Wednesday, October 31, 2012

an amazing weekend, part 2

I started this segment two weeks ago.  Oops!  I just realized I never blogged about the rest of that magical weekend.  *Warning: this post might be heavy on both photos and words.*

So, that weekend a couple weeks ago continued.  If you remember, we had the wedding downtown Friday night.  We had told the boys that we weren't going to Tom's Farm because the wedding party was getting together again Saturday night.  We go to Tom's Farm every year with our friends, and they love it, so we had to fabricate a story to curb their disappointment. 

We left our house and went to eat dinner, then headed downtown.  When we pulled into the FedEx Forum, they started asking, "Where are we going?!  What are we doing?!"  We finally told them that we were not there to get together with the wedding party, but to see the Fab 5 perform.  I think they all started screaming.  Which is why, when I took this picture, they all looked like this:


 I especially like the look on Jonah's face.  Before I go on, I have a story.  Ever since the Olympics, Jonah has been head over heels in love with McKayla Maroney and borderline obsessed with the Fierce 5 (I forgot they had to change their nickname to "fierce" instead of "fab"!).  Every single day that the Olympics was on, we sat glued to the t.v.  Especially when it came time for our gymnasts to perform.  Before the Olympics had even ended, he found out about this Kellogg's tour they were doing and insisted that he wanted to go.  He then proceeded to ask every single week, at least one time each week. 

I wrote a blog about this, remember?  I wanted him to be able to go so badly.  Not just him, but all of us.  Because, let's face it, as a family of six, doing things like this are extremely expensive.  We never go to concerts, or sporting events, we never even go to movies.  All because it costs a small fortune for us all to go.  I should also say here that Todd and I live debt free.  We do have our everyday bills~mortgage, MLGW, water, my suburban and money that we pay out to doctors not covered by insurance, but that's all we have.  We do not have any credit cards. 

Needless to say, unless God Himself provided a way for us to go, we were not going to go.  I remember thinking that, and then I remember having this "light bulb" moment.  You know the kind...you think a thought and all of a sudden you're like, "Oh!".  Psalm 37:4 says that if we "delight ourselves in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart."  I don't mean that He's this genie in a bottle.  But I do believe that when you walk with Him and have that close, intimate relationship with Him, He makes things happen!  Especially when it's something for someone else...like this desire I had for my kids. 

I just started praying for Him to provide a way.  I knew that if this was something we were meant to do, He would make it happen.  And if not, I knew He would shut a door.  I prayed exactly that.  I never ever in a million years want to do something not in His will, so I always pray that His will be done in our lives.  All desires of my heart aside.  I prayed this prayer for several days.  On Thursday, I had the thought that maybe what I was asking wasn't going to happen.  And you know what?  If not, I was okay with it!  We had never said anything to our kids, so the only one disappointed would have been me. 

Well, we have a friend we used to go church with that is the official chiropractor for the Memphis Grizzlies.  Todd had called him a few days before to ask if he had any connections that could possibly get us in at a discount.  He promised to check, but Todd never heard anything else.  On Thursday morning, our friend called Todd and told him that we had six tickets waiting for us at will-call at the Forum!

I immediately started thanking God for providing a way for us.  And I cried all day.  I knew that our kids would be so excited about going, and I couldn't wait to see their little faces!  We kept it a secret until we pulled into the parking garage.  And they were thrilled, as you see from the above picture. 

My point in telling you all of this is this: God knows exactly what is on our minds and hearts.  When we present our needs to Him, it comes as no surprise to Him.  So, why not pray for Him to make things happen for us?  Not selfish things, like winning the lottery, because that is not honoring to Him.  But the testimony that my kids saw from our miracle is that He does hear and answer our prayers.  Maybe not always in the way that we wanted, but His ways are higher and better than our ways! 

So, let me encourage you.  DO NOT GIVE UP.  Trust Him.  Believe Him.  Have faith in Him that He will provide for you.  No matter the circumstance, no matter the need.  When you walk with Him, and spend time with Him and honor Him with your life, He will provide a way!  Or he'll shut a door and change your heart so that you're okay with it, as I mistakenly thought He was doing in me before we got that phone call. 

Be encouraged, my friends, and give to Him all your needs and worries.  He truly cares for you!  (1 Peter 5:7)  All praise and glory to Him alone.

