys got to see and witness that there really are "needy" kids out there. I've talked about this before, but to actually see it is totally different. I am so grateful to Kirk and Marie for showing their lives to us while we visited. We will definitely go back the next time we go to Hot Springs.


I couldn't not post this...even though I don't like it of myself. Todd actually wanted to have our picture taken.


I thought I was going to scream getting them to sit still for this. Isn't it cute? It's birth order from top to bottom.


We went on a nature walk Saturday, and this is the sandbar that was not visible the day before. They were expecting lots of rain from Ike, so Friday and Saturday, they lowered all of Lake Hamilton, Lake Katherine and Lake Oachita by one foot. Talk about a lot water.


This is the reason we went on the nature walk. Drew has a seed project due on Monday, and we had to collect just one more seed. This is a gumball he's holding up...not a seed technically, but we want to make sure his teacher knew we were doing something educational while we were gone. She was kind of mad that he was missing school for vacation. Drew said she sighed when he told her why he was going to be gone for 2 days.


I love this picture. Todd and his little shadow.


I do not know what she was talking about, but doesn't Mimi look like she's teaching something really important??




I was so scared this accident prone child was going to go tumbling head first into the lake. Fortunately, he didn't.


Jonah was so happy he found a pinecone.


This is the dam we drove to Saturday. Check out all that water coming from Lake Hamilton.


Later Saturday night, Ike started rolling in. We actually found out today (Sunday) that the eye of hurrican Ike passed right over Hot Springs. The wind and rain were pretty bad, and we lost power at 9:30 Saturday night, and still didn't have it when we left on Sunday at 10:00.


Todd was up before dawn. I wish he'd woken me up, I would have loved to have witnessed this.


This was the picture before dawn. The one above is right as the sun's coming up. This one below looks like a postcard. The lake was so beautiful and calm. Hard to imagine that just mere hours before, this same lake looked like an ocean, with waves whitecapping and rolling in.



Every year before we leave on Sunday, we stop and eat breakfast at the Pancake Shoppe, and end in a visit to this store, the Toy Chest. This store was started by a couple who moved to Hot Springs 20 something years ago to retire, then got bored and opened this store.


And if you look closely at darling little Graham, he had his toy wrapped around his head. Grandma Sandy, if you're reading this, you may NOT want to look too closely! This is the hot springs behind them. A man told us that this water comes out at 130 degrees.


And right after I took this picture, we started heading home. We fell asleep within twenty minutes of being on the road, thanks to Hurricane Ike. We lost sleep last night because of the wind, and the fact that we were burning up with no air conditioning. We are glad to be home, but we had a great time. We are definitely refreshed for the next several months!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hot Springs, Part 1

Ahhh, vacation. This is the view that greeted us when we finally got to Hot Springs on Thursday afternoon. I was a little nervous over the hill that leads right into the lake, but we had no accidents. Rene, do you remember when Zachary fell in? We used him as reference for the boys to WALK, NOT RUN down the hill!

I caught Drew in a rare moment and captured it on film. Well, on computer. You know what I mean.



Graham does have some sweet moments, himself. Actually, I think they were all just glad to be out of the car, and on land.


I just thought this was a cute shot. They were all laying down on the hill right outside our porch.


We ate at Doe's Thursday night. They were feeding the fish or ducks in this shot. They were on this little dock, and Drew asked me, "Mom, am I supposed to be moving???!!!"


This picture is now my wallpaper on my computer. It's kinda funky. The big globs of red you see are the underside of an umbrella.


The boat!!! The boys could not WAIT to get out on that water!!!


Jonah and Noah got to go first with Daddy. Graham actually had the first try, but the tube did a nose dive, and when he fell in, it scared the daylights out of him. So then Drew had to show him how to do it withOUT falling in. Drew's way worked.


This is after he showed Graham how to do it. Look at that sweet smile.


Big haired mommy. I had to have at least one shot of me on the boat.


Mere words cannot explain what was going through this child's mind. He is in heaven.


"Look at me!"


Graham and Drew decided they wanted to give the tube a go together. You know, moral support and all that. Actually, I think Graham liked it better being with Drew. He didn't last long when he was by himself.


And here they are on the water now.


And afterward.


The wind was hurting Noah's eyes.


This was a police boat at the gas station. Noah took this picture. Actually, he took about ten of this one boat. But hey, it made him happy, right??


Pirate's Cove miniature golf. Whoohoo!


Noah chased the ball the whole time.


Jonah's cheeks are sooo kissable. How can you get mad at a face like that? Come over, and I'll show you on a bad day. Ha!



