Thursday, February 28, 2013

day 120, Thursday

Our day started out as what we define as "normal".  For lack of wanting to go into detail, we did our thing for this day of school.  I'm kind of bummed because this is our Spring break week at Renewed Mom's.  I always look forward to going back after I've been away for a while.  (We missed last week because three of us were sick, remember?) 

At around one thirty, we left to go to my mom-in-love's house.  We had made plans a few weeks back, on this night, to go to the Pink Palace museum.  We got to see a sneak preview of their newest IMAX movie, Ice Age Titans.  We walked around the museum for a bit, then ate some refreshments, then saw the movie. 

We had fun, but I wasn't crazy about the movie.  I like more present things, not so much things of long ago.  At least, not things that I have a hard time grasping the idea of.  And let's face it, every time I saw a computer-generated image of a wooly mammoth, I could almost hear Ray Romano's voice as the lead character of the Ice Age movies. 

It was a fun time, though.  Good, quality time spent with the grands is always nice for all of us.  :) 

When I got home, though, the day started going downhill a little for me.  I am so convicted of the time I spend on Facebook.  I was thinking about it the other day, I mean really thinking about the fact that it's stalking the lives of your friends, and I was more than a little disturbed.  And I know that I use it for good, but still...I feel the need to pull away. 

I have decided to just delete the Facebook app from my phone and see if that works.  But if it doesn't work after a few days, and I still find myself getting on often, I will just deactivate it for a while.  I love all the friends I have on there, and I love the people who are memorizing Scripture with me, but I have to take a break. 

It still bothers me so much, in so many different areas, and I know I could just ignore it all, but why?  Why not just deactivate my account?  And who the heck cares?!  It's social media.  Not the end of the world. 

So, those are my struggles.  I go through this every so often.  I'm sure I'll always go through it.  I need to be more selective with my time, though, and Facebook just isn't doing it for me much these days.  There are definitely ups and downs to it, and I see both.  I'm not bashing it, just keepin' it real for myself on here. 

I'm thankful for the fact that I do feel convicted of the way I spend my time and such.  Those times when I feel convicted are blessings from God, because He uses these times for my benefit.  He is so gracious, and so full of mercy and love. 

Love to all. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

day 119 (Wednesday)

Today was such a refreshing break for us.  It was a field trip day with our homeschool group. 

Here's where we went:

It was the first time we've ever been there.  I knew it was around, but the boys really don't skate.  Much less ice skate.  Today was a day set aside for homeschooled kids, though, and the price was so great, I couldn't pass it up. 

Do you know how cold it is in an ice skating rink?  It's been quite a while since I've been inside one.  My rear end is finally thawed out.  The bench we sat on was metal, in an ice skating rink, so you can imagine how cold it was!  When we got home, after we ate lunch, I just sat under a blanket for an hour. 


I was freezing.

I was super impressed with the boys' skating abilities.  The last time they ice skated was about three years ago after a River Kings' hockey game. 

Noah got the hang of it the fastest.

Graham did really well, too.  I could never get Drew's picture.

Jonah used this little thing the whole time, which was a great idea.  If you ever saw the child on roller skates, you would understand why.  His legs are like wet noodles when there are wheels attached.  Grin.

What's ice skating without watching the Zamboni? 

It was a perfect day.  For this, I am thankful. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

day 118 (Tuesday)

The little weather bug icon on my computer says it's forty two degrees here in The Ville.  Which isn't too terribly cold, but with the wind blowing as strongly as it is...oh my word.  It's freezing! 

If you're thinking about going for a walk...don't!  Wait for warmer weather!  Or at least for a sunshiny cold day, instead of a dreary, windy one. 

We had to run to the library and behind there is a lake that we love.  We decided to take Crash for a walk around the lake, but Noah and I only made it halfway.  Jonah and Drew walked all the way around, but Drew's cheeks may never be the same again.  They're still purple. 

It's a fabulous night to enjoy some yummy, spicy chili.  I'm referring back to my Pioneer Woman cookbook for this recipe.  I can't wait till dinner!

I am thankful for a warm home and a hearty meal to enjoy tonight.  Happy Tuesday! 

Love to all. 

day 117 (Monday)

Still catching up....maybe in the next few hours I'll post again for today and then all will be well in my weird little mind for a while. 

Last night, Todd worked with the sheriff's department to help a friend get his last shift in for this month.  He's good like that.  The boys and I went to church.  (Side note~for now, we are staying at Collierville First Baptist Church.  They're in the middle of a two week long revival, and God is definitely up to something big within the walls of this church.  Hopefully after the revival is over, what is happening will keep going and will spread to the world OUTSIDE the church.) 

I almost didn't go, because Todd was working and Drew was in a funky mood.  Imagine that...I'm thinking his hormones are off, or something, he's been so stinkin' moody lately!  I'm tempted to give him a Pamprin if he does it again today (For those who may not know, Pamprin is PMS medicine.).  Would that be mean? 

Probably.  I'm kidding, I won't really give him that. 

We went to church.  I was afraid that me thinking about not going was something the enemy was trying to do to me, and I didn't want to deny myself a blessing.  So we went.  It was so good~at the end of the service, we had blank pieces of paper.  Steve Canfield (the speaker) had us write out something that we are fearful about in a letter to God.  When we were done writing, we took it to the post office. 

The altar. 

We knelt at the altar and prayed the letter back to God, then left it on the steps.  And that was the end of the service.  It blessed my heart so much seeing all the people there kneeling.  And all the teenagers participating (except for Drew, who I had a little talk with afterward).  I actually knelt beside Graham and his friends. 

I'm thankful for moments like that...moments when I can feel the breath of God on me.  I can feel that He is pleased in those moments, and it brings tears to my eyes every single time.  I am so grateful for His love.

Love to all. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

days 115 & 116 (Saturday & Sunday)

Saturday~the kiddos were gone but we still woke up early.  It's funny how that works isn't it?  We fell asleep watching the latest Bourne movie Friday night, so while we enjoyed our first cup of coffee, we finished the movie.  We paused it once to make breakfast together~he had French toast, I had eggs on toast.

I'm thankful we have moments like that.  Ordinary, mundane, every day moments. 