The rest of our amazing night looked like this:


We were in one of the boxes, and our seats were amazing!  The boys loved that we had a counter in front of us to lean on.  It's all about the small things, my friends.  ;)


 Todd turned his mobile hotspot on, and while Graham was browsing on Instagram, he saw that McKayla was signing autographs in the Kellogg's fitness zone.  Thank the Lord he saw that, or we would never have known!  We had no need to go down to the main level, so we really would have had no clue. 

In the fitness zone, they had to complete all these tasks, then they got to see:


 You guessed it.  McKayla.  :)  Drew's trying to look all nonchalant, but on the inside he was dancing, I assure you.

Then came Jonah's and Graham's turn.


 Jonah had very sweet dreams for the next few nights.  They said that her voice was very high pitched, something that was unexpected and fascinating for them all.  The reason she was down there signing autographs is because she is currently hurt.  She had surgery on her knee, so she's in a leg brace and on her other leg, she's in a walking boot.  I don't know why, but poor girl!  She hobbled in at the end of the show on crutches and performed in a farewell routine for three minutes. 


 Sorry it's blurry, but you get the point.  I hate that Noah's picture got messed up.  Some crazy woman was in the process of going nuts on a security guard and messed up his picture.  You know the type, we've all seen it happen.  I'm ashamed to say that this woman used to be a mom on one of our kids' baseball teams and she was cray cray then, too!  And just this past Spring, she went whack-o on my poor hubby.  She's lovely...I wish I'd gotten a picture of her! 

The rest of the evening was awesome.  The show was great and the boys were amazed watching them perform.  It was surreal seeing all the girls in front of us to me, I can't imagine what it was like for them! 


 The above image was the last five minutes of the night.  You can see McKayla with her leg issues in it.  Jonah was glad he got to see her one last time.  It was a magical night, and one we will never forget.  The boys still talk about it. 

To our friend who so graciously arranged for us to have the tickets~thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You were part of our miracle, so thank you for allowing God to use you.  We will never forget your generosity. 

Love to all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Stuff

Good morning!  I'm writing from the (not so) comfort of my very chilly living room!  BRRRRR!  We had the repairman here last night to fix our furnace, but he didn't have the part.  He'll be back sometime today, and for that, I am thankful.  It's thirty-three degrees outside as I write this, and inside is sixty. 

On a positive note, we've been doing this at night:


Last night, we even got really creative and had indoor s'mores.  I was going to post a pic, but the laptop isn't cooperating this morning.  It started cooling off in here yesterday around four thirty, so Graham went ahead and got a fire going in the fireplace for us.  I was thankful he knew what he was doing and didn't burn our house down.  I do love a fire, heat or no heat.   

Other happenings:

Graham and Drew get to "skip" school today!  They were invited to a leadership conference at Germantown Performing Arts Center, as grade representatives through FCA.  Graham went last year as a grade representative, and this year they both get to go.  They were so excited leaving the house this morning.  The conference is from 8-12, with lunch following.  My sweet friend's husband volunteered to drive my two, their son Cameron and a friend from their neighborhood, and I am picking them all up.  Cameron's coming over to hang out afterward today, then Drew and I will leave to go get his friend Will from school. 

Do you remember loving Halloween as a kid?  I do!  Needless to say, mine are all crazy excited about tomorrow.  We'll be going to our church's Fall fest, where Graham and Drew will be performing in a puppet show, then we'll come home and let the kids go down a couple streets.  I'm not even sure what Drew is dressing up as, but Graham is not dressing up at all, Jonah is going as a Steeler's football player and Noah is going as an alien.  Should be fun!  I think Todd and I are going to bring out the fire pit. 

What a fun week in our household.  Excitement mounts a little each day, if that is at all possible.  The kids are all busy this week with school stuff and church stuff, then there's our everyday life.  It's a little bit of a crazy busy time right now, but I do love it.  I chose a long time ago to just embrace it all and enjoy the moments that God has given me.  We never know how many we'll have, and I am determined not to take anything for granted.  Someday I will miss being mom, chef, launderer, chauffeur, and head of domestic relations.  I love being a wife and a mom, and I am so thankful that I get to stay home and do this every single day.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

How did your week start off?  Considering a rough weekend, I was glad that ours got off to a great start.  *Will you join me in praying for everyone affected by this super storm, Sandy?  I read this morning that the storm was eight hundred miles wide, and people in Cincinnatti, Ohio are feeling the repercussion.  

