Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Night

Whew.  This is one Friday night I am glad to see almost gone.  Well...not really.  Not since I've been home.  Drew had a game against a (hoity-toity) private school tonight.  And yes, we have issues with private schools.  Major ones.  I know that not everyone that has a child in one thinks they're better off than the rest of us public school folks, but we've come across some private school lacrosse parents who do think this way.

Anyway.

We played against St. George's.  Which also happens to be the most expensive private school in Memphis.  I don't know what this statement has to do with anything, except that it makes me feel a little better.

As far as the game goes, let's just say that I am proud of how many points our boys put on the scoreboard.  They put six points on the board, but the refs didn't count the last one.  In their eyes, the final score was 13-5, but like I said...it was really 13-6.  Our boys also played clean.  And fair.

The other team SO did not.

And the refs were terrible...didn't know what they were doing, admitted to calling the wrong team and didn't know who to penalize when they "thought" they saw a slash.  (Which, I will just tell you that Drew did slash, and I am proud of him for it.  I have a very hard time loving mean kids.)  Seriously...the refs had to ask who it was that slashed...and Drew 'fessed up.

My stomach was killing me by the time we walked off the field.  I hate confrontation and I have anxiety about games like this one.  Our parents were yelling some pretty horrible things at the refs...and I'll be honest when I say that they embarrassed me.  I know that it's the whole point of it all that counts, but it's totally unnecessary to cheer when your kid hits someone upside his head in a totally illegal move.

It honestly seems silly to me.  Bad refs or good refs, bad playing teams or good playing teams...the one thing that does matter is that our kid plays his best.  That he play as clean and legal a game as he can and that he do it all for the glory of the Lord.  (Colossians 3:23)  I think it's important that they play fair, and I am so proud of Drew for confessing that he was the one the ref saw slash.  Even though he didn't have to admit it, he did.

I told them the next a game was this bad and our parents were yelling as much as they did tonight, that I was going to go sit in my car.  I can watch and cheer just as easily from there as I can from the field.

I had to move tonight...not only because of the embarrassment factor, but because I couldn't see.  But seriously...most of the reason was because of the embarrassment factor. 

Have I mentioned I have anxiety over games like these?  I do not like confrontation, and I am so bothered by what people might say about us.

I don't know why I'm like this...but I will not be watching another game like this one with the other parents.  I will watch from my car.  With the radio blaring, if I have to, so I can drown out the yells.

Do you feel like this with anything??  Is it just me, caring too much what people think?

If you love me, comment.  Call me paranoid, but I would love to know that I am not the only mom like this.

Happy Friday night...now that I am home, I intend to enjoy the rest of it.  Love to all.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

He...

is the kindest, most patient man you will ever meet.

spends every Friday afternoon with the boys and me.

has lived in the same house for forever.  I don't even know how long...way longer than my 35 years.

still makes me cry.  Usually in a good way.

was and still is the greatest daddy a girl could ever ask for.

is the man I go to when I have questions about the Bible or politicians.  (Thank you, Daddy.)

has always been my spiritual mentor.

is just like his precious mom...my sweet Grandma Lloyd.  She was a saint, I believe, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

does not like to be idle.

once said, "I'm about to start cutting my grass with scissors, I'm so bored."

has three daughters and one son, biologically, but also has two more daughters that still love him like he's their own Daddy. 

takes Trish and me out every year for a daddy/daughter night out downtown.

loves the Lord his God with all his heart, strength, soul and mind.

is becoming more and more Heaven-minded.

knows the Bible backwards and forwards.  I pray I'm just like him in that area.

has a beautiful wife, Sandy, whom I credit for his excellent health.

"fathered" many young girls besides just his daughters...all of our friends usually ended up calling him "Dad".  He loved them like he loved us.

never yells.  I've only seen him "lose it" one time, and it was when I was sixteen years old.  Some dude from my school had just plowed into the back end of me right in front of his driveway and his eyes.  He was so mad at that guy that he thought he was a girl (he had long hair).

is loved by all of his grandchildren and great-grandchild.

has traveled all over the world, but his most favorite trip ever was when he walked where Jesus walked.  After that trip he has cried more.  Something changed in him when he saw the spot where they think Jesus was laid to rest...and he saw the spot where the rock was rolled away.  He hasn't stopped crying since.  

is eighty-one years young today, this day of March 29th, 2012.

has blessed me beyond measure.

Daddy, if you're reading this, may "the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace."  (Numbers 6:24-26)

I love you more than words can ever express.  Thank you for being the first man I ever loved, the first man of my dreams, and the man who is always there for me.  I don't care how old I am, I will always need you.  Thank you for being an amazing "Pappaw"...we love you to the moon and back.

Your "baby" girl,
Jennifer (or Tricia...as you so often call me.)


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Funny...and Some Other Stuff

This morning I took Graham and Drew to school early for FCA.  I do this while still wearing my pj's.  As I was turning onto the road before my road (confusing, I know), I spotted a semi-ginormous spider crawling way too close by me. 

I contemplated stopping the car and getting out, but one, I would have had to have gone PAST it, and two, I still had my pj's on. 

Um, no. 

People were jogging and stuff, too, so no way was that happening. 

I finally managed to get my flip-flop off, while it's dangling now, from a web, and I prayed that I would squish it.  Because sometimes I miss.  I'm cool like that.  Jesus helped me, and I squished it.  Thank You, Jesus. 

I am currently addicted to the Yoplait Light (fat free) Lemon Cream Pie yogurt.  I'm having it for dessert right this very moment.

I love the book I am reading...I'm back to wholesome reading for a while.  This go 'round is by Dee Henderson, and it's the first in the series, Uncommon Heroes.  I love it...this first one is called True Devotion.  I highly recommend her...some might be a little slow in getting started, but they pick up quick. 

I would love to stay home and read today. 