Sunday~we went back to church at Collierville First Baptist Church.  They're in the middle of revival right now, and can I just say how amazing it was?!  The music, the preaching, the anointing was incredible yesterday.  We have chosen to continue going each night to revival and we'll see how things go after that.  I'm praying that what is happening now keeps happening. 

I'm thankful for friends who loved on us through our decision to go then stay again.  A few in particular just won't quite let us go, and I appreciate that and am thankful for them.  They know who they are. 

I'm working on playing catch up right now, but will hopefully get caught up tonight or in the morning.  One thing, before I go~God is good.  All the time. 

1 Chronicles 5:20 "...and He answered their prayer because they trusted in Him."

Love to all. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

days 113 & 114 (Thursday & Friday)

I can't believe I'm two days off, but man, have they been two days.  I won't get into that, though.  I do know that I have spent almost every spare second that I'm not doing something, in prayer. 

Thursday we missed school.  I was really bummed about not going, because it's become our favorite day of the week.  We all look forward to it so much, but Graham, Noah and I all woke up feeling a little like death warmed over.  It's all sinus related, I know, but Graham was even running a low-grade fever. 

Even though we were not feeling well, I HAD to get out and make a Costco run.  I completely ran out of does that even happen?! 

While in Costco, we got stuck there for a little while.  It started pouring while we were having a snack in the food court area...and I didn't have an umbrella.  (I'm usually a lot more prepared, you can tell that I really didn't feel good.)  We finished our snacks and made a mad dash to the car.  Graham did go get my umbrella for me, and all five us did our best to squeeze under it. 

The rest of our day was spent at home, just a low-key kind of day.  It was what we needed.  I'm thankful that we had the opportunity to rest and just feel better. 

Yesterday was Friday, and we spend time with my dad after a busy morning.  We had lunch at Huey's, then we came back home to drop off him, Graham, Jonah and Noah.  I took Drew to get a haircut, then we had to get a few things from Wal-Mart.

We came back home and stayed for a little while, then left again, this time to drive the boys to their Mimi's and Papa's house.  My mom-in-love invited them to spend the night so they could take them to see a play at FACS.  The was The Wizard of Oz, and I heard it was really good.  I know that they enjoyed it, and the dinner before and the time afterward at their grandparents.

I know I've said it before, and I'll keep on saying it as long as it's true, but I am so thankful that the boys have their grandparents around.  Sometimes I wish that we lived somewhere else, anywhere else, but then I remember the fact that my kids are enjoying a life full of knowing and enjoying time with their grandparents.  And we see all the sets almost weekly.

We are so blessed to be able to say that.

Love to all.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013



said his favorite thing to do at home is eat.  (I'm sure I just gave it away.)
loves the color blue.
has a favorite Disney/Pixar movie, The Incredibles.
loves music.  His favorite secular singer is Pitbull.  His favorite Christian singer is Toby Mac.
really, really, really wants to see the movie, Act of Valor, but it's rated R.  (Not gonna happen.)
is not shy with complete strangers, but is with people he knows.
said his favorite memory is when he fell in a pond at Mud Island a few summers ago.  (More at the end.)
said his favorite memory might also be the first time he rode a roller coaster.
occasionally still sleeps with a stuffed animal.  (Don't tell him I told you.)
has always had a deep, raspy voice. 
talks super fast.  Like lightning fast.
is DYING to get a Facebook account.  (Not gonna happen until he hits thirteen.)
loves playing video games.
loves watching movies, or shows that we all love, together.
is Drew.

{I love this reminds of why he can someday aspire to his lifelong dream of being a ninja.  Because of his cat-like reflexes.}

{About the Mud Island story: My dad and I were walking with the boys down on Mud Island one hot summer day, when Drew took off ahead of us.  And I kid you not, he was there one minute and gone the next.  He walked across what he thought was grass, but was, instead, a pond covered in lily pads.  The water was disgusting~all green and mossy and slimy, and Drew was completely submerged in it.  My dad and I laughed so hard that we were both crying.  Drew just stood there in all that slime, shaking his head in disbelief.  Best memory ever.}

Hope you enjoyed getting to know my Drew.  I'll do some more of these in the next few days to make it nice and fair.  Love to all.  

Wednesday, day 112

It is so cold out today!  There is something about the cold and snow-y sky that makes me want to just curl up and read a good book.  But that wasn't on our list for the day.  We had to leave bright and early this morning for our dental appointments~we all had our teeth cleaned.

After that we came home and ate lunch...we were all starving!  Graham forgot to eat breakfast, and I just didn't eat.  For the past two days, I've made something different for our lunch.  Today Jonah had peanut-butter-and-jelly sushi.  :)  Noah had it yesterday, but wanted something different today.

The sushi is SO easy and fun!  You take a slice or two of plain sandwich bread and microwave it for about ten seconds to make pliable.  Then you roll it out and slice off the crusts.  Add the peanut butter, then add the jelly, roll it up and slice it.  So cute...and Jonah thinks he's cool for eating "sushi".  ;)  Once again, thank you, Pinterest.

For the rest of us today, I made wraps.  Turkey breast, havarte cheese, lettuce and homemade Italian dressing.  YUM!! 

Back to the title of this post.  Today I am thankful for our dentist.  He is a really great guy who Todd has known his entire life.  He's a Godly man with a beautifully sweet wife and two kids, who are both in college.  His daughter is something of a miracle~she suffered from bone cancer when she was ten or eleven.  We've been going to him forever, and the boys love him.  In fact, when we go, they think they kind of rule his office.  Well...they do, pretty much. 

After lunch, we got on with the rest of our day, then I had to call and make them all orthodontist consultation appointments.  With all of them being seen, the doctor will be able to tell us who he thinks should be the first priority.  Although, I'm almost a hundred percent confident that it will be Jonah. 

