Thursday, June 30, 2011

Christa

I miss this girl so much that it hurts.  Never in my life have I had someone that I relate to like she and I relate to one another.  She inspires me to reach out more and to try and be a better friend to those around me. 

And since she wrote a post about me, I'm going to write about her. 

I really miss her the most on nights when Todd works late.  She would come over and eat a yummy dinner with us, we'd make cookies for us the boys, and we would just hang out and talk.  Sometimes we would watch The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette), and sometimes we would watch a chick flick.  It never mattered.  I just liked to be with her. 

I miss her hugs.  She gives really great hugs (for a girl).  ;)

I miss her laugh...we would laugh together at the silliest, sometimes dumbest things.  And she has a great, loud, contagious laugh. 

I can't eat peanut M&M's without thinking of her.  Or Chex Mix (homemade, of course) or chips and salsa. 

I miss my Madea-watching buddy.  We even got yelled at one time by some random man in the movie theater that thought he was being cool, I guess.

I miss my midnight-movie-going friend.  Yes, we went to see the 2nd Twilight movie at midnight.  And we wore "I Love Edward" pens.  :)

I miss doing Bible study with her. 

I miss praying with her...we had this thing that every time we prayed together, we ended up in tears.  Together. 

Choir was never the same once she left...we would often crack up laughing at the most inappropriate time...especially when we saw the word retard.  I know...so juvenile.  Don't judge.

I miss our long, drawn out emails...she was quite bored at her job and we would email back and forth all day long, talking about everything...but always giving each other encouragement. 

She is my friend who sticks closer than a brother.  My spiritual sister in Christ.  We are the "iron sharpens iron" type of friends.

She might be the only other person as in love with God's word as I am. 

My sweet, precious Christa.  I love her, and tonight especially, I'm missing her. 



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hmmmm.....

I feel restless.  I don't know why. 

Ever feel like that?  Like I'm on the brink of something, but who knows what?

I also feel like I'm always rushing time.  You know how it goes...wishing the days away.  Now I know I do that during the school year, but during summer, I find myself wanting to stop the clock.  Summer is slipping by entirely too quickly for my taste.  I pray that my kids are having a good summer.  I pray that when school starts, that they will have lots to tell their teacher about.  (And yes, I had the little ones in mind when I wrote that.)

We haven't really done anything spectacular, but we've done a good job at staying busy.  As I write this, the boys are all out in the front yard playing Ultimate Frisbee.  Whatever that is.  Sometimes I am pretty sure they make up the games they play.  I'm not complaining...I love their active imaginations. 

Next week, on Tuesday, my mom-in-love and I are taking the boys to Pickwick for a week.  She has a cousin there who has a home on the lake, and she (Joan) invited us to come and stay with her.  I'm looking forward to long, lazy days of swimming, talking, laughing, boating and fishing on the lake.  We will be cooking every night (I will be cooking, that is ;), and I've pretty much got our weekly menu planned out. 

Not that I ever cook more than four nights in a row, but I can try, right??

Todd and his dad will be joining us on the weekend.  I'm really excited about that...and will be more than ready to see my best friend and main squeeze. 

I have started making lists of things.  Yes, I am a list-maker.  My poor family probably hates when we travel because I am such a freak about everything.  For instance, I despise leaving my home dirty.  When we leave, there are next to no dishes in the dishwasher and the washing machine AND dryer are always empty.  (One time I accidentally left clothes in the washing machine and came home to a mildew-y smelling laundry room.) 

I have lists of what to take, what we'll be eating for dinner, what to take and what needs to be bought once we arrive.  Yes, I am organized, and I told you I was a freak about traveling.  I like to call it 'resourceful', though.  We seldom forget things, and I've taught the kids to be excellent little packers.  Hopefully their wives will love me someday.  :)

I guess I can chalk this one up to being another random thoughts post.  Since I'm a little all over the place and again.  I can't help it...the sun got to me today (in a good way), and I am very relaxed right now.  Hope it stays that way!  It should...we're having an easy dinner tonight since it's church night. 

Speaking of that...gotta run!  Love to all. 

Thoughts

It's been a really great week.  Monday we didn't do too much.  I always try to spend that day straightening up the messes that were made over the weekend.  I did my usual thing...laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, the boys put all their clothes up, they even vacuumed the upstairs for me.  :)  I love when that happens.

The boys are all taking care of my neighbor's dogs right now.  They love having some responsibility, and they love having some money in their wallets.  It's nice that she always asks them.  It makes them feel very grown up to be totally trusted with it all, because I never do anything to help.  They keep up with her keys, and several times a day they go over to let them out and to play with them.  They get walked every morning and evening.

Our tomato plants are doing really good!  I've eaten my fourth or fifth one; there is nothing quite like a homegrown tomato.  The boys are all so proud...except for poor Noah.  His hasn't grown any yet.  Mr. Paul is coming over on Thursday to help the boys fertilize them.  It's a kind of fertilizer that he uses, and he says that after this they will all be thriving.  I can't wait to have enough to eat every morning.  We all really love tomatoes...except for Jonah.  Even Graham loves to eat them on sandwiches with salt and pepper.  Yummy!

Monday night (I know, I'm totally skipping around here) Drew's friend Nate came over.  Todd was craving a glass of milk, and we were out, so Graham, Drew, Nate, Noah and I all loaded up and went to Kroger.  I sent the three older boys in while Noah and I waited in the car.  They ended up buying oreos, sugar, bisquick, chocolate chips and milk...and they remembered all of it, and Graham even got the right brands!  I was super impressed with their shopping skills.  They even took turns pushing the cart while Graham checked it all out.

