Thursday, September 29, 2011

Box of Sunshine

You know how life has ups and downs....

The last few months have been downers....not devastating....not my world is falling apart....not woe is me.....but definitely down.

It has been difficult having Randy out of work.  It has been sad having Granddaddy die.  I have had some other family stuff that is not my information to share...but it has been a strain.  I've had some sadness and struggle with THE GIRL and THE TWINKIE BOY's learning issues.  I have been growing into my new role as mom to a full fledged teenager.  It has been a year of change, loss, transition.  Nothing earth shattering but just difficult.

When life is down there is nothing like a box of Sunshine.  I wish everyone had an encourager in their life like Jill Kelly has been to me.  She has consistently built me up.  Not just during the last few months....but really for quite some time.  Always quick to build me up.  Always a kind word on her lips.  Always speaking truth and courage into my life and heart.  Everyone needs a Jill.  She will probably be embarrassed because she has such a gentle and quiet spirit but she is such an amazing person that I think everyone should know!  She knows when I need a good book and is quick to loan me one from her library and she knows when I need a prayer and she prays it and she knows when I need a hug or a note or a kind word and she gives it lavishly and freely.

She even knew I needed a box of Sunshine and she sent it to me.  SWEETEST GIFT EVER!  She wrapped 10 separate gifts and sent a note telling me to open one gift a day....and no cheating (she knows me too well).  I can't even begin to tell you what these gifts meant to me.  They were such kind, nice, thoughtful, encouraging gifts.  What a treasure Jill is.  She is my SUNSHINE!  I hope I can be a sunshine in someones life like she has been to me.  I am so grateful for Jill and have a special place in my heart for her!

Thank you Jill and all you other encourager's.  What a gift you are.  Your notes, your kindnesses, your pats on the back give the boost that I need to keep at it.  The Lord is using you in my life and the lives of so many others.  It is my prayer that I can be that type of person.  One who speaks only to build up another.  I want to be one who speaks truth and kindness and mercy over people.  I am grateful for all those who have done that for me.  Thank you Jill.  You are precious!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Twinkie Girl

This has been a big weekend for my little Twinkie Girl.....

She lost her first tooth!  It has been hanging on for about a month.  I get freaked out by loose my neighbor Michelle offered to pull it out and Twinkie Girl was thrilled!  Twinkie Boy...not so thrilled.  He wants to loose a tooth too....and he doesn't have any loose teeth.  So he was begging us to "punch him in the face so he could have a loose tooth."  Needless to say we said....NO!

So....I realized that I don't blog much about sweet middle girl.  She is such a sweet girl.  Really delightful.  She informed me last week that she didn't want to be a "twinkie" anymore.  She wants to be her own person!  Awww....sweet girl.  I tried to assure her she is her own person.  She doesn't understand why she can't have her own birthday, her own age, her own class at church....ahhhh....if it's not one thing it is another.  So we made a BIG deal about how she got to loose her own tooth!  No one else lost one except her!  She was VERY happy!
The Two Toothless Wonders

Lydia also REALLY enjoyed having her hair done by Ms. Pam her new favorite!
The way to Lydia's heart is by playing with her hair and she has a new buddy!

So pretty!
Lydia was so proud of her hair-do.  She kept walking around swinging her hair.  Then she would reach back and feel it and make sure it was still fixed.  She begged us to let her sleep with it of course we said yes!

Thank You Ms. Pam!
Lydia is also taking dance this year....THANK YOU Grammy and Peepaw!
This Girly Girl LOVES dance!
Now we just have to get Ms. Pam to fix her hair for the recital or teach her mom how!

