Thursday, January 31, 2013

day 92, Thursday

We have had THE busiest day ever.  We left home at 8:25 this morning and I'm just now returning at 4:30.  This, my friends, is rare in the homeschool world. 

My homeschool group meets every Thursday, so that's where we were all day.  I have to be there early, because I help with admin stuff, and setting up the sign-in sheets for our instructors. 

I think I ran from one end of the church to the other at least twenty times, before I could go join the other mom's for Bible study.  (I'm NOT complaining, I promise!  I'm just giving a break down.)  Our day usually ends at 12:45, but since Graham and Drew are with me now, they have joined Gen SC (Generation Student Council).  They meet the last Thursday of every month from 2-3. 

I forgot about that and had to come home so we could all eat lunch, then drive them back to Germantown Presbyterian. 

We got back home around 3:15, but I needed to make a Kroger run and stop by my Mom's place of work.  Graham and I did that, and visited with her and the sweet owner for a little bit before coming back home. 

So now, here I sit at 4:37.  I'm seriously about to go put on my most comfy clothes and veg out the rest of the evening.  Todd's working again, so guess what that means?!  I get to watch my shows!  And Glee is supposed to be amazing tonight.  :)  And we're having oven-baked chicken tenders and something yummy my mom just gave me for dinner tonight.  Because it's easy and all I have to do is heat it up in the oven.  (Thank you, Mom!!)

I'm thankful for busy days.  As crazy as that sounds, I am, because that means we are healthy and happy and able to run around like crazy. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

day 91, Wednesday January 30th

I threw in the date for my benefit.  Pay no attention.  :)

Today was an okay school day.  Some days seem really productive, some don't.  Today was so-so.  Jonah suffered from a sinus headache most of the day, so he did piddly stuff while Noah did other things.  I really try hard to keep them on track with one another just for my records.  I can wing it tomorrow and Friday, though. 

Graham and I had fun practicing Spanish today.  He is able to keep up with the class he just came out of, which is really cool, so we learned words for party planning.  Drew is testing my brain over vocabulary words in this English we're doing called I.E.W.  I finally made him install a dictionary app on his iPod. 

We did other things, too, but those are the ones I thought were blog-worthy. 

Noah got a new toy today!  With his leftover Christmas money, he bought himself a mini-trampoline.  Graham, Jonah and Noah worked hard putting it together today after lunch.  They did really good, too.  The only adjustments Todd had to make were minor.  He had to tighten up bolts that weren't screwed on tight enough. 

So guess where it will (temporarily) reside? 


Yup.  That would be in our living room.  He was resting and watching a show, all at once.  ;)

Today my list of things I am grateful for consists of several things I observed in my house today. 

I am thankful for:

a protective older brother.  Graham offered to do something first to keep the other boys from getting hurt.

a good attitude, even when I know Jonah didn't feel good today.  He was a trooper, and kept working.

a son who is a good steward of his money, and who loves to share it with his brothers.  (Noah)

a helpful Drew.  We're reinforcing our long division skills, and he answered questions today while I got dressed. 

These things might seem small, but in my eyes, they're huge!  I have been praying (and praying and praying) for an obvious change in attitude with my oldest son, and I saw it today.  I saw him being helpful and protective.  Do you know what that does to a mama?  It's so good for my heart.  I think now that they've been de-school-ified helps.  (Mrs. Spell Check does NOT like my word, but isn't it great?!)  They've accepted that our days are different now, and while it's been an adjustment, I keep seeing little glimmers of hope. 

I love it and am grateful for moments like these. 

Love to all. 

just a few things

Since I started homeschooling all four boys, I feel like the majority of my time is spent in the kitchen.

*Please don't think I'm complaining, I'm not, I promise!  I love the kitchen.  I love cooking, I love the cleaning part (well, maybe not always), I love that all the boys are here every single day for every single meal.

If you ask them, they'll tell you one of their favorite parts about being homeschooled is the fact that they get really good breakfasts and lunches.  ;)  It's true that the way to a boy's (man's) heart is through his stomach.  This morning I made breakfast sandwiches which consisted of sausage and cheese between two pieces of toast.  I had yogurt.

Just now we had lunch.  Jonah and Noah had a leftover chicken tender (which was HUGE) from the other day, Noah had cheese with his, Graham had a sandwich and French onion dip, Drew had broccoli cheese soup and crackers, and I had half a sandwich with a few chips with dip on them.  We all drank sweet tea, except for Jonah, who had a coke because of a sinus headache he's had all day.

*Note to self, maybe on days when a child has a sinus headache, that child shouldn't be made to read or concentrate heavily on a unit review of vocabulary words from the past ten weeks.

I will be done in the kitchen until about four thirty.  Then I'll start pulling everything together for tonight's dinner.  Which will be super simple because it's church night.  I like to clean as I go, so at the end of a meal time, my counters are always clean and clutter-free.

Like I said, most of my day is spent in the kitchen.  Especially when you factor in the fact that at least two boys do work at the kitchen table.  My Bible and devotional books are in there, too, so sometimes, we all sit while we work or read quietly.  It's kind of nice.

Speaking of the Bible and today's devotion, I came across a great verse for today.  It's from first John, chapter five, verses fourteen and fifteen.  They read like this:

 "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him."

I simultaneously love and dislike these verses.  I love them because, obviously, it's God's written word.  And I love that assurance that God hears us, and gives to us what His good, pleasing and perfect will is.  The thing I dislike about these verses is that sometimes when we pray God's will, it hurts.  