Love to all. 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

?????????????????????

I hate titles.  Now that I've said that, I can move on.

I have been feeling sick since Wednesday.  While we were camping on our Fall break, Drew was sick for a full two days.  He never got physically sick, but he felt rotten.  On the following Monday, Jonah woke up vomiting.  On the next day, Noah woke up in the same way.  The following day our neighbor's nephew Myles had it.  Then Graham, then Katie, my sweet neighbor, and now me.  Everybody is back to normal except moi. 

:(

I'm getting better, but I'm still not quite back to normal.  Hmm.  Maybe I'm never not quite normal.  I'm sure my sisters could all attest to this.  Anyway, I'm ready for whatever this is to go far, far away.  Because of this...whatever it is...I haven't done much of anything today.  I folded one load of laundry, finished a book and got halfway through another one. 

OH!

I got a happy in the mail!  A few years back, I got an email from a Christian publishing company to blog for books.  What this means is they send me a book (for FREE!!!), I read it, then write a "review" about it on my blog.  About a month ago, they sent me another email and I finally replied to it.  I then filled out a questionnaire asking me what books I liked, and what genre.    Anyway, how awesome is that?  I can't wait to read it...it's my first Christmas book of the year!  As much as I love Christmas, I don't decorate or start reading those books until after Thanksgiving.  Or maybe the day of Thanksgiving.  ;) 

Have I mentioned my pet peeves of Facebook?  Am I the only person with pet peeves with this social networking sight?!  If I'm not, please share the love with me and reassure me!  Lately, my pet peeves are political garbage and today it's the bashing of Alabama.  (ROLL flippin' TIDE.)  Thanks to my husband, I also do NOT love trash talking.  Yes, I realize I'm now talking about our team on here, but this is not Facebook.  Hundreds of people do not read my blog. 

After tonight's game, I might be tempted to do just a teensy tiny amount of that, though.  Maybe I should pray! 

I call myself a football fan by marriage.  I love the thought of football, and the Fall season that it's played in, all the noise, the cheering...I just don't understand all of it.  Some of it, yes.  All of it?  No.  I think my husband gets irritated if I talk too much during a game.  Especially during a game like tonight. 

Hence the blogging.  I feel the need to talk to somebody!  It's just he and I inside right now.  Graham and Drew went to the haunted trail here in The Ville with a friend of Drew's, and Jonah and Noah are playing outside.  And have been all day. 

Other things that have gone on today...hmmm...well, my hubby vacuumed for me.  He also cleaned off all the lamp shades and dried floral arrangements.  And in a moment of getting onto the boys for not taking responsibility for cleaning up a mess, he reduced me to a puddle of tears.  He fiercely defended me to our boys, and for that, I am so grateful.  Not many men stand up for their wives when it comes to kids helping out around the house, but he did.  He recognized and made them know how full my plate is right now (especially since I've not been feeling well all week), and how much I would appreciate them picking up the slack.  It made me cry.

After his pep talk, all the trash cans got emptied, my floors got vacuumed and my kitchen got cleaned. 

Is that not the sweetest thing ever?  Please don't get me wrong.  All of the things I just listed, I do not mind doing.  I've always felt that part of my duty as a wife is to do those things.  However, it's nice to have help.  And today was a little bit of an eye opener for me.  And for them, I think.  Sometimes it's good to let your kids know that you're not Super Mom. 

Let me encourage you to show your husband the gratitude he deserves for being the main provider for your family.  I was reading in a little book about marriage yesterday, about showing your husband respect.  Not saying, "Honey, I respect you", but SHOWING him the respect he deserves. 

Did you know that is THE most important thing a man needs???  It is.  Our marriage hasn't always been wonderful, but God has been showing me some things this year.  Through the power of prayer and through the reading of His word, Todd and I are closer than we've ever been.  (The book I was reading was a "coffee table" version of Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in case you are interested.)

Check it out...there is loads of good stuff in there. 

Well, I'm going to go cheer on our team with my favorite man.  Love to all. 

And ROLL TIDE ROLL!


