Tuesday, April 30, 2013

un-school

I love that word.  Well, maybe it's not a real word, but a made up one that I enjoy.  I saw this poster on Pinterest, or maybe Facebook, that says something like, "We're not trying to exactly replicate what public school looks like here at home.  We're trying to take our every day lives and incorporate those moments into part of our curriculum."  Or something like that.  Of course, along with these every day moments, we do actually have school work~math, language, science, health, spelling and poetry, history and reading.  And home economics.  Lots and lots and lots of home economics.  ;)

I tell you this, because as part of our school today, we started working on a gift for someone special.  I'm so excited about this gift~I've never given anything like this before, and it's so good, that I'm jealous!  I told the boys that I wanted the exact same thing for Mother's day.  ;)  We'll see if they remember.

I can't wait to give it!

We have done lots of loads of laundry today.  I'm so glad that the boys are such willing helpers~they help me with all the laundry.  We are some laundry-folding fools!  We sort it all into piles~they do pants, boxers, socks, pajama's, and I do all of mine, Todd's and their shirts.  It works...and it's teaching them to be independent someday.  You know why~because I'm just not raising boys, but future husbands and fathers.  I want them to know their way around a kitchen and laundry room.

They also unload the dishwasher after breakfast, and start it each night.  I figure this is a fair trade, because I cook all the meals around here.  ;)  And because right now, they genuinely like to do this activity.  More power to them, right?!

Graham is my grocery-shopping buddy.  That boy has mad skills when it comes to maneuvering his way around our local Kroger.  He is great at finding the best deals, too.  A lot of times he also helps with meal preparation.  All of them do that, actually.  I love putting them to work with a knife and a cutting board...they're awesome little choppers.

Drew and Jonah have asked me to let them do the laundry and the dishes everyday.  I'll gladly give that up to them...even though I don't mind doing it myself.  I'm really, really old-fashioned in my role of stay-at-home wife and mom.  I figure my job is to take care of everything involved with our home.  Todd's out working all day, and many nights, and I figure it's the least I can do.  I would feel differently {probably} if I worked outside of our home, or if I was a full-time employee somewhere.   I know he would help me if I needed him to do something, but I'm blessed with good help and don't often require the extra help. 

A weird fact about me is that I love being a stay-at-home wife and mom.  I love doing laundry, I love folding shirts, I love cooking and I get extreme satisfaction out of cleaning the home that the Lord has blessed us with.  Call me crazy...but I seriously love doing all this.

I don't know why I'm writing all this, except for the fact that I came across a really cool chore chart for kids the other day.  How do you feel about chores?  We expect a lot from our kids, I'll give you that...but I think it's a homeschool thing, too.  Lots of families I know who homeschool have kids that work a lot around their house.  Chalk it up to the fact that school doesn't take seven hours at home, and you need extra activities to fill in some gaps, and you get your reason for the why that I know you want to ask.  We don't pay them money, either...their payment is getting to participate in privileges, like going for ice-cream, or hanging out at the bowling alley with friends, or other similar things, like the occasional movie or church outing.

Do your kids do chores?  Do you pay them?  What do they do? 

Share the love and comment!  Please.  Help a girl out.  Since N.O.B.O.D.Y. commented on yesterday's post.  ;) 

Love to all. 




Monday, April 29, 2013

how do you give praise to God?

I'm assuming you're the praying type, just by my title.  If you're not, you might want to skip over this post.

I've really been convicted of my prayer life since February/March-ish.  And since then, I've been on this roller coaster ride of trying to learn what God is teaching me about prayer.

And the thing I'm learning is not that I'm not praying enough, but that I've been giving God this laundry list of prayer needs.

I'm not saying we shouldn't ask for anything, but it's in the how we go about doing that asking.

I've had prayer broken down for me, and only a short part of praying is intercession and petition, or praying for others and ourselves.  The other parts of prayer include thanksgiving, praise, singing, confession of our sin, being still and quiet before Him...there may be more parts, but those are what I remember for now.

I understand most of the parts, but the praise one kind of stumps me.  We're supposed to praise Him for who He is~His attributes.  {This differs from thanksgiving.}  And some of those attributes are Creator, Healer, faithful One, Love, all-knowing, Provider...

But other than just saying, "Lord, I praise You because You are Creator"...how do you give Him praise?

I don't think there's a right or wrong answer.  I'm just curious, because personally, I'm stumped.  I don't want to sound robotic in giving Him praise.  I want my praise to be passionate, heart-felt, joyful. 

I guess I'm in a rut in this area of my prayer life.  {And I wish I could tell you how many times I've heard people speak on prayer in the past couple months.  It's almost funny, how God seems to be pounding this into my head.}

So this morning in my quiet time, in hopes of getting out of this rut, when it came time for me to give God praise, I opened up my Bible to the book of Psalm.  I thought I would share a little of what I told Him this morning...these verses are from Psalm 119.

{v.57 &58}  You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey Your words.  I have sought Your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to Your promise.

{v.76}  May Your unfailing love be my comfort, according to Your promise to Your servant.

{v.105}  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

{v.114}  You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word.

I wish someone would talk just on this topic of praise...and how to give God the praise He so deserves.  What I say or do never seems to be enough {who knows, maybe it is enough!}, and I don't like feeling like I'm in a rut.  I'm asking for YOU to share with me what you do in this area.

I like the thought of us sharing with one another.  So, will you leave a comment?  This wondering mind would really like to know.  ;)

Any and all advice will be well received and appreciated, I assure you.  Thanks in advance!  Love to all. 



Saturday, April 27, 2013

like honey to my soul

...

time with my best friend, Amanda.  Man, I love her and our impromptu times spent together.  She came over and had dinner with me in my alone-ness last night.  I'm so thankful for her beautiful self.  We seem to have a hard time saying goodbye, too...

time spent at our beloved church.  I'm thankful the Lord stopped us in our tracks and turned us around back when we were considering looking at other churches.  Austin and Amy Whittington are the most amazing people, and I love their heart for the Lord and for our kids.  They make it such a joy to volunteer.  :)

friendship in general.  I had a sweet time talking about prayer with some amazing kids today at our Family Worship Workshop at church.  My friend Sharon and I led this booth together this morning, and we were able to compare our friendship~getting to know one another better in our ten years of being friends~to getting to know the Lord better through prayer.


Do you have a church home?  Are you local and looking for one?  Or are you stagnant in church right now~not really going that faithfully?  May I encourage you to give it a try again?  Or for the first time?  I love our church home.  Did I mention on here that we joined?  We are now members of this amazing family of God~and our kids.  I love knowing they have a church home.  Not that membership is the be all and end all, but we thought it was important for our kids.

