Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let's get some coffee and hunker down

I had the privilege this past Sunday to make a trip over to Atlanta with a dear friend of mine to attend the live recording for Travis Cottrell's new CD/DVD.  If you don't know who Travis Cottrell is, then let me take this opportunity to turn you on to one of the most fantastic worship leaders ever.  He has a fire in his being for God that cannot be consumed and believe me it's contagious.  His music is on iTunes as well, so check him and his praise team out.

The concert was held north of Atlanta at First Baptist Church Woodstock.  First of all let me say that I thought I went to a big church, well I was mistaken.  I have heard of these mega churches before but have never seen one myself.  It's a dome for heaven's sake, in fact one the guys on stage Sunday night referred to it as a "God dome."  I have never seen anything like it, that place had to hold 5,000 easy, it was really something to behold.  How awesome that we live in a country where we can worship God in such a way, we are so blessed to live here.

The concert was free, so knowing what we know about our friend Travis, we knew we would have to get there early and bonus, it gave us a chance to walk around and scope the place out.  The pre-concert highlight for me was that in our wanderings around we happened upon a little mini coffee cafe.  Yes, right in the middle of the church, it had a few little tables, a place to get coffee or hot tea, and cream and sugar, how cool is that.  Unfortunately my friend does not share my affinity for coffee and could not find a place to get her beloved diet coke.  By the end of the concert, she was willing to physically knock people down and out of the way in the name of an ice cold diet coke.  Girlfriend has some strong feelings for her diet coke.  They also have an escalator in their church, yes you heard me right not an elevator, an escalator.

We had to use some strategery in scoping out which door would best serve our seating needs.  However, having never seen the inside of this place was of course proving to be a challenge for us.  So I got myself some coffee and we hunkered down in our strategery spot.  We ended up with great seats and settled in for a great time of worship.

I had never been to a live recording of anything before so it was quite hilarious to me when this guy comes out on stage before the concert begins and tells that they are going to need to record us in various laugh situations and applause.  Seriously ya'll he had us clap lightly and politely, then do a little laugh, then a medium applause and a medium laugh, then applause like Travis is coming out, then applause and laugh at the same time and then start out with a medium applause and then swell to big applause with lots of whoopin' and hollerin'.  It was hilarious, we were cracking ourselves up.

The concert itself did not disappoint, it was AMAZING!  Singing "Jesus Saves" with that many people is quite an experience.  Towards the end of the evening, there were some computer glitches and we had to do a couple of songs twice, which was fine by us we were loving it.  There was also a period of time where they were having to fix something on stage before we could continue so Travis just led us in some impromptu singing, he's so much fun.  There were many highlights to the evening but one of my favorites was during this time when we broke out in one of my favorite songs "Shackles" read on and you'll see why......

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
’m gonna praise you

In the corners of my mind
I just can’t seem to find a reason to believe
That I can break free
Cause you see I have been down for so long
Feel like all hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise you through my circumstance

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Everything that could go wrong
All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me
I thought I was gon lose my mind
But I know you wanna see
If I will hold on through these trials
But I need you to lift this load
Cause I can’t take it no more

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Been through the fire and the rain
Bound in every kind of way
But God has broken every chain
So let me go right now

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I’m gonna praise you
I’m gonna praise you

Wow, that's a powerful song.  I have felt many times God "I need you the lift this load cause I can't take it no more."  Beth Moore (she's a women's Bible study teacher) was there also and had lots to say throughout the night.  One thing in particular was just to worship God at whatever place you are at in your life right now, if it is a place of pain, hurt and anger then so be it.  God knows our hearts anyway, so if I sing every song trying to act like I don't feel what I feel and that every thing is fine and perfect, what good is it going to do.  God will just know that I am not being honest with Him or with myself.  God gives me the freedom to express my emotions and feelings to Him freely and without condemnation.  I really haven't been "feeling it" lately but last night there were actually times where I did "feel it" again and by that I mean allowing God in again and letting Him see that I am angry and very very sad.  We don't have to clean ourselves up to go to God, we don't have to always have the right attitude to go to God.  In fact, we are not even capable of cleaning ourselves up first, He is the only One that can do that, we just have to come to Him open and transparent.

Wow, that all sounds really good, I hope that I can actually implement some of that into my life this week.

Thanks Theresa for a fun night, I sooo needed to get away and get a new perspective.

Friday, January 23, 2009

30 Random Things About Sophie Kate

In my Facebook world a "25 Random Things About Me" thing has been circulating through my friends, so I thought it would be appropriate for SK to do it on her website too.  Of course SK cannot do anything by the book so she is doing 30 random things about herself.   Here they are in no particular order.....