Other BIG News....
Twinkie Girl is READING!!!!  I'm so excited for her.  It is VERY difficult to be as excited as I want to be because it is VERY painful for THE GIRL that little sis is starting to read with such ease and so little instruction.  So I am REALLY happy for Lydia...and THE BABY is right on her heels and seems to be on the verge of reading.  She's blending sounds.  HOWEVER....TWINKIE BOY....not even close....I am just praying for THE GIRL.  It hurts to see her hurt!
I am excited and proud of my Sweet Twinkie Girl!
I'm glad she has had a special week.  She is a special one of a kind person...and I LOVE her!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The 2:00 AM Blog Post

Yes it is 2:00AM, well 1:56 to be exact, and I am blogging.  I went to bed no problem....and I woke up in a panic.....this is where I struggle.  In the busyness of the day I am okay.  When I am speaking truth and alert I am able to redirect my sometimes fearful thoughts AND.....when I go to bed I am usually so exhausted I don't have time to think or to ponder.......BUT here is my weak spot:  I fall asleep.....and then for whatever reason....a dream, a noise, a needy child, a barking dog, a snoring husband......I wake up.....and if I had enough sleep to count as a nap....I am in TROUBLE.
So I lay and my mind starts to wonder.....
Should I look for a job?  What if Randy never finds a job?  What kind of example are we setting for our kids....neither of us working?  What if we're ruining their lives?  How can I fix this?  How can we make this work?  and the questions start to assault me and fear creeps in and doubt and anger and frustration and I PANIC.

So....I wake up and I cry.  I cry because I'm tired.  I cry because I can't make it better.  I cry because I don't know what to do.  I cry because I'm scared.  I cry because I may indeed be ruining my children's lives.  I cry because I'm weak.  I cry because I feel like a loser.  I feel alone.  I feel I have nothing to give to anyone.....I'm fresh out...and so I cry.  I cry because I have so little faith.

Then....I remember......
God is love.....I worked on this verse all week with my little Cubbie Bear.  TRUTH

Then I remember it is a new day (because it is....technically the AM) so I am due another gift from my Sunshine Box (I'll post more about this later) and so I open a gift and it is a scripture calendar....and I turn to today's Scripture and it says "Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God!  Let Your good spirit lead me on a level path!  TRUTH

Then I turn to my pondering for the week and am reminded afresh..."What we are suffering now is nothing compared with the glory that will be shown in us."  TRUTH

Then I think about how quickly I believe the lies.....I am not a loser I am a child of God dearly loved.  I am not alone...ever....besides my own personal entourage I am also walking around with the Holy Spirit in me!  WOW!  I do have something to give.....I can give love.  I can give encouragement.  I can give time.  I can give a smile.  I can give a pat on the back. 

And then I am reminded....
Randy has worked, for pay, for some portion of almost every week of his unemployment.
He is a hard worker.  He is diligent.  He is smart.  He is gifted. 
This is a season.  A season of painful pruning. 
I don't like it....BUT
We have been blessed by sweet gifts, in ways that are so humbling and so extravagant I can not even begin to tell you.  I am not a shopper, I mean I do enjoy it....but I don't do it....and yet I have been shopping more since Randy was unemployed then I ever went before....because of sweet and generous gift cards given in secret.  UNBELIEVABLE!  I am ashamed that I would worry when the Lord not only has provided but has absolutely spoiled us.

I think part of the problem is I am prideful.  I do not want to accept gifts.  I do not want to be in need.  I want to have it all together.  I want to be self-reliant.  I want to provide for our family...and the Lord is humbling me and teaching me lessons that I need to learn....even though I do not want to learn them.

And now....I'm going to go to bed....or read about Overcoming Dyslexia.....YES I have issues!

Thanks for letting me vent......
"Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"  my Little TNT's verse this week...


Monday, September 19, 2011

The Apple did not Fall Far from the Tree

So.....tonight I was tucking my girl into bed.  She has been wanting me to paint her room for some time...and I just never find time.  So she was busy planning how she wanted it to look.  She then informed me that we would need to take down all her pictures and posters in order to paint.  Then she got really excited...and yelled, "OR WE COULD PAINT REAL CLOSE UP TO THE EDGES...and NOT EVEN PAINT UNDER THEM!"  She was thrilled with her idea!  I think she was hoping if she could save me some time I may bite the bullet and finally paint....

I meanwhile am about to roll off her bed because I am laughing so hard.  Her excitement and her idea brought back a memory of early in our marriage.  One I hadn't thought of in years!