We'll see how it all goes.  I'm thankful for the wisdom of dentists and doctors.  And for the fact that we love ours so much.  I hope you're having a great day!  Love to all.  

things I like (you can also call it day 111)

Sunshine!  There was lots of it today.
Sleeping in a little...we stayed up too late last night.
Lemon sauce.  I'm making some with our dinner tonight.  (Thanks, Big Daddy!)
The fact that Graham loves to shop for groceries.  He is a lifesaver.
Freshly painted fingernails.  Today's choice~Every Month is Oktoberfest!
Good Luck Charlie on Disney.  (No judgement, please.)
Brushing my teeth.  Seriously, I could go for hours.
A clean kitchen.
Painting.  I have a couple of ideas up my sleeve.
Television.  I might have a problem with it, in fact.
Listening to my kids laughing and having fun upstairs.
Talking to my mom on the phone.  I'm thankful for our moments.
Fiends.  Actual friends and the tv show.
The Today Show.  I especially love Savannah...she's cute as a button.
Getting my teeth cleaned.  We all have dental appointments this morning.

And speaking of that last one, I have to go...we need to leave in about an hour and I have sleeping kiddos to wake up and get fed.  Happy Wednesday to you!  Love to all.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


There is sadness all around me right now.  Does this happen to you?  It's like things just keep happening to people that I love. 

I've been praying for a sweet friend of mine who is suffering from something so bad that I can't even talk to her.  Her mom has communicated with me a couple times, but I have no idea what's going on with them...all I can do is pray.  And I don't even know what to pray...but the good thing is that God knows.

My best friend's sister and niece were in a horrible accident Sunday bad that she was thinking she just needed to take off and go there to help out.  Things have improved somewhat, and I'm praying they'll continue to improve before the weekend.  Both her sister and her niece are okay, her sister not quite as good, but will be fine in the days ahead.  It might take a while to get there.

I just found out that a beloved art teacher from the boys' old elementary school died yesterday.  She was an amazing woman who impacted many, many lives.  She leaves behind a husband and two kids, both of whom are in their mid to late twenties.  She wasn't very old, either...early to mid fifties, maybe?  She was diagnosed with an incurable cancer three or four years ago, and she was told she had maybe five years left.  She was gone from the school most of this school year, but it seems like things progressed quickly and sometime yesterday she met her Savior face to face. 

I could keep going with my list of things to pray for, but you get my drift.  What happens on days when I feel overwhelmed at the sense of sadness and loss all around me?  When I feel like I'm floundering about in my own personal life, while searching for a new church in the process?  And while I'm talking about change, I can't help but wonder, how much more change can my kids take?

What happens is this: I turn to God.  I write out pages and pages of needs in my journal, and I give them to God.  I open up His word.  I pray that He will show me a new verse, or I will turn to a book that has helped me when I've felt like this before~Deuteronomy, or Isaiah or the book of Psalm. 

Sometimes I do play "Bible Roulette" and open to a page that is all marked up.  (The pastor we heard at Highpoint on Sunday said that phrase, and we all cracked up...because who HASN'T done that?!)  I write out the verses that might be of the people experiencing pain or loss, or something that might encourage me, or something that I can post on Facebook to be an encouragement to others. 

That's what I do in times when I'm overwhelmed with the needs of those around me.  It works for me...and I can take comfort from God's word.  Sometimes I pray His word to Him, because I don't know what else to pray.  There are times when I've read the Lord's prayer as my prayer to Him, because at that time, my words are few.

How do you handle moments like this?  It's hard to keep it all in perspective, and to not get weighed down by the circumstances around me.  I'd love to hear how you handle these moments, because I know I'm not the only one who experiences this burden for others.  Will you take the time and share?  Maybe I could use some encouragement.  ;)

Thanks for reading.  Love to all. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

President's Day, day 110

I had plans for today.  I really did.  President's day is a great time to study a president or two.  And then the nice weather happened. 

It's not often that the weather is nice and all the neighborhood kids are out and about on what would be a normal school day. 

So they played.  And played and played and played.  Drew was going to have a friend over, but it turns out he couldn't come.  Graham was invited to a movie with some friends.

I got caught up on my devotional books that I'm going through, did a little laundry, messed around on the computer, cleaned the kitchen and that was about the extent of my day.

It was very, very lazy.  The weather does that to me.  (What started out as a lovely day turned stormy.)

Every once in a while, it's nice to be able to enjoy a day just like this.  Even if I don't feel productive.  At all.  I'm thankful for days like this~they're restorative to me.  I hope your day was wonderful.

Love to all.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday & Sunday (days 108 and 109)

Saturday.  Sleeping late.  Bigger-than-normal breakfast.  Favorite television shows.  Lazy day.

All of these things are what our Saturday's consist of.  No longer do I feel so rushed.  No longer do I feel like part of a rat race.  I might again, someday, but for now, those feelings are long gone.

I am thankful for that.  Our weeks have become so much less stressful that I often forget what day it is.  When kids in school are out for the day, I often don't know about it, because we're caught up in our own school work. 

I'm thankful for that, too. 

I started and finished a really amazing book yesterday.  I've been reading LOTS of good books, but more on that later.  The one I started and finished yesterday was by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith, and it was called Lost Melody.  It was about a young lady who was a pianist, who was involved in a horrible wreck and lost the use of her left hand.  She no longer played the piano, but through God's grace, discovered that He had a far greater plan for her life.  It was amazing...I can't say anymore without giving it away, but I got it from the library.  I encourage you to read it. 

I love getting lost in a good book.  I was lost yesterday.  I finished it at my mom's last night so I could leave it for her to enjoy. 

Today was a great morning at church.  We are visiting other churches, I feel like I can say it publicly now.  Nothing happened at CFBC, we're not offended or anything like that.  It's just the fact that a totally different denomination change maybe wasn't the best choice for our family.  We went from an Assembly of God church to a Baptist church, and I'll just say things are quite different. 

One thing I missed was amazing praise and worship. 

Let me tell ya~we got a taste of it this morning.  You could physically feel the presence of the heart was racing.  I've missed that feeling.  My kids have missed that feeling, too, because they all commented about it the minute the service was over.  The stage was dark and smoky with cool lighting effects, the music was loud and people participated in was awesome.  There are TONS of young people at this church. 

Since this was our first Sunday to visit, we just went to the nine o'clock service and didn't stay for Sunday school afterward.  The older boys were nervous about going into a new place without really knowing anyone, so we decided to let Wednesday night be the first time for that.  Yup, we're planning on going back Wednesday night.  Even Todd.  They've got an amazing men's group and women's group.  I'm going to go into a Bible study with a friend who invited me, and he's going into a study called Heroes.

Sounds interesting, huh?

