Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Bunny Guilt

Facebook is at it again.  And Pinterest...and Instagram...

I'll stop there.

In browsing through my newsfeed tonight on Facebook, I am bombarded with these crazy, crafty moms who are giving their kids the greatest Easter ever.

Jealous?  Bitter?  Hmmm...I need to check my tone on here, I suppose.  ;)

I am all of a sudden hit with Easter bunny guilt. 

We never really made the Easter bunny a big deal~like he's there, but he's not...I'm hoping if I just don't mention it to my younger boys, they'll not think about it.  And while we have always given our boys a little something, it was just that...a little something.  A little candy, a little bunny or stuffed toy when they were younger, maybe a ball...some things of that sort. 

This year they're each getting candy and the movie Parental Guidance.

For one thing, it gets expensive with four kids.  But for a whole different reason, I just don't want to make Easter about that.  I just heard this Thursday, where we get the word Easter for this time of year.  Eostre was the Greek goddess of fertility~fast forward a few hundred years (thousand?) and you get the humanized word, Easter.  She was the goddess of fertility~hence the eggs that our kids so love to hunt for.

I don't know where the bunny came in, except that it's creepy.  ;)

We don't want a humanized version of this holy day....we want the Christian version that we believe in...this being Resurrection Sunday, the day that Jesus rose from the grave.

It's in the spring time, and spring represents new life. 

That is what I want the boys to remember~not all the junk they were given on yet another mindless holiday. 

I'm sorry if this is coming out all wrong~I don't want to bash, and please know that we do give our kids a little something.  We just keep it simple.  It's okay if you don't, it's just something we've chosen not to do in our family.

Except for that one year that Auntie Lisa and one of her kids came and laid eggs in our front yard....as if the Easter bunny himself had hatched all over our grass.  That was fun.  And something we've been forced to carry on every year.  But not this year...they're too old, and the grass is too wet for us to be traipsing around outside throwing eggs.  And we have to be at church at 8:45, so we really will not have time in the morning.

Did I mention that Jonah, Noah and I are getting baptized?!?!  We are, and I cannot WAIT.  I most especially cannot wait to worship my Savior and King tomorrow morning, with fellow believers.  I pray you have a church to go tomorrow~if not, come and worship with me at Collierville First Baptist Church.  There's a nine fifteen service, that we're getting baptized in, and a ten forty-five service after that.

It's going to be amazing.  I pray you celebrate the true reason for this holy day.  Love to all. 

sweet girlfriend time

{For the second night in a row.}

I am so sad that it's been so long since I've seen my best friend, Mandy.  She was without kids last night, a rare thing, and at the last minute, asked me if I could get together.  I didn't think I would be able to...I had let my kids invite friends over, and I was helping out our neighbors, Travis and Katie, with their nephews. 

But somehow, it all just worked out, and we got to go out!

I love this girl.  There's something so sweet about our time together~we always just pick right back up to where we left off the last time.  We have so much in common, and we think the same way on so many topics, that our conversations just flow from one subject right into the next. 

Everyone should have a Mandy in their life.

We had dinner at a yummy Mexican restaurant and ended our evening at Starbucks.  {Do not hate me for that, please.  I hardly ever go there, and I was craving a caramel something.}

Last night was like honey to my soul.  I love my man, and I love my boys, but there are just times that I need a little girlfriend time. 

Well, happy Saturday, friends.  Love to all!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday & the day my sweet Daddy turns 82

Happy Good Friday, my friends!  What a day to rejoice and celebrate.  I pray that if you have this day off with your kids, that you spend some time reflecting on why today is so important. 

This morning, I read Luke 22, 23 and 24.  It takes us through the crucifixion of Jesus, then His rising and walking on the road to Emmaus with his disciples.  I read something that I don't know if I've ever noticed before.  It was from chapter 24 of Luke, verse 32.  One of the disciples is saying, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

Then later on in verse 45 of the same chapter, it says, "Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures."

He opened their minds to His word. 

Do you pray for God to do that for you?  I have before...and I've prayed that He would make me fall completely, irrevocably head-over-heels in love with Him and His written word.  I haven't always been...I'm not saying my heart had been hardened, but my spiritual eyes and mind were definitely closed. 

The Lord draws us to Him, and only when He knows that we will respond.

He has chosen us, He has set us apart for Himself.  I love the verse in Revelation 22:4 that says, "They will see His face and His name will be on their foreheads." 