About 10 years ago....I spur of the moment decided Randy and my bedroom needed to be repainted.  I had always hated the peach color of the walls....and thought a nice cheery yellow would look so nice with our blue and white bedspread.  So I ran to Home Depot, bought the paint, and headed home determined to have it finished so I could surprise Randy.  Little did I know what I had gotten myself into.  So I painted and painted and painted.  I like my girl decided to just paint around a few our bed and our dresser.  I thought it was a brilliant idea.....the furniture was heavy....the room was big....nobody would notice.....Randy didn't think my idea was quite so genius!  Oh what a funny memory~  I can't even imagine what the movers thought when we moved out a few years later.....

What a funny memory...I wish I had pictures to go with it! apple most definitely did not fall far from the tree!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fall is in the Air

Yesterday was just delightful!

We slept in late.  We woke up to a nice autumn chill!  The temperature change was celebrated by my entire tribe.  During morning recess it was decided we should all wait and have a late lunch....if Mama would make Potato Soup.....PLEASE!!! could I say no?

Since it wasn't on the menu...I didn't have everything I needed for the prescribed we compromised....and it was YUMMY!

Potato Chowder Soup how we made it......
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup chopped onion
1t. salt
2 cups milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 package frozen corn nibblets in light butter sauce
2 1/2 cup Shredded cheddar cheese
Crumbled Bacon and sour cream for garnish

(I doubled this recipe and we had leftovers)

Place potato, carrots, onion and salt in a large pot covered with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Meanwhile Combine milk and flour in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir constantly until it is smooth and thick.  Pour milk mixture into cooked vegetables.  Stir in corn and Cheese.  Let corn get warm and butter and cheese melt.  Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and crumbled bacon....YUM YUM!

I will definitely be making this again this fall!
Hope you have a great weekend.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's in the Box

I haven't blogged much about school this here is what the boy did today.
He finished reading Amos Fortune Free Man which is based on the true story of a man who was born in Africa, captured by slave traders when he was fifteen, sold as a slave in America, and freed when he was fifty-nine. Amos Fortune's life illustrates the triumph of a patient and peaceful man who deeply values freedom, responsibility, and the respect each human being owes to others.
The Boy enjoyed reading this book.

He is also taking a speech and debate class in co-op.  So he started working on this weeks speech.  It is an acceptance speech.  His partner is giving a speech presenting him with an award....and he in return must give a speech accepting the award.  Most of his "work" today for speech was done via email as he and his partner were deciding what award he was going to be accepting.

For Spanish today he had to translate a paragraph written in Spanish into English.

For History today he contintued his reading on the Colonies and he had a quiz.

He practiced guitar....

He had Algebra....UGH!

He had a Physical Science Lab and write-up to complete.

(the wire you see in all the pictures is the boys beloved iPod....yes he has an iPod....but we make him keep it is afterall the same as a we have the same rules for it....but that is another post)

Geography.....learning about Jersey....I need to get Mrs. Shank over here!

Working on the Catchicisim...and Ephesians 1:1

That was it for today.  He didn't have any writing, for which he was thankful!  It was a light day for him.  He did play out in the yard.  Do some stuff around the house.  Got ready for the weekend.  He's at one of his public school friends houses for a sleepover tonight and he is going to one of his homeschool friends for a birthday party tomorrow....Air Soft Gun War!  So he is definitely syked for the weekend.  He is Mr. Social!

That is what the boy is up to with school today!
No pictures of him though...he doesn't love to have his picture taken!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Response to "Exposing the Major Blind Spots of Homeschooling"

I keep hearing about this article "Exposing Major Blind Spots of Homeschooling."  and have had several friends email it, blog about it, and ask my opinion on I finally read it today....and this is my take it for what it is worth :)

The Article can be found here

I am a parent first and foremost.  Homeschooling is how I have chosen to educate my children.  So when I read this article the first thing that strikes me is the heartache ANY parent would feel when their child chooses to turn their back on the training and teaching and values their parents have invested into them.  However if you have been a parent for any length of time or interacted with parents it doesn't take long to realize that this does happen.  I personally think it has very little to do with where your children were schooled or the amount of love or investment the parents have made.  I believe that God has a plan for each of his children.  I have seen fabulous parents have children who turn their back on the faith.  I have seen terrible parents raise children who do MIGHTY things for the kingdom.  I do think parents have input, in fact major input, into their children....I think that input matters....a lot.... BUT I do not think that they control the outcome.  NOBODY will parent perfectly aside from Christ. He gave us a free will and we are sinful by our very we will fall away.  People rebelling is not shocking to me.  The thought of my children sinning is not surprising to me.  I spend a lot of time with them.  I see their sin.  I am broken by their sin.  I am humbled by the way I must make my FATHER feel with my UGLY, UGLY sin.  Rebellious is what we are.  Even us homeschoolers!   HOWEVER his grace is enough....for public schoolers, homeschoolers, "perfect parents" and imperfect parents.  I believe the focus of this article is very inward and not very outward or upward.