Tonight, Graham and Drew were invited to a youth meeting at a friend's house.  The youth meet at different houses on Sunday nights, so this is what they'll be doing tonight.  We had been invited to our old church for a night of worship, and while I thought we might go, they want to do this instead.  I figured this would be a good chance for them to meet some other kids.

That's what's up.  We're changing churches.  We gave CFBC a good, fighting chance I feel like, but after almost two years of trying our hardest, we never could find a spot to fit in.  Todd needs a good men's group, and I need a good women's group.  I miss being involved in a really awesome Bible study...whether Beth Moore or another Bible study author.  The kids' need to experience praise and worship again...real, exciting, participation-filled praise and worship.

So we're giving this church a try.  We went to a non-denominational church in Memphis called Highpoint.  We really enjoyed this morning.  The music is amazing, and I told you that at one point, my heart was racing.  I'm not sure if this is where we'll land, but we're not done "trying it out" yet. 

I pray that wherever we land, God will be our guide.  We're not looking for the perfect church~it doesn't exist.  There are preferences that we have, of course, and CFBC wasn't quite what we were looking for.  We are, however, looking for a church that has something for all of us.  Not just the boys, not just me, but for Todd as well.  I know that place exists somewhere. 

Until we find a spot, we'll visit around.  We'll know when we get there if that's where we're supposed to be.  If you're part of a church that you love and that is meeting all the needs of your family, consider yourself blessed.  You have much to be thankful for.  If you're reading this and don't have a church, I would encourage you to find one.  You don't have to be part of a church to get into heaven, but God's design is for us to have fellowship with other believers.  We need people in our lives, folks, and what better people than the ones within the walls of your beloved church? 

Just think about it.  I dare you. 

Love to all. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sisters {day 107}

I love mine.  I have four sisters and one brother.  In order of birth, it goes Paul, Terri, Lisa, Debi, Tricia, and little ole me.  ;) 

I wish I got to see all of them more than I do, but the only two I see regularly are Lisa and Trish. 

I'm thankful for them.  Very much so.  {Not just for Lisa and Trish, but ALL of my siblings.}

It's been forever since I've gotten to go out on a sister date, and tonight we did that.  Do you know how much we laughed?  We did.  Hysterically.  I even cried at one point. 

It was heavenly. 

We sat and just talked for a very long time. 

It's not often that we have uninterrupted time like that.  I love them.  :)  I thank God for all of these siblings of mine.  I sincerely wish Debi had been here to eat and laugh with us.  We have so much fun when the four of us younger girls are together. 

How was your Friday night? 

Mine was blessed indeed.  I will leave you with some images of my lovelies and myself. 

{I'm the baby in Lisa's lap, then it's Tricia and Debi.}

{This was Lisa's 50th birthday bash on the beach.  Left to right is my niece Erika, her mom Lisa, Tricia, Mom, me and Debi.}

Love to all. 


Do you ever have a dream, and wake up mad at the circumstances in the dream?  I was having a horrible dream about my husband, and in it, I was so mad at him.  I think I was about to start crying, actually, but never made it to that point. 

Add to that, the fact that he fell asleep on the couch last night and stayed there all night, and well...I was a tiny bit aggravated when I woke up.  {Keepin' it real here, folks.} 

But then, I remember that it was just a dream.  And I thanked God that it was, because it was horrible.  We were talking about the "d-word" with our kids.  Yikes.  See why I was about to cry?

And then I remembered that Todd didn't sleep well the night before last.  Our mattress is horrible, and we desperately need a new one.  Todd wakes up stiff and sore every single morning, and a night on the couch gave him better sleep than a night on our mattress.

Then he told me he had just made the coffee and that it was all ready. 

And that while he was waiting on that, he had loaded the dishwasher and started it for me. 

Sigh.  I'm so thankful that it was just a dream.  And that my reality is so much better than my dreams.  Tell me I'm not the only one who dreams so emotionally...I often wake up crying or laughing, or with my head reeling from a crazy dream-filled night of sleep. 

I dream very vividly.  I always have.  Sometimes that's a good thing...sometimes not so much. 

Do you have crazy dreams?  I know it's not just me! 

Happy Friday, my friends.  Love to all. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's day {day 106}

As much as I dislike the commercialization of Valentine's day, I am thankful for this day.  To me, on a day purposely set aside to celebrate love, it just reminds me of how much we are loved by an Almighty God. 

And I am thankful that by His example, I am able to show love to my family.  Not in gifts or trinkets, although we did buy them a little something, but in love and creating memories. 

It's not everyday that we have steak for dinner, but we did tonight.  I take delight in making something for dinner that they all love so much.  And steak seared on the stove top in olive oil and a little butter and finished in the oven for about seven minutes, is amazing.  Well, it's amazing if you like yours medium rare, which we all do.  Thanks to Big Daddy.  ;-)

Along with the steak we had oven roasted potatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper, salad, garlic break and for dessert, individual molten lava cakes. 

It was every bit as delicious as it looks. 

For dinner, we actually set the dinner table, complete with folded napkins, thanks to my Graham.  We had flowers as a centerpiece and candles that were lit.

It was beautiful.  I wish I'd snapped a picture, but I was too busy finishing everything up.

And the flowers that served as my centerpiece were a huge surprise today.  Todd and I don't celebrate this day at all, and never really have.  I asked him not to waste money on the high price of flowers on this day years ago.  It seems like such a waste to me, but anyway, earlier today Graham and I went to Kroger.  As I was finishing up on shopping, Graham told me he had to go see something.  I finished the shopping, checked out and was about to head outside when he came up to me.

I didn't think anything of it.

Fast forward two or three hours.  I walked into the kitchen, and there were beautiful carnations on my kitchen counter!  Graham had $5 to his name that my mom had just given him for Valentine's day {she gave all the boys $5}.  He ran and asked the lady in the floral department what he could buy with that money, and she gave him several rose, or these flowers were a couple of the choices.  He only had $5 though, and not enough for tax.  She told him that she was so impressed with him buying these for me on his own, that whatever money was leftover after he paid the $5, she would pay the remainder.

Sniff, sniff.

With kids like mine, who in the world needs a physical gift?  I know I don't.  These little guys of mine are God's gift to me.  I am so blessed to be their mom, and I thank God for everyday I get to spend with them.  To know that God trusted me with these boys is another thing that is unfathomable.