For example, Monday nights have become my favorite.  :)  My sweet best friend, Mandy, and I have started watching The Bachelor together.  I know the show's junk, but I love it and it's always more fun to watch with a friend.  The first night we watched together I made a fudge pie for us to enjoy together, and I took a thermos of decaf coffee with special cream.  This past Monday night, she made cookies, along with strawberries and whipped cream.  Yum!!  I was miserable when I left her.  

The reason I go to her house is because her hubby manages the Carrabba's in The Ville.  Lately, he's been traveling to Murfreesboro (near Nashville) each week, from Monday through Friday.  She hates the traveling he's been forced to do.  Even though he works late hours, just knowing that he'll be home with her later, is reassuring.  We've been talking about this for quite some time, and the big question has been, 'is he going to be transferred there?' because of how much he's been going.  

I've started praying that God just have His way in their lives.  Mandy is miserable, I know David isn't thrilled, the kids miss him when he's gone.  I know that God's plan for them is perfect, and I've been praying for some answer, any answer for the direction He might be leading them.   And as much as I love my precious friend and would miss her, I know that the way they've been living apart is not good for a family.  

We have this rule, that we each come last with one another.  Husband and family ALWAYS come before our time together.  Which is why, when we spend Monday nights together, it's late, after our families have been taken care of.  She gets me in a way that nobody else does.  We have this thing, where we laugh with our eyes.  I swear, we can tell stories without uttering a single word.  

The first time we met was when we were in middle school.  She was from Atlanta, Georgia and lived here for two amazing years.  They moved back to Atlanta, but I traveled there to see her anytime I could.  Spring break, summers, this one time I was there on vacation when her parents decided to take us to Panama City Beach, Florida.  We have stories that would make an Armed Guard laugh.  

We go way back, needless to say.  

Which is why I am near devastated over the fact that they are moving.  I don't know when, or for how long, but I know it'll be within six months.  Probably less.  I always knew that this was their temporary home, though.  I wasn't all that surprised, even, when she told me.  However sad I am, though, I am so happy that God is doing His thing, and getting them all in the same location.  I know her daughter is sad, but it'll be a good thing for their son, who doesn't have many friends here.  (He's in 8th grade, she's in 11th.)  

Why do my best friends always have to leave?  I could really start a pity party here.  

I won't, though.  I know the tears will come soon enough.  For now, I will enjoy whatever time with my sweet Mandy that I have left.  I will continue watching our show on Monday nights with her, I will continue to have our girls' night outs with her, I will celebrate her 37th birthday with her next month.  And you better believe, I'll be visiting her at least twice a year in her new town.  :)

Sorry for the length~I just needed to "cry" a little to someone.  I'll leave you with a pic of us from Christmas.  
  
I hope you all are blessed enough to have a best friend, or at least a friend, as amazing as this woman is.  I love her.  

Love to all.   


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

day 90

I can't believe I'm on day ninety.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I started this whole project.  Has being intentionally thankful helped me in any way, you might wonder?  I would say that it most definitely has.  Writing it out forces me to take a day, good or bad, and find something positive in it.  Some days that's easy, but some days it's very hard. 

Today, on this ninetieth day, I am thankful that my man is home with me tonight.  He tends to work on stormy nights, but so far, he's staying here.  The boys and I are all very happy about that. 

What is it about storms that creep me out?  I guess the fear of the unknown.  Are you ever too old to be scared of one?  I don't think so.  I'm about to retire to our bedroom with my book.  Hopefully I'll be fast asleep by the time it really starts to get nasty.

We'll see how many kids end up in our bedroom floor.  I'll let you know about that tomorrow.  ;) 

Love to all.  


If you were a fly on the wall, you would see (or hear)...

...

the way that Graham did an about-face in Walmart today.  Seriously, I almost ran him over with the basket.  We were heading out the door, when he stopped and ran up to an elderly man who had just walked in.  He was saying, "Sir!  Sir!"  The man stopped, and Graham held out his hand and said, "Thank you for serving our country."  The man looked him dead in the eye and with a stunned look that turned radiant, said, "Thank you, young man."

the many times the boys told me "thank you" today.  For a special lunch, for dinner, for making homemade chocolate chip cookies, for homeschooling them, for helping them with math or vocabulary words, for buying them all their favorite flavors of yogurt.

us once again at the Johnson Park turf football field.  We had a great day of school and celebrated by going there when all the work was completed.

the kids arguing.  Me telling them to stop.

them hug each other.  How can argumentative little souls argue one minute and hug the next?  I don't know, but I love to see it.

the looks I get when I walk into the Walmart at twelve thirty on a Monday afternoon.  With four boys around me, on a school day, no less.  I can see/feel the judgement.

me pray about friends who I feel are mad at me for some reason.  I don't like knowing or wondering if someone is mad at me, and over the past few weeks, I have felt that way.

me, dressed down on a day that started off being dreary.  I did apply some make-up, though. 

hearing/seeing Jonah and Noah cry tonight over a conversation we had about loving one another. 

(Written Monday night)

Love to all. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

catching up~days 87, 88, and 89

Our weekend was so great, and so low-key.  Sometimes it's just nice to not have anything to do or anywhere to go.  We even missed church yesterday~because Todd was missing about half of our day, we decided to just relax all day, together. 

I am so thankful for time like that. 

Today we have had a spring~like day in The Ville, so I'm thankful for that as well.  It was nice wearing a short sleeved tee shirt and flip flops today.  After our school work was done, we celebrated by going to their favorite turf field so they could play football.  :-) 

I also grocery shopped and got all prepared for dinner tonight.  Tonight's menu consists of hamburgers.  Good, old fashioned hamburgers.  