I do not think that homeschool parents and public school parents are all that different.  I think we ALL want what is BEST for our kids.  I think we ALL want them to succeed.  I think homeschoolers and public schoolers can make their children idols.  We live in a country that caters to kids.  That thinks if a child wants something they should have it.  I think homeschoolers and public schoolers can emphasize outward form. All you have to do is turn on Dr. Phil and hear his latest on behavior management techniques to know the goal of many parents is to control behavior. I think homeschoolers and public schoolers have a tendency to judge.  Look at how we pick sides and point fingers.  I think homeschoolers and public schoolers can depend on formulas. I think this is often born out of the hearts desire to do the best.  I think homeschoolers and public schoolers have an over dependence on authority and control....and some believe their children should have all authority and control....when the truth is Authority and Control is Christ's alone!

Sheltering.....Ahhh.....this is a doozie.  Are we sheltering or protecting?  Are we "keeping them from the REAL world" or preparing them to live in it?  Are they to be salt and light in the darkness of public school (that is sarcastic) or are we feeding them to the sharks if we send them there?  Are some children OVER sheltered at home?....YES!  Are some children UNDER protected at school?.....YES!

Not passing on a pure faith.....I pray not.  Yet I know many parents are not.  Many times I am not.  I judge.  I sin.  I screw up and my homeschooled children have a front row seat.  My prayer is that God covers the holes.  That as I screw up.....they also see me confess....they also get a front row seat to the sanctification PROCESS....They don't see me blow up....drop them off....and pick them up again a totally different person.  They do get to see the WHOLE process.  The blow up.....the break down.....the confession.....the restoration.....and the NEW LIFE and FORGIVENESS IN CHRIST!
If my prayer is anything it is that the faith they see is REAL.  NOT PERFECT.....not LEGALISTIC.....NOT RIGHT...... BUT REAL and ALIVE and GROWING.

I do not even understand how it is possible to spend so much time with your kids and not cultivate a relationship with them.  That is sad.  If I do this homeschool gig....and it is NOT EASY....and IT IS A SACRIFICE....and at the end don't have a relationship with these precious people...and haven't conveyed to them the real purpose of life....then I truly have missed the point. 

So.....lets say I do this homeschool thing.....lets say I lay it all out and give it 100% and then my kids are not perfect......
Well....I didn't expect them to be.
What if the BOY goes wild in college.  THE GIRL get pregnant out of wedlock.  THE TWINKIES turn their back on the faith.  AND THE BABY wants nothing to do with her CrAzY family.  Well I would be devastated.  I would be crushed.  I would be heart broken beyond belief.  I may even blame myself and say I should have sent them to public school....

BUT What if I do. 

What if next year I quit.  I'm done.  I need a break and off they go to public school.  What if the BOY becomes a missionary.  THE GIRL is a virgin when she marries.  TWINKIE BOY becomes a preacher and TWINKIE GIRL marries a Christian camp leader and THE BABY grows up and becomes an AMAZING public school teacher touching kids with the love of the Lord.....I would be thrilled.  I would be so glad that I decided to send them to public school.  I may even I should have done that sooner......

BUT both would be wrong.  BECAUSE both focus on me and on them.  The truth is....nothing will woo them but the Holy Spirit.  If I homeschool and get great results it is not because I am so great.  If I homeschool and my kids are total losers it is not because I am so bad.  If I send them to public school and get great results it is not because I prepared them for the real world.  If I send them to public school and they are total losers it is not because I didn't sacrifice enough or love them enough or do enough.....The truth is not about me.  It is certainly not about how I school them.  IT IS ALL ABOUT HIM!