I don't know how long I will get with these boys, for they're not mine but His, but for each and every second I get, I thank Him for it.  And the fact that I get to walk side by side with my best friend in this journey of parenting?

Amazing.  I am beyond blessed.

Love to all.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

day 105, Valentine's Eve

I do not love Valentine's day.  Did I mention that?  I have always gotten a little something for the boys, though, on this day, and tonight I had to get that something. 

I almost lost my religion at Wal-Mart.  Seriously.  This crazy woman was going the WRONG way down on isle so she could back into a really good parking spot.  I wanted to run her over and take the spot, because my vehicle was bigger than hers, but I couldn't bring myself to be that rude.  Even though I REALLY wanted to be that rude. 

I was talking to my best friend when all this went down, and in order to save my sanity and not go OFF on the woman that I knew, who was driving the wrong way, I decided to keep driving and bypass Wal-Mart all together. 

So, instead, I went to Target. 

I am thankful for a beautifully, clean, nice store with very nice, skilled, sane workers.  Who are so nice and helpful.  And for people that know how to drive. 

I got some candy for my favorite boys, all five of them, I got them each a really cool Hot Wheels sports car {because they were all wanting one on Monday}, and I got them a movie for us all to enjoy together. 

And while driving home and talking {venting} to my favorite husband, he asks me, "You didn't get me a card did you?"

Which translates into, "Please, Lord, let her say no, because I didn't buy her a card."

Sigh.  This would be one of many reasons why I so love this man.  I swear, we are JUST alike.  I'm also thankful for that.  :)

Love to all.  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

day 104, Tuesday

Our day went by in the blink of an eye.  I took the kids to Chick Fil A for breakfast.  We had coupons.  :)  We came home, they ate, we started our work. 

Then all of a sudden, it was one thirty! 

I don't really know where the time went.  It flew by in the midst of learning a new concept in math and a spelling test.  And language.  And science, and history.  And some tears.  We had those today, too. 

Whew.  If I ever give the impression that homeschooling is a walk in the park, please forgive me.  It is SO not.  I would still take this over public school, though, any day of the week.  I'm not complaining...just explaining how our day went. 

And it did get better.  We all took a mental break, and we came back strong and finished our work.  I even "caught" Graham helping Jonah with a question he had about math.  Graham beat me to him. 

Today, I am thankful for my sister-in-law, Tracy.  She sent me the most hilarious, timely text this morning about older boys and tears. 

I died laughing and told her that we had tears at our house, too. 

We continued our conversation via text for a few minutes, and I was refreshed.  Tracy, I have no idea if you read this, but if you do, thank you.  

I needed a moment of light-heartedness, and you brought it. 

Love to all. 

p.s. Because of a rough start to our day, after all the work was completed, we ended our day by watching Ramona and Beezus.  If you haven't watched it, do.  It doesn't matter if you have boys or was a great, funny end to our dreary day.  :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

day 103, Monday, February 11th

Did you know that Chris Kyle is being laid to rest today?  Did you know that he had 160 confirmed sniper hits throughout his four tours in the second Iraq war?  My boys were fascinated by him when that show Stars Earn Stripes was on. 

It's so sad...that he was killed. 

I don't know about you, but I am thankful for our troops.  I thank God for them.  For their willingness to fight for our freedom.  For their bravery.

I pray that in some way, his family finds comfort today.  I pray that in some way, they experience God's peace.  He was the son of a deacon and Sunday school teacher.  He leaves behind a wife and two sons. 

I can't even begin to imagine their pain. 

I pray for the spouses and kids {and moms and dads} of our troops.  I pray for their morale, for their well-being...not only for while they're on tour, but for when they return home. 

If you see a serviceman, thank him.  I know I will. 

Love to all. 

a little Monday random

I woke up to news of the Pope resigning.  ???  Does that even happen?!  Or has it before?  My first thought is, "I wonder what he did."  Maybe that's bad to assume, but you can't help but wonder, you know?

Graham and Drew are still sleeping.  They had a huge lack of sleep over the weekend, so I'm letting them recover some on this Monday morning.  We don't have to be in a hurry today. 

I finished an amazing book last night.  It's called Seasons Under Heaven, and it was written by Beverly LaHaye and Terri Blackstock.  Beverly LaHaye is the wife of one of the writers of the Left Behind series.  The book was amazing~if you're reading this and enjoy reading, go borrow it from the library! of the best books I've ever read.  I'm anxious to start book 2 in the series.  This one is called Showers in Season.

I was having a major pity party yesterday.  I really hate feeling like that, but I did, all day I felt really sad.  I love homeschooling my kids, but I'm starting to feel like I'm losing certain friends.  There are also people that don't agree with homeschooling, and because of that, they don't talk to me very much anymore.  :-(  I don't have very thick skin...I wish I did!  This makes me want to go cry to my small group of moms I see every Thursday. 

This week is Valentine's day, my least favorite holiday.  I'm planning on studying the history of this day, and the saint it's named after.  I love being loved, don't get me wrong, but I'm married to one of the "good ones", who shows his love for me every day of the year.  I hate the commercialization of this day, and I feel sad for the people I love who aren't married or dating anyone.  {This being said, I sure do LOVE the Hallmark commercial for this day right now, the one where the women say, "Tell me you think I'm still beautiful", or "Tell me you'll love me in sickness and in health".} 

Well.  I need to go be productive.  I have three mountains of laundry waiting on me in my laundry room.  I seriously need to get started.  And there's school work that needs to get done.  I hope you have a fantabulous Monday.  Love to all. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

daay 102, Sunday

I started a post earlier, but I decided I'd better not post that one.  I didn't delete it, and I might post it on another day, but for now, I'll go with this one. 

I was having a moment earlier.  I'm better now. 

I loved having my family back home today!  I made a big, fancy dinner and we watched Here Comes The Boom afterward.  The Kevin James was so good!  We all loved it. 

I love family movie nights.  In fact, since I'm not posting what I started to earlier, on this one hundred and second day of being thankful, I will choose that for my moment of gratitude for the day.  It's nice to be in the same room, and to converse around the dinner table.  Reconnection after a weekend apart is vital to our family. 