Friday, October 26, 2012

just words

Today is the perfect prescription for a pajama day at school.  My heart is sad that Graham and Drew won't be here with us.  I really, really wish they had decided to be homeschooled.  We talk about it all the time, and dream about what it might be like next year.  This morning, for instance, was really hard getting out the door while it was still dark outside.  They had to go in early for Bible club, although, instead of going to that, they had to go make up tests. 

Add to that the outside temperature right now~46 degrees~and the fact that it's raining, and well, you see my point. 

I am thankful that I don't have anything pressing to do this morning, while the rain falls.  I do need to get to the store at some point for dinner tonight and tomorrow, but that can wait on the rain to (hopefully) blow over.

Todd's working with the sheriff's department tonight.  My heart is a little sad, because on nights like this a few years ago, my best friend would come over and hang out with me.  On a night like this, I might cook something yummy and comforting (maybe chicken tortilla soup), she come over in comfy clothes, we would hang out with the boys and when they went upstairs, we would pop in a movie.  Usually a chick flick.

Sigh.

I suppose I'm having a bit of a pity party.  Before that goes any further, I will stop and move on.  I want to go to my happy place today.  :)  The library.  I finally finished a book that took me about a week to read, and then I started on a James Patterson book, 1st To Die.  Oh my word.  I couldn't put the thing down!  I finished it last night.  I took a new book to bed last night, but I'm not sure if I'll continue on with it or if I'll just pick up a new one.  It's starting a little too slowly for my taste.

We're going to have a very easy day of school work today.  I plan on doing some spelling, maybe a quiz in language and some individual reading time.  We're learning about Indians in History, and I'm anxious to read that with them. 

What are your plans on this dreary day?  I'm sad for my elementary school friends in fourth grade~this weather is canceling their walking field trip today.  I've already said a prayer for them all.  It's so disappointing having something like that get canceled. 

Whatever you do, enjoy your day!  Love to all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

weekend, part 1

We had the greatest weekend ever, but tonight I'm only going to tell you about Friday night.  Todd's best friend since high school, Bob, got married.  Todd was one of the groomsmen and Graham was a junior groom.  It's the first wedding Graham has ever been in.  (The reason Graham was chosen is because the junior bride was his same age.)

Bob also just so happens to be the boys' godfather.

I love weddings.  Have I ever mentioned that?  Especially weddings where there's lots of people I know and love and that are in beautiful locations.  :)


It was held in the Cadre Building in downtown Memphis.  The pillars had carvings of gold on them.  I heard this used to be a bank, but now it's the perfect wedding/reception venue.

In order to go to this wedding, you had to be very specifically dressed.  (I don't think we've ever been to a wedding this fancy.)


Pretty handsome, if I do say so myself.  (And a special thanks to Katie, the best neighbor in the world.  We borrowed Jonah's and Noah's clothes.)

I got to see my two oldest guys dressed in their finest.



I basically told them all to suck it up about my excessive picture taking.  They did a great job.


Graham walked this sweet girl down the aisle.


It's blurry (sorry!), but you get the drift.  Check out those amazing smiles!  Here's a better one of Alexis and him:


The reception was entertaining.


Especially with these two sitting by me.


And then there's these guys:


and:


We did a lot of eating.  A little dancing.  And a lot of laughing.  It was all fun and games till the end, when Graham started getting sick.  Thank the Lord he made it through the wedding with no problems, though. 


He even got to assist in being the deejay. 

It was a great night. 

But the fun of the weekend didn't end there.  I'll post more tomorrow. 

Love to all!

little tidbits of The Word

In my quiet time this morning, I prayed that God would speak to me through His word.  He came through for me.  I love being encouraged by what the Bible says, and I thought you might be encouraged as well this morning.

On days when I fail to impress the people around me: But He continued, "You are from below; I am from above.  You are of this world; I am not of this world."  John 8:23

On days when it's hard to love the people in my life: He answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your strength and with all your mind", and "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Luke 10:27

On days when I don't feel like I'm worth much: "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."  Luke 12:6,7

On days when I obsess over things I shouldn't (money, knick-knacks, the way my house looks, the way my body looks or doesn't look): "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life:  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"  Luke 12:22-26

"But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."  Luke 12:31

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Luke 12:34

On days when what I'm like doesn't quite fit the standards of what everyone else might be like: "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."  Luke 13:24

I am learning not to try and please those around me.  The only one I should be aiming to please is my Creator.  I am not perfect, never have been and never will be.  I am a constant work in progress.  My charge to you~don't worry so much about your outside appearance.  Worry much more about your inside appearance.  "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  Matthew 12:34

He will come when we least expect it.  (Luke 12:40)

Love to all. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

things I love and why (installment number who knows?!)