I took the littles to school this morning, and on the way there, I saw spider number 2 of the day in my car.  I am praying I don't see anymore.  I don't know if my heart can take it.  And this one was on me.  Yikes.  As I swatted it really quick (and hopefully killing it), Jonah looked at me like I'd sprouted another head. 

I don't want to talk about it. 

Lest I made you laugh too loudly while reading this, I'll stop for now. 

Love to all. 

Hump Day!

I think we're all officially over school.  Are you?  This is one bad thing (among many) about the weather turning warm so fast.  I've enjoyed it...don't get me wrong, but when it's 83 degrees in March, I can't help but wonder what it's going to be like in July?  I'm afraid we have a long summer ahead. 

Anyway...the kids are antsy.  Mine and all the other ones I come in contact with daily. 

I feel kinda bad for them, because they have a long way to go with tcap's coming up.  And there is only one break between now and then, which is Good Friday.  I feel really bad for the teachers.  Every year after Spring break it's like this...this downhill slide until May.  But with the the temps being so warm, it all just started earlier than usual.

Last night we had two Lacrosse games...one started at six, and the other started at seven thirty.  We lost both.  :-(  I think Drew's team managed to get one point on the board, but the other team's score was twelve, or something hideous like that.  Graham's team didn't get any points, and the other team's score was thirteen.  It was rough.  Graham had a couple of great blocks, though...enough so that his coaches commented on it, and they don't usually do that.  And Drew's butt blocked a shot.  Woohoo!  He said the bruise is horrible.

I overslept this morning.  I don't know how I managed to turn my alarm off, but I did.  Next thing I knew, it was six fifteen.  I plan on dropping off Graham and Drew for FCA, then I am coming back home to wash this mop of mine.  I feel like a little girl with all the tangles I keep getting. 

We have two more games tonight.  Tonight we won't be eating dinner on the field.  :-)  People were so impressed that I brought dinner from home with us last night, but we were there for almost four hours...and I knew if I didn't do that, the kids would all be beyond starving when they got home.  Graham made chicken tenders (from the freezer) for everyone while I was picking up the younger kids yesterday.  Wasn't that nice of him?

I can't wait for some more Lacrosse...I am addicted to watching my boys play this game.  I love seeing how much their teams have improved, and I love watching them act as a real team.  They're getting so good...and both teams played their behinds off last night...we just so happened to be playing the best team in this city.  And both teams were "A" teams.  They've all been playing since they were in third grade, and our boys have not.

It's that time...for me to start running my kids around.  I hope you have a blessed day.  Love to all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday

Happy Monday!  Today was a good day.  I went to the grocery store bright and early after drop off this morning, to get my weekly shopping out the way.  Isn't it funny how you can get on a kick of going after the weekend, or before the weekend, or during the weekend?  My trip will last all week...although I might have to restock a little before Saturday comes.  If only these big ole boys didn't eat so much!

I was so excited about dinner this week.  I didn't know what to have one of the nights I'm going to be cooking, but I knew that tonight we were having Mexican chicken.  Which is chicken breasts dredged in a mayo/egg/milk mixture and coated with crushed nacho flavored Doritos.  Graham has been begging for this since the last time I made it.  I made Spanish rice and re-fried beans to go along with it. 

And then...I remembered The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Simple, Perfect Chili.  And decided that would be so yummy!  My mom invited herself over that night.  ;) 

I went ahead and made it tonight since we have games three nights this week.  I figured it would make my life so much easier to have it already made. 

Aside from work, picking kids up, running kids to Lacrosse practice, and coming home to cook, it's been a pretty uneventful day. 

How was your day?  Share the love and comment!  Are any of you still out there???  I feel like I'm writing into an empty black hole. 

:) 

Love to all!

weekend things that weren't mentioned

Church is a huge part of our Sunday's.  I love our church...hard to believe it's been almost a year since we've been going there.  Easter Sunday last year was a miserable day for me.  It was the day that was our last at First Assembly of God.  I thought my heart was going to break in two as I hugged precious people I knew I wouldn't seen again for a long time. 

The kids picked Collierville First Baptist to start attending.  We had done everything there for so long, that it just seemed natural.  All their friends from school went there...it just seemed logical.  We had tried this church before, back when Jonah and Noah were only one year old...but it didn't last long.  We never found our spot and returned to F/A.  Who knew we would try it again?

But this time, the church fit us like a glove.  Our first time to go was on a Wednesday night.  Graham went to youth, Drew, Jonah and Noah went to M&M's, and I hung out in the lobby looking over the Sunday school list.  My friends were all around me, inviting me to this class and that class, and all of a sudden...something just clicked in my brain, and I felt like I belonged.  It's funny how women do that for one another.  I pray that I can pay this forward someday...and that I can make someone feel like my friends Laurie, Jenny, Darlene and Kitty made me feel that night.

The kids have loved it ever since.  I jumped in and got involved in Vacation Bible School, and I volunteered to be a counselor at camp.  I love our children's pastor and his wife, Austin and Amy.  They immediately made us feel so welcome...and they embraced Drew, Jonah and Noah with open arms.  I cried many nights after church because I felt so blessed that they loved our kids so much.  I don't think anyone had ever made us feel so welcome. 

Time has gone on, and now, almost a year later, we are still so happy there.  We've talked about joining and are planning on it one of these days.  Noah for sure wants to be baptized (Jonah is not so sure, it turns out), and I plan on being baptized with them (or him...whichever way it happens).  I am actively involved in First Kids' Church and help out regularly.  I have participated in two Bible studies there now and have loved them.  I tried choir for a while, but got back out so I could be in a women's Bible study.  I am planning on helping again at VBS, and I am planning on going as a camp counselor again this summer. 