Yesterday it rained in the morning.  It made it an unusually cool day, so after lunch, we all loaded up and headed to the new park at Shelby Farms.  It was great...there weren't very many people there and it felt really good outside.  We were going to try to make it to Sonic in time for happy hour, but we didn't.  Nate spent the night again, and while him and Drew watched movies, Jonah, Noah and I took Graham to a friend's house for Bible study and then we went to the library.  :)  My favorite place of all.

Today we're taking it easy around here...I'm kinda bummed b/c I had plans for today (without kids) and had to cancel.  And I NEVER make plans when the kids are gone.  Usually I hang around my house and find some things to organize and clean out.  Tonight is church, and the rest of the week will go by in a blur, I'm sure.

Well...I really need another cup of coffee.  So I'm going to go get that and start on my endless pile of laundry.  Love to all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I'm 4!

Yesterday was my fourth blogoversary.  I didn't even know that until Teena from Toronto informed me of that in my comments box.  So, Teena, if you're reading this, thank you! 

I can't believe 4 years have gone by...what started as an online journal of sorts turned into a major hobby for me.  Well, on most days, anyway.  Not when the title thing gets to me.  I do love to write, and I've been told that a few people read what I write, so that's enough to keep me going. 

Even when I'm feeling like I write about the same things over and over again. 

At least I know the grandparents like it.

Okay.  Moving on now.  Last night was the third year that we've gone with Todd's parents to see the fireworks at Bellevue.  We've gotten a little better at it every year.  I mean, we've figured out some little tips and tricks along the way.  We had a great parking spot last night, and were out of the ginormous parking lot in record time.  The fireworks there are the biggest I've ever seen.  Jonah's 2nd grade teacher, Tammy Townsend, just so happens to be one of the pyro's in charge.  ;)  We met up with her last night and he ran to her as fast as his little legs would go and hugged her.  It was cute. 

We take a picnic every year that we go, and last night was no exception.  Food always tastes so much better when it's consumed outside.  Especially after you've been running all over the place.  (Not me, the boys.)  There's always music, too.  Sarah Groves and Newsong were there this year.  Last year was hard to beat with music, though...they had Mandisa and Matthew West. 

It was great. 

I want to go camping!  (I know, random thought.)  We're watching tv and I just saw the newest Coleman commercial.  I love camping so much...much more than I ever dreamed possible.  I don't even care that I didn't wear makeup, and that a bathroom wasn't very easily accessible...it is so much fun being in the great outdoors with your family.  It's so much work, but once you get there, all you do is sit back and relax.  I absolutely adore it and cannot wait till camping season is upon us. 

So...now that you have read yet another totally weird and random blog...I will go.  I hope you all had a great Monday.  Love to all. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

we made it!

Through the week, I mean.  It has been a great week...a very looooonnnnnngggg and tiring week, but a great week.  I must say that I am relieved to have it behind me.  I'm ready to go back to my sleeping in for the summer routine.  VBS started at 8:30 and ended at 11:30.  I had to get there about 15 minutes early, and it was close to noon by the time we left everyday. 

For someone who has been loving the staying up late/getting up late thing, it's been quite hard this week.  But it was so much fun and so worth the effort of all the work. 

I have never been so proud to be a part of a church as I was last night.  We had Family Night for all the kids who attended this week, and it was hugely evident how much our kids are loved and cherished.  The work and the organization who was a part of it all this week amazed me.  Even the cleaning up that took place today was finished in 30 minutes.  Our church runs like a well-tuned machine, and the more time I spend there, the more amazed I am. 

Mostly, though, because of the love the leaders have for our precious kiddos.  They are truly treasured, and they feel it.  They love it there and so do we.  My heart is happy and I am blessed to have been a part of it all this week.  Plus, I made new friends!  I love making new friends.  You can't ever have too many. 

So, that's pretty much all we've done this week.  Drew did finally get better and we went roller skating yesterday.  (And by "we", I mean "they".)  Today we ate with my sweet Daddy and then we went to see Cars 2.  If you're planning on waiting on the dvd, it is amazing!  I love seeing great movies in the theatre.  Half of The Ville was there today along with us. 

Well.  I am going to change the color of my nail polish now.  I'm thinking I'm going back to my new fave...Austin-Tacious Turquoise. 

Love to all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hello, Blog

I don't think I have anything to write about...nothing new, anyway.  I think that's why I haven't been writing.  Well, that, and sometimes I just don't feel like it. 

I probably won't be on here much this week.  We have VBS all week at my church, and I'm one of the teachers.  That means I go to bed way before midnight and wake up way before eight a.m.  My alarm is set for 5:30, but I didn't actually make it out of bed until 6:15 this morning.  And now I'm sitting in silence (well, other than the tapping of these keys) before I start waking up all the little people in my house. 

Speaking of them...I was down to three last night.  I'm very sad that Drew picked this week to get a nasty sinus infection.  The last time he was sick enough to require medicine was three years ago.  I took him to the doctor yesterday after VBS, thinking he had strep.  (His symptoms are sore throat, head aches, stomach aches and fever.)  He didn't.  At least the quick test said that.  The overnight test still might come back positive, but I am thinking it's just sinus.  Poor thing...he really wanted to go with me yesterday. 

My mom-in-love Phyllis very graciously agreed to come over yesterday to sit with him while he was sick.  I kind of had to be at VBS.  Then, yesterday afternoon, the boys and I went to my Mom's house so she could fix a shirt for me, and Mom kindly offered for him to spend the night with her and stay with her today.  I'm blessed to be around family...for lots of other reasons than this one, but especially because I have such great help if I need it. 

