Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

How blessed we are to have our three sons!

I hope for each of you and wonderful New Year.  I have tried to post since we got back from our trip and oddly, haven't had much to say.  I took down Christmas decorations yesterday.  It seems a bit bare, but normal and nice too.  We had a great trip to Birmingham Christmas morning and then on to Missouri.  We enjoyed snow and time with our dear family.  
Thank you for being a wonderful part of my year.  I am thankful for the many ways God has blessed us with friends and family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Driving

Luke's Program Night
Luke made us gifts at school.  He gave them to us after his program.



Today, I was corrected on my fine driving skills.  By my 6 year old.  May I repeat.  I was corrected on MY driving from my 6 year old.
I was trying to call one of you people on the telephone and was reprimanded.
I should have my hands on the wheel came a command from the back seat genius.

On a different note, Luke asked if Santa delivered gifts to Jesus when He was born.
Great.  

I could snow ski down my laundry.
Maybe I should try.
I know some good orthopedic doctors should something go amiss.

We lit the advent candle Sunday.  I tried to get pictures before we left for church for you few folks that lovingly read this blog.  Guess what.  David screamed and cried.  Shocking I know.  After seeing my post tummy-twirl.html  I guess you are really surprised.  Here is what I got.  Merry Christmas!  We are going to be busy packing tomorrow.  We are heading to see snow on Friday.






Benjamin is scared I will lose it if he doesn't smile.  David is puffy eyed from screaming about a picture taking session.  Luke has a classic grin and bear it look.






Monday, December 22, 2008

Note To Self: The Reason Why We Celebrate!


Come on in Y'all! So good to see you.


Here is where I blog!

Playroom tree.



I have always wanted to decorate my kitchen light...this year, I did it.




Some treats that we have shared.  Thanks to Darby at The Sticklers!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  Come on in and chat!  Here are some pictures of our home at Christmas!
I love my new mat, a gift from a dear student!

My mom gave me this nativity long before I was ever married.  I am so glad to have it back out this year.


Here is our Christmas tree.  We added a new angel at the top.



As you come in, you can see a new nativity that Sharri and Amanda gave me.  I love it so much.  So uniquely made of stone.


I am burning this bad boy all day long!  Another student gave me this delightful candle.  It is truly the candle of the Season!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dad





Happy Birthday Dad!
You are a wonderful man.
You are always content to point success at another, when in fact, you often are the mind behind achievement.
You think before you speak, which leaves you room to make a fair and wise decision.
You are a humble servant of the Lord.  Not proud or full of what you "do" to make others see you are a Christian.
You are my tutor in many ways.
It began as a little girl.  
I danced on your feet to oldies in the kitchen.
It continued through the white boards and negative and positive numbers.  You remember, seventh and eighth grade math.  You were my true teacher, often after a long day you would spend hours teaching me.
You spurred me on during track events and encouraged me during distance runs.
You pushed me to run against your speed, which left me humbly second, but desiring to run harder.
You loved perfect attendance and taught me my work ethic.
You are disciplined and frugal.
I didn't like that so much growing up, but admire it greatly now.
You are generous, quietly, which makes it all the more admirable.
You laughed with me at my silly mistakes and prayed for me through stupid ones.
You listened when I called after struggling through a test and reminded me to be well-rounded.
You have parented me well.  You have befriended me now as an adult.  You are a wise, wise man Daddy and I love you very much.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

this is it, maybe

Yesterday, I had a migraine. 
It hurt, horribly.
I saw spots and thought someone had put two pieces of wood on either side and began to push.
I have never had one before.
I hope I never have one again.

So, that leads me to this point. 
I am a bit behind.  I didn't realize it, but I am not done doing the following:
Baking Candy Cane cookies to share.  
STILL getting out some more Christmas cards.
Cleaning the house.
Planning and getting dad's gift ready for his 60th birthday Friday.
Wrapping.
Enrolling my child for school next year.  I have to do some reading and paperwork and that can't happen while I am teaching.
Getting ready for a small dinner party-no frills, just fun.

