Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  This week has been one big blur.  And I am pretty sure the weekend will, as well.  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this post.

Family time has been my favorite thing from this week.  I've seen so much of them throughout the week, and that's unusual.  Last weekend Todd and I enjoyed time with our boys all weekend, he at drag races in Millington with them, and all of us together on Saturday night, with friends from church at a hockey game.


I love times like this.  This was a fun night, and the whole weekend was awesome.

Another reason I've seen so much family outside of my own that live in my house, is because of birthdays.


On Sunday after church, we celebrated this dear man at a pizza restaurant.  This is Todd's dad, and this picture is three or four years old.  I love this man!  He is every bit as sweet and as fun as he looks in this picture.

And then on Tuesday, we celebrated MY daddy turning 86!


Here we are back at Christmas, with my sister Trish.


Daddy might be 86, but he is in excellent health and can outlast most of us on any given day.

On Tuesday night, we had a big birthday dinner here for him, and he, my stepmom, my sister Terri (who is in town from North Carolina), my sister Trish, my nephew Devin, Alex, and my five were all here as we ate dinner, had a yuumy strawberry cake for dessert (his favorite), and gave him presents.  It was a great night.

I also have spent time with him and Sandy and Terri on Wednesday, again yesterday, and one last time today before Terri goes back home tomorrow.

Like I said, family time is my favorite.


I've been reading along in Hebrews this week, as part of my quiet time, and these verses I've underlined are some of my favorites.


This new journal is a favorite since last year, and I get excited when I start a new one.

I added something to my quiet time this week, when I'm done with reading the bible and that is this page in a regular spiral notebook.


With so much going on at this time of year, I've had more on my mind than usual of late, and writing this page out has helped me with some of that.  The brain dump part, especially.  It's almost like a mini to-do list of sorts.  I start with a trait of God to praise Him for, one usually taken from somewhere I've read that day, then I write that out with the verse I got it from.  Next I thank Him for something very specific He either answered or showed me that morning.  I pray, then I confess something I struggle with.  I read a portion of scripture yesterday that was about what happens when being prideful is left unchecked, and I really don't want to be that way.

All of this is absolutely useless, though, if I don't spend time in prayer once I'm done with it.  I actually just read aloud what I've written down, giving it all to Him, then I commit to Him my plans for that day.  I love the verse in Proverbs that says a man can make plans, but the Lord determines the steps.  That's essentially what I do, I just give my day to Him, yielding myself to Him for every little thing I do that day.

I use a regular spiral notebook that I keep with my quiet time stuff, because I also use that for making notes as I read through the book of Psalm for bible study, and it's where I keep track of the verses I'm memorizing this year.  And we all know that writing is one of my favorite things of all time.

Lastly, are these new writing plans that are my favorite.



If you want the printable versions, go to swtblessings.com.

Thanks for reading my blog!  Y'all have a great weekend.  Love to all!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

random thoughts

I don't have much to write about today, so I thought I'd do a post of what's rolling around in my head.  (This might be a tiny bit scary and disturbing.)

Growing up.  That is the thought I keep having of my boys.  Senior year has hit, and I know things are about to wrap up with lightning speed.  I was aware that this would happen, but I didn't think it'd hit me as heavily as it has this week.  All of a sudden, all these deadlines are looming ahead, and it's a lot to keep up with, when you homeschool.  I don't have anyone to do this for me, so it's just me.

I keep having these dreams that I'm forgetting something major.

I know it doesn't sound like a huge thing, but it all just kinda hit me on Tuesday, and I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack on the way to Hobby Lobby.  I'm thankful that my husband talked me through it and helped me sort out details in my mind.  Then I got a really sweet phone call from my sister last night, and she lifted a huge burden off us for the actual weekend of his graduation.  I'm so grateful!

Speaking of growing up, I get to do all of this over again next year when the driver of this truck graduates.


(Drew.)

On Sunday after celebrating my father-in-love's birthday, he drove me home from the restaurant.  I know it's so cliche, but to all my young mama friends: I know the days are so very long.  But the years are so short!  They fly by with lightning speed, and my dad always told me that, but seriously...I cannot say it enough.  Just enjoy the time you have while they're all young and not at all independent.  Once they get to middle school, the time speeds up.  Even more so when they get to high school.  And once they start driving?  Well.  You know how that goes.


