Wednesday, May 30, 2012

sights & sounds of Summer

lots and lots of laundry, thanks to all the water-playing festivities
towels hung over every surface in my garage
dirty feet, because who in the world wears shoes in the Summer???
late to bed
later to rise
cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for not only my chi-ren's, but their friends...my extra kids :-)
birds chirping
air conditioner humming
voices in the front yard
the vibrant green I see out all my window
flip flops
painted toe nails (who am I kidding?  Mine are always painted.)
sun-kissed skin (something I'm actually trying to avoid, the older I get.)
not having to wear makeup
lazy days spent doing...whatever

Sound good to you?  Me too.

Love to all.  (And thankful that I have the privilege of being a stay at home mom.)

Middle of the Week

Have you heard the dreaded words, "I'm bored" yet? 

I have not, but let me tell you why my kids don't say that.  They used to say it, pretty frequently, I'd say, until one day about three years ago.  It was a blistering hot summer day.  They weren't in the mood to swim, they had no friends over, and the complaining began.  Since they were so nice to complain in front of me, I promptly found some things for them to do.  Let's just say that by the time 5:00 rolled around, my house was spotless on both floors.  Ceiling to floors. 

They don't say those words anymore. 

But really, we haven't even been home that long.  It's been glorious so far.  Our weekend was so nice...since Todd was home for such a long stretch of time.  God love him, he is such a hard worker, that between work and the sheriff's department, we don't see him as often as you would think.  (Was that a run-on sentence?)

We enjoyed our time together.  And while I don't have pictures of my favorite man, I do have pictures of my other favorite little men.  :-)  Wanna see?


This is the West Tennessee Veteran's Cemetery.  We went here Monday for a Memorial day ceremony.  We go every year with this precious man:


He was standing while they played the Navy's song.  And yes, I got a little teary.


What's a holiday without Drew acting all crazy?


I love these guys.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  They make me so happy, and I am so proud of who they are.  I am a blessed mama!


And speaking of blessed mama's...remember Trey Erwin?  The teenaged boy in The Ville battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer?  Please continue to pray for him...these shirts are such great reminders for us to do the same.  I haven't read his caring bridge in a few days, so I don't know his latest status, but that whole family blesses me beyond words.  Their faith is a beautiful thing to witness.


And this is a good reminder to pray for our troops who are deployed.  And for the families of those with loved ones they've lost. 

It was a really amazing weekend.  I even have really good books from my happy place that I'm reading.  I just started Francine River's Her Mother's Hope.  It's kind of a tough read...I think all of her books are, so I can only take it in small doses, but it is really good.  I plan on taking it with me to the lake this weekend. 

The lake being Pickwick.  We're leaving tomorrow (Thursday) for a three night stay with some friends of ours who have a house on the lake.  :-)  I am so excited!  The boys and I are leaving tomorrow, Todd and David are driving up on Friday after working a half day.  I am seriously beyond excited. 

Well...my dog is whimpering at the door and I need another cup of coffee.  Enjoy your day! 

Love to all.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

It's almost eight thirty as I write this, so you have plenty of time to get up and get moving...if you want to.  Each Memorial day we have a tradition that we participate in with my dad and Sandy. We go to the Veteran's cemetery on Forrest Hill, off of 385.  It's a Memorial day ceremony, in honor of all our fallen heroes.

This morning's ceremony starts at eleven.  We plan on leaving my house at ten.  We usually take lawn chairs, blankets for the boys to sit on and drinks and snacks.  I don't remember how long it lasts, but it's not that long.

It's important to teach our kids that today is not just another day off from work or school.  We always try to really honor whatever holiday we might be celebrating, whether it be Memorial day, Veteran's day, or another one.  I've said before that our blood doesn't just run red...it runs red, white and blue. 

How are you celebrating this day?  Even if you don't come to this event I've told you about, I encourage you to take some time to pray for our soldiers who are still deployed, the families who have lost loved ones and our country and her leaders.  My pastor made a really profound statement from the pulpit yesterday, and it kind of struck home.  He said, "God, I pray that the pressures of that Oval Office be so great that it drives our President to his knees." 

I do too. 

It's funny how I complain about how horrible all our politicians are, but I don't really take the time to pray for them the way I should.  I do pray for them when I remember, but it's not often. 

So today, I will be praying for all those things I mentioned as well. 

I will also not only thank a soldier, but I will tell him or her that I'm praying for them as well.

I'll probably post pictures later.  Love to all. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday

It has been an amazing weekend so far...and it's not even over.  Last night, some of my family from Texas drove in for a weekend visit.  We got to meet them for dinner at our favorite catfish restaurant.  It's all the way out in Slayden, Mississippi, but man, is it worth the drive.  It's an old gas station, that is now a very rustic restaurant.  We had a party of 16 (yes, we have a large family!), so we were given the side room...complete with an amazing waitress who was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.  Her name is Rebecca.  I love meeting people like her...I just wish my nephews would marry someone just like that.  Insert dreamy sigh here.

After our delicious dinner, we stood outside and chatted with one another for a long time.  The boys took it upon themselves to try and get the eighteen wheelers to honk as they sped by.  Some didn't.  But some did.  Drew amused himself with throwing rocks at Tricia and me.  He wasn't really aiming at us...he was trying to get as close to us as he could without actually hitting us.  Yes, we had to jump a few times.  All the while, he cackled like a madman. 


See?  He's all aimed and ready.  (Isn't this a cool picture?  I love the contrasting colors...the only thing I did was enhance it a little by using Instagram.  Have I told you that I adore Instagram???  It's a photography lover's dream!) 

It doesn't take much to amuse my children. 

We went to Mom's and Bill's afterward for a little more visiting time.  Jonah and Noah decided they wanted to spend the night with them so they could help Big Daddy spread some mulch around.  Well...at least Jonah did.  Noah was just along for the ride.  They were back home by 9:20 this morning.  They woke up at the crack of dawn to eat and get to work, then Auntie Trish brought them home. 