I like to think that His name is already on my forehead, visible to other believers and to Him.

I say all this to challenge you to spend some time with Him today.  It's a holy day set apart for Him, so let's be mindful of that and do this today, for Him.

I promise you that you will not regret the time spent doing this...in fact, I dare say how much better your day will be.  Spend some time in worship, in prayer, and in reading His word.  And if you want to get your praise on, go to YouTube and search for "Crown Him" by Chris Tomlin~you will not be the same after listening.

Love to all. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jesus, Seder & Sunny

That title brings a smile to my face.  It's just a summary of the day I had today.  It was really, really good.  You all know how much we love Thursdays because of our awesome homeschool group.  Today did not disappoint.

Before I get started on that, though, I have to say that I loved my quiet this morning.  I spent time reading John 19, 20 and 21.  I'm reading along with the Easter Bible reading plan YouVersion offers.  I have to say that I'm a little confused by it, though.  I'm on track.  Today was day four of seven, and this was the day I read about Jesus' crucifixion.  It makes me wonder what I'll read tomorrow, on Good Friday.  {Which, by the way...did it really happen on Friday?  That's a whole 'nother post, though.}

Back to today.

I was particularly looking forward to today because we had the honor of participating in Seder.  We have an art teacher, Sarah Beth, who is an Orthodox Jew.  And though we believe differently, we believe that our ministry is ministering to her heart.  We pray continually that her eyes will be opened to the truth that we all know.  She hears it from our kids, and she has to answer questions about why she believes so differently from what we do.  But she is precious, and a trooper for withstanding all that curiosity. 

Seder was everything I expected~very, very ritualistic.  Very different from what we are used to!  Us moms and our kids participated in it together, and I made the mistake of telling my picky Jonah that there would surely be something that he would not mind eating. 

I was wrong.

Even the grapes tasted weird.  {Grin.}  His words, not mine.  We ate parsley dipped in salt water, bitter herbs sandwiched between matzah crackers and mixed in with some apple mixture, and we had some fatty type meat.  The little ones had chicken nuggets, which were not at ALL chicken nuggets.  Don't get me wrong, it was truly an honor to participate in this, and the father of Sarah Beth is a Holocaust survivor.  It was a wonderful lesson rich in history for my boys, and I am so thankful they got to participate with me. 

I'm just saying that maybe I should not have told Jonah what I did.  ;)  I didn't know I would end up eating my words. 

Needless to say, we all came home and had a snack afterward.  The grape juice was fabulous, though. 

We had dinner once Todd got home, then I took my boys and two of the neighborhood kids up to the park to play soccer.  We ran into my sweet friend Sunny and her hubby.  Their daughter was practicing with her soccer team and Andy {Jonah's and Noah's best friend} was on a field by himself.  So while Holly practiced and the other kids played, she sat in my suburban and we got all caught up with one another. 

I do love some sweet time with friends.  I dearly love Sunny and David.  They're the kind of friends we'll have forever.  The kind we don't have to see every weekend to stay close~we love and trust that we'll just be best  friends forever. 

And I think we will.  It's not often that couples hit it off so well with other couples, and when it happens, you need to handle the relationship carefully.  We do, and try to get together as often as our hectic schedules allow.  The boys had a blast, and one of Graham's friends ended up joining in the game when he found out we were there. 

Have I mentioned how much I love The Ville?  I do.  I love that it's a not-so-small town that feels like a small town.  I love that almost every time I leave my house, I run into someone I know. 

I love it. 

We are blessed indeed.  So, tomorrow is Good Friday, or God Friday as I typed then backspaced.  How are you spending this day?  We will be with my dad.  It just so happens to be his eighty-second birthday.  He's grilling hamburgers on the grill for us.  I can't wait! 

We have plans tomorrow night...and all weekend, in fact.  It'll be full of good times, with the best part happening on Sunday.  Good times, indeed, spent with some sweet friends...I'm pretty sure our house will be bustin' at the seams all weekend.  The way I like it. 

Thanks for all the comments I've been receiving!  I love seeing that little comment button lit up. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

just words

It's been a while since I've done one of these posts.  When I title it 'just words', it means that I view this as me talking to air.  Just writing out what I'm feeling...I wouldn't even categorize this as venting. 

I think.