So...VBS.  I have to admit, I was nervous yesterday!  I hate standing in front of people talking...even the ones of the younger variety.  It's been a long time since I've had to do that.  Usually at my old church's VBS every year, I would do registration.  I did that the first year, and because I knew how every year, that's just kind of where I got put.  I didn't mind, but that is way different than standing in front of a group of kids talking about missions.  By the end of the day, I was much more comfortable with what I was doing.  It's really not at all difficult, I just had to find my 'groove' and remember to have fun. 

That's all I want...is for them to have fun, and to feel the love of my sweet Jesus.  I love our theme today: I can love like Jesus.  It comes from one of my favorite Bible verses:

1 John 4:19  We love because He first loved us. 

So true! 

Anyway, that's what's been happening in my world.  What's going on in yours this week?  I'm praying Drew is okay today so he can start coming with us tomorrow.  If you would like, you can join me in praying that!  He's been miserable, and I hate seeing one of my kids so sick.  Well, I need to go and get a jump start on waking everyone.  I hope all of you have a blessed day.  Love to all. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Re-Post From a Year Ago...Originally Titled: When God speaks in the middle of bananas and bad moods

Thursday, June 24, 2010

when God speaks in the middle of bananas and bad moods

Yup.  You read it right.  My day started fine.  I don't know when it started to head South, but it did at some point.  I woke up, watched a little Today show, checked my email, got on facebook, caught up on other people's blogs, started laundry, cleaned the kitchen, made banana pudding...

and then I started hearing arguing from the upstairs direction.  Then tears.  From one of my children.  Then these words, "You're not gonna die.  You're not gonna die."  Spoken very unsympathetically, I might add.

I called the perpetrators downstairs and we had a little come to Jesus meeting.

Then I had another one with another perpetrator.

Then I had a come to Jesus meeting.  With Jesus.  In the kitchen.  In the middle of my bad mood.  In the middle of my spoken outloud prayer.  Sitting at my kitchen table.  With children going out, coming in, making their way up the stairs, sounding like a small herd of elephants.

I pulled out my much loved, most treasured possession-my Bible-and started flipping through the book of Psalm.  And my eyes stopped on a devotional that was titled "Hope in the Middle of Despair".

Not that I'm filled with despair, but my good morning was quickly going awry.

So I read the devotional and saw that it went along with Psalm 42 and 43.  David was at his wits' end in this passage.  Filled with hopelessness and despair, trying to cast his eyes toward Heaven, desperate for a sign that God had not forgotten him.

Not that I was like this today...because really, it was just a simple, unexplainable bad mood.

But then...I had a revelation.  And it was that it was hard to be in a bad mood when my mouth was busy praising my Lord and Savior.

EUREKA!!!!!

I felt like I had found the motherload!!!!  What a simple concept, right?  WRONG!!!

Why do we do what we DON'T want to do and don't do what we WANT to do??? 

Paul had it right in Romans' 7:15-20.  Take a look.

15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 

If this takes you a few times of reading through it to get it, don't feel bad.  I think I "got it" after try number 73.  Keep reading, by all means, keep reading it!!!

This all goes back to that simple concept...we have to take whatever moment we're living in and pray our way through it.  Whether it's a bad mood, a sickness, a difficult time, depression...GOD CAN AND WILL GET US THROUGH THOSE TIMES!

After I spent some time in prayer and in His word, these lyrics popped into my brain.  And yes, they popped right in there, because I always ask that the Lord will put a song of praise in my heart.  Because that's how I praise Him-through music.  Even though not everyone does, this is how I do it.  Anyway, here are the lyrics, you might remember it.

"As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after Thee.  You alone are my heart's desire, and I long to worship Thee!  For You alone are my strength, my shield.  To You alone may my spirit yield.  You alone are my heart's desire and I long to worship Thee."

That tied in with the scripture from the devotion I'd just read-Psalm 42.

I went on to think of words of praise that I could say to Him.  These are what popped into my mind:

steadfast
strongtower
strength
shield
rock
fortress
deliverer
help
guide

And I thanked Him for being all of that to me.  He delivered me from my bad mood.  I know this might sound silly to some of you, but I am a simple girl, and I take pleasure in all these "little" things that He does for me!  And if these words help even ONE person to come to know Him and love Him like I do...well, then, I will continue to write about my love for Him until the day that I die. 

Here are the last verses that I read.


Psalm 43:3&4  "Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.  Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight."

Hallelujah!

I had to praise Him, y'all, I just HAD to.  It was bubbling forth.  And then I had to apologize to those above perpetrators that I mentioned.  Because even though they were wrong to do what they had done, I handled the situation badly.  I like for them to know that I am human and that I mess up lots.  And lots and lots and lots.  And then I had a talk with them about how when they felt their attitude slipping down towards the "bad" side, all they had to do was to pray their way through it.  And the Lord would guide them through those muddy waters.

Praise Him.  Praise You, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.  I adore You. 

a week gone by

It's been a great week.  We went out of town for a couple of nights at the beginning of the week.  There is just something about getting away.  The boys love staying at hotels, and this was no exception.  We were loaded down with drinks, snacks, favorite toys, and Skipbo.  (Their most recent favorite card game.)  We went with my sweet Mom, and we ate really well the two nights we were there. 

Needless to say, Drew was in food Heaven.  :)

We came back home on Wednesday and took it easy the rest of the day.  We got home around two, so I had plenty of time to unpack and put things where they belong.  Well, okay, so maybe I haven't put things where they belong yet.  I need to do that when I'm done with this post.  I'm at home for a while with 3 out of my 4 boys and no car, so I might as well make the most of my time, right?