My sweet husband.  Do you know what this amazing man did for me Tuesday morning?  When child #4 woke up vomiting, he came upstairs and cleaned it all up.  Because said child did not quite make it to the bathroom in time.  That, my friends, is true love.  Sure, romance is nice and all, and I love to watch a cute romantic comedy, and I love to read about love stories in books, but what he did for me that night was completely selfless.  It reminded me of the Samaritan woman who washed Jesus' feet with her perfume and hair.

Homeschooling.  I love, love, love our freedom!  I love our curriculum and how God is at the center of it.  I love that most days we're done right around lunch time.  I love that when Jonah and Noah are sick, I don't have to tell anyone.  Although, I promise you, I almost emailed their former principal the other day when Jonah woke up sick, to let her know that I wouldn't be at work.  Ha!  I should have gone ahead and sent it, I'm sure it would have given her a huge laugh.

The National Geographic channel.  As I write this post, Jonah and Noah are watching a show called Inside the Green Berets.  Yes, they are all boys and love all things military.  Although Jonah likes it a lot more than Noah.  Noah just puts up with Jonah's insistence that they watch this show.  Who am I kidding?  I love it, too! 

Movies.  Last night Todd worked, and we all know what that means: I got to watch whatever I wanted!  I actually did watch the presidential debate for a while, but when I got sick of that, I turned it to my DVR'd Dancing with the Stars results show.  ***SPOILER ALERT***  As much as I love Sarah Palin, I was so glad to see Bristol go home.  People who were voting for her were not voting for her dancing capabilities.  They were voting for her mom.  And that bugs me, because she is a terrible dancer!  Not that I'm great, but you don't see me on that show.  Anyway, after that I started watching Time Traveler's Wife.  I love that movie!  I also might have watched (and rewound a few times) some of my favorite singing/dancing scenes from the new season of Glee.  I know.  Please don't judge me!

The new Glee.  I'm going to ask once again that you not judge me.  It's all about the little things in life, and one thing I love is good music.  I also love some of the new cast, including this cute couple:


I'm such a girl.

Ombre hair.  If mine was longer, I would color it, but I don't think it would look good on the length of my hair.



My husband would most likely hate it. 

I could go on, but I'll stop for now.  Love to all!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tuesday Schmoozday

Because I feel as if this needs to a numbered list so I can stay focused, I'm going to number this.  (Have I ever done that before on here?  I don't know if this is proper or not, but here goes.)

1. I love this beautiful Fall weather!  Even though it doesn't feel very Fall~ish, it at least looks the part.  I feel so sorry for my friends and family that don't get to experience the seasons that I love so much.  This pic below is kind of blurry because I took it while I was driving.  Sorry!


I think my favorite Fall tree color is red.  It's so bright and shocking that it always makes my heart happy.

2.  Jonah and Noah have been sick~Jonah yesterday and Noah today.  Due to that fact, we've yet to start school again.  I plan on starting tomorrow, and hopefully we'll be super productive.  Jonah did start and complete a book report today, so that's something.  It took a while because I let him type it out on the computer. 

Do you know this is the first time they have ever had to do a REAL book report?  Schools today tend to "dumb things down", and they've done pizza box book reports, brown bag book reports, etc., but today, this boy learned how to do a good, old fashioned book report.  (Was that a run-on sentence?  I believe it might have been.  Oops!)

3.  Jonah is head over heels in love with Fab 5's McKayla Maroney.  The Fab 5 gals are coming here Saturday night, and I would give my left arm to be able to take the boys to see them.  Please pray with me that God provides a way!  The tickets are pricey when you times them times six.  Individually, they're not too bad, but for a Saturday night out with the six of us, well, you get the drift.  If we somehow manage to pull it off, I am planning on it being a huge surprise.  Jonah has slept with this in his bed every night since he first laid eyes on her.