This picture above is from our morning at church.

Well.  I'm going to run.  And do my nails.  Or something like that.  ;)  I hope your Saturday is amazing.  Love to all!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

thursday

I can't believe we're already back to a weekend {practically}.  Our week has gone by so fast...in a good way, but still.  It's been an exciting day.  Our homeschool group is officially out for Summer.  I'm excited and bummed, all simultaneously.  We've met some AHHHMAAAZING friends through this group, and I'm seriously bummed that I won't be seeing them every week.

I will see some of them, though...did I mention that I was asked to be a small group leader for our Bible study?  Us leaders will be meeting together during the weeks of Summer to have a Bible study together.  I'm excited, because it will be small, and we'll be in a great position to get know each other better.

Jonah and Noah had their pinewood derby race today.  I think I mentioned the cars they made last weekend?  Jonah placed third!  Noah's wasn't quite as fast, but it didn't matter...it was just fun for them to be able to participate.

Graham and Drew took a STOMP class this semester and loved it.  Graham got to be in a group that did a routine to that Cups song that's on the radio right now...they were amazing!  I'm trying to upload it to YouTube...if I can get it uploaded, I'll share it on here.  Graham had a little solo...proud mama moment!  I had chills watching them, but you'll be glad to read that I didn't cry.  {I cry at the dumbest things, like when my niece Erika used to perform for us before Memphis Elite would travel to Nationals every year.  Seriously.}

I got a new cell phone.  The LG Spectrum bit the dust.  I loved the phone, but have had problems with it since day one.  I'm back to the HTC Incredible 2...I say I'm "back to" because I had the original Incredible.  I love it!  It's not as big as the Spectrum, but it's so much better...faster...clearer...I'm happy.  I even got my cute new case in today, too~it's a greenish blue.  Kinda like sea-foam green from the Crayola box back in the day.

Todd's parents came over tonight.  We set up the new phones and had brownies and coffee.  And we made our vacation plans for the year!  I'm so excited...we're going to Williamsburg, Virginia for a week.  While we're there we plan on going into D.C. at least twice.  There's so much I want the boys to see and experience...and it'll be a wonderful, educational trip.  We're not going until September...the week of the seventh.  I'm particularly happy about that date, because regular school will be in session, so the crowds will be much less.  :)

I can't wait!

I love living vicariously through my kids...and I'm excited about them going to a different part of the country.  I got to travel all the time as a child, and I am so anxious for them to experience that as well.

Well, the video is only at 46%, so I'll post it tomorrow.  It's way past my bedtime.  Love to all!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday What~Not

Michael Buble never gets old.  As I write, he's singing his newest single on The Today show.  Even if it's weird that he's singing a song about a break up...very un~Michael Buble, but still...I could listen to his voice for hours and hours. 

Also, as I write, Drew is on the couch with ice on his arm.  He tried to break it last night while riding his ripstick in the driveway.  A hundred and twenty something pound teenager does NOT land lightly.  God love him.  {We think his wrist is sprained, not broken.  The bruising and swelling have already gone away, now it's just sore.}

There is not enough coffee in my coffee in my coffee pot for this morning.  I had really weird dreams last night, and for the last hour that I was sleeping, I think I was having a conversation out loud. 

I'm doing a  new devotion/study on the book of Philippians.  On the YouVersion app, there is a devotion called She Reads Truth that I love.  I had a linky thing at the top of my blog to take you to the website, but I'm doing an older study and can't find it on there, so I removed the link.  Anyway, this one's on the book of Philippians.  I do love me some Philippians.

I also love The Today Show.  I love Savannah, Natalie, Matt, Al, Willie...and the fact that Michael Buble is co-hosting today.  ;)

Last night after dinner, I enjoyed sitting outside while my super hero hubby fixed our weed-eater.  Graham had gone to use it a couple times, and it wouldn't start.  I mentioned it to Todd, and out he went to work on it.  I do love a man who knows how to make repairs!  He's my real-life handyman.  ;)  I might have snapped a picture.



I tried to not get him in the picture, since he HATES when I take pictures of him.  So I got his super cool tool bag and his hands that I love. 

While I sat and drank an after-dinner cup of coffee with caramel macchiato creamer {YUMMM!}, I watched Jonah ride his ripstick. 


The crack you see between the wheels is the same one Drew busted it on.  Jonah's brushing up on his skills, trying to get more comfortable on this thing.  He's doing really good!

I had to take a picture of Jonah's tennis shoes~I love them, and love the laces.


Aren't they cute?  For this ten year old boy, the brighter, the better.  I love them, and I love the personality he has to own to be able to wear them confidently. 

Well, I need to go refill my coffee.  And get started on school stuff.  Happy Wednesday!  Love to all.  {My feelings won't be hurt if you comment.}

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

thankful

{I'm not re-starting my "thankful" posts, don't worry.}

Last night, our nephew Nathan, called Todd while he was at our neighbor's house.  He said, "My dad's okay, but..." and had to get off the phone.  I think Todd must have run home, because he appeared to be pretty shaken up by the call.  Tracy, our sister-in-law, called Todd back within minutes and told him that Tim and Nathan had been riding their bikes, and Tim had gotten hit by a car. 

He was okay~but pretty banged up with a cut forehead and a broken arm. 

Her phone was going dead, so she had him call his parents and break the news to them.  They seemed to take it pretty well, better than I thought they were capable of. 

Turns out, Tim ended up with a broken wrist, and will probably have surgery within the next few days.  They {finally} did a CT scan on him, and was given a good report.  I'm not sure, but am assuming that he had to have stitches to close up the cut on his forehead.  {She texted Todd a picture~he was pretty banged up.}

And while Todd was on the phone with his parents, I did what I always do when I don't know what to say or do~I read the Bible.  I wanted to read Psalm 91, and thank God for being Tim's refuge when this all happened...because, truthfully, this whole thing could have been so much worse. 

In reading Psalm 91, I came across verse 11:

"For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go."

This morning I read a little further and saw verse 12:

"They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone." 

God is good to give us verses like this, and I love chapter ninety-one of Psalm.  I read verses 2 and 4 over and over from this chapter when Noah was hit by a car two years ago.  {In late April, just like his Uncle Tim, how ironic is that?!}

Will you help me pray for them?  For Tim, as they schedule surgery for his wrist, for Tracy, as she helps him around and has to do things for him, and especially for Nathan, their oldest son.  Nathan witnessed the whole accident, and I pray that God gives him peaceful rest at night and comfort during the day.  I can't imagine one of my kids witnessing their dad being hit by a car. 