I do agree with the authors solution and conclusions.  I do think the key to how they "turn out" is getting their hearts.  I pray regularly that God would get their hearts.  I care very little about behavior.  Although I am often embarrassed by my children's behavior, lack of good manners, messiness, meanness.....etc.  I care a GREAT deal about their hearts.  Even now I pray that God would sew their hearts to his....whatever it takes....and mine too!  I think parenting matters.  I think we have one shot (or five).  However I am eternally grateful for grace that covers my parenting and homeschooling holes!

and that is what I think about that!

PS I know in the opening paragraph he directed this to homeschoolers and parents but he went on to "pick on" homeschoolers and their stereotype.  I'm just not one for stereotypes.  I don't like judging.....homeschoolers or public schoolers!

1 year ago....REPOST and Revised...

It's been a sad week for our church family. It started on Sunday with an announcement from our beloved Senior Pastor that it was time for him to step down. Our sweet Pastor has led our church for 23 years (I think that is right). He is a Godly man and he is a good man. I believe he is following God's leading and so I agree with him that it is time....but it is still hard. Losing someone you love is never easy. He became my pastor when I was about 14 years old. He was present when Randy purposed to me in front of the entire church! He performed our wedding ceremony, He came to see each of my children when they born, He ordained Randy as a deacon. He buried our sweet baby Matthew. He spoke God's truth into our life on a regular basis. He prayed for specifically for our oldest son Andrew and for him to develop leadership as he became a man. He baptized Andrew. He was present and participated in a Knighting Ceremony for Andrew. He has invested in my family and in me and I am going to miss him!

Goodbyes are hard.
As I was busy processing this loss I was caught totally off guard.....I received a call from a precious girlfriend early Tuesday morning that Joan had died. Joan is another pastor at our churches wife. She has been battling pancreatic cancer for about 7 months. She had come through chemo and surgery and things were looking good. We were praising God. I thought we had seen a miracle. I thought she was going to defy statistics. I was not expecting that phone call. I was devastated. Not just for the personal loss of a godly, humble, sweet lady and not just the loss to our church of a sweet servant but for the loss to her family. I can not imagine. I wish I had words to comfort them or a magic wand to take away their pain but I do not....BUT
This Much I Know.....
1. God Gives and God Takes Away May the Name of the Lord be Praised. God does what he wills when he wills but it does not change God or his worthiness of our praise. This was such a hard and painful lesson for me after losing our sweet baby boy but it is a verse from Job that God gave me during that time and it became an absolute Mantra/Life line for me. It reminded me regardless of how I felt that God deserved my praise.
2. God's Grace is sufficient. I remember feeling I could not survive and about 1 year after losing our sweet baby I realized a whole year had gone by. It was all a haze and it was all foggy and I didn't know how we had gotten through that year and how I could move and function but I know now it was only God's Grace. He poured it out on me through his word and through his people. It really is enough....alone and without anything else his grace IS enough.
3. I learned that I don't know what God is doing and I won't understand all the whys but it is okay to ask why. God could handle my questions. He could handle my pain. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH ASKING WHY. However....we will never fully understand why. I heard it explained as all of our lives are like a beautiful masterpiece tapestry and we only see the small piece in front of us and while we can see some of the beautiful work that Christ is doing we have no way of being far enough removed to see the entire beautiful masterpiece God is creating through all of our stories.
4. I learned that God is good ALL the time. That is easy when life is good but that is one hard pill to swallow when life is collapsing around you. However God gently and lovingly taught me that His character does not change with my circumstances. OUCH!
5. I learned that people say really stupid things when your hurting....but I also learned that people do it out of love and a lack of knowledge NOT out of trying to be mean.

Pain hurts and this life is full of real pain and real hurt and real suffering. I am so glad that I have a God who works all this pain for good. I don't understand it and I don't always feel it.....BUT I know this much is true.

I love you all and am praying for you.

I posted this originally one year ago today.  I went back and read it today.  It is good to be reminded of truth.  This has been a hard 12 months for my family.  We have had The Girl being diagnosed with dyslexia.  We have had Randy's job loss.  Grandaddy died.  We are dealing with a lat of issues surrounding that.  We have had a lot of unknowns....a lot of heartaches.....a lot of loss.....however the God I wrote about 1 year ago still on the throne.  He still loves me.  He is still in control.  I love that the Lord is steadfast.  I love that he doesn't change.  I love that he is using this time of loss to sanctify me.  He is drawing junk out of my heart that I didn't even know was there.  Ugly sin.  He is purifying, so, so far to go.