Wednesday night, Graham and Drew had a mini-lacrosse camp.  It was hotter than Hades, but they had a good time being with their teammates.  They're going to be meeting weekly from here on out, so hopefully their skills won't get rusty. 

Thursday I had Bible study, then I invited myself over to my in-law's house.  We weren't in the mood to swim, so we just hung around their house all day.  We ate dinner there, too, and stayed until the terrible storm passed. 

Friday we spent with my Dad.  I had a meeting at church about this week's upcoming VBS.  He came over to sit with Drew, Jonah and Noah while Graham and I attended the meeting.  We had lunch at CiCi's, then we spent the majority of the day at a cemetery!  I know, that sounds funny...but I wanted to take the boys to the cave inside of Memorial Park.  I never thought they would have enjoyed it as much as they did, but they loved it.  They spent a couple hours exploring around the cave area, and they fed the fish that were in the pond.

It was a great day.  Last night we went to some friends' house, and the boys swam and played lacrosse in their backyard.  We were there till almost midnight, so needless to say, I still have one asleep.  ;) 

Today I'm working around the house, and tonight I have a date with my precious Daddy.  I can't wait.  Well...speaking of all that work, I better go get started.  Love to all. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

FaMiLy

Weekends around my house mean lots and lots of family time.  They mean that to most people.  How each family spends that time together is always fascinating to me. 

People are so different.  And that is the case for every family.  I love reading about other people's dynamics, and they make it all work.  I thought I'd tell you a little about mine, and was hoping you would tell me a little about yours. 

In the summer, weekends are very different.  They're much more relaxed for us.  Our sports end in late spring, so by the time school is out, we're almost done.  We never got into competitive sports with our kids because we didn't want to make huge time commitments.  I know that sports eat up a lot of people's lives, and that was something Todd and I agreed would never happen in our family. 

We might spend Friday night going out to eat...and by "out to eat", I mean Chik Fil A.  Not an actual restaurant, although every once in a while, we do just that.  Or, like this Friday night, I might plan a meal.  (Rarely happens, but it just so happened that way this week.  I'll tell you why later.  ;)

This Friday night we went a friend's baseball game.  Graham's and Drew's friend from Arlington had a weekend tournament out here in The Ville.  We saw his game and caught up with his parents, some of our dearest friends, and then we saw the end of one of Drew's friend's game.  After the game (at 11:15), we went to Sonic for milkshakes.  We had our 4 plus one, Jonah's and Noah's friend, Andy.

Saturday was lazy.  We slept late and just piddled around here.  The kids were in and out, and Andy hung out all morning with the 2 littles.  Drew rode around our neighborhood, in desperate search of a friend to play with.  (He's our social bug.)  Andy left, and the boys had a snack.  They all had a party they were invited to in the early afternoon, so Todd them, and I had a nap.  ;)  We usually eat with my mom on Saturday nights, but Big Daddy wasn't feeling well.  :(  So I was forced to come up with a meal on short notice.  Darn it.  I wasn't all that prepared for that, so we ended up having pancakes and bacon.  Not a bad thing, because it was seven before we sat down to eat, and by then, we were all starving!  We might have gone to the new Lowe's and walked around dreaming for a bit.

Sunday is always church day.  We invited my mom and Bill over for lunch, and we took advantage of our neighbor's pool while they were in Pickwick.  It was lovely and amazing.  We were there from almost one-thirty until seven.  I came home and fixed grilled cheese sandwiches and we ate them beside the pool. 

It was quality family time (with some arguing and a speech thrown in for good measure), and it was so peaceful.  I left my phone at home so I wouldn't be distracted.  I am so guilty of getting on that stupid thing more than I should, but today I left it at home, charging and turned off.  It was blissful, and I might become guilty of this more often. 

So, that was our weekend in a nutshell.  How was yours?  What fun things do you do with your family?  I'd love to know.  Enjoy these last few hours...it'll be Monday again before we know it.  Love to all. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fridays with my Dad

Sounds like a title to a great book, right?  I had the thought while he was here, that I should really start writing down some of what we talk about.  A "memoirs of Dad" kind of thing.  I might do that.  Today's a good day to start. 

First, let me begin with the facts: we are a large family.  Eating out with large families is very expensive.  Even when it's Chik Fil A.  We don't do much of that.  Eating out, I mean. 

One of our favorite things to do together is eat.  My dad and I, I mean.  Ideally, we eat around 11:30 when we're together.  Plenty of time for us to get our food ordered before the grumpies settle in with us.  Yes, we both get grumpy when we don't eat.  At least I know where that quality came from.  ;) 

My kids love Friday's because they know we'll eat out with Pappaw!  Today we all agreed upon Back Yard Burger.  Dad, Drew and I all got hamburgers.  Graham, Jonah, and Noah had chicken.  Go figure. 

We went to the library after lunch...I'm in desperate need of a good book to read!  I don't care for what I'm reading now.  After this trip, we came home.  The boys went upstairs to play, and Dad and I stayed down to talk. 

Some things we always talk about:

How good God is
church (his and mine)
family life
marriage
regrets
his childhood...today, he told me a story about how him and his friend Billy used to ride their bikes for hours to get somewhere.  The farthest they ever made it was to the Mississippi River, and Dad didn't think he'd be able to make it back home.  So they hitch-hiked.  Thankfully, he's alive today to be able to tell me that story!

his military career...he told a story about being stationed on a hospital ship in Japan.  The same friend he mentioned above, Billy, was stationed on another ship.  They would flash messages to each other with a light across the ocean.  He also talked about being on leave in a foreign country, two kids who didn't know much of anything, walking along all these crazy, foreign roads.