Thank you, in advance, for helping me pray.  Love to all. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

the "ahhhhhh" moments of the weekend

Todd's parentals invited us over for dinner Friday night.  Any night that I don't have to worry about dinner is like a mini~vacation.  And dinner was delicious...Mimi made grilled chicken marinated in ginger dressing, mac and cheese, this yummy rice and veggie side dish, rolls and pineapple angel food cake.  Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Saturday was one of those day when we were a family divided.  Graham and Drew had a car wash they gave with the other Gen SC kids from our homeschool group, and Todd took Jonah and Noah to his workshop so he and his dad could help them build pinewood derby race cars.  They're having a race at school on Thursday.

While they were gone, I went to lunch with my best friend.  We went to Firebirds, and I ordered my usual BLT salad.  We might have shared the salted caramel brownie with vanilla ice cream too.  ;)  We didn't really have other plans, so we did a little grocery shopping together.  That was a first, but supposedly, there's a first for everything.

After lunch, I got to love on and hold my friend Katie's new baby!!!


If that isn't some sweet baby love, I don't know what is.  His name is Caleb Keller.  Isn't he precious?


I swear, I just sighed looking at his sweet little chubby cheeks.

I was going to cook dinner last night, but my man was starving and couldn't wait, so he went and bought pizza.  I have to admit, it was wonderful not having to worry about dinner for the second night in a row.  He spoils me. 

And today, my favorite day of the week...Sunday school and church.  I love our Sunday school class!  I feel so challenged when I walk out every week...and today was no different.  The same was true for Brother Chuck's sermon this morning, on how to live big for God.  It was an awesome day in the Lord.  The music, the fellowship...all of it just fills in the gaps that need filling in.  I know I've said this before, but I want to encourage you {again} to find a church home if you don't have one.  Get involved!  It's so rewarding, being a part of a church and a fellowship class.

How was your weekend?  I hope it was full of those "ahhhhhh" moments.  :)  Love to all. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

when we're out of words...

When tragedy strikes {multiple times, like it did this week}, how do we react?
When words offend, how do we handle it?
When people are watching our every move, how do we act?
When we don't know what to say, what do we say?
When we don't know how to pray, what do we pray?
When others might hate, how do we not?

I wish I had all the answers.

I don't, though.

The only thing I do know to do is simple: pray.

How do you pray in the midst of all that happened this week?

I don't know that either.  But I can tell you what Psalm 139:1~5 says:

"O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise.  You perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely O LORD.  You hem me in, behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me."

Before a word is on our tongue~He knows it completely.

There have been times that I haven't known what to pray, so I've just uttered, "Jesus" over and over again.  He knows what I mean.

Sometimes that's all we can do.

In spite of a horrific week for America, we still have much to be thankful for.  I'll leave you with a passage I read tonight from Isaiah 45.  I pray you can take comfort in the words.  Love to all.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I thought I would share some of what is blowing up my Instagram and Facebook newsfeeds.  "Throwback Thursday", also known as #tbt, is what it's called. 

In honor of this day, I thought I would share some of my favorite pictures from our Disney World trip several years ago. 

We went with my sister Debi, and my niece, Nicole.  Their Auntie Debi treated them to either Mickey Mouse ears hats or special face painting.  This is what they chose:





Are those not some of the sweetest little faces?  Seems like it was just yesterday that we went, but it was almost four years ago!  I can't believe how fast the time goes by.  Graham and Drew look like babies in these pics! 

It was a really fun trip.  During the same trip, Jonah and Noah saw the ocean for the first time. 


I will never forget what Noah said as he looked around: "This is it?!  Just water?  There's no diving board, no slide, no nothin'?!  I want to go back to Aunt Debi's." 

I died laughing. 

Here's one more from that trip:


Left to right: Graham, Drew, Austin {in the sand}, Jonah, Nicole, and Noah.  I think they made Austin into a mermaid.  ;)

I guess I'm just feeling a little reminiscent tonight.  And sad that time goes so quickly.  I miss these days, but am thankful that they're where they are today.  I try not to look back too often, but sometimes it just can't be helped. 

Oh!  And guess who's in the hospital having a baby?!  Maybe the Lord did let me dream that for a reason!  She's been in labor all day...her water started leaking last night at 11:30, so he should be here soon!  I can't wait to meet him.  I'm keeping the nephews until her parents get here and can take charge...until then, it's up to me.  :) 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

dream a little dream...

I've been having the most insane dreams lately.  I wish I could tell all of them, but the one I had last night was my favorite.  I dreamed that Katie {one of my best friends and neighbor} had her baby.  They know that it's a boy, but they're not telling us his name.  I even dreamed that I knew his name!  It was something weird and I remember thinking, "You've been saving the surprise for THAT?!"

Don't tell her I said that.  ;)

She needs to have the baby!!!  He was due yesterday, and if he doesn't come on his own, he'll be here sometime next Wednesday or early Thursday.  Needless to say, I'm sleeping with my phone practically in bed with me at night, not turned down at all.

We're their peeps.  They don't have family here, so it's all up to us to take care of their nephews when that time comes.  {Their nephews live with them.}

Do you go through crazy times of dreaming weird things?  I've heard that it can be food~related, but I don't know if I buy that.  I was REALLY hoping that the Lord was telling them that he was coming today, all through my dream last night.  No such luck.  ;)

We are so excited for this baby, one that they've tried for, for so long.  I can't wait to hold him in my arms, and get my baby fix taken care of.  I've warned her that I just might randomly go see her and go rock him.  I love rockin' some babies!  I'll leave you with a picture of my sweet Katie-Katie {my boys' used to call her that}.  Will you pray for her?  I know she could use it.


It was her birthday, she was sick, AND she's pregnant...all the reasons why she wouldn't share the brownie batter bowl.  ;)


This is Katie and her sweet mama at her baby shower.  Isn't she pretty?

Thanks in advance for praying for her, sweet baby boy, her hubby and their nephews.  Love to all.  

#1322

Yes, you read that number write.  That's how many entries I've written since I started this blog back in 2000 and something.  {I can't remember the exact date.}  Who'd have thought I'd have so much to say?

It's interesting looking back over what I've written.  {Not for you, for me.}  I see lots of things God's done in the life of my family and in me.  He's brought me a long way from where I started.  I'm not really sure why I'm writing all this, except that I didn't realize how much I had written until just now.

Anyway.