I was listening to a song this week that has been ministering to my heart:

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I am alone,
When I am alone,
When I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

When I come to die,
When I come to die,
When I come to die,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus.
Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus.
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
Just give me Jesus.

Happy Thursday!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekly Update

Wow...a week....In ways it seems this last week was a month...and in ways it seems like a moment.  So much happened.....

Sunday evening after church we went to the Labor Day Gathering at church.  It was a small crowd but I really enjoyed getting to hang out and visit.  One of the highlights for everyone was this.....

The kids really enjoyed watching the police dog in action!

Monday we hit the books and geared up for school!  My kids were none to happy to be in school on Labor Day but we were taking off school on Tuesday so Mommy could have her birthday they did have school on Monday :)

Twinkie Girl fell out of a wagon while she was trying to climb out at church.  The little boy who was pulling her had stopped and was chatting with some other children and she got up to get out and at the same time he stopped talking and began the ride again which sent Twinkie Girl tumbling.  She hit the floor hard on her arm...and I kept thinking she would be fine and that it wasn't a big deal....but she is still complaining today...and I'm starting to think she may be hurt :/  I may take her to the Orthopedic Dr. tomorrow.....
Tuesday was my Birthday....FUN!
Wendnesday....Cubbies started back so the kids were super syked!
Thursday we were back to Co-op

I don't know how you mom's do this every morning!  I am impressed with you.
Once a week is about all I can swing!
Friday we started school.  Got the call about Granddaddy so I gave the kids the work they could work on and left them with Randy...
and spent the day at Grandma's.
I came home super exhausted....and had a sweet and generous surprise from an unknown person.  Wow!  What an unexpected blessing.
My neighbors had us for dinner!
and not just dinner but Emma Kate and her sweet Mama had planned an impromptu party!

What a sweet idea!
So after baths we went to the neighbors for dinner!

Michele let My Girl help out, which she LOVED!

She even made yummy cupcakes for desert!

What sweet, sweet, neighbors!

The little ones watched a movie....
and the rest of us hung out and talked...

This is Tinkerbell our neighbors dog!
What a great end to such a sad day!
Today I was at RBC dropping the boy off for youth band practice and happened upon some Fire Department festival.
It was awesome!
The kids had a blast!

Looking forward to worship tomorrow.

I think about what I thought this week would hold....and what it actually held and I am reminded again that I am not in control!  I do not hold the future....HE does and he is TRUSTWORTHY and he IS Faithful and he is in control.  I can't think of anyone else I would rather trust!


Friday, September 9, 2011


For the last 3 months every time my phone would ring early in the morning and it would be my parents....I just knew they would be calling to say Granddaddy had died.  It was a call I dreaded.  Well I got that call today.  It was strange.  I was very sad.  He is the first grandparent that I have had to die.  I had a unique relationship with my Grandfather because he and my Grandmother had a child after I was born.  So I grew up with my aunt being a year younger then me and we grew up more like sisters/best friends.  I have a childhood filled with really great memories of my Grandfather.....However the last year has been bad.  He has wasted away.  It was painful to watch.  So a part of me was relieved that the suffering had ended.

What I will miss most about Granddaddy is the things he would say.....

" know I'm the oldest man in Durham."
"Dang you Kim..." (whenever I would tell people how old he was)
"Why are you  rushin off?" (after staying the ENTIRE day) which was often followed by "why don't ya'll just stay and spend the night?"
"I'm the meanest man in Durham"......which always made me laugh.....I don't know why he tried to convince us that he was mean :)

I'll miss his songs....
I'm pretty sure I got my tendency to randomly break out into songs from my Granddaddy.....
He loved to sing....
"Do your ears hang low"
"Lord have mercy Baby's got her blue jeans on"
and anything by The Highway Men.....