How was your day?  Thanks for all the comments lately!  Love to all. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

day 86, Friday (and some other fun things)

I am thankful for days like today.  A perk of being a homeschool family is flexibility.  We'll do some math and language to catch up tomorrow, but for today, we took a field trip.  :)

Before we left, Crash decided he'd like to sit in the head of our family's seat at the table. 


Can you even believe how ridiculously cute this is?  He should be glad he's cute~sometimes his looks are all I like.  ;)

We were anxiously awaiting on Pappaw to arrive.  We had lunch at Chick Fil A, then we headed to the Children's Museum.  A favorite place of ours. 


We always go to the Fed Ex exhibit first.  How funny is it that the boys had to wait on Pappaw for their turn to fly the plane?!  I'm pretty sure he had more fun than them. 


They have lots of new things they've added since our last visit.  This rock wall was one of them. 



So was this playhouse thing.  Jonah said he was pretending he was being kidnapped.  ???  Don't even ask.  All I can think of is that he watches too many cop shows with his beloved dad. 



You are never too old to pretend.  These emergency vehicles will never get old!  One thing they're adding is a firehouse.  Hopefully it'll be done in the next few months and we can go back. 


Another new thing was this see-saw.  Can you believe the man on the right of this thing is almost eighty-two years old?!  Don't tell him his age, though, it might depress him. 

Seriously, this day was amazing.  Like I said, we might do a little weekend catching up on math and language, but that's perfectly fine.  I'm not constrained by time anymore.  :) 

I hope your weekend is immensely blessed.  Love to all. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

day 85, Thursday

Today, I am thankful for good medical insurance!  I went to an allergy doctor today (allergist?).  I wrote about having an allergic reaction to something back on New Year's day, remember?  I'm not sure what it was exactly, that made me react that way, so my general practitioner told me I needed to be tested.  (I had to go see her for a shot of steroids and a prescribed steroid dose pack.  My skin was on fire and I had a horrible rash all over my body.) 

So today I went. 

I don't really know what it is I'm allergic to, yet.  I was really nervous going in this morning, because I didn't want to have another reaction.  Thank the Lord, she decided to let me have my blood drawn, and they will test that.  I should hear something back in about ten days.  Until then, I have to stay away from salmon, shellfish, and white fish. 

She also taught me how to use an EpiPen.  I am to carry one around with me at all times.  After I get the prescription filled, that is.  They're pricey little suckers, aren't they?!  I need a coupon!  All joking aside, at home, I am safe.  When we eat out, I'm not, just because I don't know how well they keep food separated.  She told me that the next time a reaction occurs, it would most likely be much worse.  Most likely it would involve me not being able to breathe or swallow. 

Hmm. 

I'm thankful for God's protection, too.  It could have been so much worse than it was a few weeks ago. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

day 84, Wednesday

Today was a much better day.  I know I had people praying for me, and I could feel the difference.  If that involved you, thank you.  :)

Today I am thankful for a chance to connect with my husband.  Our lives are very busy, with lots of chaos, and not a lot of moments of quiet, or moments when it's just us without the kids. 

Tonight after dinner, Jonah and Noah went outside (Graham and Drew are at church), and it was just the two of us.  We talked about something I'd been needing to talk to him about for about a week now.  It's funny how the moments don't come.  Or they do come, but then they're filled with crazy. 

I've been kind of lazy about making the kids be on a schedule the last few days, but starting tonight, that's going to change.  I know they might not appreciate that, but our marriage will.  And, wouldn't ya know it, I feel better now that we've had time to re-connect?  Apparently, I have lots to work on~like the fact that I need to remember that my marriage is my number one priority, aside from God. 

I'm also thankful for eye-opening moments.  Love to all. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

something a little more uplifting than my last post:

No matter the fears, or the anxieties that I have, there are certain things that I know, and I thought I would share.

*No matter what I face, I know that God will NEVER leave me or forsake me.  (Hebrews 13:5)

*Today is just that~a day.  A small blip on the huge scale of life.  'And this too, shall pass', as my father-in-law loves to say.

*In the grand scheme of things, just how important is what I might be worrying about?  I have a feeling that it's not that important.

*My kids are very resilient and very smart.  I don't think I give them enough credit.

*Rough days will happen.  Very often.  It's how I deal with those days that matters.  Today we ended our school day by playing Scrabble and laughing, and being artsy.

*The memories they make far outweigh everything else.

*Our smile, or our attitude, is the most important thing we will "put on" each day.  ("Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22, 23)

*Just like the verse above says, tomorrow is a new day.

I feel so much better since I wrote that last "thankful" post.  It's funny what prayer can do for you.  It's like talking to God on the phone.  Sometimes just letting it all out makes a world of difference.  He already knows our thoughts, so why wouldn't I just tell Him?

Thanks for "listening".  Or reading.  Whatever.  You know what I mean.

Love to all.  




day 83, Tuesday

Today was not my best day.  I must admit.  I had several moments of self-doubt, and thinking I must have lost my mind.

At one point, I actually grabbed my journal and Bible and opened it up to Philippians 4.  One of my most-used go-to Bible verses is Phil. 4:13~"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength."  I wrote that verse down in my journal for today.

I am so thankful for God's love letter to us, and for verses that bring comfort when nothing else can.

Another favorite go-to verse for me is 1 Peter 5:7~"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

Anxiety was something I would say I experienced today.  Multiple times.

Just keeping it real, folks.

Even in the midst of anxiety, though, I know that I am cared for and taken care of by my sweet Savior.  It's so comforting to know that He is my heavenly Father.  I love Him and I trust in Him, that no matter what, He will never leave my side.

For this, I give thanks.