1. I have been perfectly made by the hands of my Creator, I wish my mama could believe and accept this

2. I don't like hospitals

3. I am loved by so many people

4. I have the best big brothers

5. My oldest brother Cooper is so protective of me

6. My brother Jacob loves me unconditionally and shows that love to me freely

7. My brother Grey likes to help Daddy and Mama take care of me

8.  I have grandparents who are not afraid to take care of me and welcome me into their homes with pride and love

9.  I have an extended family who love me dearly and have accepted me into their lives without reservation

10. I don't like to take long naps

11. When I do nap, I like to be snuggled in my mama's arms

12. I like for people to talk to me, not about me

13. At 14 months old my fashion sense is impeccable

14. I have my daddy wrapped around my little finger, he will move heaven and earth for me

15. Pink and chocolate brown are my signature colors

16. I look beautiful in blue though even though my mama refuses to buy it

17. I like to look at books

18. I like for people to sing to me

19. I like to be around and watch other babies

20. Reflux is the pits, but my fundo rocks

21. I have my own customized skateboard, how many 14 month old babies do you know that can say that

22. I'm sooo over Star Wars Clone Wars, is there really nothing else on TV, EVER

23. My mama and daddy love my new bath chair, even though I am still not real fond of bathing, I get that from my brothers

24. I understand more than you think I do

25. I have more friends on my blog than my mama and daddy do on their Facebook pages

26. Road trips are highly overrated

27. I love, love, love being at home with my family

28. Even though I cannot express it verbally, I love you all and show that love and appreciation through my sweet smiles

29. My life verse is Zephaniah 3:17 "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

30. God has huge plans for my life

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's new in 2009

Hey everyone.  We are trying to get back into the swing of things here and by the swing of things I mean back to a regular schedule again now that the kids have been back in school for about a week and a half.  My body is really protesting these early mornings especially when the sun hasn't been shining and the temps have been in the teens here.  Wow, it's been a cold January so far.

I may not be able to tell you what's new in 2009 but I can tell you what is the same and that is Sophie Kate's kidney stone.  Bet ya'll didn't see that coming did ya?  Yes, SK had an appointment with her urologist about two weeks ago where we got the news that her kidney stone was still in the same place and was still the same size as it was 6 months ago.  What does this mean for SK?  Not much, it's not blocking anything and it is not causing her any pain so we will wait another 4 months, do another ultrasound and see where it is then.  She passed the last one on her own and he expects that she will be able to do the same this time too.  What do SK and her daddy have in common?  Answer: they each have their own urologist as well as some other men in our family too but I will spare them being mentioned by name, they know who they are.

Um....let's see....what else is the same in 2009?  SK's sitting progress or rather lack of it I guess.  There really hasn't been any progress made in sitting unassisted in about 2 months I would say.  She can sit for about 30 seconds until she falls over to one side or pushes herself backwards.  She really wants to be straight all the time, she's not real big on bending at the hips.  So we just keep working and working and working on that.

Oh, I know something that's new in 2009, SK is not eating by mouth as well as she did in 2008.  That has just about fallen by the wayside completely.  She starts choking on her food pretty quickly so I really don't feel comfortable forcing her to continue eating due to the risk of aspiration.  I am putting baby food in the formula that I mix up for her so that she is getting some "real" food in her diet, but at this point all of her food is going through her gtube.

Also, SK has decided not to sleep as well in 2009 as she did in 2008.  She is still sleeping through the night, but she is more irritable at bedtime than she used to be and is taking a lot longer to fall asleep than she used to and will sometimes even wake up and cry out during the night.

We do have some new therapy options that are currently being investigated.  We will also be seeing our Pediatrician around the first part of February for SK's 15 month checkup.  We really need to get her off her infant formula and will be discussing those options with him, can't wait.  We tried changing her formula right before Christmas and to make it a very short story I'll just say that it didn't go well at all, so I am really not looking forward to this one.

Positives, positives well I can't think of any right now so I will go least we're not at Children's right?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This really is the last Christmas post

I just have one more post that will officially complete the trifecta of 2008 Christmas season posts and will get me on track for 2009.  We spent New Year's Eve this year with Chad's family, all of the brothers and sisters were in town with their families (which is a rarity in and of itself) and all of the cousins were able to get together and play.  There are 8 of them in all (cousins I mean), fun times.

So who do you think was actually up to ring in the New Year?  That would be Grey and SK, yes they are not going to let a good party go by w/o being a part of  it.  Cooper and Jacob were still at my parents house on New Year's Eve and I can assure you if my dad had anything to do with it, they were all in bed.  So my two little ones were up and my two big ones were probably sleeping, this is how G and SK spent their New Year's Eve.

Boy loves him some bread and butter, Jacob would be proud.

My girl likes to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time.....

Grey getting his party on.

We did get our family back together on Jan. 1 and all of us ended up at a post Christmas cookie decorating extravaganza the next day.  Take a look at those eyes, they are screaming exhaustion.

It's serious business to Jacob, that sweet boy was there hard at work until every last cookie was decorated.

Grey was good for about one cookie and then he ate it, he's definitely mine.