She's so great.

Graham went to my Dad's to help him cut his grass again today.  And didn't come back home until almost 4:00!  It was a long day for him, but he spent the last part of it searching for the knife he dropped somewhere on the several acres Daddy has in front of his house.  Luckily, he found it. 

While he was gone, Todd and Drew fixed our basketball goal.  It was the kind that had a base, but it doesn't anymore.  Todd cut it off, bought a steel pipe, poured concrete around the steel pipe, then placed the goal back into the pipe.  It looks very professional...and like it's always been that way.  I have a super handy man for a husband.  I love how he is a jack of all trades. 

Jonah, Noah and I swam.  Well, they swam, and I did this.


Except that I was in my swimsuit and coverup, so I could at least get a little sunshine.  :) 


They had fun making their first jumps of the season into the pool.


They were pretty great at posing for me. 

It was a magical day.  We were back and forth several times from our house to our neighbor's pool (they're out of town and gave us permission).  In between pool times, we watched marathon episodes of Survivorman.  I made breakfast for dinner...then we went back to the pool, and ended at home, eating dessert and watching...

You guessed it.

Survivorman. 

It's the new favorite, what can I say? 

How was your day? 

Share the love!

Love to all.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Did you know...

that blue is my favorite color? All shades...royal, teal, periwinkle...I could go on, but I'll stop. 

that I love to sing, and desperately miss singing in choir and on a worship team?  (I'm thinking of re-joining the choir at CFBC, if they'll have me.)

that I have a little bit of weird in me?  I've always been my own person, who dressed in a way that not everybody dresses like...and as a teen, I was a little goth?  I was into the black clothes and dark, dark lipstick...even before all those Twilight movies came out.  I still have a tiny bit of that...hence the dark fingernail polish and my love/hate relationship with tattoos.  (As in, "I want one, I don't want one.")  I know, I know...this is a weird one about me. 

that when I was young, I never played with dolls or barbies?  I was always outside, or pretending I was a singer or something.  The dolls and barbies did eventually come along, but not until I was almost thirteen.  Strange, huh?  Well, I was also busy changing outfits a thousand times a day.  Just ask my mom if you don't believe me.  It's a wonder I didn't drive her bonkers. 

I always wanted a house full of boys?  God has a funny way of working things out, does He not?

I was a really good Christian when I was younger and in my earlier teenage years?  But then...I fell off the bandwagon.  I started running around with a really rough crowd and started trying things a young teenaged girl should never try.  I was always sneaking off to do something my parents would have had a conniption fit over...if they had known.  :-(  But, thankfully, I believe that when we ask forgiveness of our sins, and invite Jesus into the empty recesses of our hearts, He never leaves us.  His word says that over and over..."I will never leave you or forsake you".  We leave Him, but He doesn't leave us.  (And I don't mean that once we're saved we keep on living life like we want to live...we have to live the way He wants us to live...not be in church on Sunday and out getting drunk the night before.)

Whew.  Where did all that come from?

Anyway...continuing on...

that my husband and I dated in high school?  We started off as friends, then we started dating.  I don't remember where we ate on our first date, but we went to see The Little Rascals in the movie theater.  I kind of didn't think we would continue dating...but we did.  I remember the night I realized I had fallen in love with him.  We were at my sister Lisa's house.  My mom was babysitting the kids that weekend or something, and Todd and I were there with her.  We had been jumping on the trampoline with my niece and nephews, and they had gone inside to get ready for bed.  We were laying on the net, looking at the stars, and when I rolled over to look at him, I remember being shocked that all of a sudden, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I loved him and wanted to spend forever with him.  I wrote it down on a piece of paper (we were only eighteen, keep this in mind) and handed it to him when he left that night.  I told him to promise not to look at it until he'd gotten home.

:-)

that we've been married for almost sixteen years?  Well, it'll be sixteen years on October fourth. 

that we chose that date because we both hate hot weather but love the fall?  I remember thinking that there was no way that I was going to spend my wedding day being all hot and sweaty.  We even chose our honeymoon spot according to our love of the cooler climate (and because his brother and sister-in-law had been there a year and a half earlier).  We spent our honeymoon in Banner Elk, North Carolina.  We shopped a lot, and ate, and bowled once or twice and did all the other fun stuff that honeymooner's do.  ;-)

that I wanted my wedding to be just like Annie's wedding from the movie Father of the Bride?  Seriously...right down to the style of my dress, the way I wore my hair (lucky for me I had the same hair she did in that movie) and our music?  Yup.  It's my most favorite movie of all time.  I love the second one, too, but it's not quite as good as the first. 

Well...I suppose this will be the last of what I like to think of as Thoughtful Thursday. 

Oh, and GO TIGERS!!!  We are undefeated this season...and our last game is this coming Tuesday night.  Against another undefeated team.  Should be fun!

Love to all. 

First Official Day of Summer

Happy Thursday and Happy First day of Summer!!!  I am beyond thrilled that Summer has arrived.  I let all the boys miss school today because it was only a half day.  Graham and I attended the eighth grade graduation at Germantown Baptist Church. 


I do love a pretty church...especially one with a steeple and a cross at the top. 

Drew had a friend spend last night with us (one of my extra son's, Will Hopper).  They stayed home this morning...choosing not to attend graduation.  Can't say that I blame them...Graham's the weird one for wanting to go last year and this year.  He's always friends with the eighth graders.  Funny how that works.

Jonah and Noah were beyond excited to get to go to work with their Dad today.  :-)  I'm so thankful they have such a hands-on, involved Dad.  He is quite the man, this man of mine. 