Shoot, this one's blurry, too.  Anyway, last night he was sleeping and woke up when Noah got sick.  He smiled this smile that was so big that his dimples got lost.  He looked at her when he smiled, mumbled something to her and went back to sleep.  I'm telling you, the kid's got it bad.

4.  I was vacuuming the floor today in all my spare time when I came upon this:


I almost tripped three different times on all these shoes.  But I know that someday, I will miss this sight so bad.  I will miss the moments when they are so loud I can barely hear myself think.  I know I will miss all their messes, the cups they never seem to remember to load into the dishwasher, the clothes they always leave behind when I do laundry, the unmade beds, the messy pantry shelves, the fingerprints I see everywhere and the companionship of these four amazing boys.  I know I will.  From this moment on, I am choosing to be joyful in the mess that is my home.  These moments won't last forever.

5.  I got some really good reading time in today.  I ended it with a treat for myself~reading my favorite book and chapter of the Bible.  Colossians 3. 


I love that Paul is telling the Colossians that they are dearly loved.  It's a great reminder for us, as well.  When we don't seem all that loveable, God, in His might splendor and majesty dearly loves us.  You.  Me. 

How's your day going?  Share the love!  I miss all my commenting friends! 

Love to all. 

just another update

Hello, bloggy world!  I've been gone a few days.  Almost a week, in fact, and usually the only time I'm gone is when I have writer's block.  This time, though, it's just because I've been busy.

We camped last week, but I'll write more about that later. 

For the second night in a row, I was awoken by a child throwing up.  :(  Do you know how sad this makes me?  I feel so bad for them as they cry and tell me how much their stomach hurts.  Jonah was hit with his yesterday morning around four a.m.  Noah was hit with it this morning around one.  I don't know about you, but when my kiddos are sick with a virus like this, I let them make a pallet on my bedroom floor.  That way if they get up, I can hear them.

At least this seems to be fast-catching.  Hopefully if we're all going to get it, we'll get it quickly so we can be done. 

I've been playing catch up on all the blogs I love.  One of my favorite bloggers, Courtney from Women Living Well, wrote about a Christmas planner that she made.  The idea is not hers, but from a book called Untangling Christmas.  You can click on both the links to get to the websites I'm referring to.  After going to the Untangling Christmas website, I decided to buy and download the eBook to my Kindle reader.  It was only $5.99, so hopefully my husband won't mind.  (He does not love when I buy lots of books, but it's been ages since I've bought one.  I've been borrowing them from my Happy Place.)  I am SO making one of these planners!  On today's blog post from Courtney, you can watch her video that tells about it.  I love organization!

I have a small mountain of laundry.  Today I will be washing the sheets from Jonah's and Noah's beds.  I can't ever seem to stay caught up on my laundry.  Do you have this problem?

We are not having school again today due to sickness.  Hopefully tomorrow will be super productive.  ://

I am on this reading kick right now.  I can't seem to get enough of books.  Today I was inspired to start reading a book on marriage.  I do not love non-fiction books, but I think it's a good to read at least one a year.  When you're like me and love to read, it would be nice to actually learn something from one of the many books I go through. 

The best book I'm reading is the Bible.  I'm going through a chronological reading plan, and I love love love reading through all the gospels.  I'm going back and forth through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Yesterday's reading was so good.  I pray that through reading His word, I grow closer to Him. 

I suppose I need to go start doing something.  I think I'll start with my daily Bible reading, and from there, who knows?  Happy Tuesday my friends.  Love to all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

see you later

We're about to start loading up the vehicles to head out for our camping trip.  I cannot wait until we're all unpacked and settled into our home for the next few days. 

This:


And this:


And a lot of this:


And waking up and doing this to wake and warm up:


Except that it won't be nearly this cold. 

I'll take lots and lots of pictures and will post when I get back.  :-) 

Love to all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

tuesday, fall break

Good morning!  I should start off with the fact that there are five hundred and thirty-seven things I should be doing right now in order to start getting ready for our camping trip.  That we leave for tomorrow.  But here I sit, thinking of all the things we've done so I can get the blog caught up. 

Now that I've said that, I feel a little better. 

So, it was a great weekend.  The weather was absolutely amazing!  Well, it did rain on and off on Saturday, but I was okay with it because of how cool it was outside.  Can you tell that I am a Fall person?!  We celebrated our friend's nephew's birthday at Incredible Pizza.  The boys were in Heaven!