I was driving home from Cordova last night, and it was one of those magical nights.  {Todd had his annual sheriff's department dinner, so he and I went while the boys stayed with his parents.}  The weather was nice, so we had the windows rolled down and the radio turned up.  We were singing along to some music when all of a sudden I heard something smack Graham's cheek.  It hit him so hard that it appeared as if someone had slapped him.

Turns out, it was a bug.  Never in my 36 years on this earth have I ever had a bug fly into my open car window and smack me like that.  It was so funny, that I still chuckle as I write that.  Anyway, it took us a minute or two to figure out what it was, and Graham saw that the bug had committed suicide on his face and landed in his lap.  He reached for a Kleenex to wipe it off him, and as he grabbed one, the whole box of tissue flew out the window.

I. LOST. IT.  I was laughing hysterically.  I was afraid someone would hear me I was laughing so hard and so loud, and try to help me, thinking I was upset or something.  Todd was driving in front of me, and he didn't realize all that had taken place.  I had to pull over so Graham could jump out and fling the bug off of him.

I love moments like that.  Ones that I'll remember for ages and laugh when I think about it.  I think sometimes that I forget to look for moments that we can enjoy.  Sometimes I'm just too busy~with school work, or house work, or my mind is preoccupied.  I'm all too often guilty of not enjoying these little moments.  I pray that God will remind me of last night often, and in doing that, that I will remember to just slow down and enjoy life and laugh more.

Remember in a post a couple days ago when I said something about saying "yes" more and "no" less?

I think this is that moment.  I need to look for and seize moments to say "yes".  Whether it's in playing a game, making homemade cookies, helping me with dinner, driving them to the park for soccer or football before the public school kids are out, watching a movie, inviting a friend over...

I need to say "yes", getting rid of my inclination to do the opposite.

It might mean that my house isn't perfect, or that dog hair will still be on my floor, or fingerprints will be all over the pantry door, or that things are "picked up", or that we're having to go dig clean socks out of dryer.

Those things will always be there.

These moments with these precious boys of mine will not.

God has put us where we are for "such a time as this".  {That's from Esther 4:14.}  For this moment, for today, my role is wife and homeschooling mom to four.  There will be time for all that other stuff years and years from now.

The key to all this is to just remember...and I pray that the Lord helps me do so.  Love to all.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

a small gesture

I was worried about pulling Graham and Drew out of their middle school in the middle of the year.  Have I mentioned that?  But after much {MUCH, MUCH, MUCH} prayer and petition, we did just that.  I was still worried that I was somehow damaging them...by taking them away from their Christian clubs, their friends, the rigidity of school work.  {Are you laughing yet?}

But it's funny how God proved over and over {and OVER and OVER} again that He cared for them much more than I could ever dream of caring for them.

"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"  Matthew 6:30

I read that this morning in my quiet time, and it seems appropriate for what I'm writing today.  

God proved, once again, how much more He cares for them today.  Graham and Drew have become really involved with Gen SC {student council} at our homeschool group on Thursdays and have met some of the sweetest friends.  These are a wonderful group of teenagers that we have come to know and love.  {And yes, I just said that about teenagers!}  Today, as a service project, they did yardwork for a sweet lady in our Bible study group, Ms. Pat.  Ms. Pat's husband died unexpectedly a year and a half ago, and her yard was in desperate need of attention.  I dropped them off at her house in Germantown at nine and went to pick them up at 12:45.  They pulled weeds, cleaned out flower beds, raked leaves and as a bonus, spread mulch where she has flowers.  

It's funny how God works in those who work to bless others.  Those working are often much more blessed than the one they're reaching out to.  I know, in just the half hour or so I watched, my heart was so joyful as I pulled away from her home.  

I love teachable moments~not in school, but in life.  

Today I was able to remind them of James 1:27:

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."    

We are to do just what these precious teenagers did today~be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I don't know if I would have ever had this moment had the Lord not provided me with the opportunity to homeschool my children.  Isn't that just like Him?  To bless my heart throughout this entire process?  {Not that everyday is a walk in the park, I'm just talking general picture here.}  He is infinitely good and faithful, even in the midst of where we are.  

Whether that be homeschooling, being a wife and mom, or as spectators of what happened yesterday in Boston.

Yes, even there, He is with us.  

Love to all.     

Monday, April 15, 2013

a little motivation for your days

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

Words have the power to make or break someone.  Ours aren't always nice.  Before we did anything this morning we had a time of devotion and prayer.  {I try to do that everyday, but unfortunately I don't always.}  It's so funny how everything seems to go wrong when I forget to pray.  I'll be in the middle of doing something, and will be ready to snap an answer to someone's three hundred and thirty-eighth question of the first hour of work, when I will feel that little nudge that says, "Have you spent time with Me?".

That little nudge is not just a little nudge.  I believe it's the Holy Spirit.  He often impresses on me something~a word, a Scripture, a thought to remember to be nice. 

When I feel this, I will gather all the boys around the table and we will take time to have devotion and to pray.  And sometimes my prayers aren't always so nice.  I might say, "Lord, please help the boys to have a good attitude.", but then I'll remember that it takes two to tango, and I'll add, "And please help ME with the same thing, Lord.".  And as I pray more and more, the more my frustrations just melt away.

The more focused on Him we are, the better our day goes. 

Such a simple statement, yet so hard to do.  Why do I not just take the time to do this each day?!  Why must I reach a breaking point before I pray with the boys?  Why, why, why????

You know that Bible verse that talks about having the faith of a child?  {Forgive me~I'm too lazy to stop and Google it.}  I think that this is what the verse actually means.  For instance, a newborn baby doesn't worry and fret over whether or not he's going to be fed and taken care of; he just trusts and knows that his mom and dad will provide for him what he needs.

And even kids that are a little older have this same kind of trust and knowledge.  How many times have you been asked to pray for your child's boo boo?  They just know that when Mom or Dad prays, something will happen.

I ask myself this question all the time: why must I get to that breaking point?

Because my faith isn't always where it should be.  I take my eyes off of Jesus.  I don't mean to, I just do it.  I think, "Just let me get the kids started on their schoolwork, then I'll have quiet time.".  Yet I'll have had time to browse on Facebook that morning.  It might have been the first thing I did when I woke up. 

My morning routine should revolve around that important 'quiet time'.  If it means waking up earlier, then I should wake up earlier.  If it means going to bed earlier to make waking up earlier easier, then I should go to bed earlier.  

It takes discipline to spend time alone with God every morning.  I know that not everyone is a morning person, but I stress the word 'morning' because time with God should be our number one priority.  I don't know about you, but when He's not my number one priority, the whole world knows it.  I'm in a bad mood, my day is going all wonky, the kids are misbehaving.