So, here I sit.  I'm alone in the kitchen, with Klove playing on my kitchen radio, typing out this blog post as I wait on the laundry to finish drying.  Story of my life...waiting on the laundry.  I'm thinking I'm going to get off here and read my Bible plan for this day.  I got all caught up from being a week behind yesterday, in my Chronological Bible reading plan on my phone's Bible app (YouVersion).  I need to do that now. 

So, have a wonderful day!  Enjoy the beauty of this day...God's graced us with a gorgeous afternoon.  Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

So Thankful!

I made it through my final day without shedding a tear.  I did get teary eyed a couple different times, though, but I was able to pull it together before anyone caught on.  The first time was when all the assistants hugged me.  I've come to know and love them all and I will miss seeing them everyday.  The second time was when Beth Sansone hugged me...and told me how much fun she'd had with Jonah and Noah this year. 

I'm blessed. 

I was blessed with homemade cards from each grade level, too...with all the kids in each grade signing personal little messages.  I've only looked at a couple and I got choked up, so I put them down. 

Today was a really strange day...a lot unusual for the elementary school.  I was especially thankful that today was my last day.  Just another God-thing.  He is so good to me...thankfully, I don't have to be "good enough" for Him to do that...I just love Him and honor Him.  And He shows Himself faithful.

My dad sent me the sweetest text right as I sat down in my car after my day was over.  It said, "An era has ended...and I know it was fun.  Love, Dad." 

Then the for-real tears came.  Talk about timing!  He is so precious to me, and I appreciate the love and support my amazing family has given me...all of them.  Once again...I'm blessed.

I turned my badge in...so now, my cutie-patootie little Vera Bradley lanyard is all lonely.  I'll have to attach my glasses to it, or something. 

Graham and Drew walked to Yolo's after school today with some friends.  Their plan was to walk around the town square, then get a ride back to their friend Gavin's house.  I'll pick them up after I get drop off a couple of my extra kids.

It's the first time they've ever done that.  Weird. 

To celebrate the end of school year, I drove myself to my happy place.  Otherwise known as Collierville Burch Library.  And got a whole pile of books to keep me occupied. 

I cannot wait to dig in!

Love to all. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

one more day!

I cannot believe that tomorrow will be my last day of work at Collierville Elementary.  Normally I would be sad at this point, and a little worried at how I might make an emotional mess of myself, but the weird thing is...

I'm not.

I feel complete peace about this next phase of our life, and I am so full of hope at God leading us onto something different...and maybe more than we could have ever imagined!  Never have I felt so blessed to work with such kind people.  My administrators have all been very supportive of my decision, as well as the teachers I've talked to. 

I told Todd tonight that all this is just proof that it's all a God-thing. 

What, you wonder, is a God-thing? 

It's when you see His hand in everything you've thought about, prayed for and sought His wisdom.  It's when everything around you just sort of falls into place, like the pieces of a puzzle.  It's when, at one time, you might have questioned your timing, then realizing later that it was not in your timing, but in His.  It's when there is simply no other explanation.  It's just  God.

I'm not worried about tomorrow.  (Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.")  I know that even if I do get teary-eyed that it'll be okay.  I am human, after all...not Wonder Woman.  I have cared for and loved on all these kids for the past four years.  I have been there when they've lost teeth, forgot their lunches, needed a hug, or were just desperately wanting to tell me something. 

I'll see them all again, I'm sure...if not by actually going to the school for a visit, then around The Ville.  Lucky for me, we live in a small town.  I am forever running into people I know. 

My job might not have been the most glamorous, but I promise you that it was one of the most fulfilling.  I got to see over eight hundred kids every single day for the past four years.  I know for a fact that I made at least ONE difference in the life of one of them...I had the honor and privilege of leading a little girl (who is now in the 6th grade) who knew me from school, to the Lord at First Kids' Camp last summer.  And that one life was worth every negative thing I ever thought about my job. 

I would do it all over again...I have absolutely no regrets. 

I refuse to look back.  Starting tomorrow, I will only be looking ahead.  I cannot wait to begin this journey I feel God has called me to.  And you know I will keep all of you readers updated.  :-)  You'll probably wish I would shut up every once in a while, but you might just be the ones I express frustrations to. 

I hope you don't mind. 

Thanks for all the love and support and prayers you've sent my way over the past years.  And for my prayer warrior friends (you know who you are), thank you for all the prayers lately in this huge decision!  Never have I felt such amazing peace. 

I'll leave you with one of my favorite passages of Scripture:

Philippians 4:6&7 "Don't worry about anything.  Instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." 

Love to all. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Monday To Me!

I feel so much better...both in the sinus issues I've been having, and about the meeting I had today with my principal.  She took it way better than I expected...and was very encouraging and gracious.  She even told me she thought I'd be great at the homeschool thing, just with what she's seen by being around me all these years.  I'm so relieved that it's behind me now.

It is such a short week!  I have tomorrow and Wednesday, then I. A.M. D.O.N.E.!!!  I'm not excited or anything.

I have all these great aspirations for when school lets out...I want to declutter and organize my house again.  Starting in the tornado closet.  Which just so happens to look like a tornado blew through it.  Oh, the irony.

In all honesty, what I'll probably do that day is sleep late, take a long (very unusual) shower, get dressed...and hang out with my Daddy.  Sounds better, doesn't it?

My husband is amazing.  Have I told you that?  I love him.  He took care of all the paperwork to finish enrolling Jonah and Noah in their new homeschool program.  I have to do a few more things, like obtain some records, but other than that, he did all the gruntwork.  What a guy.  Even if was ten o'clock at night, and we were still sitting in the floor shredding papers. 

I hope my poor brain remembers to get all the stuff I need to get...both for Jonah and Noah, and also for Graham and Drew, so the three of us can apply for new social security cards.  I have to do all this tomorrow, and I'm feeling the pressure. 

Well, I'm about to fall asleep, so I need to stop for now. 

