"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven." Ecc. 3:1

Photo credit to darlingbydesignphotography.com

Monday, December 31, 2007

Kids Home for Break = No Computer Time for Me

It is a cool, sunny New Years Eve Day. The house is relatively quite. Harper is asleep, Jody and Hudson are watching a basketball game, Sydney is playing at her friend's house, and Carson is vegged out watching "John & Kate Plus 8". I decided to sneak away for a minute and capture some of our last few weeks.

We have had a great Christmas! As I sit here and recall the last several days I feel the smile form on my face. Celebrating this first Christmas with Harper has been terrific. If she could talk I think she would say her favorite part was eating the bows and wrapping paper?! Carson got some more Webkinz (like she needed more of those), skates, fuzzy Crocs, an American Girl doll, and some clothes she wanted. Sydney has been learning how to play her Nintendo DS and has enjoyed her new American Doll as well. She also got a house for these (ugly) little pets that have big bobble heads. Hudson enjoys all his new toys that he can throw, hit, shoot, or wrestle.
My favorite gift has been Jody's extended vacation. He has been off for 11 days...1 more to go. We have also loved being in our new home. Since we decided to build a few years ago I have looked forward to having our family and friends here to celebrate this season. It has been great having plenty of space for everyone to be together, I am very grateful for that.

As happy as I am for Christmas to come, I am also ready when it is all over. I often find myself frustrated with all the "extra" that we as a society have added to this season. I can't for the life of me understand why people that do not believe in Jesus celebrate Christmas. It seems that we have taken the awesome birth of our Savior and "ho ho hoed it" into something that it was never meant to be. I'm really not trying to be a scrooge here, I love giving gifts and spending time with the people I treasure the most. I just find myself questioning our motives and our hearts every year when Christmas rolls around. Here's another question I have, we hear so much about Angel Tree, visiting nursing homes, and giving to those who are less fortunate during Christmas. What are we doing the other 364 days? Are we just adding this "extra" work during the holiday to make ourselves feel better about the hundreds of dollars we are spending and all of those parties we are going to?

OK, I'll stop now! Whew, maybe I had more to get off my chest than I realized. We are off to a new year and I am more blessed than I could have ever asked for or imagined. I guess instead of sharing my frustrations with this computer I should ask my Creator for some advice.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Just Random

There's not much to report on around this place lately. Things are actually quite calm.....kind of like the calm before the storm?? Here are some of our random comings and goings:

Kids Christmas program was last night-I think it was the best one yet. It was a little strange having 3 children on stage. Hudson was dreading it....he was almost in tears before it started but he did a great job (I actually bribed him....cappachino and Christmas lights at the park...it worked).

Harper has enough hair to wear hair bows now!

Murray still is not house trained....good thing he is so darn cute.

I still have several Christmas gift purchases. Oddly enough, I'm not really stressed about it.

We are going to see "Wicked" in 18 days!!!

Jody's office Christmas party is here on Friday. Even stranger (is that a word), I'm not worried about that either?!

We have had 2 Saturdays in a row with nothing to do...I love that!

I am still reading "Sacred Marriage", having a hard time finishing it up.

That's about it! Be back soon.....

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Saturday, December 8, 2007

Christmas Cards

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas cards. I love getting them, especially the ones with a sweet picture and a letter recounting the year. I love to display them and look at them throughout the month. My kids especially love this. We often get cards from friends from college and family that we don't see very often. I used to love sending them also. When our family was a tad bit smaller I could set them in front of the tree and take a great shot. I even used to enjoy setting down at night when everyone was asleep and addressing them. It felt like I was sending a small present and sharing our family with those who are so special to us.

I don't know when this all changed! I must confess that last year I did not send out one card. Maybe I get a special pass on that considering I was 6 months pregnant and not living in our own home. But, now here we are. All week long I have thought that this Sunday I need to get everyone up and dressed earlier than normal so that we can get a picture for "the card" before church. Oh, the stress!! Now you see, Sunday mornings are not always a nice occasion around this place. "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" is not heard, instead it is something like this, "Do you have your Bible... did you brush your teeth... where is the diaper bag..... get in the car we are going to be late"!! You are probably thinking, do the card some other time during the week....well, the kids wear uniforms to school everyday and that just won't do?! The rest of the time they are either in dance leotards, soccer shorts, play clothes, etc. So tomorrow it is! I will get everyone up a little bit earlier, have their clothes laid out and ready to go and we will all stand in front of the tree and "cheese". Oh, the things we do, who came up with the tradition of Christmas cards anyway......must have been Hallmark?!?