I look forward to going to bed every single night.  I used to read in bed, and I still do sometimes, but usually, I watch an episode or a few of whatever I'm watching on Netflix.  These days it's Parenthood again.  I love our bedroom, even all these years later.  It's peaceful and really, really dark when I close my door.  Just the way I like it.

That probably just made me sound really old.


This was my quiet time this morning.  I am finishing up reading in Psalm 119, and I was in Hebrews 5.  My scripture writing was out of Titus.  This notebook page you see is something new I'm adding to my quiet time each day, and my friend Amy Hale inspired me to do this.  I'll share more about this tomorrow, though.  Until then, I recommend that you go follow her on Instagram.  You won't regret it.

I'm spending another day with my dad and sisters.  So, thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

all about my dad


Happy 86th birthday to my sweet Daddy.  Ever since the boys were all little, we have spent almost every single Friday afternoon together.  For years and years now, since Jonah and Noah were about three years old, he would come over on Friday at noon, we would go to lunch, and sometimes we would come here and talk for the rest of the day, or sometimes we'd go to the zoo or somewhere else fun.  I am so thankful for all these years that we've had doing this with him.  Because of all that time spent together, I know someday when they have kids of their own, they will have wonderful memories with this dear man.

I think I've always been a daddy's girl.  I vividly remember him helping me out with my tree climbing skills, teaching me how to spiral a football pass (which I can no longer do), and our many trips that we took together, sometimes with other family members, sometimes with just the two of us.  When I was a teenager, he was the one who taught me how to drive.  I learned to drive with a lead foot.  He used to have this old pickup truck that I loved to drive.  I learned to drive at a young age, on his property, thanks to all the riding mowers, tractors, and other fun vehicles he had.  I inherited my love of driving and of cars from him.

He also had this amazing Trans Am convertible that was bright red with a black top.  There were TWO of these in the city of Memphis, and he had one.  About a week after he got it, it was stolen, stripped, and when they found it, in very sad condition.  It was repaired and we were happy when he got it back.  I would love to say I learned to drive in that car, but I did not.  We took it on a road trip to North Carolina one time to go see my sister, and I remember him getting a ticket and us being caught with the top down in torrential rain.  By the time I started driving, he had traded this in on a Honda Accord with a manual transmission.  (Thanks, Dad.)  I hated that Accord, and I did learn to drive on the stick shift, but I was never fully confident.  I remember seeing a stop light ahead and flooring it and saying, "Hold on!"  because no way was I stopping on that hill and risking rolling backwards and stalling.

That was one of the handful of times he raised his voice to me.

And though Mom and Dad were divorced when I was very young, we only lived about a mile apart, and every single morning, Dad would come pick me up and take me to school.  Those times together in his car were priceless.  Sometimes we would talk, sometimes we would listen to praise and worship music together and sing for all the world to hear.  (Dad has a great voice.)  That was making the most of our time together, and incredibly smart thinking on his part.  My first school was about five or ten minutes away, and my second school (ECS) was almost thirty minutes away.  That was good, quality time together every single day.  Plus this way, he saw me all seven days of the week.  As it was, I spent all my weekends at his house.  He would pick me up on Friday after he got off work, and would drop me back off on Sunday night after church.

As we've gotten older, our relationship has changed into us loving Jesus and talking about all the things we're learning about Him and about the word of God.  I am so very fortunate for this legacy he has passed on in our family, and I thank God for him.  When I need prayer, he will stop and pray.  When I'm excited, he is excited with me.  When I'm sad, he will let me cry and come and put his arms around me and hug me and pray for me.

I doubt you're reading this, Dad, but in case you are, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I love you so much.

And to you, thanks for reading all about my dad.  Love to all.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

show and tell Tuesday, Favorite Pictures

I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals for this post.

I couldn't pass up this link up when I saw the title: favorite pictures.  Y'all know I love a good picture and some memories that go along with it.

Also, I have been scrolling through pictures, because I need to provide some of my son who is about to graduate from high school.  Insert all the crying face emojis here.

Anyway, here are my favorites.


