Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting our summer started

Last weekend we spent some time with friends getting our summer started in the right direction.

I'm pretty sure we did everything these boys love all in one day. There was swimming, fishing, boat riding, friends, good food, tubing and the surprisingly popular golf cart driving.

These guys definitely know how to pack a lot into a day!

As the sun set on our day, we headed home with our 3 stinky boys and our little princess happily worn slap out. They were powerless to sleep as it took each one of them over to their dreams.  It was the most quiet those four have been on a 2 hour car ride in a long time. 
Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Our girl dressed in her red, white and blue on Memorial Day...

Here's a quick glimpse of our weekend...

Grey took this picture of SK, he did a great job!

We remember those who paid the ultimate price of freedom with their lives, we remember the fallen.  John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The House that Built Me

This is the house I grew up in...
It has three bedrooms, 1&1/2 baths, kitchen, family room, living room and a small laundry room.  Yes, you read it right, it only has one and a half baths.  There was no master spa like bathroom, it was a small 1/2 bath off of my parents master bedroom.  It was my mother's of course, that's where she kept all her make up and perfumes.  

The farthest window to the right was my bedroom.  There was rainbow wallpaper in there at one time.  I sure hope someone has taken that down by now.  I had a unicorn and rainbow room.  Seriously y'all I did...I wish I was joking, sadly I am not.  You can barely see it, but my dad's shed is still there just behind the house.  We also had a well worn dirt basketball court back there too.  Many a game was played in that backyard.  Somehow I was able to beat almost everyone I played on my "home court," everyone but my dad.  

My grandparents lived a block away in this house...
When my grandparents were here, there was a huge oak tree in the front yard.  It provided shade over the whole house and my granddad hung a swing from one of it's branches for his grand kids.  It doesn't even look like the same house to me without that old oak tree in the front yard.  There were big beautiful rose bushes in the backyard. I can still remember the sweet smell of my grandmother's roses in bloom.

My Aunt and my cousin lived about half a mile from us and then the church we all went to was only two blocks away.

This is how I spent 17 years of my life.  No one gets to live like this anymore, do they?  I mean so close to family, church and neighborhood friends.  I remember walking or riding my bike with friends just a couple of blocks away to the 7/11 to get candy and Slurpee's.  I remember playing "kick the can" in front of my house with the neighborhood kids until our parents called us in at night.

Mr. Wilson, who lived on the corner, would give us candy and our parents didn't have to worry that he was some kind of child predator.  He was simply a sweet old man that liked for us kids to come visit him from time to time.  We rode our bikes or walked everywhere we went.  We played in each others yards and went to church every time the doors were open.

This was the neighborhood I grew up in, this was my childhood home, but most important was what was contained in those four walls.  There was my dad who worked two jobs (and I think at one point he had three jobs but I'm not completely sure) so that my mom could stay at home with me and my sister.  That was important to them and now as a stay at home mom myself I know how blessed I really am.  Family and friends surrounded us in that house and I felt safe and loved there.

I have now been away from my childhood home longer than I was there, yet it grows in significance year after year. I think back on those sweet days and even ache to be back there on particularly difficult days.  The years I spent there were not in vain, however.  Everything I have seen, done, experienced and accomplished has been to prepare me for these days.  Our Sovereign God knew what would happen on November 3, 2007 and I believe everything in my life has prepared me for this time in our family's life.  

I want these years to mean something to my boys as well. God willing they will look back on their childhood one day and know how much they are loved and the importance of walking that road less traveled with our faithful Lord. 

Psalm 36:5 "Your love, Lord reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies."   

Monday, May 21, 2012

Fifth Grade Extravaganza

Yesterday all the graduating seniors were recognized at church.  They filed in with their cap and gown on and as each name was called they showed baby pictures, toddler pictures, all the way up to the senior portraits of each graduate.  The boys get to me every time.  When I see their baby pictures and few others of them growing up I think, that's where I'm at now and then I see their senior picture and they look like grown men, I can't take it.  I have tears in my eyes every year.  It's not the baby dedications that get me anymore it's the graduating seniors that make the tears flow.  I know those parents would tell me to soak up every moment because it goes by so fast.