I'll never forget the early Saturday breakfasts at the old Waffle House....or lunches on the porch at Jimmy's Grill and how he would let us ride home in the back of his old black pickup truck.....(I would have a stroke if my parents let my kids do this.....oh but I loved it!)
Granddaddy's favorite meal was breakfast....and he always made BIG breakfasts....eggs, french toast, bacon....I can picture him in that kitchen at Regalwood clear as day....

And after dinner on Saturday nights he lay down on the couch with his leg propped on the back and he would watch Hee Haw and The Grand Ole Opray....

I remember the stories he told.....We constantly begged....Granddaddy tell us one of your stories....
About the alligator in the Eno River.....I wish I had taped it.....that was my favorite.  He was the best story teller.  For some reason a small part of me still thinks that story just might be true.  I always keep my eyes peeled for alligators lurking on the banks of the Eno!
About being stuck by his parachute in a tree in Germany while the Germans searched below for hours.....
About how he single handily organized the chemistry lab at Duke.....
He could spin a yarn....and I loved to listen to his stories about when he was a boy and how he grew up on Cole Mill Road and how while he and his 5 brothers played Cowboys and Indians the rest of the boys on the street would play Crabtree Boys because they were so wild and mean they were neighborhood legends.....oh Granddaddy....I'll miss your stories.

Granddaddy had 5 brothers and 1 sister.  All 6 of the boys fought in World War 2 and all 6 came home.  He and Grandma were married for 61 years.  He died at home this morning.  He just stopped breathing.  He was 89 years old.  He had a long life.  I will miss him.

Psalm 73:26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

I love you Granddaddy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes today was my birthday!  I must confess....I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY!  I mean you get gifts, cake, cards, friends saying nice stuff.....people sing to you.....what is not to love!

As for really doesn't bother me.  Now that I am 36...YIKES....I must admit that sounds OLD but I still don't feel old.  I wonder when you start to feel old???

I did learn that 36-54 is officially (according to who I don't know....) middle aged.  SO it is now official.....I am middle aged!

So today has been great.  I loved getting all the sweet facebook wishes!  So many sweet, sweet friends and great memories with each wish!  THANK YOU!  I loved getting cards and phone calls and gifts!  I loved spending last night with my parents and siblings celebrating with my SIL Holly, who is also a September baby.

One of the benefits of Randy being home today is that part of his gift to me was the day off!  So I went out this morning and after running a few errands (gas for the car/bank) I went to get my here is the sad part.  I hate it.  I really, really, really HATE my haircut!  I am not picky.  I don't really care that much.  But honestly....I almost cried!  It is MUCH too short.  I asked for it to be to the top of my shoulders and she must have thought that I said to my jaw line :0(  Oh does grow....but we are getting our family picture for the directory on I don't think it is going to grow fast enough for that.....AND RBC only does directories like every 25 years that is a bummer....not only a bad haircut....but a bad haircut that is going to be memorialized for the next few decades!  And my sweet children assured me when I arrived home that it did look as bad as I thought.....ugh!  Randy....well in his wisdom he refrained from comment....which is comment enough!  However my Twinkie Girl.....she told me I was beautiful.....she is a bit of a brown noser....but it made me feel better :)  LOVE MY TWINKIE GIRL!

So anyway.....after the bad haircut I did a little birthday shopping.  I got a new shirt and some nail polish and some scrapbook paper for my new cricut!!!!!  Which I plan on playing with very soon!  I have wanted one for a long time!

When I got home it was almost time for dance and the kids and Randy were hungry, and I wasn't, so I gave up my dinner of choice and let them decide....and off to Golden Corral we went.  They loved it, which I loved....then we were off.....TWINKIE GIRL had her first dance class...FUN!  She LOVED IT!

We headed back home and Randy surprised me with a cookie cake....on my favorite kind of cookie....white chocolate macadamia nut....YUM YUM!  He even had them write "Happy Birthday Berly"  What a sweet man!

He got 2 smalls so the kids (HE) could have regular chocolate chip!

Then we sat around in the den while Twinkie Boy fixed my hair, The Girl polished my nails...silver sparkle on the toes and pink on the nails, Twinkie Girl rubbed cotton balls on my face....and said it was a massage :) and The Baby rubbed lotion on my hands and arms and said it would help me smell better.  After my lovely spa treatments it was bedtime!