Love to all!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Facts

After today, I only have three more days of work.  I'm excited about this, but I'm also a little sad.  I'm praying I don't make a fool of myself all day and boohoo all over the lunchroom floor.

I felt okay today until I went outside to talk to a neighbor for ten minutes.  When I came inside, I felt horrid.  So much so that I asked my sweet Daddy to go get all the boys and to deliver one of them to his home safely.  I took a nap while he was gone.  When I woke up, my phone notified me that we were in a code orange ozone alert.  The air is stifling and unbreathe-able.  (I am pretty sure that is not a word.)  No wonder I felt so bad!  I've been kind of wheezy ever since.

I took the easy way out on dinner tonight and ordered Chinese takeout.  :-)  Thank You, Lord, that we live in a town large enough for me to do this conveniently.  I drove and Graham carried out.  He even ran into Kroger to buy some cookies to bake later. 

Drew's friend Josh is here to spend the night.  This is the third or fourth time he's asked him...and he was finally able to come over!

It's Friday night, and my plans are simple: I plan on eating cookies with milk later, watching a movie and maybe finishing the book I'm currently reading.  I am ready to move on to a new author!  I've been reading too much of this one author, and I'm done.  At least for a while. 

Speaking of...I need to make a run to my happy place tomorrow.  (The Ville's library.)

Jonah and Noah play baseball tomorrow...their game is at 1:15.  I hope I feel better by then...otherwise, I might sit this one out.  I can't imagine sitting outside in the heat for ten minutes, much less an hour. 

Did I say I was going to watch a movie later?  Who am I kidding???  I will probably fall asleep by nine.  My eyelids are growing heavy as I write this. 

Todd's working the barbecue fest tonight.  I miss him!  I am excited about watching a recorded show, though.  Bachelorette, anyone???

My eyes are sleepy, so I'm going to stop writing now. 

Love to all!

What Makes Me Happy

New journals.  I bought one this morning at Target since I'm almost out of pages in the one Drew bought me for Christmas.  :-)  I love writing and journaling, and I've gotten back into it since Christmas.  Lots of pages are just Scripture that jumped out at me.  I want my hubby and kids to have them, should anything ever happen to me.

Being able to breathe out of my nose again.  Thank you to the person who invented Vicks nose spray.

Doggy treats.  They're Crash's (and my!!!) best friend.  They make him come inside from the yard and I've trained him to go into his kennel by throwing one into his kennel, and saying, "Kennel".  I know...I'm awesome.  ;-)

My OPI Spiderman collection of nailpolish.  I'm wearing Into The Night...a fun, periwinkle-royal blue color.  Love!

Target.  Enough said.

Conversations with the ones I love...whether it be by actual phone call or text.  :-) 

That's all I have time for...gotta run! 

Love to all.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday

I had breakfast with a sweet friend this morning.  We hadn't seen each other in a couple weeks, and we just needed some time to catch up.  I love my friends...I'm so blessed to have such amazing, Godly women in my life.  When we left, I felt refreshed.  Even though I still don't feel great.  I'll be fine...forgive my complaining. 

I'm done with that. 

Especially since I just watched a #PRAYFORTREY video on Vimeo.  You should go there and check it out, or just look on my Facebook profile page.  I posted it. 

That boy amazes me. 

So, today I was missing my sweet friend Christa.  I didn't have time to really text or email (I was about to be walking into work), so I sent her this:


I figured it was the next best thing to talking or texting or emailing.  I was sending her X's and O's...and telling her that I love her and always miss her.  She sent me one back, and I was going to post it, but can't figure out how to get from my text messages to my pictures. 

Oh well. 

Just know that if you're my friend, you might get random texts like the one above from me from time to time.  :-) 

I was so excited about dinner tonight.  I made Pioneer Woman's pot roast.  It wasn't so great.  I figured out that I do not love rosemary.  Everyone ate it, but I feel a bowl of cereal coming on later. 

The bread that went along with it, however, was fabulous, and we polished it off. 

Here's a pic of the roast:


Doesn't it look beautiful? 

Yeah...notsomuch.

Anyway, that was my day.  Praise the good Lord tomorrow is Friday and I only have three more days of work after tomorrow.  :-)  Summer! 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

a couple things

My day didn't quite turn out the way I had thought.  The more I was awake today, the sicker I felt.  :-(  If today hadn't been field day and we hadn't been short staffed today because of that, I would not have gone to work.  I guess it's sinus...but my head feels weird and clogged up.  Todd has it, too, so we are quite the pair. 

That was one thing.

Another thing is that I spent most of the morning driving and crying simultaneously.  Have I told you how I feel about cancer???  I.HATE.IT.  HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE IT. 

Even though I hate cancer, I love the Lord.  I don't know what His purpose is for some friends' lives right now, but it sucks for them what they have to go through.  I told Him all about it as I drove Andy to the vet this morning.  And boy, did He get an earful.  God and Andy.  My friend Tarin just found out that her ovarian cancer has returned.  In her liver, her bowel, some lymph nodes and another place that I can't remember. 

And the sad thing is, she had to check herself in to the Cancer Institute of America to find all this out.  She was being seen by her doctors here at the West Clinic, but they couldn't find anything wrong with her.  Or so they claimed.  She is facing some rough days ahead of her.  Will you please join me in praying for her?  She is a single mom of three...Katie is in 8th grade, Canon is in 6th and Kari is in 2nd. 

Thank you in advance for the prayer.  If you would like, you can find her CaringBridge website.  Her name is Tarin Mclarnon. 

And she's just one friend.  There's also my childhood best friend, Stacy, who's battling breast cancer and Trey Erwin, who is battling pancreatic cancer. 

I HATE CANCER. 

After those words, the rest of my day is small potatoes. 

Drew did indeed get his cast off. 

They x-rayed his arm. 

And then he got this:


He looks all happy, but don't let that smile fool you.  This was after he growled in frustration at the sweet Dr. Pickering. 