Love to all. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

day 82, Monday

It's been a gorgeous past few days here in The Ville.  This weekend, the temps were close to sixty, and even though today is quite a bit cooler, it's still beautiful. 

For this, I am thankful. 

We had a very dreary week last week, and after about three days, it starts to mess with your mind.  And even though it was bone cold on Monday and Tuesday, I still took my kids to a lake on Tuesday so we could all get some fresh air.  I wrote about it and posted pics from that day last week. 

Today, this is what we did:


This was when we first got there.  There were two teams, with three kids on each team.  (My four, a friend and the two neighbor kids all went.  One neighbor kid didn't want to play.)

Then kids started showing up.  

And kept showing up.  

And toward the end, this is how much the teams had grown:


Well, this doesn't do it quite justice, but I counted sixteen kids!  A few more showed up after I took this picture. 

I love days like this, and I thank God for these things.  Love to all. 

day 81, Sunday

I think Sunday might just be my favorite day of the week.  I love the whole process of getting up and dressed for church.  I love thinking about what I'm going to wear, painting my fingernails the night before, I love it all. 

I love going to Sunday school, especially now that we have it at 9:30 once again.  When we started attending Collierville First Baptist Church, we loved the novelty of having church at 9:30, with Sunday school at 10:45.  The bad thing about that schedule was that it became too easy for us to leave after church.  Now that Sunday school is at 9:30, we're more likely to be there all the time again.

I love our Sunday school teacher and his sweet wife.  They are the couple who gave Buddy the leopard gecko to Jonah and Noah.  Terry is just a good, ole country boy.  He hunts and fishes and loves SEC football, so he and Todd get along fabulously.  He teaches straight from the Bible, and he challenges us. 

His wife Beth is a really sweet, kind of quiet lady who genuinely cares for others. 

In a time when we were having a hard time finding our "spot" in this new church, these sweet people and class welcomed us with open arms.  When my husband leans over and whispers in my ear, "I love this teacher", you know you've arrived.  Especially since that's not something he would normally say. 

I love going to church as a family.  I love being surrounded by my boys, and I mostly love hearing them sing beside me.  I even loved that Jonah's tired little self fell asleep beside me in his chair.  God love him, his body was hit pretty roughly last week.  I'm so thankful for the moments that we share on these Sunday's.

I pray that the Lord gives me many, many more with the ones I love most.  Love to all.  


Saturday, January 19, 2013

day 80, Saturday

I was going to make this a Facebook status, but then I reminded myself that I hate "public" (SOCIAL MEDIA) displays of affection.  So instead, I'm writing on my blog about it. 

This really isn't social media, by the way.  It's a blog, a journal of sorts, that people read.  I am trying to justify my actions to you and I don't know if it's working, so I'll stop. 

Plus, I'm really not "bragging", I am expressing my gratitude on this eightieth day of being intentionally thankful. 

Seriously.  I'm stopping now.

On this day, I am so very thankful for a resourceful husband!  My dishwasher started making a strange and mysterious noise yesterday while I was running a load of dishes, so I turned it off.  The noise was really loud, and it sounded the like the whole machine was about to take flight. 

I mentioned it to my man last night, and lo and behold, he took it apart and found the problem.  :)  I now have a (mostly) clean kitchen, (mostly) free of dirty dishes, and a like-new dishwasher.  All for under twenty-five bucks.  And it's mostly clean because I have four sons and one extra here right now.  My kitchen is never totally clean because of that fact. 

So, Todd, if you read this, please know that I think that you are the manliest man ever to be born on the face of this earth.  I love and appreciate you so much!!!  (They say that men LOVE public affirmation.  I get about two hundred hits a day on my blog, so is this public enough?  Now that I've thoroughly embarrassed you?)  ;)

Oh shoot.  There's that public display of affection again. 

Love to all. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

day 79, Friday

I am so thankful for time with my sweet Daddy.  I know I've probably been thankful for this before now, but I can't help myself.  If we didn't have our Friday's together, I don't know that we would see one another very often.  We've spent Friday's together for the past eight or nine years. 

I also thoroughly enjoy the time we spend with our other grands~Saturday nights, Thursday nights~we'll take whatever we can get.  I love that my boys have such great relationships with our parents. 

On another note, I am freezing as I write this.  I don't know why, but I cannot get warm!  I finally went upstairs to change into my fleece pajama pants, a sweatshirt, and Todd's thick hunting socks.  I also made a pot of decaffeinated coffee.  :) 

Our Friday night is another divided night.  Drew's at a birthday party, Todd and Graham are at a RiverKings hockey game with the band of brothers group from our church's youth group (a big bro, little bro kind of thing), so it's Jonah, Noah, their best friend Andy and me. 

I started my night watching Friends, but it's turned into a Duck Dynasty marathon.  I can't seem to help myself. 

How are you spending your Friday night?  I hope it's with the ones you love most.  Love to all. 

day 78, Thursday

We've had quite the week around here.  Yesterday was a normal day, one that I was thankful for.  Jonah finally started feeling better~his fever broke, and he seemed to be back to his cute little self. 

He and Noah did not go to school with us at Germantown Presbyterian, though.  When he was still sick on Wednesday, I arranged for his Mimi to take care of him for me while the rest of us went.  Noah decided he wanted to go too.  Because what one twin does, the other does.

Graham and Drew had their first day there and loved it, and I loved introducing them to all my sweet mom friends.  We even got a special tour of the chapel from the maintenance man that works there, Mr. Dan.  I love historical buildings, and the chapel in that church dates back to the 1800's.  The floor and pews are all original.  Here's a picture I snapped:


When we got out of school we came home and let the dogs out and let Crash eat a bone, then we went to my in-law's house for dinner. 