We are in the home stretch, it's the last week of school and we are in celebration mode around here.  It's seems like just a short time ago I was talking about having everyone together at one school for one year.  Well, that year has come and is about to be gone and to celebrate the 5th graders leaving the Intermediate school and going on to Middle school, they get their own day of fun called 5th Grade Extravaganza.

This year there was a dunk tank and the students were all about dunking the dads.  Our dad was the first one up...

Yep, Cooper got him!!

 He gets major points in the best dad category for this!!!

There was so much for them to do, it was a great day and I was so thrilled to be a part of it with him.

Tug of War tournament between the classes...

Of all the fun stuff he did that day, I don't think anything topped getting to dunk his dad...
So thankful for another great year in our wonderful school system!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Bob is Back

It must be almost summertime!  Do you know how I know...because the bob is back!

She did so good.  Each time I take her to get her hair cut she does better and better.  They even took the blow dryer to her hair this time, she had the funniest look on her face.  

I took her after school one day so she was getting her hair cut during the time she is usually sleeping.  She was so tired, she fell asleep in her car seat before we even got out of the parking lot.

 I love this hair cut on just suits her.  Come on summer, we're ready.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

I hope all of the mother's out there had a wonderful Mother's Day.  I got a necklace with all the kids names on it from Chad and the kids.  My middle son made me a card and I received an original Mother's Day poem from him as heartfelt.  It was precious.  My oldest son gave me more hugs than I've ever had from him in one day and told me I was awesome, ha ha.  Sophie Kate's Sunday School teachers made her hand print for me and if you know her well then you know that was no small task.  She keeps her hands in fists most of the time, so I am thinking it probably took no less than three people to get that sweet hand print for me.  I loved it!  

Grey gave me one of those question and answer pages that he had filled out in his own know the one where they answer how old we are, what our favorite food is and what they think we do all day.  Leave it to Grey to bring me to tears.  One of the questions was actually a fill in the blank, "My mom's dream is to"...and he wrote..."take care of my sister."  Hello tears.

I had this whole post planned about the Time magazine cover and how I think it was just pitting mother's against each other.  How we as mothers should not get caught up in all of this stuff accusing each other or putting each other down for our parenting choices of breastfeeding or bottle feeding, working moms or stay at home moms, disposable diapers or cloth diapers, strollers or baby slings, and on and on we go.  For the most part we are competent, capable moms who at our core only want what's best for our children and at times get caught up by the pressures of this world asking us if we are "Mom Enough."

At the end of the day all that rambling on just doesn't seem to matter anymore, the sweetness of the day has settled on me and I am grateful for sweet smiles, goodnight kisses and "I love yous."  I am thankful for forgiveness and second chances and an everlasting love from our Everlasting Savior.  I am equipped by Christ, by His guidance and His Word and my husband's Godly leadership and support.  My worth is in Christ and He left no doubt about His love for all of us when he came to earth and died for our sins.

The sweetest moment of Mother's Day didn't involve me at all, ironically it involved my husband.  Chad and the kids took me out to lunch after church on Sunday.  Well, as you can imagine it takes time for us to go just about anywhere, it's not hard it just takes time with all the people we have. We have to get SK's wheelchair out of the back of the van and get her in it while containing all the boys as well. Getting SK and her wheelchair out of the van usually falls to Chad when he's with us because, I'm not going to lie, her and that chair are heavy.  So picture her daddy with her, getting her out of her car seat, putting her in her wheelchair and getting her all strapped in.  It's something I've seen him do hundreds of times, well it fell differently on a sweet lady who stopped her car to tell him that just watching him with his daughter was the only Mother's Day present she needed that day...a complete stranger.

We never know when others are watching, even in our most regular every day tasks we can encourage someone else through our attitude and actions.  After I was able to somewhat contain my tears I told Grey it was my dream to take care of all privilege and my pleasure.       

Psalm 37:23 "A man's steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way."          

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Creek

Counting down the last couple of weeks of school, the boys cooled off in the creek at the beginning of what's sure to be a hot southern summer.

All you have to do with these boys is "just add water," they make their own fun and I love that about them.