To me, discipline requires repetitiveness.  I have to do something over and over for it to become a habit.  And habits...well, everyone has habits.  Habits require no thinking...just doing. 

In developing this kind of Godly habit, I have to pray!  And then I have to keep on praying.  Faith comes in here, too...trusting and knowing that God will help me become who He created me to be.  And that means that sometimes I'll mess things up.  I'll fall off the bandwagon and forget to have quiet time.  I might snap at the kids and just stay mad at them, instead of praying about it. 

I never professed to be perfect~but a totally imperfect mess.  That the Lord is still working on.  Don't you wish you could bottle your good days?  I had that thought this morning~I prayed that the Lord would help me to continually feel this connected to Him, that I would keep having these kinds of days.  I know that I won't, though, and that's okay.  He's still there at those times...I just have to spend time seeking Him. 

Don't you think He just wants that from us anyway?  I do.

I pray your Monday has been wonderful so far.  Love to all. 


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Shiloh {a day with Big Daddy}

Friday morning at nine o'clock, we were driving down this road, heading to Shiloh National Park. 


Would you believe this was my first time to ever visit?  It was well worth the thirty-six year wait.  The boys and I had a blast, and are so thankful that Big Daddy was able to take off work so he could join us. 




The weather was absolutely perfect.  Here are Jonah, Graham, Noah, Drew and Bill, a.k.a. 'Big Daddy'.  ;)  We watched an almost one-hour movie when we first got there to give us the history of Shiloh, then we set off to start our tour.  {Would you believe that the movie made me cry?  It did.  It's hard to think about young men at war, and for some reason, it just got me.}

This was our first stop:


This is one of the larger monuments.  In case your eyes are worse than mine, the bottom of it says 'Iowa'.  They must have won the prize for spending the most money on their memorial.  I like the eagle resting atop it.

And speaking of eagles, look at what we got to see!  It's an eagle's nest.  There were people watching the nest with telescopes, and they were kind enough to let us take a look through the lens.  We could see the babies inside, and later in the day we got to see the mama fly off.  It was breathtaking, and the icing on the cake to top off our perfect day.


Next on our stop was The Hornet's Nest.  It got the name because bullets {or whatever the things were} were whizzing by the soldiers' heads so fast that they sounded like a bunch of angry hornets. 




Also on our list of places that we stopped was this creek:




It had warmed up considerably and the boys were hot and asked if they could walk across those rocks you see in the water.  At first I said 'no', then Bill asked me, "Why not?".  So I let them, because I didn't have a reason to say no.  {Yikes...I could do a whole blog post on saying 'yes' more and 'no' less.  But that's another post and another day.}

See to the right of the little water fall?  There's a bunch of sticks and stuff jumbled up together...well, that's where Noah decided he needed to get more wet, and fell in.  ;)  He jumped up faster than he fell, but he said the water was freezing!  I believe him~I felt of Graham's foot.  It was so cold that it was numbing.  Poor Noah...though I don't think he minded too much.

After this stop, we visited Shiloh Church...though it's not the original.  I think it burned down, so this was built to replace it:



Noah was being preacher.

And this is Shiloh Methodist Church, that meets here every week:


I do love me some steeples.  I'm forever taking pictures of churches...I just love buildings, especially ones with history, or in pretty places.  This one struck me as all that and more.


I caught real smiles, and thought I would take advantage of them.  And no, they did not mean to dress alike. 



That crazy Drew...can't take him anywhere. 

The last place we stopped for pictures was at the Tennessee River. 


They were over me taking pictures.  ;)  I told them they could be crazy.  Jonah didn't want any part of that, so he just ignored me. 

We ended our tour back where we started.  The boys filled out their questions and each collected five Shiloh trading cards.  And they bought souvenirs. 

What in the world is a field trip without souvenirs?  ;)




After one last bathroom trip, we hit the road. 

We all munched on the homemade cookies Big Daddy made for us and had water.  We talked.  We laughed.  The boys snored.  Except for Graham.  We might have gotten a little turned around a time or two.  I might have almost driven off the road because the biggest ant I've ever laid eyes on made an appearance on my dashboard.  And then had the audacity to disappear.  {I did find it Saturday afternoon and killed it.  Mwaaahaaahaaaa.  That's my evil laugh.}

It was the perfect day...good weather, good food {we had a picnic at the back of my suburban!}, and great company.  We always love our time with Bill~it doesn't happen all that often, so we take advantage of each moment.  We're blessed, indeed. 

I thank the Lord for all of our "grands"...and they all live up to their names.  God is good.  Love to all. 

Sunday morning fail

I do not love missing church.  And Sunday school~we have an amazing class and teacher.  When we were walking out to the 'burban this morning, Todd noticed fluid all over the garage floor...turns out the water pump has gone bad.  He's in the process of looking for one now.

Even though it's a failed attempt of going to church, I am so grateful for a husband who knows his way around a car. 


That would be his hands and knees you see trying to find the problem under my hood as we were waiting on him to get back in the car~when we thought we would still be able to go to church.

Over the years, Todd has saved us thousands of dollars by being able to repair most anything.  Seriously, the man is my hero.  He's good with computers, finding bargains on anything and everything {including cars!}, repairing cars, plumbing, appliances~you name it, he can make the repair.

I'm bummed about not going to church this morning, but so very grateful for this man.  I'm choosing to not let the enemy steal my joy, and seeing the good in the situation.  {Even though we had to have a plumber out yesterday to fix yet another leak.}  I'm thankful we have the resources to be able to get the problem taken care of.

On a completely different note, I thought I would include a picture of something that makes me so happy:


My shoes!  Are they not the cutest things ever?!  It's been several years since I've bought new sandals, and I could not resist these wedges!  I love them.  I'd love another not so dressy pair.  I wore these on Easter morning with my sassy blue pants.  ;)  I do love me some royal blue pants, too.

I made a new dessert last night and took it to Mom's and Bill's {Only to find out they do not love blueberries.}.  It's Ina Garten's blueberry crumble.  It was delicious~not too sweet if you serve it with vanilla ice cream.  The crust on this puppy was to die for~it's sugar, brown sugar, flour and butter.  What could go wrong with those ingredients?  Here's a picture:



How's your weekend been?  Ours has been lovely.  I suppose I'll go change out of my church clothes now.  And get started on the laundry piles again.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!  Love to all.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

His many attributes

Love.
Faithful.
Everlasting.
I AM.
Just.
Full of mercy and grace.
Slow to anger, abounding in love.
True.
Righteous.
Holy.
Beautiful.
Author and finisher {perfecter} of our faith.
Creator.
Strong tower.
Rock.
Mighty fortress.
Strength.
Shield.
Warrior.  {The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.  Ex. 14:14}
Protector.


