Monday, January 31, 2011

The Boys

The boys don't get near the air time on the blog that SK gets, I know that.  Sister is quite the diva and likes lots of attention, but this one is going to be all about the boys.

We had baseball evaluations this past weekend and as I said in the last post, it's got me longing for spring baseball.  All three boys are playing this year, so in about a month, our weekends will consist of practices and games.  SK is used to following the brothers around from sport to sport and field to field.  Now we don't let the boys get over scheduled with too many activities, everyone gets to pick one thing.  The thing is though we have 3 boys each picking one thing, that's where strategic planning comes into play on our part.  For Sophie Kate that strategic planning means lots of ball games in her future, ha ha.

We had late basketball games this past Saturday so we got to enjoy the beautiful morning at home.  This is why I still lay out the clothes the boys will wear to school each day...

Seriously, this is no joke.  He sees absolutely nothing wrong with this ensemble.  It makes perfect sense to him, it just made me laugh and while it may not be appropriate Monday through Friday, it is more than appropriate for a Saturday morning in the backyard.


They are happy when they have on their old clothes and their boots.

Cooper could spend all day in the woods only coming in for food from time to time if we lived in a such a place.  He doesn't get that opportunity all the time, but he takes advantage of it when we are at my parent's house.

This one is my snuggle bug.  I appreciate a kid that knows when he's tired and puts himself to bed, he really does that sometimes when he comes home worn out from preschool.  On Saturday mornings he comes and gets in our bed and snuggles down in the covers.  I get so jealous of him when he does that while I am having to get up, it's not fair. 

Oh and did I mention that he is hilarious...well only about 50 times on this blog I'm sure, but dern y'all, he is.  We laugh at him and with him daily.

They are such a treasure to us.  We answer their questions about their sister very honestly as they ask them.  We don't put anything on them that they aren't ready to handle concerning her.  Their compassion toward her is amazing.  These big, rough boys are so tender and gentle towards their sister, it's so sweet to watch their love for her grow and develop in such a special way.  

I know I said that this post was all about the boys but she can't be separated from them nor does she want to be.  She knows when they are home and we are all happier when they are home with us.  Friday nights are my favorite.  There is nothing better to me than all of us all together in this place with nowhere to go and nowhere we have to be.  I'm so thankful for ordinary days with these boys.

Galatians 4:6-7 "  Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out "  Abba Father."    So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir."   

Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sophie Kate was finally able to get back to school this week.  I was lamenting on facebook last week that she had only been to school one day in the whole month of January.  Between snow days and sick days (pink eye and sinus infection), school just hadn't been working out lately.  In fact, this is the boy's first full week of school since before Christmas.  Well, now SK has been to school 3 days in the month of January.

Each day that SK goes to school, she comes home with a little summary of her day, this week SK got to be line leader.  I tell you what, that absolutely made my day.  They include her in everything they do.  They find a way, whether it is music, story time, centers or craft time.  She doesn't just watch, she is included and they find a way for her to participate in any way she can.  Now you know why it pains me so when she can't go, I know she's missing out on something that she enjoys.  It's been a wonderful thing for our girl.

We are in the middle of basketball season right now so sister gets toted to two games every Saturday.  Baseball sign ups where last week and I can't help but look forward to winter turning to spring and the sound of a bat to a ball.  Don't get me wrong, I love watching the boys play basketball, but I don't love the freezing cold we've been experiencing here in the deep South this winter.  We don't do cold well. 

I'm looking forward to getting out and buying baby girl some spring and summer clothes whenever they start putting that stuff out.  I've had enough of forecasts where we struggle to reach the mid 30's.  I know, we still have the whole month of February to go, it's not looking good for me, but if I could just see some of those summer dresses in SK's closest I may be able to struggle through, ha ha.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Legacy of Faith

Over Christmas break, I had the privilege of being able to sit around a beautifully decorated Christmas table and visit with many members of my family.  We all get to see each other about 2-3 times a year and it is always a good time when we do get together.

In this case, it was a few days after Christmas and we had decided to branch out and get some of that great Memphis barbecue, the best barbecue there is I might add.  After the kids eat and the grownup have had their fill, there is this wonderful time of fellowship and conversation that always takes place around the dinner table.  It's one of my most favorite times during our gatherings.  

We tell stories of our childhood, give each other a hard time and laugh our heads off.  It's not planned, it's not scripted, it's just spontaneous and it just happens whenever we are all together.  We found ourselves at this particular time remembering my grandmothers.  They have both been rejoicing in heaven with our Savior for many years now.  It has taken me years to get to the point where I could speak about these ladies without balling like a baby, but as we sat around the table and spoke about them, it just seemed to flow so naturally.  

We told funny stories that we all remembered about them and it was just a neat time together.  I was struck by something though as I sat engaged in our conversation, surrounded by family who had known me all my life or all their life...there's a comfort in that, you know...being back in the arms, homes and lives of these people you will always be connected with no matter where you live. 