It's kinda blurry, and my hair is all over my face, which makes it weird, but when this was taken we were on a ferry on the North Atlantic Ocean headed to the Westman Islands in Iceland.  On this day, the ocean was unusually rough and choppy, and at this point, we were still on an inlet, not even away from the dock yet.  And I was ALREADY getting very, very seasick.  About two minutes after this, apparently this look came over my face, because Mike, the missionary who lives over there, saw the look I had and he and Todd rushed me and his wife Sheila down the very bottom level of the boat.  They had these bunk rooms where sick people could go, and oddly enough, once I got down there with  cool towels on my face, I started to feel better and slept the majority of the trip, which took FOUR HOURS.  We still laugh about it.  We were on a mission trip for about nine days there in Iceland.


Goodness!  I am fairly certain that this picture was taken on the last day of school that I let them all skip.  We love to swim with my mom in love when it's not too hot, and this was at the pool in her neighborhood.  We had it all to ourselves, because it was cool on this day, and they probably swam for thirty minutes before we went back to her house.  I love days like this, all these years later, but they don't happen all that often anymore.

These two have always been the best of friends, and I am so glad they have such a great relationship.  This was the summer of 2009, so Drew (left) was eight and Graham was nine.  Shouldn't they still be this little?


This was also the summer of 2009, back in the day when we spent all our free time at the baseball fields.  Graham and Drew played baseball during this time, and Jonah and Noah played t-ball, but only played once a week or so.  Graham and Drew had multiple games every week, so we were literally always here.  I would pack a picnic and we would eat dinner here after a day of swimming, usually, so these two would crash the second we got home.  They were six here.  Look how tan they already were, and it was only June.


They lined up, on their own, from left to right in the correct order of birth.  I just thought that was funny.  On nice mornings, in the summer, I would be looking for the boys and I'd find them right here, on the back patio.  They would get their breakfast and come sit out here and eat almost every single morning.  And y'all, I am not kidding when I say that Jonah has been cleaning off this deck since he was a little bitty thing, like he is here in this picture.

He loves eating outside.


Oh, this picture.  Taken two Christmases ago, when I had to wear that walking boot for the stress fracture I had in my foot for eight weeks.  I distinctly remember laughing so hard as Todd took this picture of all of us, and Drew isn't smiling, but he and Graham were cracking me up.  Drew has a smirk on his face here, which is what he does when he's trying to stop laughing.  This pretty much sums up our whole lives.  They always make me laugh.  I love being a boy mom!


Last, but not least, is my favorite picture of my best friend Christa and me.  This was the day before her wedding, which was the most worshipful wedding I have ever been to.  She's been on my brain a lot in the last few days.  We talked on the phone for a long time on Friday of last week, and have texted on and off since then.  I really miss her.  We used to pray together all the time, which is why we are so close, and why I'm so close to my sweet Abbey, whom I pray with every week now.  Also, Christa and Abbey are like the same people.

I'm going to insert (again) here how much I strongly recommend finding a prayer partner.  My friend Denise taught me the value of this, and so have a few other women ahead of me in years (and in their faith), and I am so thankful for how they all encouraged me in this.  When you pray with someone, you're basically your most vulnerable with them.  They totally see your heart and they know about your struggles, your ups, and your downs.  There have been days when both Christa and Abbey have seen me do the ugly cry, because I so often bawl my eyes out while I pray.  I am not that open with many people, and I can count on one hand the people who've seen me do that.  If this appeals to you, pray about it!  Ask God to give you someone to pray with every single week, and I promise you, He will work out every detail.  He knitted my heart together with Christa years ago, and He has done that in more recent years with Abbey.  This is why the ones you pray with are often your very best friends.

And just for fun, here's me with Abbey back when we traveled across the country together to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.  Please excuse the way we look.  No makeup, bad hair.



And again when we served together last summer at Street Reach.

I love all the pictures.  I'll stop now, though, because I have such a busy day!  My family is coming over tonight to celebrate my dad's 86th birthday, which is tomorrow.  I have a full list of things I need to accomplish before then.  So, thanks for reading my rambling on and on.

Love to all!

Monday, March 27, 2017

the weekend

This was such a busy, but great weekend!  I think every single minute was jam packed, but it was full of goodness and fun with family and friends.