We're in this for two more weeks.  And the doctor promises that after the two weeks, he will not need another one. 

I'm still thankful that it's not worse...and that it's only another two weeks.  Two weeks seems much more doable than hearing four weeks.  Even though it's the same...mind over matter. 

He's most bummed about not being able to take a shower.  I will still have to bathe him.  Poor boy. 

I did, however, get a little glimpse of some rare brotherly harmony that I would like to share, lest you not believe me:


I think Drew was wearing the same shirt the last time we visited this doctor.

Well, that's all I've got.

My nails need to be painted.  :-)  Love to all.  

Just Stuff

Happy Wednesday!  I love this day...this glorious, middle of the week day.  Even though some heart-wrenching things are going on in the lives of some of my friends, I'm thankful for another day.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my coffee this week.  If you're wondering why, it's because of this:


Coffee tastes so much sweeter when it's drank out of a cup that was given to you in love.  Jonah loves to love on people, and he gets so much joy from giving to others.  This was from him and Drew...given to me on Mother's day.  I am so in love with this...but even more than that, I am in love with the precious boys who call me Mom.  :-)

Yesterday was field day for the third grade.  They were so excited about it, and I am now excited that it's over!  Ha!  It's not my favorite, but this year was much more pleasant.  I took my big 'ole Mary Poppins umbrella and hid from the sun.  My dad and mom-in-love tagged along with me.  We had fun watching these little guys:


The above was taken during their picnic lunch.  Are they not the sweetest little things??


And we cheered them on for this:



It was a fun afternoon.  I had to leave to go get Graham and Drew, and then they were able to see some old teacher's. 

Last night we celebrated Mimi's birthday...with no cake.  And no pictures.  :-(  That makes me so sad, but I literally ran out of time.

I don't think she minded too much.

Then we had a band concert to go to.  I am so proud of Graham...the seventh grade band sounded amazing!  It's always a fun night, and my teenager even got an award!


The one on the left was given to him for being a section leader.  The other two are ribbons for solo ensemble's he's performed over the last two years.  I cannot believe he's about to enter his last year of middle school. 

I made the mistake of blinking, and now it's almost over.

Today is a big day for Drew, too...he gets his cast off!  Hallelujah!!  He said the first thing he's going to do when he gets home is take a shower.  :-)  God love him.

Well, I need to finish lunch so I can get to work.  Only five more days left for me after today!  I cannot wait until summer starts. 

Amen.

Love to all!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Happy Tuesday!

Today is field day for Jonah and Noah.  Jonah jumped out of bed this morning, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go...and ready to eat his little chocolate donuts I bought yesterday.  :-)

Noah was more reluctant getting out of bed, but he eventually joined us, as well. 

I really can't be on here but for just a second, so it's going to be quick. 

For anyone who prayed for me yesterday, thank you.  Christa, I could feel those prayers coming...and I love you for it.  I felt better as the day went on, and today, all is well.  I also came across a cool verse this morning and wanted to share:

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.

Enough said.

Love to all!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Faith?

I think the enemy is messing with me.  I am questioning my decision in homeschooling!  I am wondering...'have I done the right thing?'.  I cannot stand this flip-flopping feeling I have.  I feel so wishy-washy. 

I don't like it. 

I have prayed.  And prayed and prayed and prayed.  I had complete peace about my decision the second I made the decision.  I had the impression of feeling that I needed to make the leap of faith and just do it.  Go with my instinct.  I had the feeling it was from God. 

Not that I don't feel like that anymore.  Just that I'm wondering...should I have made this choice?  I've told people now...I've begun their enrollment process.  Is it too late to go back now? 

So I googled Bible verses on faith.  And I saw this one:

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 "So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight."

And then I picked up my Jesus Calling devotional.  Even though I haven't since last September, according to the little page-marker.  And it says this:

"There is no need to panic.  Remember that I am with you.  Talk with Me, and listen while I talk you through each challenging situation."  

And then it gives a couple Bible references.  

Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."

And:

Second Corinthians 12:9  "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

A God thing?

Probably.  

But I need prayer.  I am doubtful, questioning and worried that I've made the wrong choice.  Like I said...I know it's the enemy messing with me.  He is so crafty in that way.  And don't for a second ever think he's dumb...he's not at all.  He knows just how to get me.  

Will you pray for me???  I need it!  I'm praying for myself, but I need more than just me praying!  

 Thanks in advance.  Love to all.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

We had a glorious weekend.  Jonah and Noah spent most of Friday night at their friend Elizabeth's house for her birthday party.  Graham and Drew hung around here with one of Drew's friends, Nate.  They played games, they jumped on the trampoline...it was fun for them all.  Todd and I watched some television and got caught up on some of our recorded shows. 

Saturday morning, we did this:


Watched some of my favorite kids play a game that we love.  :)  The Tigers added another win to their collection of them.  It was kind of cold Saturday morning, though.  And I was in capri's and a t-shirt with no jacket.  Brrrrrr!

The rest of the day I spent in the kitchen.  Literally.  Cleaning, cooking two different meals.  One meal I made in the crock pot for my kids and sister Trish to have.  It was barbecue chicken, mashed cheesy-ranch potatoes and roasted broccoli.  The other meal was beef enchiladas that I took for our Sunday school class party.  The chicken was good.  The enchiladas were not my favorite.  They didn't taste enough like Mexican food to me.  I followed the recipe, but should have played around with the spices a little more.

Anyway. 

Today we went to church and out to lunch with Todd's parents.  I only had two choices: Rafferty's or Abner's.  Because of the Grizzlies game and the walls of tv's both establishments have.  I chose Rafferty's.  And look what Jonah got:


Jonah asked one of the waiter's if he could have his sweat band.  At first the guy was like, "Sure!  For $20."  But then all of a sudden, he took it off and gave it to Jonah!  How sweet was that?! 