Trips we've taken...together, and him and then me.  We talked about his trip to Israel two years ago, and my trip to Iceland one year ago.  The travel bug first bit me at the age of seven.  It hasn't let up since.  I love travel...any and all.  The farther away, the better.  I get that from him, as well.  

This is just a taste of what we touch on.  There are hours that we spend doing nothing but talking.  I love it.  He is truly one of my best friends.  I never dreamed that we would be this close as adults, but we are.  I love him so much.  I cherish each and every minute I get with him.  I have friends whose fathers are no longer alive, and it makes me want to grab him and never let go.  I am so thankful for such a Godly man as a dad.  I am thankful that my kids are getting the best of him, too. 

I will never take one minute with this precious man for granted.  I pray my kids and I are this close when they're older...they're getting a living example of what families should be like.  For these times, and so many more, I am forever grateful. 

God is good.  All the time. 

Love to all.

nameless

he loves to sing
he prays like nobody's business
he's a natural leader
he has enough hair for him and 3 other people
when his hair is longer, it's curly, but he prefers to keep it short
he walks around drumming on every surface
he is a hard worker
he cut our entire yard by himself last night
he only likes to watch movies once
he's a loyal friend
he loves to hang out with adults
his favorite food is shrimp scampi
he taught himself how to ride a bike
he taught himself how to dive into a pool
he was late getting started with talking...but has not stopped since ;)
have you guessed which boy it was yet?

Why, it's Graham, of course.





Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Planned Day

It's one of the few planned days we've had since school let out.  I am starting a new Bible study this morning, at my new church.  I'm very excited!  We're doing Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  She is the lady that founded Proverbs 31 Ministries online.  She is a phenomenal author and speaker...I had the privilege of hearing her speak at Hope Presbyterian a few years ago at their women's conference. 

The Bible study starts at eleven and goes for about an hour, maybe a little longer.  I'm leaving the boys at home.  Since Graham is actually "of age" now, I figure they'll be fine.  I'm not going to be gone long, and I'm two blocks down the road. 

Have I mentioned that I love that, by the way?  The whole two blocks away from my church thing?  We've saved loads of money on gas the last six or seven weeks.  The new church is still an adjustment for me.  The kids love it and are well adjusted, but I haven't quite found my "spot" yet.   I'm contemplating the choir thing.  The choir director put his wife up to asking me if I planned on joining, and she was encouraging me to.  I'm just not sure yet.  I'm hoping today's Bible study group will get me started on finding my place. 

I miss my old church.  I miss the music and the people.  I've been kind of sad about it lately...especially a couple nights ago, I was browsing through some past blog posts I'd written, and a lot of them were about music at church.  And singing in the choir.  And helping lead worship.  I know this will pass...and right now, it's not about me being happy.  It's all about my kids, and they love it.  I will find my way out of this slump and be fine.  I really do love all the people I've met, and the people I already knew, I've enjoyed getting to know more. 

Anyway, back to today.  After Bible study, we'll have lunch, then we're going swimming at my friend's house.  This sweet lady (whom my kids call "Mimi Carol") had us over to swim once a week last summer, and she invited us again today.  She tried to get something planned last week, but we were busy.  The kids love going to her house, because she has grand kids that are about my kids' age.  And, her pool is a salt water pool, which they LOVE!

Just one little fun tidbit for ya: my kids have discovered fried eggs.  I know...healthy, right?  They love them.  I've created little monsters.  Two mornings this week, they've had either fried eggs and toast, or they've had French toast.  With a breakfast as big as they just ate, they'll eat something small and snacky for lunch.

Well, I'm off.  Kathy Lee and Hoda are about to come on, so I have to run!  Love to all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Priceless

Waking up late
being able to enjoy multiple cups of coffee in the morning, knowing that I have all the time in the world
watching the Today show (even though Meredith Vieira said goodbye this morning, dognabbit)
going from my chair to the pool in 5 minutes or less
having lazy lunches together
floating in the water while I listen to my kids
watching the tree branches sway and move in the breeze
catching up with my sister, Trish
late showers
listening to baseball being played in my front yard
hanging out with friends
giving hair cuts on the back porch
leisurely evenings spent together
knowing I can stay up as late as I want, because where do I have to be tomorrow?
reading as long as I want to in bed

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where Does the Time Go?

I am friends on facebook with my most favorite (for the moment) Christian fiction author.  Karen Kingsbury.  Her youngest son had his very last little league game a few weeks ago.  And she was writing about the day he was born, in awe of how fast the time had flown by.

It is doing that for me, too.  For all of us moms.  My most favorite book that I own is one written by Karen, called Let Me Hold You Longer. 

It changed the way I view my life as a mom.  I'm going to post a trailer to the book below: it's about six minutes, but you get what I'm talking about through the trailer for the book.  And the voice you hear reading the book is Karen Kingsbury.



Tonight was that for me...another baseball season gone by.  We don't do competitive sports, we don't do town recreational sports, but we do church recreational sports.  The games are much more laid back, more friendly, and the atmosphere is one I love.  Tonight was Jonah's and Noah's last game of their second year playing coach pitch.  They'll have one more year of this sport (if they choose to play it again next Spring), and then it will be on to fourth/fifth grade baseball. 

When did they become old enough for me to be talking about this?  I blinked...and time ran away from me. 

I need to remember to slow down and to enjoy the "now" that I'm in.  Whether the "now" is in some quality family time spent at home, or a quick conversation on the way from point A to point B.  I need to remember to listen...not to just hear, but to listen to what they're saying.  I need to remember to embrace special moments...like when Jonah asked me to dance with him Saturday night.  I need to remember to be excited for them....like when they catch a fly ball or when they get someone out at first (several times). 