I hope you had a great weekend!  Love to all. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

day 101, Saturday

I didn't get the anticipated time alone last night.  I was kind of counting on Jonah and Noah going upstairs before me, so I could watch a little "Mom TV", but that didn't happen. 

They were scared to go up alone. 

So, this happened:

We all went upstairs together.  They played on electronics, and I read my book. 

Today was a good {boring} day.  The neighbor kids wouldn't come out to play and one was gone.  Jonah and Noah literally sat and twiddled their thumbs, I felt like.  We finally left and went to Kroger, then came home to eat lunch.  After lunch, they went out for a little while to shoot hoops, and I made these yummy little things:

The Pioneer Woman's Life By Chocolate cupcakes.  SHUT YOUR MOUTH.  They are ridiculously, sinfully good.  Seriously.  And that glassy topping on top?  Chocolate ganache, baby. 

On this one hundred and first day of being thankful, I am thankful for inspiration in the kitchen.  I made these after watching today's episode of The Pioneer Woman. 

Love to all. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

day 100, Friday

Time spent {semi} alone.  Tonight, it's awfully quiet around my house.  It's just Jonah, Noah and me.  Todd, Graham and Drew are at a weekend-long event at church, Disciple Now. 

I had told the boys they could invite a friend over, but the one they had in mind couldn't come over.  I feel bad for them...they're kind of mopey.  They've become super attached to their older brothers since they've spending twenty-four/seven with them, and to say the miss them tonight is an understatement. 

We went and got Yum's for dinner, a local Chinese take-out restaurant here in The Ville.  We filled our tummies, and now we've settled in to watch The Gameplan. 

It's a quiet night around here.  I'm thankful for the fact that my hubby is so involved with the youth at our church, but I feel sad for the younger boys.  After this weekend, he definitely owes them some quality time. 

I promised Jonah and Noah that since this is a special weekend, they could join me in bed each night.  :)  I never let my kiddos sleep with me, so this is a huge treat for them.  You might want to say a prayer for me, since Jonah hogs the bed and Noah grits his teeth.  Hopefully, I'll get some actual sleep in...if not, I can always turn to my book.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.  Hopefully the mood will lighten around here tomorrow, when all the kids in the neighborhood can play.  Love to all.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

day 99, Thursday

I am thankful for money in our bank account.  In the spirit of keeping things real on this blog, things have been rough for us financially since August.  I guess a good way to know that you're doing the right thing in God's eyes, is to judge how much you're being attacked by the enemy.  Whew.  It's been a knock-down-drag-out.  That being said, God has provided us with everything we need (not want).  That includes money for the 'burban's twenty-something gallon gas tank.

Speaking of gas tanks, I am thankful for helpful sons.  Graham has been pumping gas for a while now, and tonight he pumped mine for me at Kroger.  I love having a son who will do that!  I snapped a picture of him in the act.

I am thankful for Friday's with my Dad.

I am thankful for spring-like weather in February that will allow us to have a beautiful day at the zoo tomorrow.  :)

I am thankful that Todd still makes my heart skip a beat.  I especially love when he's all touchy-feely, because I am that way. 

I am thankful for a group of amazing mama's at my small group table at Renewed Mom's, my homeschooling group that we attend on Thursday's.  I can be totally and completely REAL with them, I can laugh with them, cry in front of them and be encouraged alongside them.  I love them all so much, and I've only known most of them since August.  These women are amazing, and they're all God's gift to me.  I wish I could explain to you the connection I feel with them, but it's hard to put into words.  We have kindred spirits.  We're all striving for the same thing~to love and know and glorify God in all we do, and to be a wife and homeschooling mom to the best of our abilities.  Thursday's are my day of renewal.  Ha...Renewed Mom's...renewal Thursday's...fitting.

I am thankful for a great day with lots of noise, and for that blessed moment when all the little noise-makers to go bed.  Sigh. 

I am thankful for a husband who has a heart to serve.  I'm praying that he and my older boys have an amazing weekend at church this weekend. 

I am thankful that Jonah, Noah and I will enjoy a quiet weekend at home. 

Love to all.  {I can't believe tomorrow will be my hundredth day of these posts!}

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

day 98, Wednesday

If you missed my number ninety-seven post, I included it in the post from yesterday, Why I Love Homeschooling.  I went back and changed it this morning.

We just got back from running a couple of errands.  Our last stop was Walmart.  I had to get a few things to hold us over until Friday, one of which was a birthday present for our neighbor's youngest boy, Zander.  Today is his sixth birthday.  I love shopping for little boys.  Seriously.  It seems like yesterday that mine were turning six.  I can't believe the two "little's" are turning double digits this year.  That is a HUGE milestone birthday.  Do you remember yours?

Back to Zander.  He and his older brother, Myles, have so many toys.  I called Katie to ask if it would be better to get something for their new room they're about to move into.  (Katie and Travis are having a baby boy, who will be born in April.  Myles and Zan are getting a new room.)  She quickly agreed with my decision, because like us, her house is overflowing.  We ended up picking out a really cute calendar, because both the boys love keeping track of days and a poster for them to enjoy.  I also bought some tacky stuff to hang the poster with, because their Uncle Travis probably wouldn't approve of using thumb tacks.

Shopping for Zan and imagining the simple joy on his face as he opens his birthday gifts makes my heart swell with something warm and fuzzy.

Not only are Katie and Travis (and Myles and Zander) our neighbors, they're also some of our very best friends.  I think they're one of the only couples that know almost everything about us.  We swim together, we camp together, we eat together, we play cards together, we even get sick together.  (Literally.  The last few times we've been sick, we've shared our illnesses.)

On this ninety-eighth day of being thankful, I am especially thankful for God's gift of neighbors.  They're much more than that, and yet they're neighbors.  No longer do we knock on the front door.  We simply open the door, and call out.

They are definitely one of God's gifts to us.  Love to all.  

p.s.  I leave you with some camping memories we've shared with them.  :)

Hump Day!

This week is flying by, which is crazy.  Weeks don't usually fly by when you homeschool.  I am enjoying a quiet morning.  We're getting a later start on our work today.  Someone stayed up too late last night watching tv.  (Me.)  Seriously, it was after one a.m. when I fell asleep.  My brain is feeling it this morning.