This whole same-sex marriage thing...all the Facebook posts are driving me flippin' crazy.  Seriously...I saw this picture on my friend's wall and died laughing:


Is that not hilarious?  As if all the equal =, greater than >, less than < signs make the slightest difference on how this thing will come to pass.

Don't get me wrong~this is a very serious issue, and trust me when I say that I have been praying for the protection of traditional marriage.  It's just all the Facebook crap...it really grates on my nerves, ya know? 

I also really like something my friend Jaime said: "Sometimes in life we have to make choices to leave things behind and walk away. To stand up for what we believe in."  She wrote a beautiful post about this yesterday on her blog, With Love, Jaime.  If you want to read what she said, click on her name or the name of her blog, and Mr. Linky will take you right there.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and His Word says this on the subject of marriage:

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." {Matthew 19:4~6}

The fact that I believe this way does not mean that I am a hater, folks.  I hate the sin, not the person.  I have had friends, and even some family, that have chosen {because it is a choice, not something they're born with} this lifestyle, and I love/d them!  {The reason for that /d is because my manager at Eddie Bauer home was gay, and he was one of my favorite people ever.  I am no longer in touch with him, hence the past tense.}

But the Bible rules for me, and the One who inspired it trumps what the world says.  Just today, I came across this verse from John:

"They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth." John 17:16 and 17 {New Living Translation}

Who knows how long we have left on this earth before the Lord returns.  What we do with that time we have left is critical.  We need to reach out to those who may not normally grace us with their presence in our churches.  We need to not become tolerant of these sinful lifestyles, but we need to dislike the sin, love the sinner.  {Aren't we all just sinners saved by grace?}  We need to be loving on them, and gently guiding them in the way of the truth that us believers know.

Doesn't everyone deserve to know that truth?  

And as far as knowing the truth~I'm sure there will be those that think, "Well, why does what YOU believe count as truth?"

Because of faith.  I have faith that the Lord Jesus Christ is Who He says He is~the way, the truth and the life, and that no one comes to the Father, except through Him.  {John 14:6}

He is what I believe in.  He is Who I believe.  His way, or the world's way?  His way will win every time.  This is a sad time we live in, my friends.  Now, more than ever, we need to stand strong with one another, loving on those who might know the Lord.  We need to be praying for them, reaching out to them and inviting them into a relationship with the One True King, not bashing them and being all hateful and vengeful.  



Because let's face it~this is a battle that has already been won.  He won the battle the day that the world found out that death couldn't keep Him.  And what good story ends with the bad guy winning?  Not this one.  

Want proof?  

Check out Revelation, and this from chapter 19:

"And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire."

Easy to read if you are sure of your salvation~if not, then it's a little hard to take.  Be sure of your salvation.  If there is one thing you ever get from my words, this blog, get this: BE SURE OF YOUR SALVATION.  

I want you in Heaven with me someday.  

Well, that got a little off subject, huh?  I pray you receive it well.  Love to all.  


God's Perfect Plan

He has one, you know.  Jonah, Noah and I met with our children's pastor, Austin, at our church yesterday.  Noah has been ready for baptism for at least a year now.  But he was waiting on Jonah.  And when I started thinking back to my childhood, I realized that I've never been baptized myself.  So, I wanted to wait on Jonah, too...because I thought it would be really neat to do it together.

That's the conclusion I came to~on this Sunday, March 31st, Resurrection {Easter} Sunday, I will be getting baptized along with Jonah and Noah.

Only the Lord knew that in my thirty-six years, I would choose to be baptized at this moment in time, at this church.

I am so excited about it~and we are not the only ones!  Lots of people are getting baptized this Sunday, but in the later service.  We're {possibly} getting baptized in the nine fifteen service.

I was never baptized as a younger girl.  And though I was raised in church, I lived a very worldly life in my teens and early twenties.  About eight years ago is when I took a hard look at my life and decided that it was time to make a change.

I've never looked back since.  I've been sold out for Jesus~and my "religious status" on Facebook is "Jesus Freak".  He drew me to Him, made me head over heels completely in love with Him, and made me love and crave His word.  The more I know Him and read His word, the more I love Him.

And it's about time I admit that publicly.

I cannot WAIT to do just that...and pray that if you're reading this, and are there, that you will stand as my friend when they recognize my loved ones in the service.

Love to all.  