On Friday, I got my day started off bright and early, and by 7:45, was deep in conversation with my best friend, Christa.  (Y'all, I almost typed out "Christmas" when I was spelling her name.)  We got all caught up on what's going on in each of our lives (she lives in Springfield, Missouri), and by the end of the forty five minutes, I think we both felt refreshed.  #ironsharpensiron


After our conversation, I read in Psalm 13, and I was reminded of our conversation, and something we prayed for together over the phone.

I love her.  I'm hoping to see her soon, because I need my fix.


That afternoon, Graham and Drew went to two of the March Madness games at the Forum with their friends.  They had incredible seats (center court, sixth row) and had a blast.  I was in bed when they got home.  #earlyriser

While they were there, Jonah, Noah and I went to my mom's and stepdad's to visit and to eat dinner with them.  Look at these beautiful flowers...can you believe those were turnip greens?!  I had no idea they looked like that.


(Left to right: Noah, Bill, and Jonah looking for Graham, Drew and their friends on the game.)

On Saturday all the boys in my house went out to Millington (about forty five minutes away) to watch some drag racing.  Some guys from the show Street Outlaws were there, and they got to meet them and get autographs.  The rain postponed the races, though, so they went back yesterday.

While they were there, Missy came and picked me up (they'd taken my car and I hate driving Drew's truck) and we ran an errand, had lunch, and went to a baby shower together.


It was a fun day, and I loved being with her and getting caught up.  We don't get a ton of time together and always have lots to talk about.

This was sweet Melinda, the mom we showered with love at church.  Her husband AJ is our young family's pastor, but he used to be the middle school youth pastor.  We love the Keytes and baby Ronin James!

After this, a couple of really sweet students came home with me (girls) and when the boys all got home, we went to dinner and to a hockey game with their parents.


It was such a fun night!

On Sunday we were at church in the morning, then we went to lunch with Todd's parents to celebrate his dad's birthday.  After that we split up again so three of the boys and Todd could go watch more drag racing, then Drew and I came home for a few minutes.  I changed shoes and he took me to choir practice.  After that was community group, then Missy and I went and got ice cream and drove around and talked more, because both of our homes were empty, so why not?  Once I got home, Todd was here, and we watched an episode of The Voice, then I crashed.

Can you blame me?!

It was so busy, but oh, so fun.  This week is shaping up to look the same way, but I'm ready for it.

Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday!  I've been looking forward to this weekend since Monday.  I'm linking up with Andrea and her friends over at Momfessionals for the writing of this post.


Remember when these guys went to the beach together last weekend?  They had a GREAT time, and my favorite moment from the entire week happened on Sunday night, when they walked in to community group.  All their friends started cheering for them.  That makes my little mama heart SO incredibly happy.  I missed my two when they were gone.  On Monday night, Graham filled up my gas tank and took my car to wash all the beach off.  He did a great job with it.




Some other favorite moments have been spent in quiet time.  Remember how sick I was?  Well, for thirteen days, I didn't feel well enough to have this time with God every morning.  I was so ready to get back to it on Monday morning, and it's been so good to sit and pray and then read the bible everyday this week.  I've read it on and off throughout the days, because I'm doing my bible study homework, as well.


Some of my favorite time all week was spent at a hair salon here in The Ville.  Having someone else wash my hair is one of my most favorite things in all of the world.  Also, I love the new haircut, it's done so good everyday so far since Monday!  I love the color, too, and I'm thrilled that I thought to call the girl I did to help me out.  It was a long, drawn out, and complicated process, but it's all behind me now, so I'm thankful.  (It was fun having maroon hair for a short time, but who the heck knew it'd be near to impossible to get the stuff out without spending a fortune?!)


I posted this picture on Wednesday, of this new show on HGTV.  It comes on after Fixer Upper, so at nine central on Tuesday nights.  That time may change when season four of Fixer Upper ends this coming week, but y'all, if you love Fixer Upper, check out this new show!  Erin and Scott Napier are adorable, and they're believers, so in that aspect, they kinda remind me of Chip and Jo.

I love it already, and it'll most likely become a new favorite of mine.


Look at them!  Scrolling through old pictures yesterday was fun, and this picture is an old favorite.  We were at the zoo for Zoo Lights at Christmas, and this was about four years ago.  Time needs to stop!  Drew LOVED that sweatshirt/jacket combo he had one.  And that was back in the days when Northface was all anyone wore.