Just a few of His attributes I meditated on this morning.  It's a beautiful day He's given us~I pray you're enjoying yours.  Love to all. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

showers of blessings

I know, I know, it sounds cliche.  But really~I'm thanking God for all this rain we have today.  My prayer is that it washes away all the pollen that is making my poor husband and oldest son {and so many other people!} so miserable.  I was in a Bible study once that talked about times of rain~and to view "rain" as spiritual blessings.  Whether we were going through a rainy season or drought, she encouraged us to stay focused on Him, to persevere.

It's so easy to call out to God in the bad times...who doesn't?  How many times have you been asked by someone who doesn't go to church to pray for them?  It just comes natural~like breathing.  And if they don't go to church, pray that the Lord uses that opportunity to grab their attention! 

But what about in the good times?  The statement, "What if you wake up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today?" comes to mind. 

I get that~it's so easy, when all is going well, we're in a season of "rain", we're healthy, work and school are great~sometimes it's easy to forget to pray during those times.  I've been guilty of this, myself.  It's in times like this that we should be most thankful.  On my journey of memorizing Scripture, the first one I memorized was from James:

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

All good things are from Him~and it's our job to remember that it's all through Him and to Him.  I think God is teaching me something about prayer.  I have an accountability/prayer partner that I am supposed to report to daily, even though I haven't been real faithful in the last seven days.  We hold each other accountable for spending quiet time alone with God every single day.  {We don't contact one another on weekends, though.}  We tell what we've read in the Bible for that day and we pray for each other.  The prayers can be personal, or for our families or a family member...we're not real structured.  ;) 

It's become so important for me to be able to call this sweet friend.  And if we can't call, we text.  We both prefer actual talking, though, and it has strengthened our friendship in being transparent with each other. 

If you don't do this, may I encourage you to start?  Everyone needs an Aimee.  ;)  {Her name is Aimee.}  I take comfort in knowing that if I call her to pray, she will drop everything and do it RIGHT THEN.  And I do the same for her.  Her name is written over and over and over in my journal and in my Bible...God often brings her to my mind during my quiet time. 

I would love to start a prayer group.  I don't think we pray enough, and I know for certain that we don't make it priority!  Especially as busy wives and moms.  Especially especially as busy wives and HOMESCHOOL moms.  But we should make it priority.  There is something so sweet about praying with our sisters in Christ. 

I'm re~reading my all time favorite series of books ever written, The Yada Yada Prayer Group books by Neta Jackson.  I think I love them because they're all about a group of diverse women, from different backgrounds, races and denominations, who meet together to pray each week.  They're undignified.  Uninhibited.  The way I want to be all the time. 

God is working in me.  He is nowhere near finished, and I know He never will be.  I always want to be growing in our relationship.  I don't ever want to be content with where I am in life, and I know I'll never NOT need Him desperately.

There is a song by Avalon that I love that I'm going to leave you with.  It's sort of a cheesy video, but listen to the lyrics~He truly is my everything. 

Love to all. 


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wednesday What Nots

Today was one of those days that I smile about.  I slept really good last night, so I think that probably had something to do with it.  It was good school-work wise, good food, good amounts of stuff got done {laundry, cleaning, mowing of backyard}, and to top it all off, we're all home together tonight.  Graham and Drew decided to stay home from church~Graham, because of allergies, Drew, just because.

We're taking advantage of us all being at home and are having a family movie night, complete with popcorn and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  :)  Even Todd got home early~right at five o'clock, and here we sit in our jammies together.  Happy sigh.

Do you know what I love?  Sitting in my recliner, looking out our French doors into the backyard and seeing green.  Blessed green...and not bare branches.  I love this time of year~even if my head does feel all wonky.  {Do you like that word?  I made it up.}

We're taking another historical field trip on Friday.  We're going to Shiloh with Big Daddy!  I can't wait.  None of us have ever been before and have been wanting to go for sweet forever.  Expect lots of pictures on Instagram that day!  ;)  I always post to Instagram and then it automatically imports them to Facebook.  Yup, I'm plugged in all the way around in the social media world, hence the reason you see my pictures everywhere.  And we all know that seldom a day goes by without me taking some pictures of something.  Oddly enough, I haven't taken any pictures at all since Monday.  I think that must be some kind of record for me!

Friday will be a looooonnnnng day, because after Shiloh, we have Go Fish at our church.  I promised that we would all be there to work~but at least I won't have to worry about dinner that night.  And it's fun for us all to work these events, they're like major social functions for all of us.  ;)

The news on Facebook {who the heck needs the actual news anymore with Facebook?!} is that more bad news about our local public schools.  With the merger between county and city come major cutbacks~in front office personnel, assistant principals, teacher assistants, library, and, I'm sure, in the cafeteria.  {Chances are, my job old job would have bit the dust by this next school year.}  Along with all these changes come larger classes.  Because that makes perfect sense. 

Have I mentioned how thankful I am that my kids are out of all this mess?  I am.  Our only desire, now, is to sell our house and move to the country.  Not that it's going to happen anytime soon, because we would go upside down.  Trust me~we've talked about it and have seriously contemplated it.  Hopefully in the next year or two we'll be able to do this.  I love my house and I love how it's all painted and decorated, but we do not love being inside of Shelby County.  And we want lots of land...so much so that I almost ache.  I miss all those country noises I grew up with~crickets, cicadas, just quiet.  And I miss seeing the stars...actually seeing them, and not city lights. 

But for now, I pray for patience and contentment.  I know that it'll happen someday, but not a minute before God wants it to.  It's all in His perfect timing.  I remind myself of that daily. 

I hope your Wednesday was wonderful.  :)  Love to all. 

They...

...

are playing a game together, before we start school. 
hate to be apart.
are so different from each other.
love each other fiercely.
randomly hug each other all the time.
love to jump on the trampoline.
are working on cursive.
love being homeschooled.
love animals and law enforcement.
are growing up so, so fast. 
are ALL about to be lectured on being kind to one another.  ;)  {Not kidding.}
hardly ever fight...I can count on one hand the times they've fought.
are Jonah and Noah.  :)


Love to all.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

sweet moments

My sister Terri has been in town all this week.  She and her husband Wes live in North Carolina.  It's been a couple years since I've gotten to see her, so it's been nice getting to catch up.  And, in spending time with her and Wes, we've been spending time with my dad.  We've seen him six days in a row in this past week. 