Grey's checking out the crayfish they caught...
Don't worry we adhere to a strict "catch and release" policy.

Love Jacob's reflection in the picture below.

Skippin' rocks...

Can you tell that he dressed himself?  That outfit is an absolute mess.  I can promise you that he sees nothing wrong with it which is why I still lay out his clothes for him each morning for school.

Yes, Sassy was there too.  She can't get in creek or lake water because of her feeding tube, but her brothers were there and she was outside, so she was happy.

There's not much time left in this school year, not much time left with all of them at the same school, not much time left before I have a middle schooler, not much time till our days are spent sleeping late and swimming.  Come on summer, we're ready. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


We sang these words yesterday morning in church...

"When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, It is well with my soul."

Growing up in church, I have sung these words all my life and they have never meant more to me than they do today. Through tears I barely got the words out, sometimes only as whispers of words, but with voice quivering I sang.

The old hymns of our faith are so precious to me.  I have so many favorites and so many memories surrounding those old hymns.  "The Old Rugged Cross" has to be the most dear to me.  It was one of my grandmother's favorites and was sung at her funeral.  To this day I find it hard to get through even one verse of that song, but what a message it brings through song about how as Christ followers we should "cherish the old rugged cross."

My grandparents went to the same church that I went to growing up and from time to time I would sit with them and fondly remember my grandmother singing "Jesus Paid it All."  Now a little background information that you need to know about my grandmother (my dad's mom) is that she couldn't sing in tune, bless her heart, but it was a known fact.  Grandmama could cook like no one else but she couldn't sing on key to save her life.  It never stopped her from singing, though and I remember standing next to her in church when she would sing out the high chorus, "Jesus paid it all," in all it's of key glory.  Y'all it's a high pitched chorus and she would just belt it to my ears as I think back on it today.  

Sweet memories of a small church where you knew everyone, holding the church hymnal as we sang the 1, 2 and 4th stanzas.  Standing during the invitation singing "Just as I am" more times than not.  God was laying a ground work of faith in my life through my parents, grandparents, family members and many many others in my childhood church who loved and cared for me so much.

This is the church I grew up in, Mullins Station Baptist Church in Memphis, TN.  That playground to the right didn't exist when I went there, but otherwise it looks the same to me.  That main building up front was our sanctuary and written on the arch right above the front door are the words "God is Love."  

The legacy of the people of my childhood church did not stay within those walls.  I have carried their faithfulness and their example with me all of my life.  Even though I may have not seen it so clearly then, I know God was laying a foundation of faith in my life through His people.  I came to know Christ in and through this church and was baptized there as well.  Faithfully, unwavering and beside me every step were my parents and grandparents.  I'm so grateful for the legacy of faith in my life.

Philemon 1:4 "I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers."  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Field Trippin'

I had the privilege of going on a field trip with Cooper this week and  for those of you who know we well, no I am not being sarcastic.  It was truly a privilege.  I have shared before that I missed being able to go on field trips after Sophie Kate was born.  Her care, appointments, hospitalizations, therapy, etc was all consuming.  I did nothing in those first few years that didn't involve her. Four years later, we have a regular nurse and SK goes to preschool 3 days a week therefore a whole new world has opened up for me.  A world that includes field trips with my boys.  I have been able to go on at least 1 field trip with each of them this year and believe me that is quite an accomplishment.

This week I found myself with my oldest and some of his friends at Target doing some creative math.  We dealt with percentages, price per ounce, division, multiplication and much more "real world" applications.  These boys are smart.  They weren't allowed to use calculators but thank goodness I was.  So once everyone had their answers, I would check them against my calculation and they were always spot on.

I can honestly say it was a pleasure to hang with those boys.  They were funny, respectful, smart and extremely capable.  As we wrapped up and my group joined back up with their classmates to board the bus back to school, Cooper caught my eye and mouthed these two words to me..."thank you."  Those two words meant just as much to me as the huge hug Grey runs and gives me every time he sees me at school.  It makes me happy that this boy/child/young man still wants me hanging around.  

Another thing I learned today...I am not smarter than a fifth grader, ha ha!