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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Victoria Secret and the Bible??

On the way home this afternoon I was thinking about something I read this morning in 2 Corinthians...(2 Cor. 2: 14-15) "But thanks to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." So how might this relate to Victoria Secret? I was there a few days ago (with my 89 year old Granny....little awkward) looking at all of their new scents and lotions. I am a sucker for body butter and they had one that I loved...."Romantic Wish." It had the sweetest smell. As soon as I lifted the container to my nose I smiled. It was just that sweet! So how awesome is "the aroma of Christ"? I can't comprehend that! I want to spread the "fragrance of the knowledge of Him". I want Him to be pleased with me....I want to smell that good! I also thought about the Israelites so many years ago that would offer the incense in the tabernacle. That aroma that was also so pleasing to Him. It was His requirement before they could continue with their sacrifices. God loves smells! WOW! Double WOW!

His Word is beautiful...It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am thankful that I am the "aroma of Christ" to the King of Kings (and a little body butter never hurts)!?!?

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Have you ever.....

Have you ever experienced a gynecological exam with an 8 month old baby on your lap? This is not fun and something I would never recommend. The large "paper towels" that they give you to wrap your naked self with don't last long.....especially while setting and waiting 30 minutes on the exam table. What was I to do, get up and walk around?? Babies do not set still and they pull and tear at your "paper towel" until basically there is nothing, and then the doctor walks in and you might as well just be setting there naked for all to see!! When you are pregnant and excited to be having a baby this isn't so bad (the naked for all to see part), but not so much when you're just there for your yearly check up.

Moving on......I am off to lunch with a friend (Los Amigos is calling my name) and then to the mall for a little Christmas shopping. I am thankful to be spending my day in sweats and not a "paper towel".

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Friday, November 30, 2007

Come on girl, pull it together

As I set down to type this post I am watching my puppy (that is still far from house trained) chew up my pretty red Christmas bow. You know what, I'm going to let him chew....chew Murray chew! Harper is asleep and I have about 30 minutes until I have to pick up the others from school. My house is a WRECK, I have no idea what we are eating for dinner tonight, and I just remembered that I forgot to buy a wedding gift at the mall (that I just came from)?!?

It has been one of those weeks. If you asked my family to vote for the "Mom of the Year" award I would not receive one stinkin' vote. The long Thanksgiving break last week was wonderful. I think I am sulking because I want to go back. I told Jody earlier that I am not meant for "school", I am meant for "breaks". I have got to pull it together, I have 18 more years of this stuff!! Things go much smoother around our house if I get up before the kids, spend some time with Jesus, and then get everyone else up and going. We can normally pull off a pretty nice, non-rushed, easy morning....they may even get breakfast. Nope, not this week. I can't drag myself out of bed and I can't sleep at night (I stayed up Wed. night watching this crazy show about a 7' 8" Japanese women and eating doughnuts...me eating the doughnuts, not her). This morning for breakfast they ate pop tarts and goldfish in the car on the way to school, I wouldn't vote for me either.

Tired of my pity party yet, me too! Well, tomorrow is a new day. I'll pull it together. What choice do I have.....

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007


If you have ever read Gary Chapman's book "The Five Love Languages of Children" you will understand Sydney's language....time. She is very simple to please and doesn't require much. Most of the time she would rather be at home, writing, coloring, or playing with her Polly Pocket Cruise Ship. She loves playing with Carson and Hudson and mothering Harper. To put it simply, she just wants to be with us. If you will just "be" with her she is happy! A few weeks ago her and Jody decided to read "Enchanted" in preparation to see the movie when it came to the theatre. Well the time is here. They have layed in her bed many nights and read their way through this love story. Tonight they will see the movie and I am sure enjoy a big bag of buttery popcorn and large Cherry Coke.

I am so thankful for this precious girl and a daddy who is willing (and wants) to read to his daughter and take her on a date to the movies. I'm just a little jealous that I can't tag along?!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Who is That Girl?