And yes, I was talking about Jonah in that last sentence. 

I know that, all too soon, these days will come to an end.  I want to embrace each and every second that God blesses me with the gift of these precious children.  I want them to look back on their childhoods and remember great times.  Not how clean I kept the house, or how fashionably I was dressed.  (Although, I just may want them to remember the funky colors I liked to paint on my toes!)  I pray that they will have happy memories.

If that means having friends over nonstop, then so be it.  I pray that I'm helping create fun times for them. 

Well...speaking of them and friends...I'm about to head upstairs for the night and make sure they're all cozy and tucked in.  Love to all. 

The Summer Doldrums...Already?

I honestly feel kinda bad for the boys.  They haven't said that they're bored (only because they know I'll probably freak out), but I think they're bored.  It's been close to a hundred and thirty every day since school let out.  It's too hot for the zoo, it's too hot for the cool new park at Shelby Farms, it's too hot for anything.  Unless it involves jumping into a pool of water.

Given the fact that they are probably bored out of their minds, they've been very sweet.  Very non-argumentative.  I'm pretty proud of them.  Hopefully one day before the next 70 are over, it will cool down some and we can actually go and do something outdoors.

Yesterday we spent the day with my mom-in-love.  She invited us over to swim in her neighborhood pool.  So we swam, then we ate, then the kids played in a house that was not ours, then we had dinner.

Then we went to Jerry's.  :)

I learned last night that you can get pretty much any flavor and make it "supreme".  The supreme part means there's ice cream in there with it.  I know it sounds gross, but it's really not.  It's pretty tasty.  Todd and his parents got cherry supreme last night.  Drew and I got grape and lemon lime mixed.  Graham got lemon lime and granny smith apple, and Jonah and Noah got rainbow and grape.  I think the fuzzy navel is my favorite, though.  It's peach and orange and maybe pineapple all mixed together.  Just don't take more than three bites at a time.  You'll get a brain freeze.

Today we have enjoyed swimming.  We came in to eat lunch, then I took Graham to a friend's house.  Jonah and Noah wanted friends that are brother/sister to come over, so they're all upstairs playing as I write this.  I just did my bi-monthly nail polish change.  I went back to My Private Jet.  It's my most favorite.  :)  Especially now that I have a tan.

It's rough...this life of mine.  I am praying that I will be able to keep my kids happy in this blasted heat.  So far, so good.  Jonah and Noah have their last baseball game tonight.  My goal is to remember to get some action shots of them.  Since I haven't so far.  Hopefully the next time I write, it will be far more interesting.

Love to all!

Monday, June 6, 2011

No Regrets

When Todd and I were in Iceland last year, the theme of our trip was "no regrets".   Eddie talked to us about opening ourselves up to a world of possibilities...and to prayerfully consider saying "yes" to whatever God prompted us toward.  He encouraged us to live every single second of the trip, and not to wait until three days before it was over before we decided to start doing this.  He told us that we needed to enjoy every second. 

And we did.

I was thinking about that this morning while I was browsing on facebook.  I happened to look at a picture taken last summer, and a friend wrote that she was thoroughly enjoying her kids' last week of summer...creating precious memories for them during that time.  I love that...and I love my sweet friend who wrote that.  She had great intentions, but her comment made me wonder: why wait?  What about enjoying them and creating memories with them on purpose? 

I like the thought of that.  Summer is only 80 days long (not 104 like Phineas and Ferb says).  I know now that those days are going to fly by with lightning speed.  I want to make plans today to enjoy all the time I'm given with them.  My dad tells me all the time, "When they ask if friends can come over, try not to say no too much."  I mean, really, when you have 4, what's one more? 

I don't want to have any regrets this summer.  I want to have fun.  On purpose.  I want to live these days with intention.  To have fun.  To celebrate summer vacation (regardless of where we are).  To thoroughly enjoy each God-given day.  To create memories with these gifts that God has given me.  To take lots of pictures to record the time.  To dance when they ask me to dance, to say yes to friends, to just live life in a way that is pleasing to my Savior and fun for my family. 

How about you?  How will you spend your time this summer?  It's something to think about.  Love to all.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

family wedding

Todd's cousin, Megan, got married last night.  It was my first Catholic wedding.  I kinda wondered about the length of the ceremony when the entire wedding party went to sit down.  Even the bride and groom sat down.  But it wasn't long...about 45 minutes.  It was definitely an experience.  There was a lot of sit down/stand up, and there was lots of reciting things back to the priest.  Of course, every time half the congregation recited something, I could feel the stares I was getting from each of the boys.  I thought we'd have to explain it all when we got to the car, but they never asked.  And we forgot to bring it up.

After the wedding, while we were waiting to leave, we got caught up with some of Todd's cousins that live in North Carolina.  Some of my most favorite people on this earth....Mike Hall, his wife, Patty, and two of their sons were with them...Mikey and Ty.  They have 5 sons, ages 17 to 34.  The two that were with them were the oldest and the youngest.  I always love seeing them.  We always pick right back up where we left off...and every time we see them, I always hate that we don't see each other more often.  They are just amazing people, and the boys LOVE them.  Of course, it's pretty easy to love someone that nice.   I would love to go visit them sometime. 

Mike has been in the Marines forever, and he's stationed in Jacksonville, North Carolina at Camp Lejeune.  I would love to take the boys there someday...and to let them see what a base looks like.  I have been there because my sister lived there for a brief time when I was a teenager.  As a teenager, it was a pretty cool thing to experience.  Of course, that might have had something to do with the fact that the movie Topgun was very popular at that same time.  I just might have been on the look out for my own, personal Val Kilmer.  Lol...I'm not kidding. 