Graham doesn't want to talk about what he was doing.  This was Jonah's first time driving a go-cart!  He loved it and did not even crash into anything!  He made a mama proud.  :-)

On Friday night after finishing Jodi Picoult's House Rules, I started this book.


I finished it on Saturday night.  Immediately after finishing this one, I started this one:


I finished this one Sunday afternoon.  Yes, I read all weekend long.  I didn't do a lot of laundry, and I certainly didn't grocery shop, like I should have.  But boy did I ever enjoy reading so much!  It's the first time I've read that much since school started in August.  It's a luxury for me. 

Monday we we went to the zoo with my sweet Daddy.  It's been ages since we've been, and yesterday was the perfect zoo day. 


It's funny when we go, we never do the same thing twice.  We let the boys dictate where they want to go, and we follow.  I'm proud to say that they don't really argue about it, either.  They're all great about agreeing where they each want to go, as long as they get to see what they want as well. 


Did I say how amazing the day was yesterday?  The animals are so frisky on cool days.  We all had such a great time. 


We came home for a little while, then I took Graham and Drew to their friend's house to spend the night.  Jonah and Noah had a friend come over to replace them.  :-)  And he's staying today to hang out, along with our little neighbors from next door, Myles and Zander. 

And while they play, I have to pack, wash and get to the grocery store!  We're leaving tomorrow for our camping trip.  I cannot wait!  We're going to Village Creek this time.  It's in Crowley's Ridge, near Wynne, Arkansas.  The weather is supposed to be pretty great. 


I can't wait to witness more sunsets like this one, but without all the power lines around.  I love nature and sense the greatness of God through all His creation.  Do you? 

Well, speaking of all his stuff, I had better get busy!  Love to all. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

He...

 He...

was my best friend my junior and senior year of high school.   And still is.  :-)


always made me laugh.  And he still does.

decided not to wait very long to ask me to marry him.  And I gladly accepted.



is a genuinely good person.  On one of our first dates, he brought my mom a dozen roses.

is an amazing father.


has this thing about wearing crazy shirts to make people laugh.


 is and forever will be my lobster.  :-)  (To get this, you had to have been an avid Friends watcher.)

took me out tonight for our sixteen wedding anniversary.


opens my doors and lets me go first. 

makes me try things I normally would never.  And I do...because I trust him and the fact that he has my best interests at heart.


takes me out for my favorite coffee drinks.


is an amazing husband, dad, son, son-in-law, brother, uncle and friend.

And the more time that goes by, the more I love him.

Love to all. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

hump day

I was going to post some pictures from our day, but I just realized I didn't take any.  It's a rare occasion, the day that I don't take pictures. 

Did you know that photography is one of my hobbies?  It always has been one of my most favorite things to do.  When I was a young girl, my dad would always give me his camera to capture all the images from our trips.  I was cleaning out my cedar chest the other day and came across a bunch of old photographs of me as a youngster, and guess what was slung around my neck? 

You guessed it.  My dad's trusty old camera.  :-)  Considering I was about eight in the first picture I found that had me with it hung around my neck (it was a pic my stepmom took with her own camera), I'd say it's been a life long hobby.

Moving on.

Tomorrow, my amazingly handsome, brilliant and wonderful hubby and I celebrate sixteen years of wedded bliss!  Well, it wasn't all wedded bliss, but it was definitely wedded.  ;-)  More on our anniversary tomorrow.

The weather has been ahhhhhmaazing the past few days!  As I type this, it's a loverly seventy-five degrees outside!  That is almost perfection!  Well, it would be if it were a few degrees cooler, but still, I'll take it!

Today was one of those magical homeschool days that rarely happens.  Jonah finished his work at eleven fifty this morning.  In a mere three hours, he had completed God's Gift of Language, Spelling (a new list that we started today, they had to write ten of the words three times each on their dry erase boards), Arithmetic (they call it that), Science, The History of our United States, a reading skills story and questions and a page in their "My State" journal. 

Shut up.  I kid you not.  And Noah finished at twelve thirty.  It was amazing. 

We even learned a new concept in math today. 