He was proud. 

My day was spent being loved on by all the ones I love most.  I got cards (bought, and my favorite-homemade), gifts and I didn't have to cook.  Unless you consider heating up something in the microwave cooking...and I do not.  It was glorious. 

How was your weekend?

Love to all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What Made My Friday Night Great

Tonight was a wonderful night.  Jonah and Noah were invited to a boys/girls (their FIRST!!!) swimming birthday party.  While they were gone, Drew's friend Nate came over to spend the night. 

We had comfort food for dinner.  Including homemade macaroni and cheese.  Yummy!!!

I changed into my comfy clothes before we even ate.  :-)

Our background noise was the sound of three (two almost and one) teenaged boys laughing and talking about their friends and girls they think are pretty.  At one time, it was silent in the kitchen as they all sat around the table playing a game on their iPod's. 

Todd and I watched American Idol.  :-)  Joshua Ledet made me cry with his rendition of You Raise Me Up. 

I re-painted my nails.  I was planning on using a manicure/pedicure gift certificate my husband gave me this weekend, but I decided to do them myself and save the certificate for another time.  My color of choice is the same goldish/green from last week, Just Spotted The Lizard.

Todd is filling out the last of our paperwork for Jonah's and Noah's fourth grade year of school...as homeschoolers!  I am so excited, I can't see straight.  I cannot wait to try this out and see how all of us like it.  And with the transition of the city and county school merging this year, we could not have picked a better time.  I am so thankful for God's wisdom and guidance.  Every step of our way thus far has been directed by Him. 

Speaking of the homeschool thing, I talked with a good friend of mine today who will also be doing the same thing we are next school year.  Our boys are excited to already have friends they know who will be around for group sessions and field trips.  !!!

Jonah and Todd have this thing on Friday nights...they get all caught up on "their" dvr'd shows from the week.  Their favorites are Whale Wars, Alaska State Troopers and Coast Guard Alaska.  (Do you see a theme??)  It warms my heart. 

Todd is explaining to Jonah as I write this that even though he loves the show Whale Wars, he does not agree with their beliefs.  It's sweet how he takes the time with our kids to explain things...and he even stops what he's doing and turns around and makes eye contact with them.  Sigh.  What a man.  I'm so blessed. 

Well.  That's about all I've got.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and for all the mama's reading this, Happy Mother's Day!  You rock. 

Love to all. 

Happy Friday!

We only have today and one more Friday left of school.  Our last day is on a Thursday.  I am so excited!!! 

I had an unexpected little girls' night last night.  My best friend, Amanda, invited me to her daughter's high school choir concert...titled, Dinner With Disney.  It was so fun!  It brought back memories of my last high school choir concert...which was a Disney concert, too. 

I was honored that she would invite me.  We had a few moments when one of us would just get this look in our eyes...and we'd look at each other and then laugh.  You know the kind...the moments when you don't have to say a word.  But you're telling a story. 

I am blessed to have a friend as wonderful as her. 

I cherish the moments, because I don't know how long they'll live here.  Her hubby manages the Carrabba's in the Ville's outdoor mall, and I don't know where he'll go next.  I know they plan on staying until their daughter Haley graduates in a couple years, but after that, I just don't know what they'll do. 

So...I'm thankful for many things today, but she is one of them.  We have lots in common.  We love to sing, we love watching movies (the girlier, the better!), we love eating.  It's always been that way between us.  Since we were in middle school.  We lost touch for a while in between our senior years of high school and the early years of our marriages, but I'm glad that we've found our way back to where we used to be. 

Well...that's all.  I must run.  Happy Friday!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

bLeSsEd

I'm so happy right now, at this instant.  I wish I could bottle this emotion and pull it back out for use on days when I'm not so much.  I feel like things are falling into place...and in a huge decision about next year (I know I said something contrary in a previous post), my eyes have been opened.

What I have been praying about, seeking God's wisdom for, trying to come to a conclusive decision (not just a, "Well, I guess I'll just do this and change it later if I have to" kind of decision) about has all of a sudden become perfectly clear.

And it came from the mouths of my babes.  Jonah and Noah...the source of all my "what to do's".

I think I might be taking a (HUGE) leap of faith in this decision, but it's one that I feel we can do for just a year...to kind of "try it out" and see what happens.  I can always reverse the decision if I need to.

But it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I have peace about it all...though I may need to come back to this post occasionally and re-read it. 

Remind me of this feeling, okay? 

Especially on the days when I get overwhelmed...and upset...and confused as to why on this earth would I have done something like this...remind me.  Please.  And then pray for me. 

I know some days will be great.  And I know other days will stink.  But I know, that for the next year, I get to help mold my littlest two into more excellent people.  Their brothers have made a different decision, and I will support that.  It's different with them...different school, more to be involved in...a brand new school to be excited for.  It's just different for them.  Not at all bad...just different. 

I get it. 

If you haven't guessed yet, you'll have to wait around a little longer.  I'm not quite ready to put it into writing yet.  But I will...and I've started the process.  My heart is fluttering madly in my chest...I don't know if it's nervousness or excitement.  But something is stirring...

That's all for now.  Love to all. 

Shine

Did you know that today you have the chance to shine like a star?  I love what I came across this morning:

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe..." Phil. 2:14,15

Today is your chance to shine.  Do it!  All for the glory of the Lord.


Happy Wednesday!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just For Fun

I titled last night's post, "Random"...and then it wasn't so much so.  I'll give that random thing another shot.

My poor sweet baby Noah is riddled with poison ivy.  :-(  Apparently he takes after his daddy and is super allergic to the nasty stuff.  And apparently (I like that word today) his tolerance level is high...because only one time did he mention "bumps", and at the time he only had two or three reddish looking bumps.  Well, it has spread, and he has scratched himself silly in a few places on his arms and legs.  But he never said anything again!  You'll be glad to know that we are treating him for this.  Poor little guy. 