Wednesday nights are a little crazy around here.  Dinner is something very simple usually, because the older boys like to be at church around 5:30.  Their youth group doesn't start until six, but they like to go and shoot hoops in the gym beforehand.  Half the time, they eat a snack before and another snack afterwards.  They're never hungry at five.

I'm planning a zoo day for us on Friday.  The weather is supposed to be really nice, with the high being around sixty.  The animals seem to come out and play so much more when it's nice and cool.  Along with our zoo day, I will plan and pack a picnic for us to enjoy.  I hope Pappaw is okay with this.  :)

The coming weekend will consist of Jonah, Noah and I being alone all weekend.  Our church's Disciple Now weekend is this weekend, and the boys are so excited.  Todd is the eighth grade boys leader, so he'll be spending quality time with a bunch of thirteen and fourteen year old's.  :)  Disciple Now is a weekend focused on youth~there will be amazing praise and worship, The Amazing Race on Saturday and they'll have church each night.  It's a weekend when the leaders pour into the lives of our teens through God's word and through relationship.  They will stay in "host" homes each night, and the leaders stay with them.  They separate by gender and by grade.   

I started a new book last night.  That's a little like Christmas to me.  I have heard so many talk about the book War Brides, so I can't wait to dig into it.  It's a huge book...I have no idea how long it'll take me to read it.  Sometimes I can fly through a book, thin or thick, but sometimes it takes me a while. 

Well, I suppose I need to get off the computer and go get dressed for the day.  I've got a couple errands to run, as well, so it'll be another busy one.  I hope your day is blessed.  Love to all. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why I Love Homeschooling (consider this day 97)

Before I type another sentence, I have to say how good God is.  When we made our decision to un-enroll the little boys from their local elementary school, there were days when I seriously doubted that decision.  I was afraid that I was harming them by taking them out of public school, I was terribly afraid that they were going to miss their friends, and all that goes with being in a brick and mortar school.

Can I tell you how wrong I was?

Never in a million years, would I have guessed that I would love it so much.  And how far I've had to step out of my comfort zone.  Or how much faith it requires to be able to do this.  It's a daily renewal, too, this committing of our day to God.  Everything can be going so wrong, and all of a sudden I'll remember that we forgot to pray.

It's funny how God works.

I am so thankful to have my boys at home with me.  I kind of thought that, by now, I would be sick of having them around twenty-four/seven.  But that's not the case at all.  In being around me all the time, they've changed the way they treat one another.  They don't argue as much, they've learned to adapt to the way that our day works.  There are days that are bad, though, I would be remiss if I didn't write that.  But on those days, I am thankful that I am still loved, not only by God, but by them.  On those days, I am thankful for God's mercies, and fresh starts.

All that being said, I thought I would share a list of why I love the way we "do" school.

I love them being home because, for some crazy reason, I prepare them better meals.

Since we've started homeschooling all four of the boys, I no longer feel rushed.

I love that hours go by and their electronics lay nearby, untouched.

And hours will go by with our television turned off.

I love that, since they've all been home, my house is cleaner.  (I doesn't make sense.)

I love the fact that they all regularly ask me, "Mom, do you need me to do anything?"

And that each day they help me fold clothes, empty and load the dishwasher.

I love that when the schoolwork has been completed, they don't go sit in front of the tv or play video games. Instead, they go outside to walk the dogs, or shoot hoops, or jump on the trampoline.

I love that even the older two boys still use their imaginations.  Today, for instance, they're working on some sort of trampoline routine they want Todd and me to see after dinner.  Jonah and Drew have even gone as far as planning out their outfits and face paint.

I love that when I took them out of public school, I saw subtle changes in their behavior.  Even though I didn't think Graham and Drew were being negatively affected, they were.  It just didn't become evident until they didn't go anymore.

I love that they have all started taking an interest in cooking.  Most afternoons when I'm preparing dinner, they help me mix, stir or chop whatever needs to be done.

I love that Graham and Drew have made some really nice friends though our homeschool group.

I could list more, but for now, I'll stop.  We need to get going on our day, once again.  I hope you're having a great Tuesday~the weather is gorgeous today in The Ville.  I hope you get to enjoy it in some way today.

Love to all.

p.s.  I leave you with an image of what an average day might look like:

Monday, February 4, 2013

day 96, Monday

Things we did today:

*We woke up and had breakfast.  (Well, I don't really do breakfast most mornings.  They enjoyed waffles.)
*We had devotion and prayed, and said goodbye to Todd.
*We watched a thirty-minute movie that Jonah has been dying to watch on firetrucks and a fire station.
*We started school. 
*While they worked, I started preparing dinner to go into the crockpot.  Graham helped with the details.
*We paused to go upstairs and clean out the closets in each of the boys' rooms.  I folded a load of clothes.
*We finished all the work we had today.  (There was a huge gap in time between this one and the one above.)
*We had lunch, because by this point, it was time to eat again.
*While we ate, I started reading The Chronicles of Narnia to them. 
*Two of them complained. 
*When I got to chapter two and announced that I was going to stop, they all begged me to keep reading. ;)
*I read another chapter to them. 
*We loaded the car with the bags we filled from the closets.
*We went to Pet Smart to buy the pet gecko some crickets to eat.  Because who doesn't have pets who need other pets?!
*We went to get my car washed.
*We vacuumed it out.
*We took Graham to the library.
*We dropped off the bags at Goodwill.
*We came home.
*I read some of my book.
*Jonah and Noah fed Buddy the gecko some crickets.  We all loved on him a little.
*We cleaned up all the work that was completed today.
*I did a few more things for dinner.
*The neighborhood kids arrived home, they went out to play basketball.
*Jonah and I cut the potatoes for dinner.
*We waited for Todd to get home, and for dinner to finish.
*Todd came home.
*We ate.  It was so good!
*The boys each cleaned and rinsed their plate, then loaded it into the dishwasher.
*I finished cleaning the kitchen.
*Todd forced Evil Knievel and Twinkles, the loudest cat on earth, to have some bonding time.
*He did not get his hand bitten off, I'm relieved to say.
*I'm about to leave and go watch my show with my best friend.
*When I get home, I will talk to my hubby for a little while.
*I will go upstairs and read for a bit, then I will fall asleep while holding my book.
*I will look forward to doing it all again tomorrow.  :)

Sometimes our life is mundane.  It is never boring.  It is full of routine.  For these things, and so many more, I give thanks to my Lord and Savior.