I love this church.  I love the convicting messages that Brother Chuck preaches, and I love his humility.  He is the best preacher I have ever heard...and the communion services that we have quarterly make me cry every single time.  I love how he came to kids' camp every night last summer and how he let all the kids ask him all these crazy, embarrassing questions.  I love his country accent and his 'good ole boy' demeanor. 

I'm sure this church isn't perfect...and I've heard that if you ever find that perfect church, don't go because you'll ruin it.  But it fits us.  The boys have never been happier, and even Todd has found his niche.  We are in a great Sunday school class and plan on sticking around. 

I guess the point of this post is to encourage you to find a home church if you don't have one.  Everyone needs a place to belong, and it's good for us to fellowship with fellow believers.  The more you go and the more active you are, the more you belong.  It's good to have a group of people that you can call on in your time of need...and it's good to be there for others. 

Do you have a church? 

If you're local and looking for one, try ours.  I'd be happy to sit with you one Sunday morning. 

Happy Monday and love to all. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

these are a few of my favorite things

The Notebook.  I've seen it a hundred times, and it never gets old.  I love Rachel McAdams in this movie.

My Teva sandals.  They feel like Heaven to my ankles...which throb almost all the time. 

Hooded sweatshirts.  They're just so cozy, and they hide so much.  :)  I am wearing my Collierville Lacrosse one right this minute.

CeraVe.  I use it on my face and it is the only thing that my sensitive skin can handle. 

Carmex.  I might be addicted.  I've been trying to use Vaseline in its place, but it's not quite as good. 

Hugs from my sweet husband.  That should be number one on my list...not many days go by that we don't hug for five minutes.  I love this man that God has given me and am so thankful for him. 

Radio Disney on our satellite radio.  We were blaring it on the way to Nana's and Big Daddy's tonight...and we were all singing and dancing in the car.  :)

Going to see movies.  Any and every movie.  I just love them!  I don't go that often, either, which is probably why I love it so much.  I could see one every week and not grow tired of going.

I could go on, but I'll stop.  I need to go to bed since we have to be at church so early in the morning. 

Love to all!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Weekend Goings On

I don't know if the title makes sense.  But it's what we're doing this weekend. 

Todd, Jonah and Noah are at a Father/Son game night at church.  (Which NEVER happens...everything else happens...Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter, Father/Daughter...but Father/Son???  It was a no-brainer.)

While they're away, Graham, Drew and I, along with my best friend Amanda and her two kids, Haley and Eli, are going to see The Hunger Games...at 9:35.  I'M SO EXCITED!!!  I've been dying to see this movie after reading the book.  :)  Happy Friday Night!

Before our dinner of spicy chicken sandwiches, the older boys are bathing the pup. 

Tomorrow Drew has a lacrosse game.  :)  I love watching my sons play this sport.  Speaking of...my nephew in Denver, Austin, broke his leg in his lacrosse game last night.  If you're the prayin' kind, will you pray for him?  I know he's discouraged because this means he's out the rest of his season, and he can't play in this big tournament coming up next week.  I feel awful for him...and I know Debi could use the prayers, too.  Us mama's do not like seeing our kids suffer...either from pain or discouragement. 

Tomorrow night we're having dinner at my mom's and stepdad's house.  This is one of the highlights of our week...the kids love going out there early so they can play on all the land.  I love that they love this...all too soon I know the day will come when that will not be the case. 

Sunday is church!  I'm pumped because this Sunday we have THE BIG EVENT...which is crazy and awesome and super fun.  If you are local and would like information about this, comment and I'll get back with you. 

That's about it.  I know that somewhere in this weekend we will get caught up on all our dvr'd shows.  There are several that we need to catch up on. 

What are you up to this loverly weekend?  Share the love and comment!

Love to all!

Jonah

I posted this pic on Facebook, but if you're not on there, here you go. 

(I wrote this in my journal.)

Jonah is is such an amazing young man.  He is always smiling, showing off his dimples. 

He is always overflowing with joy. 

He talks nonstop.

He wants to be just like his dad. 

He is my hardest working son. 

He is the complete opposite of lazy.

He loves COPS (the show), and Alaska State Troopers.

When he grows up, he wants to be a "police" (his words, not mine).

He is practical and a logical thinker.

He excels at math and loves to read.

He is a fierce athlete.  

When 130 kids are at afternoon recess, I can hear his voice. 

He is amazing. 

He is precious and wonderful.

He is Jonah Raymon Goodwin.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

fiery trials?

God never promised that we would live an easy, trouble-free life.  But He says that "we are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37). 

Are you facing a trial?  So did three young men in one of my most favorite books of the Old Testament...Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (more commonly known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) in Daniel chapter three.  The king who had taken them captive set up an image of gold for all the people in Babylon to worship...if they didn't do just that, they would be thrown into a fiery furnace.

They didn't do it. 

They stood their ground, they remained full of integrity, and in the midst of all those bowed-down bodies, there they stood.  The king was furious and ordered that the furnace be made seven times hotter...so much hotter than when the soldiers took the three men to be thrown in, they themselves were killed. 

But not the three young men. 

They were thrown in...and they walked around, fully dressed with robes, turbans, sandals and other clothing.  And the king thought he saw a fourth man...one who looked a "son of the gods" (v.25).  Maybe not a son of the gods (little g), but maybe it was THE Son of God. 

My speculation only...that's not written in the Bible...well, it is in my notes, but you know what I mean.

The three young men made it out of that furnace, with no smell of fire on them (v.27). 

Have you ever sat around a campfire?  And walked away smelling like it?

Not these young men. 

They had complete and total faith in God...that He would deliver them FROM the fire, THROUGH the fire or BY the fire.  In any one of those ways, it was a win/win situation. 

I want that kind of faith. 

Do you?

Just a thought.

Love to all. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Make A Difference

We have opportunities every single day to do just what the title says.  I have been trying more and more to do this...and yesterday at Walmart, the perfect opportunity was suddenly before me.