Did I mention that Graham got a buzz cut last week?  I shaved off so much hair it was ridiculous.  He looks all cute and is wearing it spiked up in the front everyday. 

Drew is becoming quite good at leaning over and letting me wet his hair in the kitchen sink every morning.  God love him...he sleeps so hard that his hair is usually sticking up all over the place when he gets out of bed each morning. 

I do not love playing cards with Jonah.  He is a sore winner and a sore loser.  I love him, but I do not love playing games with the little turkey.  Fortunately, after a talking-to, he got better. 

Noah told me this morning that he wanted to pay his way to go to football camp this summer.  I hate to break it to him, but it's the same week as our church's VBS.  So that pretty much rules his plan out.  He doesn't even like football that much...why he would want to go is beyond me.  Now Jonah is altogether different.  But he's too cheap and said, "I'm not paying that much money!".  Sigh.  Like father, like son.

I was not in a good mood yesterday.  The weather was overcast and rainy, and it was just a blah Monday morning.  But then I remembered something I heard in my James Bible study...about how we go through times of rain...and how rain can represent blessings.  And all of a sudden, my eyes were clearer and I thanked God not only for the rain in the physical sense, but in my rain in the spiritual sense.  So many people are waiting on their time of rain in their life...and I'd like to tell them to keep the faith!  It's coming...I promise. 

Do you know that prayer works?  I've gotten into this habit of praying over every little detail.  And in doing that, I've had peace and strength in times that maybe I wouldn't have otherwise.  But prayer works!  Have you tried it lately?

I have made a conscience effort to stop complaining.  I think I've gotten better at being positive...I hope so, anyway!  I've even tried to stop "venting" on here...whether it be about packing lunches and snacks for four, or school...I'm not perfect, and there are days when I complain, trust me.  But I think overall, I've gotten at least a tiny bit better.  And on days when I'm not so good at this, I am silent.  On here and on Facebook.

For those of you who read this that don't have kids in school, did you know that May is every bit as crazy as the month of December?  It's like schools try to squeeze in every last bit of anything into one month...and it's insane!  I have little scraps of paper all over my counters...telling me when field day is, what to take on certain days for teacher appreciation week...I feel like I'm going to forget something vitally important.  I guess if I do, the world won't come crumbling down.  Will it?

I've been thinking about homeschooling.  I'm always thinking about it.  I have flip-flopped so many times I've lost count.  My reasons are personal, but Graham and Drew admitted to me that they would prefer to attend their school.  Especially because next school year, they will be in a brand new building.  And they have clubs there that they love being a part of.  I was still on the fence about Jonah and Noah.  They've said that they would like for me to homeschool them, but then they'll change their minds. 

I have prayed and prayed and prayed...with no real, clear answer.  So, for now, my decision is to keep things as they are.  My husband supports whatever decision I come to (he's been a huge part of the decision making process, though), but for now...things will stay the same.  They experience things in school that they can't get anywhere else.  Unfortunately, that includes negative and positive things.  My issues might also come because I'm so closely involved by working there.  I'm just trying to be in the moment for now...and to see what comes next later.  Or, at least on May 24th (their last day of school). 

I know that the world we live in is not perfect, but my natural instinct as a mom is to want to shield and protect them.  However...I can only do that so much.  God alone is our shield, our refuge.  I have to remind myself of this as I want to jump down someone's throat over not handling something in the way that I want!  Some of the negative things they experience at school can be experienced anywhere...even in church.  I have to remember this...and I always keep them covered in prayer.  I guess, in some small way, that is trusting in God.  He alone can do what I cannot.  And if I love my kids...how much MORE does He love them?!?! 

Pretty staggering thought, huh?

Well, I need to finish lunch.  How was this for "random"?  Better?  Happy Tuesday and love to all. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Random Thoughts...Because it's been a while since I've had some

Since Drew has had his arm in a cast, he's been feeling grimy.  So, he's been taking baths everyday.  Well.  He's been sitting, I've been helping get him squeaky clean.  (Please don't tell him I told you this, he'll kill me.) 

I've noticed that while I'm drying him off (because it's almost impossible to do everything one-handed), he hums.  I think it's adorable and endearing.  ;-)  Kinda like him.

So, I read something on Facebook tonight that totally convicted me.  My friend Christie wrote something along these lines: "What do we spend time on that is unnecessary?  Cut out one thing (tv, computer, phone) and do something that makes a difference.  Go for a walk.  Cook dinner for your family.  Play games with your kids." 

I was immediately convicted, and I really believe the Lord laid that on her heart to speak to me.  We don't "play" with our kids often enough.  When they were little, it was more of a physical thing...like when Dad would wrestle on the floor with them.  Now that they're older?  It's all about the conversation that takes place around that kitchen table that I pray will stick out in their minds.  We talked, we laughed, we danced in our seats and we sang along with the songs that Drew has on his iPod.  :-) 


 It was a great night.  A random family game night.  Sometimes you can't plan these kinds of things...sometimes something has to happen to put things into motion.  So, Christie, on the off-chance that you read this blog, thank you.  I'm convinced that what you said tonight was a God-thing.  I love God-things!


They were also thrilled because I bought ice-cream today at the grocery store.  It's been ages since I've bought ice-cream, and we pigged out on it.  I even bought Magic Shell to go on top...the boys were in Heaven.  :-)

Other happenings around the Goodwin house:

Friday night, Drew had his end of season lacrosse party.  And I don't know if I mentioned this, but Graham was in St. Louis that day.  He went on a field trip with the eighth grade band to perform at Six Flags over St. Louis.  He had the time of his life...it was an exhausting day for him, but he had a blast. 

Needless to say, he was not with us at Drew's end of season party. 