We did a lot of talking and laughing and some of this:


Phyllis and I played with Graham and Drew, then all the adults played after dinner.  I won.  :)  That doesn't happen very often. 

Sometimes it's good to be thankful for the normal moments in life.  I know I am. 

Happy Friday and love to all!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

day 77, Wednesday

This will be heavy on the pictures today.  On this seventy-seventh day, I am thankful for clean, cold air.  For legs that walk and run, lungs that breathe in and out, and lots and lots of laughter. 

Today was a good day.  We had to get out of the house, though.  Between the freezing temps and sleet/freezing rain and Jonah having what I think is the flu, we've been cooped up way too long. 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought we could all use a little fresh air.  Here's some pictures of what we did:


I thought these trees were pretty by our library.  I think they're pine trees, but I'm not sure. 


Behind our town hall, there is this really pretty lake.  The boys thought it would be fun to chase the birds away. 


They would only do crazy faces. 


I love the icicles.  :)


So happy.  We all enjoyed our outing today.


This is the back of the library.  Such a pretty little town I live in. 


More pine trees. 


We all got books from the library.  Drew is re-reading The Lost Hero books by Rick Riordan.  I got Little Women.  :)  Do you know that I have never read that?  I need to finish what I'm reading now, and then I'll dig into that one. 

Jonah and Noah got Beverly Cleary books and Graham got a couple of suspense novels.  

Well, that was our day.  For these things, and so many more, I give thanks to my Savior. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

random. just because it's been a while.

1.  Jonah: "Man, I am glad I feel better.  I don't like it when my head hurts and my face is hot."

2.  My children (and neighbor friends) have been in my garage all afternoon.  Seriously.  I keep on trying to get them to come in and warm up, but it's not really cold in the garage.  And they're all bundled up. 

3.  I'm in a dinner rut.  I keep trying to watch the Food Network to be inspired, and I have been, but I don't have the right ingredients. 

4.  I stayed in my pajamas today.  :) 

5.  I secretly want to send my kids upstairs at seven so I can veg out in front of the television and catch up on my shows. 

6.  Graham, Jonah and Drew are out on my back deck, trying to pull a branch off the tree near my house with their bare hands.  I wonder who's going to get hurt first. 

7.  I can't wait until Thursday!  I pray that everyone is healthy by then.  I am excited about Graham and Drew starting their new classes with my mom's homeschool group that we belong to.  One of their classes is STOMP.  :)

8.  I'm just super thankful today. 

9.  Todd is working with the sheriff's department tonight, so it's just me and the doodlebops.  I alternately love and hate these nights.  Love, because we can chill and watch tv while we eat dinner (a rare treat), hate, because I can't read my scary book.  Dang it.

10.  I repainted my nails today.  My favorite color for the moment is my old standard, My Private Jet.  :)  Black and sparkly.

Love to all.  


day 76, Tuesday

It's so blah around here today.  All the public schools closed early because of the impending freezing rain/precipitation that is expected.  I offered to pick up the neighbor kids and let them hang out until their aunts and uncles come home later.  I'm thankful for distractions for my kids~we're all a little bored.

And one of us is still sick.  My poor Jonah.  He looks and feels awful.  We'll be going to the doctor tomorrow, if he doesn't wake up better. 

I'm thankful today, on this seventy-sixth day, for a few things: a nice, heated, cozy home to stay in.  I'm glad for neighbor kids~they add joy and excitement to our life.  I'm also thankful for a teenaged son who is great at running in and buying a few things from Kroger.  On today's list~Sunny Delight for Jonah, who is craving orange juice and dish-washing detergent.  He even saved money by doing the math in his head and figuring out that the liquid was twice the size for half the price of the little packets that I bought last time (hopefully I bought them because they were on sale, not because I'm a horrible steward of our money!). 

What are you thankful for today? 

Love to all. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

day 75, Monday

I have MUCH to be thankful for today.  I do everyday, but particularly on this day.  I made sort of an allusive statement on this blog yesterday, and I don't know how many of you caught on that I said what I did.  I don't even know who reads this other than family, but whatever.  Anyway, moving on.

After MUCH prayer and petition and time of being still before God, we decided that today was the day we would un-enroll Graham and Drew from their public middle school, and that I would begin homeschooling them along with their younger brothers.  I know I haven't talked about it on here, on purpose, and as rash as it may seem, I assure you it was not.  It's been in the forefront of our minds since November.  Before that really, but particularly from that month on. 

I also need to say that nothing happened to lead us to this decision.  I am forever thankful for all the amazing teachers, assistants and administrators God placed in the lives of my kids.  They all had a part in making my kids who they are.  But God planted in me a desire to homeschool all of my kids way back when Jonah and Noah were in kindergarten.  I've been running in fear ever since that day.  I tried telling God "no", but for some crazy reason, He wouldn't listen.  ;)  I let fear hold me back on allowing Graham and Drew to go to middle school for half this school year, too.  I tried to let them have a say-so, but I really should have just been the parent and said, "This is what we're going to do." 

I didn't do that, and God has been showing me why that was wrong ever since that day.  Fear is no longer running my life.  God is in control, and I know that with Him by my side, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Phil. 4:18). 

I know that there will be many skeptics who will feel compelled to give me their input on why I'm wrong about this decision.  And that is perfectly fine.  I will hear their advice, but I will do what is the best for my family.  They should know, though, that we're living in difficult times.  This is not a time that I want my kids to be in public schools~not only because of our government, but because of the school merging that is taking place in Memphis with our county schools.  I wish I could send each of my friends and family a text and say all this, but I can't...I mean, I could, but I would be on the phone all day, and I don't want to be on the phone all day. 