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

chosen

All of Heaven rejoices with me today.  My youngest two have made the decision to be baptized. 

It's something I've been praying about for a long time...that they would come to this decision completely on their own.  And they have.

John 15:16  "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit~fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

God chose them. 

And they are choosing to publicly pronounce their faith in Him by being obedient unto Him. 

Romans 6:4  "For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives."

Second Corinthians 5:17  "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"  

I have cried happy tears all morning.  And we're going in today to talk to our children's pastor, Austin.  This is something he likes to do before they're baptized.  

You can bet that when the date is set, you will get an invitation to come and watch and celebrate with us.

Love to all.   

Monday, March 25, 2013

a little time away

Today was blessed.  My kiddos decided they wanted to spend the night with their Mimi and Papa last night, so they did!  The joys of homeschool...

It worked out great because I got to go out with my sweet mama. 


Isn't she purdy?

It's so rare for us to spend any time alone...I'm always so busy with school stuff, or I can't get away on a Saturday....every moment is a gift from God.  I try not to take advantage of the moments we have together.  I know many, many people who would give anything for just one more hour with their moms. 

I'm blessed.

I came home and made dinner, and my in-law's brought my boys back to me.  I missed them.  I always do when they're gone.  It's nice to have a break, don't get me wrong, but I always love the moment they come home.  I not only love them, I genuinely like them.  I like being around them.

It's important to have a little "me" time every once in a blue moon.  I don't get it that often, but I'm glad.  I appreciate it more that way. 

This morning was amazing...I started reading the seven day story of Easter in the Bible (from my YouVersion ap), and after some time spent in God's word, I prayed.  God met me here, in my living room recliner.  He always does...I just had some extra, concentrated, much-needed time with Him this morning. 

It was so sweet. 

I read a really great blog earlier, about a lady who loves Easter.  She said this about my favorite holiday: "I simply cannot get over Jesus."

I can't.

I can't get enough of Him.

I am an emotional wreck on the actual holiday of Easter.  I cry almost all day.  And not just a little sniff, sniff here and there...I mean the ugly cry, folks.  The one people might stare at. 

But do I care? 

No. 

I didn't care on Sunday when I stood up in the worship service, though no one else was, in a packed out sanctuary with over a thousand people.  Because if I hadn't stood up, I was about to come UNDIGNIFIED.  I mean, I practically jumped out of my skin, people.  The worship was that amazing.  That powerful.

We could all stand to become undignified every once in a while. 

God says, in the Bible, that if we don't cry out in worship, the very rocks will. 

All this being said, I've been listening to worship music all night.  Chris Tomlin's new Burning Lights cd is amazing.  So is Passion 2013.  I've "shared" several videos on Facebook.  Colton Dixon's Jesus Paid It All is amazing...you can find the video on YouTube.

I feel refreshed.  I am ready for tomorrow.

Love to all.  


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday

Sometimes it is so hard to get up on Sunday.  Especially when you don't really sleep late during the week, and you don't get to on Saturday either.  But, I did get up and enjoyed my solitary thirty minutes of quiet time and coffee drinking. 

It takes about an hour for us all to get ready on Sunday mornings.  At least three of us take showers that morning, with three taking one the night before.  {Although last night, Jonah and Noah forgot to take one.}

Thanks to Big Daddy, the boys had doughnut holes for breakfast today, which made for a special treat for them and easy breakfast for me. 

I should know by now, that on those mornings when it's so hard to get up and get going, that is the day that I should not ever miss. 

My point is this: it's not always easy to get up and go to church.  Especially when it's on a cold, rainy Sunday morning like today.  It's not easy to get yourself and five other people out the door.  It's not easy to remember our Bibles, and to pay close enough attention to take notes. 

Yet we continue to put forth that extra effort. 

Why?  Because I want my boys to be followers of Jesus, not of this world.

We will continue to raise our boys in church.  We will continue to teach them about worship, and to get rid of that old selfish ambition we have about it.  We will continue to teach them from the Bible, and we will continue to memorize God's word. 

It is so worth it!  I pray that they know God and love and serve Him everyday of their life.  I want to encourage you as parents who read this~keep striving toward that goal. 

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  {Philippians 3:14}

Keep going.  Keep doing what you're doing.  Don't skip church just because you feel like it.  We may not have the freedom of going to church forever, and if that day comes, you will regret ever having missed.  

I mean this with the utmost love, and pray you receive it well. 