I pray that it was received as a loving gesture in the name of Jesus (I didn't say that, and later wished I had).

What are ways you can make a difference, you wonder?

Smile.  Be aware of your facial expressions at all times...I am more likely to approach someone who looks cheerful than someone who is frowning.

Be kind.  You never know what kind of day someone has had...and if it's someone you're not crazy about...being kind to them just might change how they are to you!

Encourage.  I do believe this is a gift from God (it says so in the Bible), and if you're like me and have this gift (not bragging, it's just like breathing to me), USE IT!  Click that "share" button on Facebook if something speaks to you...chances are, it'll speak to someone else.  The Bible verses I put up on Facebook ALWAYS have meanings for me that day.  Like the status I just posted.

Love.  Love openly, wholeheartedly and genuinely.  I am in the perfect position to do this every single day...not that I always feel like it, but I try my hardest.  The kids God has blessed me with in my life (mine and all the 800 or so other ones) have been such little gifts to me.  I thank God everyday for them...and for their acts of kindness to me.  It might be a diet coke from a mom and her daughter (ahem, Shea if you still read this, I love you and thank you so much for this little thing!!!), or it might be a piece of candy.  It might just be a hug.  :)  A little goes a long way.

If we take the time and look for some ways to make a difference in someone's life, who knows how God will use that to work in us?  There is always a lesson in everything.

Look for opportunities today...I dare you (and myself).

Happy Wednesday and love to all.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

funny sayings

Drew: "Mom!  You should be proud of me!!  I hit a kid so hard I knocked him three feet back.  And then he cried for the next twenty minutes."  (At lacrosse practice, not for fun.)

Noah: "Mom, the next time you make this fish, make two pans.  One spicy pan and one not-spicy pan.  Okay?"

Graham: "Mom, are we watching Dancing with the Stars tonight?"

Drew: "I want to...I kinda like that show."

********************************************************

As if there aren't enough funny things going on, Todd's brother Tim is in the process of grossing me out on Facebook.  He took a picture of his toe and posted it all for my benefit after I messed around with him about a weird picture he took.  

It must run in this family, is all I'm saying.

;)

I love them all...as crazy as they all are.  Or maybe I should be saying "we".  

How was your day?  

Mine was great, but it got much better after I left work.  Who knew that Walmart would bring out the best in my day?  I know...weird, huh?

Enjoy your evening...love to all!

Before I Post Them On Facebook...

I thought I'd give you the first glimpses.  :)


The campsite.

 
The sleeping arrangements.


The man and man's best friend.




The children and man's best friend.

 
The lake the puppy ran into and swam for the first time ever.



The kids plus one extra.


The best friends...double trouble.



The end.

Stuff

My husband had to spend the night in Little Rock last night.  He went there on a job, didn't have the right parts to finish, and stayed there overnight so he could finish today, as soon as the parts get to him.  I miss him when he's gone...and when he works for the sheriff's department, it's different, because I know he'll be home later.  But when I know he won't be home later...well, Graham and I woke up all night.  :-(  It might be a long day.

I fell asleep at nine o'clock in the recliner last night.  What am I, an old man???

I'm so blessed to love the people I work with, and it was good to see them yesterday.  The group of ladies that make up our teacher assistants are an amazing group of women...always happy, always smiling and they love the kids.  It's nice to see everyday...particularly when my own kids love them like crazy. 

I have a grade that I get attached to every year, and this year it's fourth grade.  I love those kids so much!  They're so funny, and one group in particular, just brings me so much joy. 

I have another busy afternoon of running my kids around planned.  Yesterday was the same, and I caved and we had pizza last night.  I totally did not feel like going to the grocery store after work, so I decided we'd just eat pizza. 

I did manage to wake up last night in time to watch one of my favorite shows on the DVR. 

I also watched Dancing With The Stars...I don't even know that I like it that much anymore, but I watched it.  Almost out of habit.  I'm not sure if I'll continue it or not...I'd kind of prefer to read a book.  Well, not kind of...I would.

The case of the missing library books was solved!  Jonah found the two that were missing...luckily, they're only five or six days late and it's only two...and not ten, like we've done before. 

I have to go grocery shopping today.  :-(

I got to have a brief 'phone date' with one of my best friends last night...I get to see her beautiful self in a couple weeks!  Can't wait! 

What are you up to today?  

Love to all!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Catching Up

If you're my friend on Facebook, you know that we came home from our camping trip one day early.  We were scared of a rainstorm that was headed toward us, so while the temp was cool and the breeze was blowing, we packed up and headed out.  We got a little wet, since the rain couldn't quite hold off, but we were none the worse. 

I was thankful to have a whole extra day to get my house back in order.  Camping is so much fun.  But it is SO MUCH WORK.  The laundry is still not completed, and just yesterday (around 4:30), the last of the bags finally got unpacked and put back away. 

First Kids Church was so good yesterday.  The kids were strangely quiet and reverent as Mr. Craig explained how nothing could ever separate them from the love of God.  (Romans 8:35, 37-39)  For some reason, their reverence moved me to tears...and even now as I write this, my eyes are welling up.  The praise and worship was beautiful as the kids sang and signed the songs we sang.  I love Jesus so much...and I am so thankful for some amazing kids' church leaders that invest so much love and time into these precious little ones. 

The long awaited day finally arrived and last night, Lisa, Tricia and I went to The Orpheum to see Tyler Perry's Madea Gets A Job.  He was amazing.  We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant before we headed downtown.  It was a great night...and I think I smiled the entire time.  The man preached at the end...he was throwing out Bible verses left and right, and after the show had ended, they broke out in concert. 

Hellluuuuur!

AHHHMAAZING.  