As I was pulling into my driveway this weekend I saw Jody and a pretty young girl standing out by his truck. She had long brown hair and a cute little figure. She stood almost as tall as Jody, dressed in a pair of "hip" jeans and adorable pair of boots. Who is this girl?? As I got closer my heart sank, it was Carson. You know how sometimes as a mom we see our kids all the time, but we don't really "see them"?!? This was one of those moments. The reality that my sweet baby is growing up fell on me hard. I am entering a new stage of motherhood. Gone are the days that she wants me to rock her and watch Barney while she drinks chocolate milk from a sippie cup. She can now make herself anything she wants to eat or drink. I can no longer give her a bath. She takes her own showers, washes her hair, and shaves under her arms. I don't pick out her clothes any more. She has her own opinion of what she likes and what makes her feel beautiful. She also washes them herself and can put them all away. We now spend our time talking about her friends, school, and how her body is changing instead of vegged out in the floor playing "Candyland" with her small fingers rubbing my ear.

I remember when she was born feeling very intimidated and fearful. Can I do this? I have never been a mom before. Can I give her everything she needs? Why is she crying? Is she sick? Should I call the doctor? Why won't she sleep? And then gradually, day by day, I figured it out. I don't question myself any more about caring for the basic needs of a baby. But now I find myself questioning myself all over again. Fear creeps in often and I feel unequipped to mother a pre-teen. I don't even know that I want to. I want my baby girl back?!? But even as I type that I am reminded that she is not mine, none of them are. They are His. This is His plan, not mine. I am just His vessel! So I will trudge on!! I will continue buying her new bras and we will keep talking about "that boy," her first crush (yes she has one....I have been sworn to secrecy)! Everyday I will ask for His help and an extra dose of grace and mercy to cover me when I mess up! Boy, am I going to need it!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Little of This...A Little of That

Not to much to report on around this place the last week or so. No one else throwing up (me or Hudson) or peeing in the bed (just Hudson)!? We have had a wonderful break! Thanksgiving was very nice. We had lunch with Jody's family and then visited at mom's for a little while in the afternoon. We capped the day off with popcorn and a movie....lots of fun! On Friday we said good-bye to the scarecrows on the front porch and replaced them with small Christmas trees with white lights. The kids and I decorated the tree and I am now in Christmas shopping mode.

Jody and I are working very hard to keep our schedule as free as possible over the next month or so. "To much of a good thing is NOT a good thing" around our house. We like our "down" time!!

I do have one "bloggable" moment that occurred between Syd and I one night while we were just chatting:

Me: Syd, what is the one characteristic you want in the man you marry?

Syd: A Christian

Me: Is there anything else?

Syd: Yeah. You know that right now it would bother me if his legs didn't work right or he was sick or something. But, it won't bother me when I get older. (This may have come from to much "Little People, Big World).

I felt the tears in my eyes, how I pray that her sweet, compassionate heart never changes!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is Typical?!

Here is our night last night:

I am in bed at 8:30 p.m. because I feel so nauseated from taking 2 birth control pills in one day (I had to do this because I forgot the day before, well actually two days before). I also took some Phengrin which helped with the vomiting, but KNOCKED ME OUT!

Jody is in charge! Hudson doesn't want to go to bed, he says his head hurts. In his words, "I have a broken bone right here (pointing to his forehead) in my skull." Jody says "No you don't, go to bed" (this will eventually come back to bite him). Jody proceeds to take Sydney to bed. He reads two chapters to her and then they both fall asleep. We don't really know when Carson went to bed (it's tough being the oldest). Jody finally wakes up from Syd's bed and comes to our bed. At some point during the night I hear a terrible coughing, belching sound come from Hudson's room, but I was to drugged to realize what was going on. Hudson never calls for us so I go back to sleep. At 2:00 a.m. Hudson comes down the hall announcing he has peed in is bed. Jody goes with him back to his room and he has indeed peed, but he has also thrown up at some point...I guess that was that coughing, belching sound I heard??? Jody doesn't think Hudson puked, he guesses maybe it was Murray the dog?!?! This made no sense, Murray had been in his kennel since 8:30 p.m. I think he would have noticed when he put Hudson to bed if it had been Murray?!? Jody takes Hudson's sheets, goes out the back door and flings the "thrown up particles" off the back porch into the yard. I guess this his idea of cleaning it up?!? Hudson's now back asleep. It's 4:00 in the morning and I wake up with a child sleeping "underneath" me. I set up in bed, "Who is this?" (the Phinegrin still has not worn off). Jody responds, "It is Syd, she had a bad dream."

The alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. and we are off to another day!!

If you see my man today give him a pat on the back.....He deserves a good nap!! Love Ya Babe!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I have been without a computer for several days now and I have missed it! I have noticed that I will take the time to play around on this thing, but when it comes to laundry and cleaning the house I am just overwhelmed???

Here is the Halloween picture from that post (it went M.I.A.).
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I am reading a book now called "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. I am not very far into it yet, but I have found some very profound statements that have stuck with me. I couldn't even get past the subtitle, "What if God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?" If this is true, than how does He do that? Referring to his own marriage, Gary says, "I found there was a tremendous amount of immaturity within me that my marriage directly confronted. The key was that I had to change my view of marriage. If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me "happy," then I'd have to get a "new" marriage every two or three years. But, if I really wanted to see God transform me from the inside out, I'd need to concentrate on changing myself rather than on changing my spouse. In fact, you might even say, the more difficult my spouse proved to be, the more opportunity I'd have to grow." Hummm.....

The last year has been difficult for Jody and I. We have fussed and argued more this year than in the last 10 years of our marriage. The circumstances of "life" and the difficulties of moving, building, having a baby, and managing the "busyness" of 4 children have waged a battle. I have found myself frustrated with him and I know that he has felt the same. I have been difficult, grumpy, self-centered, and stubborn. I think that is why the last sentence above from the book hit so close to home. This sounds crazy, but the more difficult things have been for Jody and I the more I love him (after I get passed wanting to choke him......) God has used this last year to strengthen our commitment to Him, each other, and our family. We have continually been forced to show forgiveness, compassion, and undeserving love to each other. Pride has gone out the door and humbleness has stepped in many, many times. Isn't that what it is like with Jesus? Maybe that is what He is trying to teach me about marriage.

(Gary Thomas also has the best book on parenting I have ever read...."Sacred Parenting"....got to read that one.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Trick or Treat

Here are our "Trick or Treaters". We had a great night. We had chili at mom's and then hit the neighborhood across the street for lots of good candy and treats with Aunt Nae Nae, Nat, and Reese. We decided to skip the Fall Festival this year (YEAH) and spend a little more time going door to door.

I found a good article about how we as Christians should handle this "goolish" holiday. You know what I learned......Satan and his evil spirits are no more active on Halloween than they are any other day of the year. Any day is a good day for Satan to prowl around "seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8). But, "greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). Christian's in Europe many years ago created "All Saints Eve" as an alternative to the pagan's "Halloween". Halloween (originally known as Samhain) was created to celebrate the last harvest, death, and the upcoming winter. These pagans believed that the during this time the dead would come alive and walk along with the living. Christians wanted an alternative. So, Pope Gregory IV created All Saints Day....check out John McArthur's Grace to You website for more.

Be Still My Heart

What more can I say.......The picture with the lips we see quite often since we have two new teeth....love it!!!!
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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Crew at The Apple Barn

Another photo from Gatlinburg....after we stuffed ourselves at the Apple Barn. This has replaced our Thanksgiving Feast since we are often not together for this holiday. Notice our three "new additions" to this fine tradition...Aiden, Harper, and William (two of these just born this year and one "born" into our family by marriage)?!?

Thanks for a great time.....we love you all!!!
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We love this place........beautiful mountains with fall leaves, dips in the hot tub, strolls through downtown Gatlinburg, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, ice skating (not my favorite), go cart races, and LOTS of talking and laughing!!! This has become a tradition that we look forward to every year. Time with my extended family (the Gilmores and Browns) may not be as often as I would like, but it never disappoints. The highlight this year was my grandaddy's prayer on the morning we left. He shared with all of us what he prays each night.....he asks for God to give us wisdom and courage and he asks for His blessing on each of our lives. He said he prays for each of us by name (he joked that it takes him exactly 17 minutes). I was so thankful that my kids could set at his feet and hear those words. What an awesome heritage. I love you grandaddy!!
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Monday, October 22, 2007

Brown County

Recuperation! That is what I need....from an intense shopping weekend with Nae, Sherry, Me Maw, Retie and of course Miss HM (still not done nursing...but even if she were I know I could not have left her for 3 days.) We have done this trip maybe 3-4 times over the last several years. The main goal is Christmas shopping, but we always seem to come home with lots of other great "finds" that have nothing to do with Christmas?? Me Maw is such a trooper. She had to rest a little more than in years past (reading a good book in the van) but I believe a good time was had by all.