When I came downstairs I logged on FB and I had a message telling me to check my front porch....and my sweet neighbor had left a gift for me!  THANKS MICHELLE!  SO CUTE!

What a great day!

So as I listen to the rain pour and the quietness of my house and read through the sweet notes from friends and reflect on my birthday I am reminded again of how very blessed I am....I may have a really bad hair cut but at least I have friends and family who love me anyway! 
Thanks to all of you for making my day special!!!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekly Update

So my three little ones are now kindergartners!
We did decide to go ahead and start THE BABY with THE TWINKIES and so far so good!

They are working hard on their short vowel sounds!
They are all really getting them down.

Twinkie boys speech makes it very difficult for him to articulate the difference between a short e and short i but he knows which is which and tries....
They particularly enjoyed playing Short Vowel Bingo this week!

Guess who absconded with the camera this week???

Between their classes they can choose quiet activities or play in the backyard or in their rooms....This week Twinkie Boy had fun with pattern blocks!

The Baby learning to write the letter D

We got a little too hyper and had to do jumping jacks!

Awana Sign Up!  Bounce House + Giant Slide + Pelicans Snowballs=FUN!

Quick Fine Motor Project....Cover Whipped Cream Container with Painters Tape and cut a slit in the top.
Challenge....Get the Pattern Blocks into the container without taking off the top.  This was GREAT for Twinkie Boys Fine Motor issues.....

He worked....

and worked......

And FINALLY got it!  YEAH!!!  He had fun even though it was difficult.  So I will definitely try to come up with some more of these activities to help strengthen his fine motor skills.

Time for Math

They are all doing well in Math

Gotta work on that pencil grip!!!
Oh well.....
Friday after school they got to watch The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  We just finished reading the original Wizard of Oz during storytime and it was fun to watch the movie and see all the differences between the movie and the book.
They liked both and couldn't decide which was better.

Kindergarten is off to a roaring start.  They are all loving their school (most of the time) and seem to all be doing quite well.
We had a great weekend.  Randy and the boy spent a ton of time together and they both loved it.
We got to "babysit" some neighborhood friends and the kids really enjoyed that and THE GIRL got to go swimming and sleepover at her friends house.
Gearing up for a big week and looking forward to church!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Filling my cup

Parenting is so hard.  Especially as kids get older.  I need wisdom I don't possess.  So I ask....

I wish when my life went topsy-turvey (as in....RIGHT NOW)
that I could take a parenting time out.

I wish the kids would behave and "know the way and walk there in it..."

That doesn't seem to be the way it works!

Their lives are topsy-turvey too.....and they are young.....and they are sinful, after all they are related to me! 
I long for them to be complete.  To always do right.....never mess up.....and is such a process of growth....I did not arrive at my relationship and walk with Christ overnight....I really didn't even start to have a daily walk until my 20' how can I expect my 13 year old to?  I am so far from where I need to be in my walk with the Lord....yet I expect my 13 year old to be......I'm messed up!

As morning dawns I'm drawn again to the well....
Fill my cup is empty.....fill it to overflowing
The Word so alive and active and refreshing.....
and as usual it does not return void.....

"Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"

When I long to condem and pull out my measuring stick and point out my kids inadaquacies and their sin...
I am reminded afresh this morning...

"what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature....God did by sending his own Son."

I'm drawn again to the Father of Grace....

"God did (what the law couldn't) by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering."

Thank you Jesus!

Oh....yes....correction is necessary....
Pruning away must occur
Damage from the storm must be healed....
But oh the sweet balm of his loving grace
May I give it to my child as my Father has given it to me....
and oh may it captivate their hearts and draw them to the One and Only....
My prayer is for their hearts sweet Jesus....
nothing less....
Their behavior is of much less importance to me....
I want their hearts to be sewn together with yours.....
Whatever it takes....I ask that you get their hearts.
You are
The reason....
The life.....
The joy........
Sweet Jesus may my grace abound......Wisdom Lord....Wisdom...
May discipline draw them into a closer relationship with you and with us.
Now......I think I'll have a cup of coffee....and see what today brings....

Scripture Quotes taken from this weeks pondering Romans 8:1-8