Today is life back to normal.  I woke up (a little) late, made lunches and breakfast and now, here I sit.  Graham and Drew are playing on their brand new 4th generation iPod touches, and Crash is begging to go outside and chase a squirrel.  Thank You, Lord, for routine.  This morning I will be spending my time catching up on my Bible reading and planning our meals for this week. 

I got behind on my Bible reading over Spring break.  :-(  I'm determined that by tomorrow I will be caught back up. 

My newest nail color is fab...it's called Louvre Me...Louvre Me Not.  :) 

I am reading a really good Danielle Steele book right now called 44 Charles Street.  I feel like such a daytime diva reading her books, but man, it's good. 

I still have not seen The Help and really want to watch it!  I know...I'm so behind. 

Well...I need to get ready to take the boys to the middle school.  I hope all of you have a good Monday.  Love to all!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Camping!

Our camping gear is all nestled up and nice and neat in the trailer!  We made the decision to go ahead and go...but we are armed with wasp/bee spray, buckets of Deep Woods Off bug spray, and some sort of fogger if they're really bad.  I also bought a baseball cap just in case the bugs make me look like Medusa again. 

Now that we're almost completely packed, I am really excited.  This time tomorrow morning, I will be enjoying my first cup of coffee made in our brand new percolator!  I also bought our camping "kitchen" last night at Walmart.  All this is (thank you, Marcia Coleman for the idea!) is a huge Rubbermaid container with a lid.  All of our pots/pans, utensils, and anything else even remotely related to the kitchen will stay in the "kitchen".  Even once we return home. 

I also bought all of our utensils last night...and two cutting boards and a really cool knife to chop with.  !!!  I got all excited over the knife...it's nicer than any other one I have, so it might end up finding its way into my real kitchen at home, then replaced with another one in our camp kitchen. 

We've got all our pantry food bagged and ready to go.  All the refrigerated food will get packed into Travis' cooler at the last minute...and his cooler, by the way, is big enough to hold a person.  I am not kidding. 

All the boys (plus a friend for Graham and Drew, otherwise known as Hopper) are packed and loaded (their gear, not them, although that is a good thought...), all I have to do is get mine and Todd's clothes into a bag.  He's getting my oil changed right now, then he has to come home and repair a trailer tail light, then we'll get the rest of the stuff loaded and we'll go!  I can't wait to sit around and just enjoy God's creation. 

I'm going to take better pictures this time...I am going to try, anyway.  I'm planning on taking my (nicer) camera this time...not just my phone as a camera.

The next time I'm on here, I promise to show lots and lots of pics!  It should be beautiful...we're going to Tishomingo State Park.  It's in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains (it's what the website said) and we will be near water.  :)  I can't wait! 

Love to all!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

things I'm wondering...

To go or not to go.  Camping.  I am not sure how I will be able to handle the wasps/bees/bugs flying around (Medusa-style) my head.

What color to next use on my toes.  I know.  I'm killin' you.  Well, the way mine look is killin' me and I must solve that before our trip.  It'll make me feel better.

How much more fun can a day be???  My Daddy had us all out to his house today for hot dogs, fishing and tractor-riding.  :)  Heaven to boys.

Crash.  And the fact that he's going camping with us.  Enough said.

What to take for snacks.

What's for dinner.  (GASP!)  I haven't had that thought since before Christmas.  I'm thinking sandwiches.  Or barbecue.  :)  Both of which just so happen to be in my fridge.

How in the world boys can stay outside so long.  They've been outside, literally, from eleven until present time.  Now they're playing basketball.

I'M STARVING!!!  I know...uttermost importance.

How in the world did I get so blessed with such an amazing husband?  God gave him to me...I think of that every time I hear that song.  We are perfect...not in life, but for one another.  He takes such good care of me in this house full of male children.

How much fun Tricia, Lisa and I are going to have Sunday night when we go see Tyler Perry at the Orpheum!!!  I know, right??

That's it.

Love to all.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Birthdays

I am relieved this weekend is over!  Three birthdays in two days is a lot.  Not stress-wise, but money-wise.  Even though we don't really spend a lot on birthdays, when you have three that close, you can't help it! 

I was so happy that Jonah and Noah had such a great birthday party.  They each chose two friends to spend the night...Ben, Jake, Pearson and Andy.  Jake had to leave around ten, though, because he had an early morning flight to catch.  Our parties are always very low-key and stress free. 

For their party, all I do is let them choose the food they eat, the cake I make, and the friends that come over.  For Friday night's menu, Jonah and Noah agreed on pigs'n'blankets.  I made cupcakes...chocolate and yellow...and they iced their own.  Because it's fun for nine-year old boys.  And easy for their mama!  The kids arrived, they played, they ate, they played outside some more, we had birthday cupcakes, they opened presents, and back outside they went. 

We were amazingly blessed with fabulous weather.  Thank You, Jesus.

They did sleep some...a little bit, and Noah is still recuperating from his lack of sleep.  He slept on the way to Mimi's tonight.  ;)  They also napped at my mom's house last night...which is completely unheard of. 

Saturday morning dawned and I rolled out of bed at eight.  Not because I was woken up, because I wasn't.  I just woke up.  These boys were awesome and were so quiet.  I made blue pancakes for breakfast (per Jonah's request) and they played outside again. 

Then the last of the sweet boys left. 

Easy schmeasy. 

Since today was Graham's 13th birthday, we decided to do things a little differently.  And because of this being Spring break, most of his friends are out of town.  We decided to let Jonah and Noah spend the night with Mimi and Papa (and so they could celebrate with them tomorrow) and Drew went to his friend, Will's, house.  Todd and I took Graham downtown to Texas de Brazil.  And ate and ate and ate some more. 

It was so worth it just to see the look on his face every time he tried a bite of something new. 

He opted to do this instead of his party. 

He also chose to get money, instead of an actual 'gift'. 

And Drew opted to get his present early. 