Anyway, because the boys looked so handsome, we had a brief photo op.  I would hate to waste a "dressed up" opportunity.  They looked so cute...all of them.  Jonah and Noah wanted me to spike their hair, even.  It was, indeed, a special night. 

The wedding reception was at Memphis National golfclub.  There was food, a pasta bar, and a dance floor.  I thought Drew's eyes were going to bug out of his head.  It was hilarious.  The boys loves to eat and dance.  Some lady walked up to him and caught him singing every word to a country song, so that began a very long, drawn out conversation.  She's the one who kept asking him to dance with her.  It was so funny....he wouldn't dance like he does when we're at home (our movie credit time), but the fact that he was out there at all was pretty amazing.  He is very extroverted when he's around people he knows really well, but he's usually introverted when we're in public.  Not at all like the crazy Drew we all know and love.  I was impressed that he even talked to the lady.  It was pretty funny. 

I danced with Jonah, too.  He only danced with me because he wanted the d-jay to give him a hot pink boa to wear.  But he didn't.  Noah wouldn't dance with me.  I asked him why he wouldn't when we got home, and he told me it was because he was shy.  That made me so sad, because he was the one who used to love to break dance.  It's weird how they all change so much as they grow up.  Even Graham danced, and he usually doesn't do that either. 

It was a fun night.  We didn't leave until almost eleven.  We missed church this morning because of it...and we don't do that.  By the time we got home and everyone fell asleep it was after midnight.  And Graham was up sometime in the middle of the night with a stomach ache.  We didn't wake up until almost 9:30.  We're having a lazy morning around here, and this afternoon we're going to spend some time with my Mom and Bill.  We try not to let a weekend go by without seeing them.  Bill and the boys have withdrawals from not seeing one another.  At least that's what I think...I don't know if Big Daddy would admit that or not, but this also has something to do with the fact that the older he gets, the more sentimental he becomes.  It's really sweet. 

Well.  I'm going to go, now that I've talked your ears off.  (Written your eyes out?  Hmmm...don't know if that really works.)  I need another cup of coffee, and I need to nail down our plans for this afternoon.  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Love to all. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

sometimes living in the south stinks...like when it's 100 degrees on the 4th day of June

Seriously.  It's hotter than Hades.  The kind of hot that steals your breath away the second you walk out.  The kind of hot that makes my little weather bug app go nuts because it doesn't want me to keel over from the code orange ozone alert.  The kind of hot that makes my hair do weird and funky things. 

You get the drift. 

We're doing yard work this weekend.  Not exactly the greatest time to be doing yard work, but it's got to get done.  My wonderful husband and kids started yesterday afternoon.  The boys cleaned up all the toys, sticks and the stuff that comes from our dog/horse, then Todd came home and started cutting.  Then Graham took over so Todd could start on all the leaves.  Since there wasn't anything else the other boys could do, we swam.  It was nice for Graham, because when he got really hot, he came over and dove in.  Then got back out to finish. 

It sure is nice having a son who's old enough to help with yard work.  I love it for Todd.  My wonderful husband has never asked me to help with yard work.  He spoils me.  :)  I have helped with leaves and stuff before, but as far as the actual cutting and edging, he has always just done that.  I appreciate that about him...I know lots of women that have to do it themselves, because it wouldn't get done otherwise.    I always tell him thank you...because he doesn't HAVE to do that.  And I always try not to take advantage of the fact. 

Today we're just hanging out around home.  We'll probably swim some more (because what else is there to do??), and then the kids all have a party to go to.  And we have a wedding to go to tonight.  Well...I'm going to get off of here.  Hope you all have a wonderful, happy Saturday.  Love to all.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jesus, Sunshine and Movie Credits

I was going to write "booty shakin'" instead of "movie credits" in the title, but decided I should probably not do that in the same sentence that I say Jesus. 

Anyway. 

The sunshine part of the title was amazing today.  We swam.  And swam and swam and swam.  And talked and talked and talked.  I was honored to have the chance to talk to my 2 oldest sons about middle school and girls.  One kinda goes with the other.  Graham and Drew seem to be a little girl crazy right now, and while that is perfectly normal, I am trying to convince them that it would be better to just be friends with all the girls they know.  Instead of liking them all.  And calling them "pretty thangs" (Drew's words, not mine).  And thinking they want to ask one to be their girlfriend. 

Don't get me wrong...I am thrilled that they have a healthy appreciation for a pretty girl.  I just want them to realize the importance of being friends.  My friend Sharon is the one who gave me the idea for this talk.  She told her son (one of Graham's friends) that if he would just be friends with all these girls for these middle school years, by the time they reach the high school age (or the dating age, whichever comes first) they will automatically gravitate towards the ones they already know so well. 

I think it sounds great.  I'm just trying to convince them of it.  I don't want that to be the only thing they talk about and think about.  It can't be healthy. 

And yes.  I am a girl.  And have no understanding whatsoever of the male brain...except for what my husband and my 4 sons have taught me.  But to me, it sounds great.  I'm sure Todd will disagree. 

Anyway.  So that was the sunshine part. 

The Jesus part always comes first.  I love my morning quiet time.  My favorite thing in the world to do is to sit at my kitchen table with my Bible, my journal and a cup of coffee.  I'm such a nerd about this, too...I have a pen near me, and I usually pull out the pack of Sharpie highlighters that my sweet mom-in-love gave me in my Christmas stocking.  I love to sit and pray first...for the many things I pray for.  I always have the everyday stuff...but I always pray for my extended family during this time as well.  I have friends that I'm praying for, and I have special weekly things I pray for.  This week one of the things I prayed for was Royal Family Kids Camp that First Assembly is giving for some inner-city foster kids.  I know that these are the times that my friends are literally Jesus with skin on...they love on these sweet kids all week.  I know that God anoints this time, and He already has this week. 