I love it.  :-)

Today we went to his house after school stuff.  While we were there, Drew asked if he could ride his riding lawn mower, then ended up cutting his grass for him. 

Graham spent the day with Todd, at work.  I would have to say that it's probably his favorite thing to do....go to work with his dad.  We're blessed that he can do that~I used to go to work with my dad when I was a young girl, and loved it.  I know that days like this create memories for him that he'll never forget.  And, it's a major perk of being homeschooled! 

Drew and Jonah had their turn last week...I don't know if Noah will want a turn.  He likes to stay a little closer to home. 

My sweet Drew did something very special for Todd and me today~he bought us a $25 gift card to Starbucks.  He totally surprised me, too, the little turkey!  I know how much this boy loves to have money in his wallet, so for him to spend even a small amount on us was a majorly selfless thing for him to do!  It was a special moment...and one I will NEVER forget. 

It was a really good day.  I got some medicine, finally!  I'm still struggling with the sinus junk I had last week so I decided to get my prescription filled.  Hopefully it'll start working fast! 

I hope your Tuesday was smashing.  Love to all!




Sunday, April 7, 2013

our weekend

Our weekend has been really good.  Friday night found Todd, Drew and I at The Melting Pot.  It was Drew's choice for his birthday celebration.  The food was yummy, as always.  I have been there a couple times before this trip, but Todd and Drew had not.  Have you tried it?  It's not what you're thinking~it's not all courses that have to do with cheese.  Only the first course is cheese related.  You pick your flavor of cheese {like cheddar, Swiss, Wisconsin trio}, and they bring you out things to dip in it~veggies, bread and apple wedges. 

It was so good.  They both loved it, and even though our service was kinda bad and our burner that kept the fondue warm broke, it was still a fun night.  And one that cost us half the price, thanks to all the things that went wrong! 

On Saturday, the boys worked for my dad.  He came and picked them up, then Todd puttered around outside~with his truck and a few husbandly duties.  ;)  I started on the ever~growing mountain of laundry and made some brownies and orange spice tea to take to my friend Christa's baby shower.  I spent the afternoon there with a bunch of other ladies, then came home so the boys and I could head to my mom's and Bill's for dinner. 


After we finished the dinner dishes, Bill and I went outside for our weekly talk.  ;)  This is one of my happy places.  I love the land they have, and I love watching the sun slowly set over the trees.  Isn't it beautiful?  I most feel God when I'm outdoors seeing all He has created. 

As Bill and I were talking, I saw what I thought, at first, was an airplane.  But it was moving slower than a plane would, or so it seemed, and there were no red lights on it flashing. 


So, what was it?  Well, it turns out that it was the space station flying over us!  How cool is that?!  I'm simply amazed at all that is above our heads.  And knowing that God placed all the stars to span the sky just blows my mind.  This picture does not at all do justice to what the sky truly looked like last night.  The bright light you see in the above photo is the space station.  The stars last night, were simply brilliant. 

Today we went to church.  And Sunday school before church, which was amazing today.  Our lesson was on fear and worry, and the way we handle those situations.  I love our Sunday school class.  The last time I felt this way about a class was when we were at First Assembly, with Joey and Sherry Coscia as our teachers.  That has been many years ago, and I am so glad we're gaining that once again. 

This afternoon we headed out to my dad's to see my sister Terri and her hubby, Wes.  It's been two years since I've seen her, so it was wonderful.  We're spending time with tomorrow, as well.  We're going to Chuccalisa Village with them after lunch. 

How was your weekend?  I'm slightly better than I was on Thursday and Friday~my throat still hurts, if you can believe that.  I have an antibiotic that I can have filled, but I really hesitate on doing that.  I hate the way it makes me feel, which is usually worse than my symptoms.  I'm just surviving on Zyrtec, ibuprofen and lots and lots and lots of ice water. 

Praying tomorrow is more "normal"...since today I had to go to bed because of my head after lunch.  But then again...what is normal? 

Hmmm.  I'll leave you with that.  ;)

Love to all.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

our favorite day of the week

I am so glad I went to Bible study this morning.  I almost didn't because I woke up feeling even more horrendous than the previous two days.  I loaded up on coffee and medicine and persevered.

I love my moms!!!  So much, it's just weird.  ;)  Our teacher Denise said something today that struck a chord with me, and that was that when she met one of the ladies in our group, Angela, she felt an instant kindred spirit thing with her.  Sometimes that happens...and sometimes it doesn't.

That perfectly describes what I feel like with a few of these precious, Godly women.  So much so that it pains me to see one of them not feeling well, as one sweet friend didn't today.

I guess the reason I write this is because I want to encourage you in your friendships.  I write so often about how thankful I am for my friends, that I don't want to seem like I'm not genuine, but trust me...I am totally genuine in this gratitude!  I struggled my whole life with friends, from elementary school all the way through nine years ago.  And as in struggle, I mean I just didn't have many friends.

Or any.  At least the true kind.

God knows how much I needed this, though, and when I started living my life for Him, He started blessing me with friend after amazing friend.  Part of my problem throughout my life was not the people I thought were my friends~it was me.  When I started living my life completely and solely for Him, and started reading His word, He started to change me.

And with that change came friends.

In order to have a friend, you need to BE a friend.  I tell my kids that all the time.  And when these friendships are God~honoring, they will flourish.

Meet with that special friend.  Pray with her and for her.  Let your conversations be full of salt and light {Colossians 4:6}.  Let iron sharpen iron {Proverbs 27:17}.

Just try it and see how God blesses your friendships.  If you're reading this as my friend, please know that you are loved and prayed over all the time.  I have most of your names in my journal, and some of you are even written in my Bible as I might read a Scripture that reminds me of you.  I thank God for each of you.

Love to all.  

"As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend."  Proverbs 27:17, New Living Translation

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday What Not

{I told you I wouldn't use that word random anymore.}

I'm going on day two of a mom sick day.  :-(  It's just sinuses, but I'm all bleh feeling.  My ears, head, throat and jaw hurt.  I told you...bleh.

May I let you in on a little secret?  You know how on pictures, on Twitter or Instagram posts you see the # symbol?  It's called a hashtag.  A hashtag is a way for you to categorize pictures, like the one I put on Instagram earlier with the # {hashtag} before the words "dumbdog" with no spaces between.  If you are on Instagram or Twitter, you can click on that word with the # {hashtag} in front of it, and it will take you to other pictures within that same grouping.  You can also categorize Twitter updates.  For instance, the other day on Twitter, I answered a question they asked on The Today show, and I wrote #teamwillie.  Again, with no spaces, so they could get a head count on how many people agreed with Willie, or how many people agreed with Natalie. 