On a lighter note, Benjamin has informed me he likes rap.  I might have told you that. Don't stress-we're not jammin to LL Cool Jay or FiftyCents.  Whatever his version of rap is comes on HisRadio.
He is also interested in going to "Goldies" to work out over the Christmas holidays.  
He said he would do it all of Christmas so his muscles would be really big when he went back to school.
I have a  6 year old rap lovin' Gold gym groupie on my hands.
This could be dangerous.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh What Fun~


Ben surprised me big time!
We went to Birmingham.
On Saturday, I was told that we were heading to the Renaissance at Ross Bridge.





Of course I was sent to relax with a caramel machiatto in hand.  :)
He had made me reservations at the SPA!!!!!!



It doesn't stop there.
Ben had planned a FABULOUS dinner at Brocks.  I had beef tenderloin that was truly the best I have ever put in my mouth.  
Our entertainment afterwards: The Radio City Rocketts!
He knew I have wanted to see them!  It was the BEST birthday EVER~
Thank you Ben!  I had a BLAST!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yes. Well, I used to like cleaning.

Those of you that have been with me since the beginning of my blog life, know that I like to clean.
Then, came December.
I haven't cleaned since Thanksgiving.
I am really not kidding.
I have clothes on the floor.
In bizarre places, like the kitchen.
The playroom is the cleanest place in the house.
Does that tell you anything?
This afternoon, I am devoting time to the effort of cleaning.
Where is my fairy when I need her?

Okay, random thing that has nothing to do with this post.
Somebody just called and told me I won a $1000.00 online shopping spree.  
No fee except shipping and I pay using a gift certificate.  Something that has to do with Publishers and Mastercard.  Well, I am so thinking this is a hoax.  
When they said Online Publishers.   I thought:  Great.  I am probably about to get busted for not siting someone's photography correctly.
So what to make of the shopping  spree?  Do you think it's legit?  Did anyone else out there "win" today?  I wasn't very appreciative to the person that called if it is.  I wasn't rude either, but not the Sweepstakes Winner excited that she might have been looking for.
Perhaps, my fairy just sprinkled her fairy dust all over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Cards. Need I say more?






Last night I was solo.  Ben was out of town for the evening.
We went to Chic-Fil-A.
My kids are very used to eating in the car. 
I wish I was the mom that didn't do that, but I am not. 
Take me or leave me.
I can't always manage to control 3 boys 6 and under.
I can manage a classroom just fine.
Don't know the difference, but there is one.
Well, I had the house picked up and the Christmas lights lit.  Point is the mood WAS happy.
(Ben said we have A LOT.  I view it more as festive.)
We went to Walgreens to pick up the picture of choice for our Christmas cards.
I was really excited to pick out a new picture from the beach to smack on the front of them.
The beach pictures weren't the amazing shots I thought they would be.
One child was picking their nose.
Another child was eating what the other picked. You know, that kind of session.  (slightly exaggerated for story purpose.)
Before I sent them to Walgreens, I altered the photos on our computer that is supposed to work miracles.  It is known as a Mac.
I am going to blow that out of the water.  IT doesn't work miracles.  Bad pictures don't become amazingly worthy of Christmas card honor.
Who in their right mind started putting  pictures on the cards anyway?
Well, I spent about an hour trying to pick a bad picture last night.
I stopped two people I know and one that I didn't in hopes of getting a consensus.
They liked different pictures.  So, I had to pick one on my own.  I had the chosen one printed. Quantity-100.  I came back AGAIN to pick them up and they were TERRIBLE.  WAY TOO DARK.  Did I mention that I had the three boys with me?
I was willing to let that go.  I would start over.
I must have had something slipped to me in my Diet Coke.
I came home and bathed my munchkins.
I gave them their much anticipated Christmas pajamas.  It was fun at that point.  Christmas lights.  Clean little faces glowing with excitement.
But then-
We start our second round of Christmas card pictures.  (I re-track my advice Kelley on the portable DVD.  It simply did not work.)  I began to sweat.  I jumped up and down.  I held the DVD over my head so they would look at me.  I tried EVERYTHING.
David started to cry early on.  HE did NOT stop.  
It was seriously bad-from the beginning.  Why did I not stop?  I continued Session #2 for an HOUR and a HALF people.  That meant my children were up past 9:30 for me to take a Christmas card picture.
Out of Control.  I'll leave it at that. 

p.s.-I mailed the cards today.  I ended up with a beach picture.  The picture wouldn't work the direction I wanted.  That is okay.  Life goes on.  Next year,  I will seek professional help-not for me, but the pictures. Hahaha.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Luke said, " I don't ever want to get married."
I said," Why?"
He replied," You have to kiss girls."