So I pray, but then I listen.  This is my favorite part.  I love to write in my Bible, have I told you that?  I love to go back and see the verses I've highlighted.  I love to see what I've written alongside some of my very favorites.  I love that each time I read a verse, even though I might have read it a hundred other times, that God has the power to lead me right back to it.  And make it sound brand new.  I love the many God things He does in my life.  This morning was no exception.  I was lead right to a verse that I believe God led me to for a friend I'm praying for. 

The last part of the title is ahhhhhmazing!  Since my kids were little, we have loved family movie nights.  My very favorite thing about family movie night is the booty shakin' that takes place at the end!  They always save the best song in the movie for the first part of the credits, and we crank it up and shake what our mama's gave us!  Tonight was perfect. 

We watched Tangled, and danced our tails off at the end.  It was amazing.  I danced with all the boys, and was rewarded with a huge, random hug from Drew and an extra special "I love you" in sign language.  Those are few and far between, the older he gets.  He is still somewhat affectionate, but not as much as I'd like him to be.  That's why tonight was so special.  And he's the one that asked me to dance first. 

Yes, I love to dance.  Not at wedding receptions, but in the comfort of my own living room where no one can see me.  I would have to be majorly inebriated in order for me to dance in public.  And since that's not going to happen, I will continue to reserve those special occasions for my hubby and kids. 

Well.  The boys just headed upstairs for bed.  And you know what that means.  Glee is waiting for me.  :)  I haven't watched one episode since last night and I'm having withdrawals. 

Not really.  I had the perfect, most amazing day with some pretty awesome kids.  Otherwise known as Graham, Drew, Jonah and Noah.  And Nate the Great (Drew's best friend) for the while he was here.

Goodnight and love to all. 

tv shows?

Contrary to what I've been doing since Monday night, I really do not watch a lot of television.  In the morning time, especially, I'm too busy drinking my coffee and checking email.  After that routine is when I get up and start doing things around the house.  Straightening up, starting a load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, things like that.

But then I found out that Glee was on the "watch instantly" queue on Netflix.  And since I started watching it in January, there were a whole lot of episodes I had missed.  So I've been watching them all.  Fifteen episodes in two short days.  I know...I have a problem.  Please don't judge me, I'm just being real here.  I started Monday night, because the Goodwin boys (all 5 of them) were watching sports.  I watched some yesterday because my kids were upstairs were building "the best fort in the entire world".  (Drew's exact words.)  I watched again last night, because Todd and the boys went looking for a fire that they could see the smoke from.

Normally I don't even sit during the day, but since I'm caught up on the house stuff, I figured why not?  And since the kids were occupied...well.  I'll stop now.  Justifying it, I mean.  I know...I have a slight problem.

Then, there's the Bachelorette.  And even though I am not a huge fan of Ashley, I am still watching it.  This is what I do in the summer...watch tv until midnight or after.  During the school year, I'm in bed by about ten every night, so for me to actually be staying up so late...and all for tv...is unheard of.

I love having time to watch something I want to watch!  In a house where testosterone rules, I enjoy the girly shows.  And the music on Glee is crazy good.  Every episode is a one hour mini-musical.  I love it.  And I love that it's not a reality show.  Since that's all that is on almost, nowadays.

Well.  Since my kids are running circles around me (literally, they are literally running in circles around the house), I guess my time alone with the computer is over.  Since I can't hear myself think anymore.

Who am I kidding?  I love having my kids home for the summer.  Most of the time.  ;)  Enjoy your day, friends!  It's hotter than Hades here in Memphis, so stay cool.  Love to all!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

WeDnEsDaY

The boys had to go to bed early last night, because we all had to wake up early this morning.  Graham had a dental appointment.  He had 2 baby teeth that were in front of 2 (already in place) permanent teeth.  So he had to have them removed.  Poor Graham is just like I was when I was a little girl...terrified of the dentist.  I always appreciated a nice smile from the hygienist and from the actual doctor himself.

We have got the world's greatest dentist.  He is someone Todd has known his whole life, he's a Christian, and he is phenomenal with kids (and adults).  And he doesn't hurt you.  AT ALL.  That is my kind of dentist.  Because I am still a coward when it comes to dental stuff, too.

Anyway, Graham did great.  We came back home and are having a wonderfully, lazy (productive for me) day.  I was able to have some great quiet time while the kids were all upstairs building the world's best fort.  Those are the exact words that Drew used.  I made them all their favorite lunch and they made cupcakes for desert.  They did great!  And they are really, really good.  Who doesn't love cupcakes??

Speaking of who doesn't love them...they're anxiously awaiting our neighbor's return from work.  Mr. Paul is the kind man who taught them to garden a couple years ago.  This year, he gave each of the boys their very own tomato plant.  He built them boxes, gave them mulch to plant them in and is continuing to check on the progress of the plants via the boys.  To thank him for his kindness, they are delivering cupcakes for him and his wife to enjoy for dessert and a hand-drawn original from Drew.  :)

It's been a great day.  I've gotten lots of laundry done and the boys have done a great job of helping me out around the house some.  And...everybody is getting along!!!  Seriously!  I only had to tell them to be nice once or twice.  We're working on this every single day...what we say and how we say it.  Anyway, it's been wonderful.  Tonight is the kick-off event at church for the summer activities.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your day!  Love to all.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and her friends, for the writing of this blog post. This week has been ...