So, today, on this seventy-fifth day of being intentionally thankful, I am so thankful that God not only hears my prayers, but that He leads me in His ways and in His truths. 

I also would like to issue a statement here: Homeschooling is not for everyone.  God either calls you to it, or He doesn't.  And whatever your family does is perfectly fine.  Please don't ever think I will be in judgement of you and your decision on how your child receives their education. That being said, I ask that you not judge me, for the same reason.  I am a little nervous, I won't lie, about this decision, but I know that it's the right decision.  I know that I will be equipped with every bit of knowledge that I need, and that God will be the One equipping me.  He has already richly provided for our family, and I know He will continue to do so. 

I know this is shocking to some of you who read this, but it'll all be okay.  I promise.  God gave me a verse this morning through my devotion that I would like to share with you:

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

Thank you for reading~all three of you.  ;)  Love to all. 


Sunday, January 13, 2013

day 74, Sunday

Today I am thankful for so many things...God's guidance, His goodness, His faithfulness, and the fact that He is always with me and by my side.  I am thankful that the Lord often speaks to me and reassures me through songs I hear on KLove, too.  I have felt Him through the lyrics of this song several times this week.  I thought I would share them with you. 

Not For A Moment
by Meredith Andrews

You were reaching through the storm
walking on the water
even when I could not see
in the middle of it all
when I thought You were a thousand miles away
not for a moment did You forsake me
not for a moment did You forsake me

after all You are constant
after all You are only good
after all You are sovereign
not for a moment will You forsake me
not for a moment will You forsake me

You were singing in the dark
whispering Your promise
even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me


and every step every breath you are there
every tear every cry every prayer
in my hurt at my worst
when my world falls down
not for a moment will You forsake me
even in the dark
even when it's hard
you will never leave me
after all
not for a moment will You forsake me
 
May I encourage you for a moment?  If you are going through a situation that you think is too big for you to handle, that's because it probably is.  The Lord hears our prayers, He knows our thoughts...and He wants to relieve us of the burdens we carry.  
 
If you have a need...a situation you're going through...give it over to Him.  We've made a huge decision this week, regarding our kids, and God heard every word we uttered to Him about it.  He alone led us to where we are right this moment...but that's for another day.  
 
Just talk to Him.  He already knows, so why not?  I pray these lyrics encourage you.  Love to all.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

day 73, Saturday

On this rainy, dreary Saturday, I am thankful for my kids' friends. 

We've had a full house all weekend, and I have to say...it's been delightful.  My house seems to be the hang-out house, and I love that.  I've heard a few of their friends say things about Todd and myself that make my heart so happy.  It's been one of my parenting goals~to be THAT house. 

My dad told me a long time ago, to not turn down my kids when they ask if friends can come hang out.  I've tried to take his advice, and though there are times when I'm not in the mood for company, most of the time we say yes. 

I am thankful that my kids have such great friends.  And I am thankful to be friends with the sweet people that just so happen to parent their friends.  :)  I love a kid that can joke around with us, and one that we can do the same with.  They're some great, Jesus-lovin' kids...and I thank God for them.

Love to all. 

day 72, Friday

I'm running a day behind...I'll post another one this after just so I can stay all caught up. 

On Friday, I was thankful for an amazing kids department at church.  We have this event at Collierville First Baptist four times a year called, Go Fish.  It's for kids in grades first through fifth, it's from six to nine p.m. on a Friday night and it's FREE.  We serve pizza and ice cream and serve up some pretty amazing games.  Last night's games were Minute To Win It. 

The kids love it and the parents love it because it gives them free time. 

It's events like this that ultimately pulled us to the church, and we are committed to working each one.  It's fun, it's fellowship for all of us, and I know the extra help is needed and much appreciated...especially with nights like last night when we had almost 300 kids!  CRAZY!  But fun.  :) 

Our kids leaders do love our kids, and for that, I am thankful. 

Love to all. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

day 71, Thursday

On this seventy-first day of being intentionally grateful, I wondered why I even bothered with putting on make-up for my mom's group.  Thursdays are our homeschool group days, and I cannot express how thankful I am for these amazing ladies. 

I don't know everyone yet because there's a bunch of us, but the kindred-ship I feel with these ladies is almost too much to try and put into words. 

I love it when we pray...there is something so powerful about praying with moms of different denominations and races and cultures, even.  I get goose bumps, and I usually cry.  Our sweet Bible study teacher, Denise is another one I love...when she cries, I cry.  And I love her heart for God and His word. 

I love these women and am so blessed by their strength and encouragement.  I feel refreshed every Thursday when I leave and always look forward to the next week.  If you ever get the chance to participate in a small-group style Bible study, do it.  You will be blessed, I assure you. 

Love to all.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

day 70, Wednesday

Today I am so thankful for all the really good blogs that I love reading.  I read lots and lots of marriage and homeschool blogs that I've come across over the past few months or years.

I currently LOVE these following blogs:

To Love, Honor and Vacuum 

Club 31 Women

Time-Warp Wife

Finding Joy

and

Confessions of A Homeschooler

I put the link for each of their names if you're reading this and want to check any of them out.  I just read some really good marital things from Club 31 Women and To Love, Honor and Vacuum. 

I like that these women offer experience and advice to those of us moving along in life together.  It's been life-changing for me, and I share them on Facebook a lot.  If these are new to you, I would encourage you to check them out.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Happy Wednesday, and love to all. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

day 69, Tuesday

Tuesday.  The second day.  The day after the big BCS Bowl game.  Kind of a let-down day.  Not let down, as in our team lost, but more like, now the excitement is over, no more college football until September, what next kind of let-down. 