Love to all. 


Saturday, March 23, 2013

for husbands and wives

A wife needs...

her husband to lead her gently.
to be her husband's helpmeet and strongest supporter.
to respect her man.
to feel loved by him.
to be told how pretty she looks.  Often.
to not nag.
to hold hands.
to tell her husband 'thank you' for his hard work in providing for your family.
to feel noticed.
to kiss her husband at least twice a day.
to feel that her husband always has her back.
to let her husband know that she always has his.
to have a happy face when her man comes home after a long day at work.
to be courted and romanced.
to tell her husband nicely if something is bothering her.
to not expect him to read her mind.
to understand the differences between a man and a woman.
to be thankful for the spouse she has.

I know I am.

Love to all.




Friday, March 22, 2013

Everyone

Everyone...

should have a Drew to entertain them.
should be embarrassed by their children.
loves waving to kids who randomly wave to them first.
was staring at us at Costco tonight.  (Before Drew waved fanatically at them.)
should have ice cream bars dipped in chocolate for dinner every once in a while.  (Jonah)
should be so lucky to have a twin brother.
who knows me, knows how much I love my family...embarrassing moments and all.
should laugh hysterically with their children.
should tell their children at least fifteen times a day how much they love them. 
should hug and kiss the cheeks of their kids every chance they get.
should talk in a way with their family that will make them laugh out loud. 
loves happy people.  Well, they should, anyway.
should have the joy of their salvation if they are walking in God's ways.
needs to have more fun, because sometimes, life just sucks and this world needs more happy people.

Wouldn't you agree?

Love to all. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

What Not (I will not continue my use of the word "random")

I'm pausing my 'thankful' posts for now.  It's too stressful keeping up with them each day, and I have found that I've stopped writing the other posts that I love to write, like the "he" posts that I love. 

You might not care, but I felt the need to explain.  Those posts are making me not love writing on this ole blog.  And I do love writing on this blog...hence the pausing of those "day so and so posts". 

Did you know that occasionally I have to tell one of my kids to put his shirt back on?  I won't name him, but if you think hard, you can probably guess.  Said child loves to be without shirts occasionally.  Weirdo.

I am behind on my beloved television shows and it's driving me crazy!!!  I'm so tempted to get off this laptop and sneak off to the man room upstairs to go watch. 

I had this moment today of intense thankfulness for the Godly women God has placed in my life.  I never knew on that day when I decided to homeschool, that God would bless me with so many new friends.  But He did, and they come to me from my mom's group on Thursdays.  I love these women with all my heart, and I wish I could adequately explain the way I hold them close to my heart.  It feels like I've known them forever. 

I love nights off from cooking.  As much as I love to cook and feed my men, it's so nice to just not have to think about anything for a night.  Like what to eat, or when to eat.  We had dinner with my husband's parents tonight, and it was delicious!  I love chicken, especially grilled chicken, and could eat it everyday of my life.  Seriously.  Especially when it's marinaded in ginger dressing.  What?!?!

I'm trying to type carefully.  I just repainted my fingernails.  I live vicariously through them, what can I say?  I love to have manicured hands and feet, and since I'm too cheap to pay someone to do them, I take great delight in doing my own.  I've gotten pretty good at it, if I do say so myself.  ;)

My poor Crashy-poo spent eleven hours in his kennel today.  And yes, I totally just baby-named that dog I sometimes still refer to as Evil Knievel.

I have taken joy in being held accountable each day to my sweet friend, Aimee.  At our church's revival recently, she and I agreed to be accountability and prayer partners.  We hold each other accountable each day for spending time in God's word and in praying.  And we pray for one another.  I've missed praying with the moms that I used to at Mom's in Touch, and this relationship has rekindled that for me.  There's just something about praying with your friends, you know?

Speaking of...I have several that I'm praying for...some I've known since high school, some since August or December of 2012, some for a few years.  It's my pleasure and joy to be able to pray for my friends.

Well.  I think I might go sneak off to the upstairs.  ;)  Maybe the boys won't miss me too much.  Love to all.  




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

camping adventures (day 2), day 139

On Saturday, it was supposed to get really hot again, so we decided to go into Holly Springs.  There was a restaurant that my friend Sharon had heard about, and it sounded good to us, too.  It was called Phillip's Grocery.