EVERY time we've ever been by here, the boys always beg us to go, and it just never happens. We're too tired, or they're too tired, or we don't have enough time. But this time we went, and they loved it. They've been before, but Jonah and Noah were only 2 and don't remember it.

We had such a great time, and the boys loved it. I would say that their favorite thing was the boat. Graham and Drew BEGGED to ride the innertube alone, and we thought they were old enough, so we let them. Graham went first, though, and poor little guy did a nosedive in almost immediately. Todd didn't even have the throttle back good, he was just letting the rope out. It scared him to death, though, and he didn't want to go again right away. So Drew went, and then Graham tried again for a second time. The reason Graham went in was because he wasn't back enough. Once he scooted back, all was well. I even got on the tube myself. I will not post pictures of that, though. I will leave that up to your imagination. But it was a blast...I haven't done it since I was a teenager. My husband nearly gave me a heart attack though. I told him to go slow, and not to take me over any waves. If you think he did that, you are sadly mistaken. But I still had fun.

Enjoy the pics, and beware of Part 2....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get Away


I am so excited about tomorrow...we are leaving in the morning for a little getaway trip.  We didn't go anywhere all summer, so we're joining Todd's parents in Hot Springs.  They invited us to come with them since we didn't go anywhere all summer, and the boys are so excited!!!  We are letting the boys stay home tomorrow so we can leave in the morning.  We have to run a couple errands first...Graham needs a hair cut, and we have to get deli meat from Lenny's, then we are out of here!  We're spending Friday meeting some friends and touring an orphanage, Hillcrest.  I thought the boys would enjoy getting to see where all those kids that don't have mommies and daddies live, and I would too.  I've never been to one before.  We'll do some other things in and around town, then we're spending Saturday on Lake Hamilton.  We're renting a ski boat and an intertube, then spending all day out on the lake.  I am soooooooo excited!!!

I have a million things to do before then, and here I am typing away on this blog.  I just wanted to let you know where I was in case you worried about me not posting over the next 4 days!  It's not like me to go that long, and heaven forbid you should worry!  =)  Whoever introduced me to the world of blogging (ahem TRACY) should be ashamed.  I love this blog...it's almost an obsession, and one that I don't think is too bad.  My kids love reading it, too, and they think they're famous because their little faces are plastered all over the computer.  It can also be considered the new scrapbook.  Whatever works, right?

Well, I hope you don't miss my antics too much, rest assured I will write again and post some pictures on Monday.  Or Sunday, especially if I'm too wound up to sleep!  Love to all, and I hope your weekend is wonderful!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tuesday's Thoughts

Remember the story of Mary and Martha in Luke? Luke 10:38~42, to be exact. Jesus comes to their village, and they welcome Jesus and the disciples into their home. Martha stays in the kitchen and prepares lunch for these weary men, while Mary lounges at Jesus' feet. In the past, I've wanted to be more like Mary, although I'm figuring out that I'm actually more like Martha. Both these women were important, one was not better than the other. I think poor Martha gets ragged on, making her seem cold or unwelcoming.

I'm reading A Jewel In His Crown by Priscilla Shirer, and she perfectly brings this scripture to life. There is nothing wrong with being Martha...like her, I take pride in my home, and I love to have guests...I long to be so much more than an "entertainer". I want to be hospitable. And whether that's opening my doors to someone, or expressing love to someone who needs it, I want to be that for someone. A couple weeks ago we were wanting to get together with some friends, and one of the ladies said, "Jen, you're the only one who is ever always prepared for people to come over...if it's going to be at one of our houses, we have to have notice. You're always ready, though." Little did she know that this was the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me. I am so glad she feels like that~like I am always ready and available. That is what I strive for.

I do have a slight compulsion with my house...ask Todd and he will fill you in. I like things neat and tidy, and always keep them that way. Except for the boys' rooms, every other area in my house is usually orderly. I am a self procclaimed neat freak. This one particular night when our friends were coming over, I had not been at home all that week, and while my house was "picked up", there was dust on all the furniture. I laughingly told my friend that for the first time ever, she'd see dust on my furniture that night. She laughed and said she didn't care...she could stand it. These are not friends that I clean for...though they've never seen my house a mess, I just keep things clean. Remember me being a self procclaimed neat freak? That's where this comes into play.

In a Bible study last summer, called Apples Of Gold, I learned that being hospitable is actually biblical. In
Romans 12:13, the Word says, "When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality." Scripture also says in 1 Peter 4:9 , "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling."