Love to all.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

my favorite Superbowl commercials

My number one favorite made me cry.  Watch, and see if this doesn't move you.

What was your favorite?  Love to all. 

day 95, Sunday

Super Bowl.  Divided households.  Lots of yummy munchie-type foods.  Friends.  Family.

Is that what you think of when you think about the Super Bowl?

It is for me.  As college-football-watching people, we've never cared much for NFL.  We always watch, though, but I get the most excited about the commercials and the food.

I love some munchie food.

Tonight was not disappointing.  We went to my mom's and step-dad's for the game.  It was fun, even though my husband couldn't hardly hear without his surround sound.  (Aw, poor baby.)  I do not love watching tv without DVR.  It's so nice to be able to pause and rewind certain commercials or plays.

The hot wings Big Daddy fixed made up for all that, though.  And the cheese and sausage plate.  And the banana pudding, and the chocolate covered strawberries.  :)  It was so good.  

Even though I didn't watch the game much, I love being around our family.  I'm so glad we live nearby the majority of them.  That's what I'm thankful for tonight.

Love to all. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

day 94 (Saturday) and some weekend images

Today has been amazing.  Would you believe my precious hubby went to Costco not once, but twice?  He did.  I'm telling ya, he's pretty amazing.  Saturday has become my favorite day to veg.  As in, not leave the house, not wear make-up, just relax.  It's heavenly.

On this ninety-fourth day, I am thankful for rest.  I desperately need days like this to restore my soul.  It's wonderful to just do things that are mindless~laundry, cooking, cleaning up after myself.  And I'm thankful for a man who will grocery shop for me.  He did that for me today.  And then went again for the items I left off the list. 


For your pleasure, here are some moments from our glorious weekend.  (Tonight, miraculously, all our kids had plans.  Jonah and Noah were invited to our neighbor's party at Chuck E. Cheese, and they offered to take them, and Graham and Drew had a student council social with our homeschool group.  I made a scrumptious dinner and dessert, and enjoyed that and a romantic comedy with my man.  We rented Hope Springs.  It was amazing!) 

This was our dessert, which we have yet to cut into.  :)  I'm waiting to have some until all the boys come back home. 

Crash loves the mini-trampoline, and randomly hangs out on it when the boys are on it. 

The rest of these images are from yesterday.

I hope you're having a great weekend.  Love to all.

Friday, February 1, 2013

day 93, Friday

Ahhhh, Friday.  They're not quite as anticipated as they used to be, now that we're always home together.  (Insert smiley face.)  But I do still love them, because it means a weekend full of Todd being home. 

He's so sweet.  I'm making a special dinner for us tomorrow night, since the kids will all be gone, and he knew I needed the ingredients for it pretty early in the day.  A few minutes ago, he told me to make him a list, and he would plan on being at Costco at nine-thirty, when they open, so he could be home within an hour and I could throw it all into the crock pot. 

Happy sigh. 

Isn't he great?  I think I'll keep him around for a while.  :)

Today was a beautifully cold around these parts.  We spent a pretty special day with my dad.  He texted me bright and early this morning, asking if we could go downtown to eat at The Arcade and to the fire museum.  As if I would say no.  We also went the train museum across the street from The Arcade.  It was an amazing day.  I love the cold, cold temperatures!  There's something so refreshing about walking when the air is that cool and crisp.  It's like it clears out your lungs. 

We ordered pizza for dinner.  I invited ourselves over to our neighbor's house.  We ate our pizza with them, and they had meatloaf that Katie made.  I might have rubbed on her baby bump for a while, too.  :)  He's growing quite well, that baby boy.  I can't wait until she has him, so I can hold him in my arms! 

I also saw my sweet friend Sunny tonight.  Her son Andy is Jonah's and Noah's best friend, and they invited him to spend the night. 

It was a blessed day, indeed.  I am thankful for these special moments.  In everything we do, I know that we are creating memories.  I am thankful that I am living my life to the fullest with my precious family.  I am grateful for every single moment that God gives me. 

Happy weekend to you!  Love to all. 

just some things

I love Friday mornings.  It's the morning that I let the kids sleep later, I enjoy an extra cup of coffee and watch The Today Show.  I know, I know~say what you may about Matt Lauer, but I have tried other morning shows, and none compare to this.  And I love Savannah, too.  I even love the fill~in's, Willie and what's her name.  (My mind has gone blank.)

Todd rode with the sheriff's department last night.  He told me a funny story, and I thought I would share.  They got a call from dispatch, saying that a limb was down in the road somewhere.  The call was really for a deputy, but they were right down the road from it, so he called in saying he would go.  Dispatch asked if he wanted to disregard the deputy (whom he knows), and he said "yes".  They got there, and it turns out it wasn't a limb, but a tree.  They pulled out the chainsaw and started cutting it to get it off the road.  The deputy they disregarded came by to talk to them while they were working, and when they were about to be leaving, they heard tires squealing.

There was a hill not far from where they were, which this car flew over, and when he saw the rescue unit and deputy, the guy slammed on the breaks, sliding every which way.  Todd said he almost plowed into the deputy.  Needless to say, his friend ran to get in his car, and laid the pedal to the floor.  He pulled him over, and issued a ticket.  Talk about horrible timing!  I thought it was hilarious.

I was looking on the calendar at February the other day, and did you know that there is an actual 'take your child' to work day?  I can't remember the exact date, but I think it's either a Wednesday or Friday, the last week of the month.  Ahem, Todd.  :)

One of my favorite shows comes back on this Tuesday!  I can't wait...I am shocked they waited this long to come back on air, but whatever.  For those that care, it's Smash.  Can't wait! 

Well, as exciting as this post has been, I need to go take a shower.  I will put an end to my lazy morning.  I hope your Friday is fantabulous!  And your weekend...I'm looking forward to some Super Bowl food and commercials Sunday night.  :)  Do you have plans to watch?  Or not?  ;)  Love to all. 

Friday Favorites, 7.12.2024.

  Hi, friends! As you can tell, I'm forcing myself to be here often, because my life needs to resume some sort of normalcy right now; th...