Here's the secret part: if you are using a # {hashtag} on Facebook, it makes no sense.  On Twitter and Instagram, that word with that # in front of it will be blue, which means you can click on it as a link to see similar groupings.  On Facebook, it is not blue.  It is completely and utterly useless.  It's not just a cute or funny phrase.  It actually means something.  Here's the pic I posted on Instagram and Facebook earlier:


As a caption to the picture, I said, "We are SO about to be less one dog." #dumbdog #evilknievel

Now I know you can see the hashtags on Facebook, but it's because the picture automatically posts on Facebook from Instagram.  Had I clicked on either of those hashtags from Instagram, it would have taken me to other pictures with that same hashtag.

Do you feel smarter? 

It's just been bothering me, so I had to enlighten some folks. 

Noah and I spent some quality time together last night listening to music.  His current favorite is Toby Mac.  If you're my age, do you remember DC Talk?  They were my absolute favorite back in the day.  It's funny that now my kids are still listening to the same dude.  Did you know that he will turn 49 this year?!  I hope I look that good when I reach that age.  

We're going to a membership class at church tonight.  :-)  We figured that we would make it all official and join our church.  Not that it really matters one way or another, but I want my boys to know that this will be their home church. 

My current nailpolish color {from OPI, of course} is called, "You're a Pisa Work".  The shocking thing about this color is that it's hot pink.  I don't usually do hot pink.  ???

Crash {Evil Knievel} has been banished to his bed for the majority of this day.  I finally let him out of his kennel after a two hour time out, because as you can see in the picture above, he destroyed our plant.  He ate most of it and pulled the other parts out. 

I am a cat person, NOT a dog person.

Because of me not feeling well, we watched The Karate Kid today.  The newer one, with Jaden Smith.  I love that movie.  I love the original, too, although in it the language is horrible.  The original, not the newer one.

Tonight after church, I'm hoping to finally watch Parental Guidance that we bought for the kids for Easter.  Oh!  Speaking of Easter, Jonah said to me yesterday, "I know there's no Easter bunny, Mom.  Really?  A giant Easter bunny who delivers gifts?  That's just weird." 

Then he pointed the Walmart sticker that was still on the movie. 

I died laughing.  I am so often humbled by my kids.  That's a good thing, in case you're wondering. 

Well...my dog is whimpering at the back door, so I'm going to go let him out.  Even though I'm sure he doesn't really have to go...he probably just wants to chase a bird. 

Story of my life.

Love to all. 




Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Birthday, Drew!

Doesn't it seem like the year 2000 was just a couple years ago?  Remember all the hype that came along with this new millenium we were entering into?  {And why does my spell check not like the way I spelled that?!}

On this day, thirteen years ago, Andrew Myles Goodwin came wailing into this world.  He was my strong willed child.  The one who cried the most, laughed the hardest and just about busted my ear drums on a day to day basis.

He was also my most tenderhearted child...the one who can cry in an animal abuse commercial, a defender of the weak, the one everyone fought over sitting next to in class.

He's my Drew.  :)





Yup.  That one.

The one who has always loved to shake his booty.  The one who is obsessed with his hair.  The one who is the social butterfly.  The one who loves and memorizes music.  The one who always asks me to 'please, please, please, just paint one fingernail!'.  The one who cries the hardest when his heart is broken over saying goodbye.  The one who is the craziest and most funny.  The one who mortifies me in public.  The one who loves to sing.  The one who loves to write.  The one who loves food.

That one.

The same one who once buried my car keys in our flowerbed.

The same one who fell out our kitchen window when he was a toddler.

The one who hid the twins when they were around nine-twelve months old.

The one who stuck a Cheeto up his nose.

The one who kills the big bugs in our house.  The one who screams like a girl when you scare him.  ;)

The one who most often asks me, "Mom?  Can I help you with anything?"

The one most like his daddy.  {He is SO not my child.}


Happy birthday, Ruby.  You can read this for yourself in the morning on Facebook, because you are FINALLY Facebook legal!  I love you so muchness.  


 Love to all.




some things

We have had an extremely lazy day.  I haven't felt good all day, so we've done a lot of sitting and just being.  I decided to re-read my favorite series of books ever written. 


The Yada Yada Prayer Group, by Neta Jackson.  This series of books...oh my word!  I love the characters, and I love the way that women from different denominations and walks of life meet together to pray and encourage one another.  It just resonates deep down in my soul.  I think this particular series goes all the way through book six, with another series following, The House of Hope series.  And after that is even another series!  I haven't read them yet, though, and can't remember the name. 

I actually can't wait to finish writing this so I can jump back into the book.  I'm a book nerd, I know...have I mentioned that lately?

I started a new devotional/Bible reading plan with YouVersion yesterday.  I found the actual website, too, which is really neat.  If you look to the right of your screen, you'll see the button for She Reads Truth.  You can read a little about the devo there, if you're interested.  I love coming across little gems like this!  This devotion is all about praying prayers of praise.  I think it's what put me in the mood to re-read my favorite series ever.  God is speaking to me about prayer right now...I can't even recall how many times I've heard people speak on the importance of it lately.  It all started with our Life Action revival at church, then a speaker came and talked about it at our Bible study last Thursday, and now this devotional.  And you know I don't believe in coincidence, right? 

It must be a God thing.

Speaking of reading, if you need something to read, scroll along the bloglist at the right of your screen...I've come across some really great ones, lately.  I love Jen Hatmaker's blog. I came across a new blog, written by the daughter of our new Sunday school teacher, My Wandering Heart.  Meagan is wise beyond her years, and has some pretty wonderful things to say.  I love Emily Freeman's blog, Chatting At The Sky.  I strongly recommend all of them, if you have a little free time. 

On a different note, today, I have not been able to have self-control regarding these little evil things:


Starburst brand jelly beans.  Oh my word.  These little dudes are amazing.  I particularly love the orange colored ones...they taste like peaches! 

Today as I was driving home from retrieving Graham's pillow from his friend's house, I snapped this shot really quickly:


This used to be Collierville Christian Church (I think!), but now it's a museum.  One of these days, I'm going to go inside.  I've been wanting to ever since they completed the renovations. 

So, that's about all I've been up to.  What about you?  Thanks for all of you who have stopped and taken a moment to comment!  It makes my heart oh so happy.  :)  I hope your night and tomorrow are fantabulous. 

Love to all.