I was struck by these wonderful women who, along with my daddy, raised me or who were raised with me, both those who were present in flesh and those who were present in spirit.  What a legacy of faith I have to draw on, these Godly women who saw fit to raise me and love me enough to show Christ to me consistently week in and week out.  I now know how truly difficult that is having children of my own and being tested by them (can I get an amen?) and by the flesh each and every day.

I also found myself surrounded by my sister and my cousin who are in this journey of motherhood with me and who like me are striving to raise children who love God more than they love "stuff."  It isn't easy but we are able to share our victories and difficulties with each other in the hope of "spurring one another on."

I am thankful to have them in my life and to be able to draw from their strength and perseverance in their pursuit of a Christ-centered life.  Now I am a daddy's girl through and through, we couldn't get more alike if we tried.  He has been outnumbered by us girls all his life and since we are of one mind, most of the time, I know he feels the same way about all these women as I do.  All this over barbecue?  I told you it was good stuff.

Hebrews 10:23-25 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

McManic Kids

We have some new pictures of the kids that were taken a few weeks before Christmas, you may have noticed a few of them down the right side of the blog.  Our friend Abby took them for us as she has done now for a couple of years and we are so grateful to her, they are fabulous.  I haven't had a chance to get them on blog having been so busy with the kids being out of school, but here they are in all of their edited and unedited glory.

Smile or serious? 

Love both of them, but love him more.

Little smile or big smile?

 He's so darling to me.

Look at that sweet face...


We caught him in a laughing fit...

His laugh is so contagious...


Mark 10:15-16 "Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them."

Monday, January 17, 2011


Our Pastor started a sermon series on parenting this past Sunday.  It is certainly a 24/7 job, it is all consuming and can drain us physically and emotionally, but the fruits of our labor will not be in vain when we strive to raise and instruct our children in the love and in the ways of Christ.

We have such a short time with them, 18 years maybe 20 years with them under our roof.  In my Pastor's case he said there would be plenty of time for hunting and fishing later.  In my case I guess I could say there will be plenty of time for a clean house later.

There will be plenty of time for me to have things neat and organized later.  Right now I need to be plugged in and engaged in their lives, an active participant in their spiritual growth, what's going on at school, who they're friends with and what they think and feel about themselves.  

It's time well spent, considering we are about half way there with this guy here.  In another 10 years he will be 20 and I will be wishing that I could have these days to spend with him again.  Days where these boys still want to be with me, still want me and their daddy to come "watch them."  

I took these pictures of them on our new trampoline about a week after Christmas and in the days following, I found myself watching them from the back door with tears slowly rolling out of the corners of my eyes.

We will not be in this place for long, this stage where they are this age.  I will not take a single minute for granted.  I continued to watch them soaking in every minute, contentment settling in over me and over this place.  

Their smiles are amazing and like every other parent I want my kids to be happy, but not just happy b/c of all the "stuff" that surrounds them in this world.  Happy, loved, fulfilled, content b/c they are loved not only by their parents and family but by the One who created them. 

It's not enough for us just to be present, we must be intentional.  Intentional in the time we spend with them, the time spent helping them grow in their relationship with Christ and intentional in guiding the relationships they have with friends.

I want their home to be a place where they feel safe and protected from the things they face in today's world. This parenting thing is only going to be doable under God's leadership and Lordship over this house.

Joshua 24:15 "as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Thanks for checking in on us.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Days

Our snow/ice storm hit Sunday night and continued into Monday.  Here in the south, when snow and ice are in the forecast, we lose our cotton pickin' minds.  I know that's a very southern statement, but it so applies here.  We run around like mad gathering supplies and ridding all grocery stores within a 50 mile radius of milk and bread.  Seriously, people were snapping pictures of empty shelves where stores had been ravaged, it was so funny and so southern.

We ended up with a layer of ice, snow packed in the middle and then topped off with another layer of ice about 2 & 1/2 inches total.  Didn't make for ideal travel conditions, but all elements were in place for some serious sledding.  

Y'all this sled was Chad's when he was little, it's a total antique, ha ha!  The boys had a ball on it and it flew over the ice.


Chad brought this wax covered cardboard home from work.  It held up surprisingly well as they skidded over the ice.

As for the little sister, yes she did venture out into the ice and snow and even took a turn on the sled with daddy just to say she did...

but she preferred the warmth of the indoors and her PJ's to the "snow angel" look, although her sweet little mittens just made my day.

I got some short videos of the boys sledding if anyone but me is interested.  They insisted on finding the steepest place they could which ended up being our neighbor's driveways.




Thanks to grandparents and Academy sports we were able to properly outfit these boys for many hours of trekking and sledding out in the snow and ice. 

Waterproof gloves and hand warmers, check...

Toboggans, check...

Boots and foot warmers, check...

Best snow days ever, double check!!