And poor Drew....he's been bummed because of all he's had to miss.  They played a game against the parents, coaches and siblings.  Because he's in a cast and can't play, he got to coach. 


Look at him, being all official.  He just loved having an excuse to boss people around!

Here's one of Noah...in the bright yellow shirt...who made some pretty good lacrosse moves, if I do say so myself!  Him and Jonah are planning on playing on our third and fourth grade team next season.  Yikes!


It was a fun night.  I am glad to not be responsible for a team of people anymore.  :-)  (I was the secretary on our team, Todd was the president.  He's glad, too.)

Saturday dawned bright and early.  My mom and I went out for a bit...I needed some quick-dry nail spray, and I might have gotten a new bottle of OPI.  Or two...,but surely not three?

Yup. 

Wanna see?


It's the new Spiderman collection...and this one is called "Just Spotted A Lizzard". 

Shut up.  Is it not beautiful???  I love it.  L.O.V.E. 

It doesn't take much to please me.  I might have bought myself my early Mother's day gift, but I'm fine with that.  :-) 

So, that was our weekend.  How was yours?  Share the love...and comment! 

Love to all!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Drew

Talk about unexpected things...today I got two phone calls at work from the school nurse at CMS.  The first time I talked with her, she said she thought Drew was fine, but that he might just need some medicine.

I left and took him medicine.  I just dropped off two Motrin and left...then felt bad that I didn't stay and see him.  I just knew that if I stayed, he would cry (even more) and I didn't want that for him.  (Sometimes, being a mom just flat out sucks.  You never know if you're doing the right thing.)

So back to work I went.  Thirty minutes later I got my second phone call.  I feel kind of bad, because at this point, I'm thinking the nurse has a flair for being dramatic.  She said herself that she thought he was fine.  Why she called, I have no idea.  Anyway, as I called her, I figured I would just go get him and assess him myself.  I called Todd, and he said the same thing...call him once I saw Drew. 

He could move his wrist, but everything really hurt, and at lunch he couldn't even open his fruit roll up.  I called him anyway, and we both agreed it would be best to just take him on in to Ortho One, and have them X-ray him.

I'm so glad we did.

The X-ray didn't show anything, but both the doctor and some other guy that came in thought that he had fractured his growth plate.  It's actually a little swollen in this picture...if you look at his left hand, right above his wrist, you can see a hump.  So...imagine Drew's excitement when the doctor told Drew that he was going to cast his arm.

Drew had already been asking me what color I thought he should get.  And I answered, "Well, Drew, it's probably not broken, so why worry about it?"  Hmm.  He chose maroon.  :-)  For the Dragons, of course. 


He is very proud of this.  And who doesn't love a little extra attention?  Especially in a house full of kids.  It's good for them, every once in a while. 

One more, and I'm off. 


Little cutie.  Well, the kids are outside (half of them, anyway) and at church, the house is quiet, and Johnny Depp Todd is calling my name...it's a Pirates of the Caribbean kind of night...On Stranger Tides.  :-)  Love me some Johnny Todd. 

Love to all!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

just a little somethin'

Today was an unexpected kind of day.  It was a normal day, in the sense that I took the kids to school, came home and did my usual routine, then went to work.  It was just unexpected in all the in-between times. 

I was thankful that I'd had time to come back home and get caught up on reading the Bible.  I'm on day 125 of my Chronological Bible reading plan.  (!!!)  I was thankful for the time I had in prayer right before work...and in particular, I was thankful that I prayed that God would clothe me in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  (Colossians 3:12)

He did.  All glory to Him. 

It's good to be prepared for the unexpected...because you just never know what life might throw at you.  And in the midst of it all, smile...and thank God that you have Him to lean on to get you through whatever you face. 


Those little words sum up everything I would like to say.  :-)

Moving on, now...

I haven't seen my sister Lisa in forever.  She had the chance to go to Colorado a couple weeks ago, and she jumped on it.  I think it was Easter the last time I saw her.  We normally go to my Mom's on Saturday nights for dinner, but due to a late lacrosse game this past weekend, we didn't make it out there.  Lisa, however, did.  And look what she found!


Is that not the most precious thing?  She sent me this in a text.  I love it...and this tells you how far apart we are in age.  I remember idolizing her, and being her little tag-along.  She used to take pictures of me, and I am positive that she was the one who taught me how to make my hair big (as if I needed it to be any bigger) by bending over, shaking it, then throwing it back.  She taught me how to pose for all of her pics...and by age four or five, I think she'd talked my mom into letting me model.  I'm kidding...I don't know if she talked Mom into it or not, but I did model.  I thought I was hot stuff.  This was before all that, though.  I also remember crying my eyes out every time she ever left me...either for college or for Harrison, Arkansas, in the early years of her marriage. 

Sweet, huh? 

We're overdue for a get-together.  It might not happen until Mother's day, but I would like for it to happen soon. 

So, another update is our dog, Crash.  He got really sick over the weekend and was throwing up all the time.  We were all prepared to take him into the vet on Monday, but of course, by then he was feeling better.  I'm not complaining...trust me, I am glad the dog feels better.  I do not handle sick animals well.  Sick children, yes, because they are human.  Sick animals...not so much.  Well, unless it's Andy the Wonder Dog.  I would feel sorry for him, I think. 

It's apparent by now that Crash belongs to Todd.  He is different when he's home, and much more obedient.  When it's just me and the boys...um, not so much.

I also understand that dog is truly man's best friend. 


They "get" each other in a way that cannot be matched.  I don't understand it, but this could very well be Todd and Crash. 

Or, I could just show you this. 


Pitiful, isn't it?

He is spoiled rotten.  R.O.T.T.E.N.  Crash, not the man.  Although...

Well.  My dog is whimpering to be let out so he can go chase a squirrel.  Or eat an acorn.  Or torture a bird. 

And my nails need to be painted.  Love to all.