Their brand new 4th generation white iPod touches are on their way...or will be tomorrow.  This is what they bought with all their money they've been saving. 

And with the little bit left over that Graham had, he bought a pocket knife.  A massively huge pocket knife that made my heart skip a beat...but he is a 13 year old boy, now, and according to his dad, needed to be initiated into manhood. 

With a flippin' huge pocket knife. 

But anyway.

It's been an amazing weekend.  And it's Spring break! 

All this being said, this mama is plain worn out.  I need my bed and my book. 

Love to all.

I have a teenager???

Graham,

I remember the first time I ever laid eyes on you...I fell in love instantly.  I never thought my love would be so strong, and so instantly.  But it was...you were the greatest gift I'd ever received.  I always knew you were special...from the very start.  You had these big blue eyes that could melt my heart, and when you slept...you looked like an angel.  I used to pick you up while you were sleeping and just sit and hold you and stare at your beautiful little self.

I never knew that you would so quickly become a big brother, but you did...at a mere thirteen months old.  And what an amazing big brother you were!  You loved to 'hold' Drew, and you loved to help me when I was changing him.  You would bring me diapers, or wipes, or burp cloths.  I could always count on you to organize the changing table, too...I think that might have been your favorite thing...to empty out the shelves, and refold everything.

You loved drinking from your bottles...we used the kind of bottle that used bags to hold the liquid, and you figured out how to suck the liquid out like it was a straw...and your most favorite thing to drink was tea.  You loved Veggie Tales, and you loved cheese.  You hated your crib and never slept in it...most nights you would fall asleep on our living room couch.  And that continued until the first night that Drew ever slept in your room.  I think he was eighteen months old, so you would have been two and a half.  That night you little guys were snug as two little bugs in a rug...and from that night on, you loved sleeping together.

I remember your fourth birthday like it was yesterday...you had just met your little twin brothers for the first time the day before (THEIR birthday) and you were so unbelievably sick.  You had strep throat and a fever that went up to 103.  It was a sad day...because you felt so bad, and because I was in the hospital.  Your dad stayed with you all that day, though and just loved on you.  I felt so guilty that I couldn't be there, that I spent most of that day crying.

Over the years you have grown into an amazing young man.  You've become a fearless leader, and you are one of the top students in your grade.  Your teachers love you and are amazed at your kind, helpful ways, and they know if they ever need anything that you are the one to ask.  You are smart, friendly, dependable and talented...at many things, but mostly at singing, playing the piano and playing percussion.  We are so proud of you.

I know you've struggled with friends over the years, but as your Pappaw says...one day you will be the one that everyone wants to be friends with.  The smart one, the athletic one, the kindest one...the most well-rounded one.  You are the one who always volunteers to pray, and you are one that told me you were called to ministry.  I don't know what that means, or what might be in your future...but whatever it is, I know God has big plans for you.

We are so proud of you, and we love you so much.  So do your brothers...when you're not pestering them, that is.  ;)  Because as sweet as you can be, you're still bossy and sometimes mean.  I know you're working on that...and I know that you have been for the past few months, and you have come a long way.  I know you mean well, and I know that you have good intentions.

I thank God for every single second I get to be your mom.  I don't ever want to take a single moment for granted...and I pray that you always walk with, serve and love the Lord.  I pray that you always cling to your favorite Bible verse.  Philippians 4:13...I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.

I pray that girls continue to love and embarrass you.  ;)  I know you love it.

I pray that you follow and achieve all your dreams and passions...whether it be cooking or coaching.

I love you to the moon and back and am blessed to have you in my life.  We all are.














Saturday, March 10, 2012

Nine years ago today...

...I was about to lay eyes on my sweet little twins, Jonah and Noah. 

I remember thinking when they were born, that I didn't want one to feel left out, so at first, I would only hold them at the same time...not one at a time, like some people might.  I didn't even want to look at one for too long...without turning to look at the other one. 

I remember how precious and cuddly they were...and how somehow in their shared crib, they would always wind up touching in the middle of the night, even though they started out at opposite ends. 

I remember their last night in that shared crib.  They were four months old, and Jonah was laying on top of Noah, screaming his head off.  The next morning I called my friend Lisa Warren, and she gave me her extra crib.  That was their first night of sleeping alone...and I think I cried a little.

I remember (once we moved into our new house) the night that Noah decided he was tired of sleeping alone.  Their cribs were side by side, and Noah had climbed out of his crib and into Jonah's.  This might have been around the same time we found Noah naked in his crib one morning.  In fact, I'm sure it was.  :)

I remember the first time I thought I'd "lost" them...turns out, 4 year old Drew had talked them into hiding inside one of my kitchen cabinets. 

I remember when Noah stole one of Jonah's paci's...thus making himself a paci lover, too.  At almost one year old. 

I remember Jonah's squeals of excitement over Big Bird, then later, Care Bears.  And how, even back then, his little dimples were enough to melt your heart.  He's always been so happy. 

I remember Noah's long, curly hair...until the first time we had it cut.  :-(  And then it was straight. 

I witnessed how different twins were from 'singletons' from the very start...they were always there to entertain (and sometimes aggravate) one another, and when one of them cried, usually the other one joined in.  Just for sympathy.  They always seemed to be switching personalities on me, too.  One week Jonah might be the cranky one, but the next week Noah would be.  It was so weird. 

They walked and talked a little later than Graham and Drew did, but they had their own twin language that nobody else understood. 

This one time when they were three, they were swimming in the deep end of our neighbor's pool with floaties and jumping off the diving board, when one of Jonah's floaties came off.  He started to panic and go under, and before any of us could react, Noah ran in saying, "I GOT HIM!!!", and pulled him to the side.  This was all before we could even blink. 