When I was pushing the stroller around the outlet mall and watching the hundreds and hundreds of shoppers I was hit hard....I believe that we (all people) are created with a deep desire within for something real. We can push it away, we can ignore it, or we can cover it up, but it doesn't ever go away. We are created to be with God, to feel His presence and I found myself craving that this weekend. The things that used to "fill" me don't get it anymore. Don't get me wrong, I like to wear nice clothes that make me feel pretty and I like to decorate my home with things that look nice, but that in itself is empty. I don't have to think back very far to remember when those things brought me happiness. This weekend was a new point of realization. I almost ached at times to be with Him, I found myself feeling the wind and the sunshine in a new way. It soothed my ache and made me recognize that I truely am a work-in-progress. He is working on me, changing me! I was never designed to be content with the things of this world. I ask for more of Him and less of me! We have a long way to go......"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Monday, October 15, 2007

Well...it's Monday and I am on a mission. After almost a year of being pregnant, selling our home, moving in with the in-laws, building a house, having a baby, and starting back to school (my what a year) I have no "groove". The housework is swallowing me, the kids have huge amounts of homework, and I have a long list of decorating/settling in things that I want to do around the house. I feel like I just keep turning around in circles and accomplishing nothing. So I am a mission to get a little more organized and systemized (is that a word) around here. My goal is to spend Monday at home doing laundry, cleaning, etc and then Tues. run all the errands I need to for the week. That means on Wed. I will be free to go to chapel with the girls, maybe take them lunch, and then get ready for our parent/kid date night on Wed. Thursdays are always busy because I have Bible Study (I think I have gotten all my work done maybe once) and then the evenings are busy studying with the kids for their tests on Friday. Hopefully this will free up my weekends to play, relax, and have lots of family fun?!? Does anyone care about this but me?? I just hope that Miss HM agrees with my new schedule...

We had a great weekend! J and I went out for a while on Friday night. We ate dinner, went to the bookstore, got coffee, drove around and talked...very nice. H had his first flag-football game and C had a friend come over on Saturday afternoon. They played outside and J and I vegged out watching the UK vs LSU game.....go Cats! On Sunday we went to church and then had lunch at Jody's parents. The kids love playing with their cousins, it is one of their top 3 favorite things to do EVER! The weather was beautiful, sunny and cool, just the way I like it.

HM is growing so fast. She has her first tooth now and is setting up! BEAUTIFUL I am going to stop nursing this week. I believe it is time...a little sad though. I told J yesterday, how amazing that our God created a woman's body to feed a child, to give that child all he/she needs to survive. How creative, how awesome!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Special Things"

A few weeks ago J and I decided that one night every week he or I would take one child out for a few hours for some special one-on-one time. With 4 kids one-on-one time can be rare. So tonight it was my turn with H. I have looked forward to this all week. H is such a daddy's boy, and he used to be a mommy's boy. The day of his 4th birthday he woke up with a little body full of testosterone and has been "all boy" ever since. So, I couldn't wait until I could have him all to myself tonight. We had a wonderful time, played glow golf, bought a dinosaur book at BAM, and had cheeseburgers at McDonalds. He talked the ENTIRE time.....about dinosaurs, about how fast cars go, and about how much each member of our family weighs?? But the best part, he didn't want to come home. He wanted to have more of our "special thing". He cheered for me while playing put-put and wanted me to hold him at BAM while reading the dinosaur book. I pray often that God will show me how to be the mom he needs. It just comes easier with the girls. They are so eager to talk and share their feelings. They want me to hold them and rock them and sleep with them at night. I can "get" that! It is just a little harder for me to "mother" him. I don't really like wrestling in the floor (he hurts) or seeing how far I can spit off a bridge?!? But, I want my relationship with him to be real and deep rooted in our hearts. I want him to know how much I love him and what a treasure he is to me.......

Diving In

I have decided to take the plunge. This past weekend we were camping and J said..."I really think you need to start your own blog." That was like music to my ears and what I needed to get started. So here we go....I have always believed this would be a terrific way to preserve these days for my children to have and read when they are older. I hope to share our life, this beautiful and crazy "season" we are walking through. It might be on the brink of insanity, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in this world.