Well, have a great day!  I'll tell you about our weekend on Monday.  Love to all!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

three things

I thought I'd share three things for each of us that describes our life right now, and the ages everyone is at.  I love these type posts, for the purpose of looking back and remembering.  Sometimes it's good to spend some time going back and thinking on old memories.  These pictures I'm sharing today all contain a fun memory for all of us.


(This was eight years ago, at the University of Alabama.  We were headed home from Orlando/Disney World, and Toddley rerouted our trip home to include visiting this campus.)

Graham.

At eighteen years old, he is quite responsible.  He is totally trustworthy, and rarely gets in trouble.  If he does anything, it's annoying his younger brothers.  He is loving his newly acclaimed freedom that being eighteen brings about.  And I'm excited because he can finally make a Costco run for me and he can buy cough medicine when we're all sick.

He has worked everyday so far this week.  He loves working, because he loves having money.  Gas is NOT cheap.

He is wrapping up his last year of high school, and I keep having to make sure he's actually doing his work.  Senior problems?  One theme I keep hearing is a lack of motivation.


(This was about four years ago, at the Memphis zoo.)

Drew.

He's been sick all week.  At almost seventeen years old, he is really wise, and made the good decision of staying home from church last night, because he doesn't want to chance getting sicker before the weekend comes.  We have a really fun weekend planned, and the boys are getting to go to a March Madness game at the FedEx Forum!  Drew is more excited about this than anything in the world.  He is going, and Graham, and their two friends they went to the beach with, Zack and Andrew.

He loves Netflix and is currently without a show to watch.  I recommended a couple, but he shrugged like he wasn't too interested in what I had to offer.

He and I were CRACKING UP over something I saw on a website last night.  I love laughing with this kid, and am glad he's finally feeling a little better.

Jonah.

His newest thing is that he wants to eat healthier.  He  came to me with this the other day, and I want to do everything in my power for him to be able to accomplish this.  The problem is that he is super picky.  I'm open to suggestions, if you have some good thoughts on this.  (The only fruit he really likes are apples and pineapple, but he loves all meat and very little vegetables.)

He spent a good chunk of birthday money on a really nice indoor basketball the other day.  They go up to our church all the time to play basketball in the gym.

He's a hoarder of money and takes great care of the geckos/bearded dragon.  He does all kinds of research on them all the time, making sure their diet is good and will make them grow.

Noah.

Even though he is the youngest in the family, I really count on him to be an example setter.  I told him this yesterday as I shared with him about how slowly I've been reading in the bible.

He is currently obsessed with a show on the science channel about life hacks.

I can always count on him the most to help me out whenever I call on him.  Bless him for this.  He never complains about anything.


Todd/me.

We love our kids.  So, so much, and rarely are away from them.  The thing about having four kids in as many years is that somewhere in all of that, time together with each other got put on the back burner.  We always had willing grandparents to help us out, but sometimes it just seemed like too much trouble to get them there, go out and do something, and go back and get them.  We never really had anyone tell us this little tidbit, so we just kept on not going on regular date nights.

We felt like it wasn't that big a deal, honestly, because we were best friends before we dated, so we know that when the boys all grow up and leave home, we will still have tons of things in common, and we will still like AND love each other.  And also, we just genuinely love being with the boys.  They're tons of fun, and there's nothing we like more than hanging out with them.  (And also, I feel like date nights are a thing now because of social media....and I do not like that at all, this keeping up with the Joneses.)

That being said, now that they're older, we're trying to go on dates more regularly.  One day, not too long ago, he planned a sushi date for us without me knowing and told me about a few hours before.  The fact that he did that was really sweet, and to this quality time loving wife, spoke volumes of how much he cares for me and treasures me.  Also, our time together in New York was so much like a second honeymoon that I feel like I am really good for a while.

I am so thankful God gave me Toddley as my husband.  The older I get, and the more I grow closer to God, the more I know how to "be" a wife.  It's not something I will ever fully achieve, and trust me when I say that I am NOT perfect in this at all, but we are learning this together.  The closer we are in our relationships to God, the closer we are to one another.  It's like a triangle with God at the top, and Todd on one side at the bottom and me at the other.  The more we move up towards God, literally, the closer together we become.