And last year when Noah got hit by a car (I know...scary...and I never mentioned it on here, but one year later, I can without crying), I saw and heard what happens when one witnesses the other one getting hurt...he almost collapsed.  Jonah, I mean.  Noah was totally fine, thank the good Lord, but Jonah wasn't for a while.  He heard the ambulance and the fire truck and the police sirens, and it was too much.  And I understood how deep their love for one another was. 

They love each other fiercely.  And sometimes they fight just as fiercely.  But that's okay if they fight with each other...as long as nobody else fights with one.  Then you might witness a problem.  They are so different...and yet so much alike.  Jonah is the leader of the two and can talk poor Noah into just about anything.  He never stood a chance, especially since he is 'the baby', being just a mere two minutes younger than Jonah.  Sometimes Jonah acts like it's two years...instead of just minutes.   

Where one might be weak in one area, the other might be strong.  And they know how to help one another without getting into trouble.  For the first time ever, they are in the same class this year, and they love it.  I think it has been so good for them...and for other kids to witness how different they are. 

They are a two for one deal...a package...and they only come together.  Or none at all.  Their friends have learned this over time, and they have only spent one night apart from each other...and one of them was too sick to care or even remember.  Another night Jonah went to spend the night with his friend Ben, but ended up calling us crying a few hours later...because he missed Noah. 

My life is so richly blessed because of them.  I thank God for every single second I get to be their mom...and I realize that they're only mine for a little while.  All too soon I will only have these memories...without the physical sight and sound of them.  But I am blessed...we are blessed, and they complete our family.  God's little (huge!) double blessing to us.

Happy ninth birthday, to my sweet little Jonah and Noah.  I love you to the moon and back.








 

Friday, March 9, 2012

just stuff

So, for his birthday breakfast, Jonah requested blue pancakes.  ???  I hope Noah wants the same color.  This is their last Friday as eight-year old's!

I got my day made yesterday by a sweet little boy who helped me out in the lunch room.  It's all about the small things in life, right?

I will have some extra little boys running around my house tonight for Jonah's and Noah's birthday sleepover.  I'm so excited for them!  I have a busy afternoon planned...at some point, I need to go to the grocery store and buy the food for tonight and tomorrow morning, and I need to make their birthday cakes.

Tomorrow we are celebrating birthdays with Nana and Big Daddy...and maybe Auntie Trish and Auntie Lisa.
My Daddy is coming over today!!  I love our Friday's.

My Mom spent last night with us.  Bill has been out of town all week, and after her day at work and then to avoid driving home in the rain, we decided it would be better if she would just come and stay with us.  :)

My sisters and I (the above auntie's) are going to see Tyler Perry at the Orpheum on March 18th!!   I cannot wait...I wanted to see him a couple years ago when he came, but didn't get the chance.  :)

My dogs are driving me nuts.  Since it rained so much, they're having to go outside in the front yard and they keep crying to go out in the back so they can play with their little buddies, the squirrels.

That's all.  Happy Friday!

Love to all.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

For the lack of a better title, I'll call this one...another random one.

I don't even know.  And I'm pretty sure I don't want to talk about the condition of my brain today.

I had wonderful intentions of going to bed at nine-thirty last night.  And I did.  But then I got stuck reading book number two in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire.  Dognabbit.  I put it down at eleven.  I fell asleep.  Jonah woke me up crying over his earache an hour and a half later.  Todd brought him up some Motrin.  I laid down with him to make him fall back to sleep.  Then I was wide awake.  So while you all were snoozing this morning around one,  I was in the bathroom finishing my book.

I told you.  My brain is fried.

Rolling around in my brain this morning are thoughts of our words and our actions.  I've been reading in Philippians, chapters three and four.  Part of chapter three is Paul telling us not to put our confidence in the flesh.  Ours or otherwise.  This spoke volumes to me this morning, because sometimes I do that.  I put value in what people think of me...or Todd...or one of my kids.  But that's not right...2nd Corinthians 10:5 tells us to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ".

To Christ.  Not the world.  Not to people who are watching us...we are to make our thoughts obedient only to One...and His name is Jesus Christ.  Do you know Him?

I feel sometimes that the world is out to get me.  I can be such a girl sometimes.

But then I read this:

Phil. 3:13 and 14 "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God had called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

One last passage out of this amazing, insightful book:

Phil. 4:5-9 "Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you."


Whew.  I love when God does His thing.  Don't you?  

Moving on, now.

Jonah and Noah will turn nine years old on Saturday, March 10.  While some kids might ask for toys, or games...these two littles, as I like to call them, are each asking for a pair of these.  http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-Boys-KSO.htm 

Seriously??  I didn't think I liked them for a long time.  But thanks to one of Graham's friends who has some, and some other kids at school talking about them, this is what they decided they wanted.  Looks like we have a shopping trip coming up in our near future.  We'll also be buying the socks to go with them.  

At first I thought this was a weird gift, but it's what they want more than anything.  I'm thankful that they're practical little guys.  Especially Mr. Practical himself...also known as Jonah.  

I love my kids and I am immensely... 


Thank you, Lord Jesus.  

May I never take one single day, not even a single second, for granted.  


I cannot believe my babies are turning nine.  And my oldest is turning thirteen.  We've got something special planned for him on Sunday, though...more on that later.  Hopefully with pics.  

If I haven't said this lately, I cherish those of you who read this.  I pray that God's word always reaches those it needs to, and that it ministers to your heart.  I know He has ministered to my heart today...through the book of Philippians.  I pray that each of you always know Him, always walk with Him, always serve Him, always honor Him.  You, too, are blessed.  All you have to do is look around you to see how much so.  

Love to all.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

Only four more school days and then it's Spring Break!  I cannot wait.  Seriously.  The natives are getting restless at school, and we're all ready for a break.  We're going camping again...with our neighbors and friends, the Dickson's.  We're going to Chickasaw this time, which a lot closer. 