We had a really late night, so it's been quiet around here today.  We got a late start on school this morning because I let Jonah and Noah sleep in.  We got lots of math done, and some science and some language.  I'm in the process of moving around more in their math work...figuring out what needs to be re-taught, and what can be skipped.  They did really well today, though.  And it might not have taken long, but it felt like a  long time.

I'm so thankful for days at home.  It's not often that I don't have to go anywhere, so today I chose to stay in my pj's.  :)  Because I can and because I wanted to.  I don't know how often I can say how grateful I am to be able to stay completely at home.  No amount of money could take the place of doing what I do every single day. 

Love to all. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

day 68, Monday

I love the newness of a new year.  I love when things just start falling back into place.  My heart is so torn in two, though...with half my kids being educated at home, and the other half being educated at the middle school.  I'm constantly battling guilt and sadness because Graham and Drew aren't here. 

I know that's not of God.  But it's something I struggle with daily.  I wish I had a magical solution that would make me stop feeling this way, but I don't.  All I can do is pray...then pray some more.  I can also stay in God's word about this. 

Just keeping it real on here.  I struggle, too.  I know how I choose to react is up to me, though.  I have to be strong for Graham and Drew, though, and remind them that the next school year is not very far off.  Before we know it, May will be here, along with, hopefully, their last day in the public school system. 

All this being said, I am thankful for the moments I have at home with Jonah and Noah.  We're having a really quiet, relaxed morning.  We're working on some of our simpler subjects today, because I am meeting a sweet friend for lunch, and I need to shop for a few groceries for dinner tonight.  I have our candles lit~Jonah has one on his desk, and one is lit here at the kitchen table for Noah. 

That gently flickering candlelight helps us feel tranquil and calm and peaceful.  It's something I picked up from a homeschooling mom's blog that I read, Women Living Well. 

I pray that your day is wonderful and that your week is smooth and uneventful.  Ours should be pretty good~we start back with our co-op group this week and tonight we'll be cheering on the Crimson Tide!  Roll Tide Roll!  And love to all.  :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

day 67, Sunday

I love Sunday's.  They've kind of evolved into the day that I take full advantage of~I rest.  God rested on His seventh day, therefore, so will I. 

Do you see Sunday more as the end of your weekend or the beginning of your week?  I used to see it more as the end of my week.  But now that I'm older with kids, I see it as a restful beginning to a week that will involve me hitting the floor running for the next five mornings. 

It's funny how your perspective changes over time.

On this sixty-seventh day of being intentionally grateful, I am so grateful for a body of believers that I belong to.  :)  And this morning was extra special~I was surrounded by family.  Seriously...we took up an entire row, except for the man sitting at the end.  Todd was in the booth handling the lights and counting people (1,359 people were in attendance this morning~we were jam packed!), my kids were with me, my mom and step-dad were with me, and my sister Lisa and her son, Jaret were with me.

I had a teary moment, when Lisa and I were singing the worship songs together~we were harmonizing, and it was the sweetest feeling, singing next to her.  My heart has been extra full all day.

I pray that you find things to be intentionally grateful for this week.  Look for the God~moments.  They're there, I promise.  And so is He.

Love to all.  


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Picture-Full Post





 I thought I would share some picture magic captured by our friend and photographer, Jerry Pillsbury.  He has seen my kids grow up and only he can capture pictures of them like this.  He's pretty amazing. 


I'm so thankful for these loves God has given me.  :)


I LOVE this. 


This is my hubby's parents and brother and sister-in-law and all the grands.  Isn't this cute? 

A little of what I've been up to this week:


This was a sweet text my Dad sent me while I was recovering from whatever I'm allergic to.  It's been a little freaky around my house this week.  I had some crazy reaction to something I ate.


I started some new devotions for the new year this week.  The purple book is my Bible, the journal Jonah picked out for me for my birthday, then a couple devotion books I'm doing and finally, some useful reading material.  :)  I do love books. 


I'm not reading through the Bible again this year, but I do plan on doing some Bible reading each day.  Even if it's only a few verses.  I love this passage taken from Proverbs 2.


And this sweet, cuddly boy who wouldn't leave my side yesterday morning.  He was extra huggy that day.  :)  He was sitting with me as I had my quiet time. 

That's all, folks.  Love to all. 

day 66 and the weekend!

We were a house divided last night.  Todd worked with the sheriff's department,  and Jonah and Noah spent the night with their friend Andy.  I had some Christmas money burning a hole in my wallet, so I decided to cash it in, along with a little money my Dad gave me yesterday, and had a date night with Graham and Drew. 

It was much needed.  I have spent quality time with their younger brothers because of homeschool, but I desperately needed that kind of time with the older two.  Just to assure them that they are every bit as much loved and cherished and treasured.  So, after dropping off their younger brothers, we ordered take-out from our favorite Chinese restaurant.  :)  A little sweet and sour chicken goes a long way at nurturing, I am convinced.  We also ordered egg rolls and fried rice.

We ate our amazing dinner and went to the movies.  We NEVER go to the movies.  Never, ever, ever!!!  It's one of my favorite things to do, but because of how expensive it is, we don't go.  Occasionally I will go with a girlfriend, or they will go with a friend if they're spending the night with someone who's going, but we always wait on the movie to come out on Blue Ray. 

We saw Parental Guidance, with Billy Crystal, Bette Midler and Marisa Tomei.  It was so good!  It was very clean and downright hilarious.  There was not one bad word in the entire movie.  The characters hinted at sex a couple of times, but they were all married couples, and well...that's what married couples do.  I don't mind when my kids hear things like that, as long as the couple talking about it is married. 