Pretty cool, huh?  I had a pastor teach us that once, and it made perfect sense.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

the way I've been reading



I've been using these journals since about January, and I'm on my last one, eagerly awaiting the use of the new one I bought a few weeks ago.  I thought I'd share about how I've been reading in the bible lately.  It's nothing new or fancy or complicated, in fact, it's the exact opposite.

I've been moving along slowly, taking a section at a time, and savoring every word, every phrase, taking note of who is speaking, who is being written to, who is being talked about, and what's going on in context to when the verse was written.

I had the thought that I should write a post on this, because I've been asked this lately.  And I showed Noah this today, and he loved this slow and simple way of reading.

For example, I've been in Hebrews since Monday, and I've only made it through verse four of chapter two.  I use the breaks in my bible to tell me when to stop and start.  You know how sections have a subtitle above them?  That's what I use as my guide.

In Hebrews 1:5-14 yesterday, I wrote out all the things in my journal that told me about God and Jesus and angels, and what their job is.  I use the verses, reading them and often re-reading them a second or third time, and I write out what I learn.

It's so easy, so simple, yet so profound.  I feel like I am getting to know the characteristics of God more this way, which is what I want to learn when I read His word.  Before I start with that, I pray.  I always end my prayer time with asking God to help me understand what I'm reading and to reveal something new to me.

I know most of you probably know this, but maybe someone needs a little inspiration to get started in reading God's word again, or maybe someone needs to pick it up for the first time.  I pray this helps you and I pray that God stirs in your heart a desire to know Him more through time spent in prayer and reading His word.

Love to all.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

things I'm excited about

Happy Tuesday, my friends!  It is already glorious outside today, and I'm loving the sunshine and warmer temps.  

I love this day, already, because it's Bible study day!  I love Bible study, and I love starting a new one.  Tonight at church, we are starting this study.


I've never done a study by Angela Thomas-Pharr before, so I'm looking forward to trying someone new.  

I haven't gotten my book yet, but I know that she invites us to take forty days to read through the book of Psalm, so I got a head start last night, while Todd was upstairs hanging out with a sick Drew, and while the all the other boys were gone.


I broke out a new spiral notebook for this, and there is something about starting a brand new spiral notebook that I love.  

I am looking forward to getting back into routines, and part of that includes praying weekly with one of my very best friends.  We are meeting today at one to do just that. 
 
At the risk of sounding totally vain, I am excited about my new hair.  Curly hair has its issues, and one thing about it is that there is not a whole lot you can do with it, at least as far as a style goes.  And lately, I've been so irritated with my hair, the color, and everything.  So yesterday, I went and had it colored back to my natural color, and then she gave me the greatest haircut ever.  

I love it, and it lays so much better, instead of in a triangle, like usual.  

I'm about to show you a picture of myself with no makeup...sorry for that, but I've been trying to get a better picture of it to show my mom.  


And here's the side...


It's a longer version of the inverted bob.  It's a cut that works GREAT for curly hair, particularly mine, because part of the underside of my hair is straight, so this cut makes it all lay just right.  

These things make me really happy today.  Also, I'm on day two of starting back with having quiet time with the Lord right when I wake up.  It's crazy, how fast a routine can diminish when not practiced every single day.  It's been since March 7 that I let all that go when I was not feeling well.  Praise His holy Name that I feel better and more normal than I have in two solid weeks.  And I say that in all seriousness.  

Well, I need to get a move on this day.  As always, thank you for reading my blog!  I pray your day is wonderful.  Love to all.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

...and the rest of spring break and our weekend

I know.  It's a weird title, but I never posted a blog entry after last Monday.  We didn't do a whole lot the rest of the week.  On Tuesday, I didn't feel good at all, so I stayed home while the boys did things around town.  I froze to death all day, though, and this was me that night.


On Wednesday, Graham and Drew worked with Todd for the day, so Jonah, Noah, two of their friends and I went to Hinton Park here in town.

It was really pretty out, but it was so cold!  I stayed in the car, except for getting out this one time.


I was walking around the little building that holds the restrooms while trying to find paper towels for Jonah.  (We never found any.)