I want to always be known for having my heart and my home ready for whatever someone needs at that moment. I am a stay at home wife and mom, and for a long time, I was not happy in that role. Through that Bible study last summer, God shed some light on that subject for me...like the fact that He has placed me in this position, and to work at it with all my heart. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed being home with my kids, but a lot of times I let the enemy talk me into thinking I was useless, or unable to do anything else. God showed me something different, though, and that is that I was created do this. I was created to be a homemaker. I may someday decide to do something else with my life, but for now, God has me exactly where He wants me.

Even in volunteering at the boys' school, He's opened up new doors for me to be able to minister to someone. In the health room, for instance, I've learned that a loving and gentle attitude can really make a child's day. So many kids come from crazy backgrounds, and don't receive any love in their home, and I can be that for them! I can praise them, or just be an ear for them to talk to. I can love like Jesus...in fact, everyday that I go to work in the health room, I ask Jesus to make me Him with skin on. Everyday, literally, every single day, God gives me an opportunity to be hospitable to someone. I just have to realize what that opportunity is once I see it, and the Holy Spirit keeps me sensitive to be able to do just that. I pray that you will find that today...the opportunity that God has placed before you to be able to love on someone. You never know who might need it.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Hayden and the Boys

Here is the sweet little boy I had with me today, Hayden.  He looks happy doesn't he?  They played outside for a while tonight, and when we came in, I gave him a bath, so he's all nice and clean.  This is them having a little snack before bedtime...icecream.  Hayden's dad, Stephen came and picked him up tonight.  His nana is coming into town tonight and will keep him tomorrow.  I had fun with him though...we all did.  

My Little Friend

We got a phone call at 2: 45 this morning from a friend of ours, Stephen, telling me that his wife's water had broken and they were needing to bring Hayden over.  After my brain registered that I was not having a dream, I jumped up and came downstairs.  This was after I'd changed out of a nightshirt into a pair of pj's.  I cannot believe I even thought of that at this hour of the morning.  

Heather had called and asked me about a week before if she could put me as her person to bring her little boy to should her water break in the middle of the night.  Her family lives in Michigan, Stephen's family in Florida.  She does have a brother here, but he lives across town, and I'm only 2 minutes away.  Plus, he had a stomach bug this morning.  So I said, of course...Hayden loves my boys, and he's used to me, since I used to keep him on Thursdays.  I kept him while Heather taught Graham violin.  

So at 3am this morning, I received a bright eyed little boy.  Poor Heather cried when she dropped him off...that 2nd time around is so different than the first, especially because it involves leaving child #1 with someone.  I sat and held Hayden for a while, then put him down in his pack and play that Stephen set up for me.  He stayed there for a few minutes, but started whimpering.  So, I put him in bed with me and Todd.  He fell asleep almost immediately.  I however, did not.  I ended up being up around 3 hours in the middle of the night, which is why I now feel like a walking zombie.  =)  

I had a meeting at the boys school at 10 this morning, and I had to go because it's about the fundraiser that starts this week, then I had to go to Jonah's class for a craft that'd I'd volunteered to help with.  I am so tired, though, that I didn't even do any of the work...I let my poor friend, Sharon do it all.  I assisted, though, she just did the hard part.  She painted the bottoms of their feet, then they made foot prints on a piece of paper that said, "I can run/walk/jump/dance."  They got to pick what word they wanted to use.  I should have changed, because I got red paint on my favorite khaki capri's.  Oh well, that's what I get for not thinking ahead, although hopefully it will come out.  I think it may have been washable paint.  

Heather had her baby, a beautiful baby boy named Wyatt Marshall Short.  He made his entrance into this world at 8:50 this morning, weighing in at 9lbs, 6oz!  He's a big boy!  Hayden has not met him, I am going to let his grandparents be the one that introduces him to his new baby brother when they get here tomorrow.  Hayden will be spending another night with us tonight, then he'll go to preschool tomorrow.  His grands from Michigan will be here to pick him up after school.  It's been nice having a little one around today...as I write this, he is falling asleep on my couch, watching Diego.  I think I was meant to have lots and lots of kids.  I LOVE having him with me...I just love being with kids in general.  If you don't mind, pray for Heather...she had kind of a rough delivery and has a long recovery ahead of her.  I thought I could ask you all to pray for her.   Thanks ahead of time!  I am going to try and shut my eyes for thirty minutes before I have to go pick up the kiddos from school.  I have absolutely NO IDEA what we'll be eating for dinner tonight...I am so tired, it'd be a fire hazard if I tried cooking anything.  Maybe we'll have sandwiches.  Again.  

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals  (and friends) for this post. This time last week, I was waking up in ...