It was a great night.  All this leads me to day sixty-six of being intentionally thankful.  I am so grateful for good, quality time with my sweet boys.  I'll take the time any way I can get it~two of them at once, or just one at a time.  Last night was exactly what we needed, and I loved having them sit beside me, hearing them laugh at all the same parts I was laughing at.  I love that these boys are growing up, and becoming polite young men.  It does my heart so good to see them flourish before my eyes. 

Well, that's about it for my sixty-sixth day of gratitude.  I hope you enjoy your weekend and your families.  I know I will.  Love to all. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

day 65

Good morning!  I may seem extra bright and cheerful this morning, and I am!  It would be because I got a really, really great night's sleep.  I'm so glad I didn't wake up itching and burning. 

I prayed last night before I went to bed that God would give me rest....I haven't seemed quite myself because of the lack of sleep.  Well.  I might have seemed normal, but I didn't feel normal.  I am so thankful to have woken up to feeling refreshed and restored for this day.

In other news, did I mention I came up with a word for my year?  It's "build".  Here's where I got it from:

Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

I choose to try my very best to only build others up with my words.  Not tear them down.  My goal is to not talk negatively to or about people, or to even think thoughts like that.  It might be difficult, but with God, all things are possible.  He has already gone before me and I know He will help me take every thought captive.

Are you doing anything this new year?  Do you have goals to attain?

Share the love!  

Love to all.     

Thursday, January 3, 2013

day 64

Today I am thankful for an able mind.  I try to pick one thing to do really well each year.  Last year it was reading through the Bible in chronological order.  The year before it was memorizing Scripture.  This year I'm memorizing Scripture once more. 

I decided to create an "event" for this on Facebook and invited most of my friends. 

I am blown away by the response that I've gotten.  So far the amount of people joining me in this adventure is sixty-six!!  God might just be raising up an army of men and women to do this.

So while I have a memory that isn't great, it is really great at memorizing Scripture.  I'm thinking that's another God-thing.

I will leave you with my first verse of the year:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve God's will~His good, perfect and pleasing will.  Romans 12:2

Wanna join me?  If you're my friend on Facebook, you should have gotten an invite from me.  If you read this and we're not friends on Facebook, or you're not on Facebook, email me at allboys@gmail.com.  Here's how it works: pick one Scripture or passage of Scripture on the first and fifteenth of every month.  The total should be 24 for the year.  But if that's too much, don't stress...just pick your own pace and give God your best.  Feel free to share my verse or pick your own.  All I ask is that you let me know what you're memorizing so we can share in the encouragement. 

I dare you.  Try it and see what God does in your life.

Love to all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

day 63

This one will be short and sweet, since I'm miserable.  I am in the throes of an allergic reaction from some dip I ate last night.  My whole body itches and my skin feels like it is on fire.  Without thinking, tonight I ate a tuna sandwich and within 15 minutes, everything got worse. 

Todd is not allowed to leave me, just in case I stop breathing.  :)

So today, on this second day of January, 2013, I am thankful for doctors and medicine.  I got a steroid shot and a steroid dose pack.  I'm also on Benadryl every four hours. 

Here's to thanking God that I am still breathing and able to swallow!  Not even kidding. 

Love to all.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

days 61 & 62

It's no secret that I've been trying to intentionally thankful each day.  What started as "Thankful November" and a gratitude journal of sorts has led to these ongoing blog posts.  I sincerely hope you're not tired of them yet, but if you are, it's okay.  ;)

My purpose in writing this way is this: I am trying to find the joy in small, simple moments.  In being intentionally thankful, I've noticed that my eyes are more open to what lies around me.  Sunsets.  Sunrises.  Gentle air blowing.  Laughter.  Hugs.  Sweet time with my Savior.

I've been trying to keep up this project (that I now call it) with photos.  I do love to take pictures, but today I didn't pick up my camera one time.  Unusual and freeing, all at the same time.  ;)  Sometimes I overdo it with the pictures, but they're also memories for me, so I don't feel too bad.

I decided to start calling it Project 365, because I'm going to continue with it all year.  And I like the name.  :)  I got the idea for the name from another blog, but what I'm doing is a lot different. 

In being intentionally thankful, I'm noticing God's goodness all around me more.  I'm more purposeful in looking for it, too, which is something that has blessed me so much.  I've thought about taking a break from this whole writing thing, but doing this project has made me change my mind.  I'm determined to keep up with seeking God in the everyday moments.  Looking for His goodness.  Searching to see the things He is doing in my life, and in the life of those dear to me. 

All this being said, on days 61, I am thankful for the rain.  As much as I miss the sunshine, I was thankful that on this day, the rain forced us to stay inside.  It forced us to spend time talking, or playing games...just being. 

Together. 

Today was day 62, and on this day, I am thankful for laughter.  We're watching a game show (I do not do game shows normally) and making fun of the couple that is participating together.  They look like a cheesy, Saturday Night Live couple doing a skit.  I'm glad that Todd and I have the same sense of humor and find the same things funny.  And, we relentlessly tease one another.  I know it might sound trivial, but laughter is a huge part of my everyday life. 

I'm a personality girl.  I have always been attracted to great personalities, and as handsome as my man is, he has an amazing personality, too.  Laughter is how we make our family function.  It always has been, and I pray it always stays that way. 

Happy New Year, my friends.  I pray your day has been wonderful and that you had loved ones to celebrate with.  I pray that the Lord blesses you and your families throughout this year. 

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...