Isn't it neat?  The food was yummy.  There were lots of interesting things to look at.  This being three of them:


Seriously...are they not the cutest things ever?  Ashleigh is the sweetest little thing...and the boys have been friends with her since they were two.  I don't think they even remember her, but somewhere I have pics of them running around together in the old kindergarten hall of the old part of the elementary school that's no longer there.  I would love to know what Jonah was laughing at.

I liked this building, too:


After lunch, we did some more geocaching.




Which led us to a cemetery.  That's always a hit with kids, right?  Score!  They found treasure. 

We walked some more to another find:



We ended up being in the hood, and didn't even realize it.  I loved the pic above, though...we were so close to being in someone's back yard, it was almost ridiculous!  I was a teeny bit nervous.



More walking...more of the old square...I love old towns!  Have I mentioned that?




After we geocached, we went back to the campsite.  And found a lake for them to put their feet into.  It was freezing!  But refreshing, too.  :)

We had dinner and did some of this:


 Played some games...


Fell asleep in a chair...{check out Crash!}...


Enjoyed the beautiful starlit sky...


And searched for some critter the boys heard.

It was lovely and beautiful and perfect.  See why we hated to come home so bad?

We had the best time. 

Love to all. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

camping adventures day one (day 138)

After what seemed like hours of work on Thursday, we pulled away from our driveway at about three o'clock.  Check-in at Wall Doxey State Park was at four.  I love that we only had to drive for forty-five minutes, and we were there!  Makes for a great {blessedly short} trip with kids.  ;)

I thought I would share a little of what we did on our first night and full day there.  


Our first night was so peaceful.  All the nights were, but I always especially love that first night.  After everything had been unloaded and set up and firewood was gathered, this is what we enjoyed.  We roasted hot dogs over the fire, then marshmallows for s'mores. 

On Friday, we had some friends join us for the day, the Hockaday's.  The family we went with, the Corley's, usually camp with the Hockaday's and another family.  Lois and her kids didn't stay the night, but they did stay all day and ate dinner with us that night.  We ate, we talked, the kids explored, gathered and chopped more wood, and we geocached.  We had never done that before, but it was so much fun! 




Here are some pics of the kids searching in the woods.  There were three or four caches in the state park, but they only found two.  One was very close to us, the others were way around the lake.  They searched and searched, but never found it.  They were all exhausted by the time they got back.

At one point, while Graham and Drew were waiting on them to return, Drew called to tell me how "over" geocaching he was.  Ha!  Their feet were aching by the time they got back.  I didn't go that round....seems like it was a good thing I didn't!  Todd and I stayed behind and chopped wood.  Well, I held it still while he chopped. 



Here they are, back from searching.  Check out that cassette tape!  I have sung those songs in choir over the years.  I don't even know if they knew what they were holding in their hands. 




I love nature.  I love this log, in the above picture.  I look around, and it's so obvious to me how beautiful a Creator my God is!  I feel so close to Him outside.  I know camping is not for everyone, but perhaps that's one reason why I love it so.



The kids wanted to play volleyball, so we went with them to watch and keep score.  Afterward, Graham and I walked Crash back to the campsite. 

I like to call this mother/son bonding.


We wore that poor dog out.  This is one of only a handful of times that I've seen him so tired.  He stayed like this, in a few different spots, for at least two hours.  He was growing more spots in this one.  ;)

It was a beautiful day.  A little warm for camping, but fun (and bug free!), none the less.  We all slept like babies that night, until eight o'clock the next morning.  But more on that tomorrow. 

I am so thankful this was such a fun trip.  Our last few camping trips have not been great, so we really needed a good one to redeem ourselves.  Sometimes I think I'm crazy for loving to camp, and I will admit that after our last few, I had begun to doubt that love. 

But this one changed it all.  God kept us all healthy and strong and the weather was perfect. 

Love to all. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

days 134, 135, 136 and 137

That's a lot of days!  That would be today through Sunday, for all you numerically challenged friends.  ;)

I will be disconnected!  As Todd said earlier, the only thing we'll be worrying about is keeping our fire going.  I can't wait to be unplugged and to unpack in our outdoor haven for a few days of (hopefully) bliss. 

I'll write again on Monday, when all has been unpacked and laundered. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ah Campin' We Will Go!

This time tomorrow night will find my loves and me sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows.  :-)  I can't wait! 