They all went to church that night, but Todd and I stayed home and ate dinner and watched Big Bang Theory.

That seems to be a theme for us lately, but I really want to get back to church on Wednesday nights.  Hopefully now that I'm finally almost totally well again, that will happen this week.

On Thursday, I ran a few errands, and at two forty five, we met at church and left for Tupelo for Winter Jam.  (It's a concert with a bunch of different Christian musicians.)

I hadn't seen Missy in forever, so we talked the whole way there.  It took us most of the concert to get all caught up.


We were in the top row, where all the introverts sit.  With an open seat between us, because we need our space.

And Drew did this while we were there.


Broke the glass with his head.

He was fine, though.  No scratches or cuts.

We got home a little after one, and it was after two before I fell asleep.

On Friday morning, these guys left for the beach.


They drove themselves in my car (Graham drove) and they stayed with friends we met on the Navajo Reservation when we went last summer.  I am so thankful for dear, lifelong friends.  They came back last night and walked into cheering from their friends at community group.

Friday night, Jonah and I went to my mom's for dinner.  Noah was at a party and Todd was working.  (Jonah was invited, but was tired from the night before and was asleep by ten thirty that night.)

Saturday night, Jonah, Noah, and I were at home alone, and watched basketball and had macaroni for dinner.  I was at church early yesterday morning, and back at three for choir, and then I ended the night at community group.  It was a great, but really low key weekend and spring break.  Today we're getting back into our routines.  The older boys are going to work this afternoon, but other than that, this is our day.

Thanks for reading my blog.  Love to all!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Monday

It's spring break around here, and yesterday we decided to make the trek to the greater Memphis area and look at some things we've only seen pictures of.  It was a bit of a scavenger hunt that included me finding addresses beforehand and putting them in order from the closest to the farthest, and then actually finding them once we were in the location my Waze app told me told me we had reached.

We found most of them, missing two.  One was in a really sketchy area downtown, and I refused to turn down the street Waze was telling me to turn on.

Along for the ride was Graham (my co-navigator), Drew, Andrew (Drew's friend), Jonah, Noah, and Alex.

All in my sporty little Traverse.

I'm not including ALL the pictures, just my favorites.


This one was around Central Avenue and the Liberty Bowl.


This was right next to it.  I loved this little bridge!  I had to park for five minutes at a brewery, but don't go thinking we went inside.  We did not, I assure you.


I cannot remember exactly where this was, but I thought the building was really cute.  It seems like it was around a street called Autumn.  This was one of the murals we couldn't find.  (All the murals are the I Love Memphis murals and you can Google them for actual addresses.  Or I could share the list of them I made.)

The boys got out and walked around, while Jonah and I sat in the car.

Once we realized how close we were to Adams, we decided to park and look at some historical mansions that were right in a row.


This is an abandoned house.  I have a thing for those, in case you didn't know that.  I think they're oddly beautiful and sad, all at the same time.


This one had a name, but I didn't get a picture.

Right after this, we drove to the back of these houses and parked in an actual parking lot, got out, and walked around.


The sign in front of this house called it a gingerbread house, and it really does look like one.



This is the Woodruff Fontaine mansion.  The gingerbread house was right behind it.

This is a twenty-five room mansion, if that gives you any indication as to how huge it actually is.  I really, really want to go inside.  Andrew is going to try to get us tickets because his sister knows someone who works there.


Another little abandoned house that used to be a tea shop.


There was a set of stairs in the back and on the side that Drew really wanted to climb, but I wouldn't let him.

This was my favorite thing we did yesterday, and even that we've done in a long time.  I love history homes and I love looking at houses, so it combined a couple of my favorite things.

After this, we drove to Overton Square and walked around a bit.


Just a cute little building with an awesome mural painted on the side.


And Graham walking through a tunnel that took us between buildings.


This is a tiny little garden in between some restaurants.  It's so cute!  I want to see it at night.


I made them do this.

It was a really fun day.  Last night for dinner, we met Todd's parents at our favorite little pizza place, CiCi's in Cordova.

I have no idea what we're doing today, but I'm open to whatever they suggest.  We're not going anywhere, so I'll do whatever they want to have some fun together.

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals  (and friends) for this post. This time last week, I was waking up in ...