Nice.
I'll remind you of that in about 11 years.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm Back

We had a GREAT time at the beach.  I will post about it later this week.  I am going to work on Christmas cards today and tomorrow I hope to get the dough ready for our candy cane Christmas cookies.....how are things at your house?  Happy Monday!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Whew!

I am feeling so much better.  I am still a bit like jell-o.  You know the feeling.  Your arms just hang by your side and your legs move more like an after thought.  But, alas I am well.  

Tomorrow, I am leaving for the beach with some dear friends and I just can't wait!  
I am almost done with my Christmas shopping.  Just have to get mom and my brother something. I am thinking I'll use an idea that I got from Dana M. about a running thing that tracks distance, etc. for my brother.  Perfect gift.  He's into fitness and all that.  I remember those days.  I hope to find mom some fun things down at the beach.

Well, David is asking for breakfast and pulling my jell-o type arm practically off my body.  Hope your Thursday is terrific!  

I will post about the trip Monday.  
"I love to be beside the seaside, by the beautiful sea...."
 


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home....What to do?


Home with a sore throat.
I've swept.
Called some sweet mamas.
Worked a little.
Put dishes away.
Called Daddy George.
He's Granny Hannie's husband.
He was off to play bridge.
How cute is that?
Well, I'm guessin' I should be restin'.
That is sooooo boring!  
I think I'll go restring the Christmas lights on the tree that burned out last week.

P.S.-Two trips coming up this month.
1.  Beach with 4 dear friends this weekend.
2.  A surprise Birthday Outing with my AWESOME husband.

P.P.S.-Thankful for antibiotics!  Thankful for a great doctor.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Amazing Grace

You can play Amazing Grace on my sidebar.
Just a little side note (hahah) I don't know why Brittney Spears comes up at the bottom of the music I select.  I get music from imeem and they must run a promotion for her.  FYI
Anyway, Sarah Brightman has a clear voice.  It reminds me of a bell.
That isn't what moves me about this song.
Grace.  It is amazing.
Sunday morning my 4 1/2 year old son awoke a sinner. 
He went to bed a sinning saint.
It is all about grace.

Grace that is amazingly free to us, undeserved by us, but oh so costly to Him.
Our grace, if you are a believer cost the very Son of God his life.
He didn't stop there.  He looked Satan square in the eye and defeated death.  He arose from the dead.  
My faith isn't about me and what I can do to earn heaven.  It is about what He did to give me heaven-His glory.
I serve a risen Savior, one that was born in a simple manger so long ago.  
One that was born to die.  For me.
For you too.  Fall on your knees dear one.
Amazing.  Grace.
Rejoice.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Luke


Well, tonight Luke had a lot of questions.
He asked why one thief went to heaven and the other didn't.
We had been talking about Jesus and the reason why He was born.
He was born to die.
Usually, Luke loses interest in lengthy discussions.
Tonight, he was the one asking the questions.
After talking for about 30 minutes, he said, "I asked Jesus into my heart today in the playroom."
I couldn't believe it.
Ben couldn't believe it.
Why couldn't we believe it?  We have been praying for his salvation since before he was born.
Benjamin said,"He sure did.  I told him that he needed to ask Jesus into his heart."
We were even MORE astonished.
Ben and I weren't sure how to take it all.  Did he really understand what happened?  Or was he just doing what his big brother told him to do.
Benjamin follows with the fact that he watched Luke with his eyes open as he prayed.  He also said that Luke made no buts about it.  :)
We asked Ben if he prayed and Luke repeated.  He said no and again admitted to praying with his eyes open as he watched Luke.  :)  Luke said with a HUGE grin, "I said Jesus, come into my heart."  
We explained forgiveness and the joy of coming to faith in Christ.  He was precious.  He can't quit talking and it's after 9:00.  I can hear them in their room.  What a sweet moment for my boys.  As Benjamin said, "This is so happy."  
Thank you Lord for opening two of my boys eyes and hearts to see you and their need of a Savior.  May they know all the more the magnitude of Your grace and the depth of Your love.   Continue to use them in each other's lives to be as iron sharpening iron.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I couldn't resist