Until then, my list of things to do keeps growing.  And growing, and growing and growing...

I have to go to our school tomorrow to take care of some admin stuff for the instructors, then to Walmart for a few last minute items, home to finish laundry, then we all have to pack, then load up, then...

Off we go!

We're going with some friends of ours from church, and hopefully this time, we're keeping it simple.  I think I always say that and end up taking half of our worldly belongings, but it's good to think positively, right? 

I'm praying for no rain and no sickies!  Every single time we go (almost), it either rains or someone's sick, or both.  First Noah was sick, then me, last time it was Drew...I'm praying for sunshine and health!  And no spiders would be nice.  As long as I'm listing things I don't want.

Weather permitting, we'll be staying until Sunday.  We've never stayed the length of a weekend before, so it should be fun {interesting} to see all the crazies people that come out. 

Because you know, every time we go camping, we some crazies people. 

It's like they come out of the woodwork.

Well, I'm going to finish my book now.  I haven't read in two days, which is an all time record for me, I think.  I've been too tired each night.  Or watched too much tv.  I don't even want to discuss how long I watched tv last night, by the way.  I was up until almost one o'clock this morning.

Ridiculous, I tell you.  Absolutely ridiculous.

And a guilty pleasure of mine.

Love to all!




Tuesday & Wednesday, days 132 & 133

I totally just wrote "Tuesday & Thursday".  Um, last time I checked, there was a Wednesday in between those days.

My brain is muddled.  We've had a LOT of friends at our house this week, can you tell? 

I'm looking forward to camping so I can have a break!  Not really...I'm looking forward to going camping so we can all get away together.  :-) 

I am so thankful the weather has been nice this week~it's been a tiny bit chilly, but the boys don't seem to mind.  They've been outside nonstop. 

I am so thankful that for a couple hours last night and a couple hours today, I got to spend time with two of my best friends. 

Last night, my sweet best friend Mandy came over and we watched the finale of The Bachelor together.  (Did you watch?  I think this was my favorite season ever, and I was so happy he picked Catherine!)

Then, today, I got to see another best friend of mine, Marcia.  I haven't seen her since Christmas!  Not that it matters~we're the kind of friends who will always be friends, no matter time or distance. 

I am so blessed in this area, and trust me when I say that I thank God every single day for the friends He's given me. 

How has your week been?  Are any of you still out there?  All the comments I get lately are spam-y comments.  Does anyone still read this?

Just wondering. 

Love to all. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Happy birthday, Graham! Day 131

There is no way I'm old enough to have a fourteen year old son.  No way on earth.  And yet...I do.

Graham Douglas had to be persuaded to come into this world, but he finally did, at twelve twenty-nine p.m. on March eleven of nineteen ninety-nine. 

I remember reading how some mothers didn't feel intense love for their child at first, but that it would eventually come.  Well, that didn't happen to me.  I had never, until that moment, felt a love like that.  I remember my Mom saying, "Now you know how much I love you."

It was indescribable. 

I used to pick Graham up, while he was sleeping as a newborn, and hold him.  Just because I wanted to. 

Poor thing, he didn't get to experience being an only child for very long, because when he was three months old, I became pregnant with Drew.  I don't think he minds too much, though.

I am so proud of this young man of mine.  I know that God has big things in store for him.  He is such a Godly example to his friends~so much so, that some of his friendships have suffered a little bit from it. 

It's so hard for me to believe that on this day next year, I will be taking him to get his learner's permit.  And then teaching him how to drive.  It just seems like yesterday that he was born.

He's not perfect, this young man of mine, but he's a work in progress.  He's smart, mature for his age and responsible.  He's got some great friends, and he's constantly working on trying to be a better one. 

He loves the Lord, loves to worship and sing, loves to tap out the beat on any surface that will stand still.  He loves adults, and he loves serving in the kids department with me at church. 

He has a calling from God on his life, and I don't know what that is, or what it may involve, but I do know that God is up to something in him. 

I couldn't be more proud.  I am so blessed to be the mom of this amazing young man. 


Love to all. 

Happy Birthday, Jonah and Noah! {and day 130}

At eleven oh eight, March tenth of two thousand three, Jonah Raymon was finally able to stretch out his little legs for the first time and enjoy some room of his own. 

Until eleven ten, that is, when Noah Lloyd joined him.  