We had something new and totally different for dinner last night.  I made White (Chicken) Chili.  I got it from some website that I have already forgotten.  Even if I remembered what website I used, it wouldn't matter.  I didn't have half the ingredients, so I modified it to what was already in my pantry.  The base to it was water and chicken stock.  I later thickened it with Masa, which is a Mexican cornmeal.  It didn't thicken very much, though, but it was still yummy.  The other ingredients were chicken, two different types of kidney beans, black beans, a couple cans of Rotel, chili powder and salt.  Did I mention it was made in my Crock Pot?  It was so easy.  All I had to do was throw everything in there and seven hours later, it was done.   I served this with sour cream, cheese to garnish and tortilla chips. 

Today was an easy lunch making day in my house.  Graham has a field trip and didn't need one, and Jonah and Noah are getting lunch from Chik-Fil-A from Mimi.  It's so easy to make just one lunch...and Drew has a yummy one coming to him. 

Graham had a lacrosse game last night and won eleven (or maybe twelve, since we can't remember) to one.  GO DRAGONS!

We have another lacrosse game tonight (plus practice for Graham in a totally different location), and one more on Thursday.  Did I mention that these start at 4:30??  Do you know how hard it is to get kids picked up and dropped off and then try and be back at the game on time?  My days are officially spent on the road.  I need a "Mom's Taxi" sign on the back of my 'burban. 

How are you spending your Tuesday?  Share the love!

Love to all. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I know I'm not supposed to...

...brag, but might I please just be a proud Mom on here for some moments?

The last time I did this on Facebook it backfired...so I thought I would just do it on my blog instead.

If you know me, you know how proud of my boys I am.  They are respectable, polite little gentlemen, and their amazing Dad has taught them those things.  I guess I should say that I need to brag on him, too.  They treat me like a queen, and most of the time, are very courteous to me.

It takes a strong, confident man to teach four sons that, and I could not be more proud.

Back to the kids.

Yesterday after school, Graham and Drew got in, and when I asked how their day was, Graham answered that his was "great" (for the second day in a row, I might add.).  When I asked why, he told me that Mr. Seek, his band instructor, had approached him at school that day and asked Graham how good he thought he was at playing percussion.  Graham answered, "I'm not going to say that I'm the best, but I feel confident that I am good."

Mr. Seek told Graham that he'd been watching him for a long time now, and he completely agreed with him.

After saying that, he told Graham that an eighth grader had to back out of an upcoming band trip to Six Flags over St. Louis.  This is a very long, quick one day trip in which they will play for some function, then enjoy the park...which I think is closed to the public that day for some band competitions that are being held there.  Anyway, an eighth grader had to back out at the last minute and Mr. Seek needed a fill in.  So he invited Graham.

I am so proud of him...what an honor to be invited to an eighth grade only event!  Needless to say, we're going to let him go.  He's so excited, because most of his friends are in eighth grade.

Proud Mama moment number two: Drew played awesome as a defensive player today during his lacrosse game...against a very skilled team.  An "A" team.  He was recognized by the coach during halftime, and after the game he was awarded one of the game balls telling him "Great d".

I am so proud of them!

Instead of putting all this on Facebook, I put this instead:

"All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change."  James 1:17, New English Translation.

Blessed, indeed.

Love to all.

Friday, March 2, 2012

birthday season

I cannot believe it's already March.  The second, to be exact. 

In just a few short days (eight), my sweet "babies" will be celebrating their ninth birthday.  How in the world does the time go so quickly?  It still seems like just yesterday that they were born!

In a day after their ninth birthday (on the eleventh), my oldest son will be a teenager.  SHUT YOUR MOUTH.  That one blows my mind.  I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a teenager.  I still feel like it wasn't that long ago that I was a teenager!  I think I'm in denial. 

Last, but certainly not least, is my sweet Drew.  Just a short twenty-three days after Graham celebrates his birthday, Drew will celebrate his twelfth birthday. 

It's a crazy time of year around my house, but it's so much fun...and when it's over, I'm kind of glad that all their special days are so close to one another.  They always celebrate with their friends.  They have sleepovers.  They eat lots of cake.  Or brownies, like Graham requested last year.  Maybe it'll be a cookie cake.  Who knows?

Sigh.  I pray that I enjoy each stage of their life.  I want to be a good parent to them, and a friendly one.  I want to be a fun parent.  I pray that they (and their friends) see me that way. 

Happy Friday and love to all. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thursday

It's been a good week.  I'm always surprised when Thursday rolls around...my weeks go that fast.  That's a good thing, since I'm always counting down until our weekends.  I love our family time! 

We don't really do anything special on weekends.  We just hang out together, and with whatever friends come over.  We go to my Mom's for dinner on Saturday nights.  We go to church.  The kids play outside.  We enjoy being together. 

Back to this week.  Nothing really major has gone on.  Just the usual.  I've gone to the store and made dinner preparations, the older boys have had lacrosse practice, we went to church last night while Todd rode with the sheriff's department, I got caught up on some of my recorded shows. 

It's been a good week. 

We have four lacrosse games this weekend, and I can't wait.  Have I mentioned that though both Graham and Drew play lacrosse, they're on different teams?  It's divided up by grade level for them.  Fifth and sixth grade are together, then seventh and eighth are together.  It makes for a crazy, busy practice and game schedule, but for now, I wouldn't have it any other way. 

This morning my plan is to read yesterday's and today's Bible reading plan.  I missed yesterday's so I could have extra time to finish up my Bible study stuff. 

Speaking of that, we are going to start another one the week after Spring break.  I'm excited about it...it's a brand new one by Kelly Minter on Nehemiah.  I've never done a study on that book, so I can't wait to dig in.  I've read part of one of her books before, and I liked her style of writing. 

I have to run...have a great Thursday!  Love to all.