At one o'clock we had finished all that work, eaten lunch, cleaned the kitchen, and with my Fall candles lit, we all settled down for some quiet time to read our books.  On top of all of his work, Jonah also read pages fifty through two hundred seventeen in his book.  He finished it and will start working on his book report Friday. 

It took Noah almost that long to settle on a book.  God love him, he does not enjoy reading, so I let him pick any book he wanted, as long as it was at least on his reading level or above, and whether it was fiction of non-fiction.  He prefers non-fiction. 

Am I mean to make them do a book report?  I need to know that they know how to take what they've read and transfer the information about the book into paragraph form.  I'm not sure they can do that on their own, so we will spend some time working on it all together.  They've never had to do a "real" book report.  They have had to do watered-down versions of book reports, but come middle school, they had better know how to write! 

Hopefully they're learning. 

It's a definite process. 

How was your day?!  For those who have been commenting, thank you!  Keep on sharing the love and leave some more!  The "1 Comment" phrase makes my day.  :-)  Love to all and happy Wednesday!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Some Things I Love

It's been forever since I've posted one of these.  I thought I would share a little of what I love right now.  :-)

1.  Fall!  Our first official day of Fall was two Saturday's ago, and it is our favorite time of year!  In honor of the cooler weather that we've been experiencing, Friday night called for a little of this:

 

It wasn't quite as cool as I had hoped, we actually broke into a sweat getting this going and hauling out the adirondack chairs, but it was still fun.  We invited some sweet friends over to roast hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores, the Martin's.  It was a great evening, and one that all seven of the kiddos enjoyed.  Plus a neighborhood boy.  :-)

2.  Homeschooling.  I keep waiting on a day to come that's going to be bad, but so far, it hasn't happened.  There have been long days and tense days, but we have yet to experience a bad day with our amazing curriculum, A Beka.  We love it so much and are so fortunate to be able to stay home and have school.  On Friday, the younger boys requested that we make our own play dough.  So I looked up a recipe on Google, found one for Smelly Dough (play dough with Kool Aid), and we got to work.


Jonah chose grape, Noah picked berry blue, and on Saturday, Graham picked cherry and Drew picked orange.  :-)  It is so simple and so much fun!  Even though I had red hands for a few hours from Graham's. 

3.  And speaking of hands, my newest shade to love for Fall is:


Suzi Loves Cowboys.  :-)  Mine aren't quite this shiny, but you get the point.

4.  The newest book I'm reading is amazing.  I started a new (to me) author, Jodi Piccoult.  I tried reading one of her books before, My Sister's Keeper, and had to put it down.  I cried too much and it just seemed so depressing, so I only made it a fourth of the way through.  I decided to give her another try the last time I went to my happy place, and on Saturday, I started this:


I'm already half way through it.  It's so good, and written from different points of view.  One of the characters, Jacob, is a boy with Asperger's Syndrome.  It really causes you to think about the way you view people...like the kids you hear your kids complain about in school.  It makes you wonder if there's a deeper issue somewhere. 

5.  Our beautiful town, The Ville.  I love taking pics of places in my hometown.  I snapped this one today:


6.  Cool, rainy, dreary Monday's.  Today was another pajama day in school.  I'm still in mine.  :-)  I brushed my teeth, washed my face, and put on some clean pj's this morning.  I love days like this!  I'm so thankful that I get to stay home and educate my kids.  I'm praying Graham and Drew stick with their decision to be homeschooled next year.  Our morning looked a whole lot like this:


And, to go along with our rainy morning, Jonah decided to be prepared with some survival gear just in case our lights should go out or a burglar were to break in:


This knife is one from the collection that Mr. Paul, our neighbor who passed away, had.  His wife brought each of the boys down one on Saturday, along with some pictures of him she thought they would like to remember him by.  I thought that was so sweet of her, and yes, in made me start crying all over again.  And then I had to love on Drew, because it hit him that he was gone, and he spent the next hour boo-hooing.  :-( 

I don't think Jonah has hardly put his down yet.  Drew picked out a Swiss army knife, Noah picked out a floating fillet knife, and Graham picked another type of fishing knife. 

So, that's about it for this rendition of things I love.  Share the love and tell me what YOU love!

Love to all. 

things that make me happy

Yesterday's post was long and detailed.  Today's will be short and sweet.  Here are some random things I've loved this week. I...