I will never forget that moment.  They were both squalling their little lungs out, until a nurse picked up Noah and laid him beside Jonah in the incubator.  At that very moment, they opened their eyes and looked at each other for the first time, and the crying stopped. 

Sigh.

Fast forward ten years, and this is the way they look:


Every bit as handsome as they were cute back on the day they were born.  In honor of their tenth birthday, I thought I would share ten interesting facts you might not know about them. 

Jonah:

He sings in his sleep. 
As small as he might be, he can eat his weight in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  Or Costco cake.
He loves stuffed animals.
He can sing really, really good.
He won't watch a movie to save his life, but give him two hours of COPS, and he's all yours.
His favorite person is Todd.
He loves making breakfast for everyone~hence the burn you see on his right middle finger.  :-(
The only toys he plays with are handcuffs, Legos and cars.
He loves to buy gifts for people.
When he remembers Noah getting hit by a car, he cries. 

Noah:

He loves animals. 
He loves to sing, but cannot carry a tune in a bucket. 
He still likes to play pretend.
He is always making some sort of noise, and is really great at sound effects.
He loves to give hugs.
He is very generous.
He makes the most adorable gulping sound when he drinks.
He always wants a Sprite.
He almost always has a dirty mouth.  {Not in talking~an actual, dirty mouth.}
He sometimes still asks if one of his best friends, Hannah, can spend the night. 

Here's some more pictures from their birthday party:


Left to right: Drew, Doug, Jonah, Noah, Andy, Graham and Jake.  Another friend, Alex, arrived five minutes after I took this.


It was the perfect birthday for them.  :-)

Love to all. 

day 129/Saturday

I'm playing catch up from the weekend, so forgive me as I post multiple times within the next hour.  ;)

On Saturday, I asked if Mom and I could go to a beauty supply place that sells the brand of nail polish I like for dirt cheap. 

Who am I kidding?  As if you all don't know how much I love OPI.  I'll just go ahead and say that now.  I was going to not mention it, but oh well.

So, along with my nephew, my mom and I went and did that.  We also had lunch while we were out. 

I'm so thankful for my Mom.  I know I've said that before, but I'll keep saying it until the day I die.  I love her so much, and I don't care how old you are, sometimes all you want is your mama. 

She didn't feel well at all on Saturday, so the fact that she was even willing to go was very sweet to me. 

If your Mom is still around~be thankful for her.  The ones whose moms who have passed away would tell you to treasure each second you get with her. 


You know I had to share a pic.

I Can't Find My Czech-Book.  The new Euro collection by OPI.

Love to all. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

day 128& a few of my favorite things

Today.  Friday.  A day with my boys and my dad. 

Home. 


 That's what this place will always be to me.  Isn't it pretty?

No matter how old they are, some things just never get old.





 They fished.  He shot his BB gun.  They drove the riding lawn mower.  We ate a delicious lunch, making our way through a couple bags of hot dogs, a bag of Lay's and two boxes of girl scout cookies. 


 Graham drove me around.  In Pappaw's truck. 

 



It was heavenly. 

We enjoyed a lot of God's creation.



We made memories. 

For these things, I am thankful.

Love to all. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

127

Did you know that...

"He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection."  {Psalm 91:4} 

He will.  And they are.

Today has been a panic-invoking day for me.  Between all the talk of the drones used in America on Americans and a disturbing statement our president made about homeschooling today, it's been that kind of a day.

But did you also know that...

"For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control."  {2 Timothy 1:7}

He does.  He is with us.  At all times and in every situation.  

So after some time spent in prayer, I'm no longer as panic-y as I was this afternoon.  

In the meantime, I thought I would share a couple of pictures.


Can you even believe how beautiful this picture is?  I seriously love Germantown Presbyterian church...and all the oldness of it and the details.  I just love churches, in general.  And this day...oh my word!  How beautiful it was today.  I especially love the little loves walking along the curb.  :)  

Graham and Drew were in a meeting inside of here and the rest of us waited in the car until they got out.  

One more, an image that I got off of Facebook, really spoke to me:


I don't even know what to follow that with.  

I'm thankful for the freedoms we have.  I don't know how long we'll have them, but for now, I will not take advantage of them.  May God continue to be with us all, no matter what the future holds.  

I know Who holds my future.  

Do you?

If you don't, now's a good time to get to know Him.

Love to all. 

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals , and friends, for this blog post.  We've had a great week around ...