I have really enjoyed sharing some of our Christmas fun with ya'll.  It was good for me, remembering how great our Christmas was this year or last year, whatever.  We had a great time together and I really miss the ones who are back to work and back in school.

One of the best and most unexpected gifts this year was 3 sets of bed sheets, I know ya'll are really wondering where this is going, aren't you?  Chad's parents bought Cooper, Jacob and Grey Star Wars sheets as part of their Christmas and at the time I didn't think much about it.  They are the vintage Star Wars sheets that their daddy slept on when he was their age, the exact same sheets are being made again.  All three of my boys are sharing a room now and there is just nothing like the sight of them all snuggled in their beds in those Star Wars sheets.  They are just so stinkin' cute.  Maybe I am being overly sappy here but ya'll just bear with me, b/c I don't know how much longer my 8 year old is going to be into this so right now I am eating this up and so is their daddy.  Thanks for sharing this time with us.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Christmas Part Deux

Let's see, I left off with the last post having completed a perfect Christmas Day at home with my family.  As if that wasn't hectic enough we decided to add some travel time into the mix and headed off to my parent's house the next day.  I will have to give some props to SK this time though b/c she didn't start crying until we got to Tupelo (en route to Memphis) where she is usually crying by the time we pass the Birmingham airport, that was our little Christmas gift from Sophie, thanks sweetie!

Once there madness ensued again as my sister and her family came over for more present opening.  If you are keeping track, we are on day 3 of opening presents for my kids and still had one more day to come with extended family, talk about overindulgence.

SK here is the poster child for overindulgence.

My sweet little accident prone Jacob still sporting his latest injury that took place on the playground before school let out, yes that particular injury on his forehead is two weeks old in this picture.

Cooper patiently waiting his turn.

The next day we were off to my cousin's house for more family, food and presents.  My niece Emma Claire and SK were matchy matchy that day in outfits they had received for Christmas, aren't they too much.

Love this of my dad and his two granddaughters.

Now on to SK's new friend, it is my cousin's new baby Taylor.  Taylor is about 6 months old now.  Keep in mind Sophie has never really been around babies side by side to interact or play with.  She does go to the church nursery, but isn't always in the nursery, if you know what I mean.  Girlfriend gets around she likes to see and be seen.

How sweet is this?

Sk is not real sure of what is going on, there was a lot of action and reaction going on with these two little ones.

Does that face not say it all?  She was so wide-eyed and alert.  This was very good for her.

This visit has really got the slow moving gears in my head turning.  There was just something about the two of them together that I could not put my finger on, it's very difficult for me to put into words.  I saw something in Sophie that I haven't seen before an alertness or awareness maybe, I'm not sure what to call it, but it was good.

Emma Claire was in heaven helping take care of 2 babies and purple was the cool color of the day.

No pics of Grey in his underwear so this one will have to do.  Well, I take that back he probably is in his underwear with just a t-shirt on.

Thanks to my parents for keeping C and J for us for few days.  Chad and I were able to spend some good time with G and SK and then thanks to Erin, CC and Mr. Ron, Chad and I were able to spend some time with just Chad and I.  One night we went out to dinner with grownups only to a place that didn't serve chicken nuggets and had no play area.  On another night Chad and I went to a movie.  I have often wondered who the people are that just up and go to a movie on a random weeknight, well that would be us, off to a movie on a random weeknight, that's just how we roll.

Now we are all back together and our daddy is back to work today (Mon. Jan. 5) which makes us so sad, but we have had a great 2 weeks together and are very thankful for how God has blessed us during this Christmas season.  Love to you all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone, hope your 2009 has started with a bang or just very quiet and peaceful, whichever you prefer.  Ours started very quiet but ended with a bang when Cooper and Jacob came home from my parent's house.  Four days at the grandparent's house has now culminated with a certain and palpable rise in the loudness factor.  The brother's are back and reunited so let the melee begin.

We have had a great Christmas season filled with lots of love, family, friends, laughter, fun and the usual irritation between siblings, but in and amongst all that I do have some great memories that I would like to share with ya'll.

We started off our Christmas Vacation with a party at a friend's house where "you know who" showed up as a special visitor.

Grey with his loot on Christmas Eve, aren't grandparent's houses great!

Nothing says Christmas morning like taking off your cutesy pajamas and opening presents in your underwear.

This makes me fall out laughing, Grey with Cooper's ipod, yes he's like this all the time and yes he's usually in his underwear.

Riding scooters on Christmas Day

Daddy and Jacob

Grey with Sophie whose holding Sophie, no kidding, her new baby's name is Sophie, isn't that too cute.

Wow, that's a lot to post and I've only gotten to Christmas Day.  This is going to be a multiple post kinda thing, way too much to be contained in one post.  Stay tuned, there's more to come including Christmas in Mississippi, SK meets a new friend and maybe even more of Grey in his underwear.