Bye Fall!


Family  Room
Didn't photograph very well, but I loved my two topiaries and Harvest banner in the study.

Luke's table decoration at his Fall Feast.
I used dried grass and pheasant feathers for an arrangement.

I found these place mats at T.J. Max for a great price!

Forgive me friend, if I offended you in my previous post about Obama.  

Well, before I share with you Christmas decorating pictures, I better post Fall Decor.
This is the Bless Her Heart, Fall Decor Spread.  Enjoy, laugh a little, and prepare for Christmas Decor tomorrow.  

Oh yeah, War Eagle.  ;)  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving



Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  May you feel the power of Jesus this Thanksgiving.   It might be a lonely Thanksgiving, may you seek to befriend someone lonely.  It might be a sad Thanksgiving, may you feel the joy only He can supply. It might have been a year of loss, may you know Who has sought you.  

Many blessings from our Father to you, friend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brace Yourself

Okay.  I checked this rumor I heard out on fact or fiction.  I couldn't find any information.
I went to the ABC website.  I found the "rumor."
Barrack Obama smokes.
His wife apparently asked him to quit.   He did.
He said he "fell off the train a few months ago a couple of times."
What message does this send to our children?
I posted a comment on ABC's blog under tons that were saying, "if it feels good, do it."
I said that I did care.  
I said in my comment that we expect athletes not to smoke.  Why would we expect anything less of our President.  He has two little ones watching him.  Not to mention the thousands more that will have their eyes set on our next leader.  I did say that we all make mistakes and that I hope for him success on quitting his habit.
1.  I am disturbed that he can't quit as he promised his wife.
2.  I am sure they don't allow smoking in the White House.
3.  He is our next leader and needs to take every precaution to remain healthy.
4.  He is a role model.  
I am trying to respect him as a leader, but I am frustrated by this and more saddened than anything.  I was grieved by the comments stabbing my world view.  I differ very much from the mind set of "if it feels good, do it."  I guess it was rewarding to put my name to a comment that varied drastically from many of the previous ones made.  I would encourage you to read, comment wisely and lets pull together to show that Christians DO have a voice and that we are not just legalistic no-brainers.  I am not referring simply to a habit like smoking.  I fear there will be much larger issues at hand.  Like I quoted in a previous post, we need some "think tanks."  I know many of you.   Let's start getting a voice out there.  Shall we?  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Here she is... The Personal Shopper!

Alright ladies, you might be a bit rushed.  A little on the stressed side, take a deep breath.  Your Personal Shopping Fairy has arrived.  Her name is Fairy Emily.  She is a doll and is EXTREMELY creative.  Check out her information below.  You might be able to use her this holiday season.


I have been doing a little shopping the past couple of years for a few people and love it! This all started when a friend asked me what to get her son's (who is in college) girlfriend for Christmas. I gave her some ideas and she said, "you should be my personal shopper." So, here I am and I would love to help you!
Personal Shopper
Get all your Christmas shopping done in one week. Wrapped and delivered to your home!

Fill in the blanks and e-mail it to me and I will go shopping for you.

10 unique gifts, wrapped and delivered to your door steps for $45.00. Plus what you want to spend on the gifts.


name age price Who is it for?
Mrs. Smith $10.00 teacher
spiritual holiday monogram other

name age price Who is it for?

spiritual holiday monogram other

You can be specific or simple. This is to help you! I also have a list of gifts with prices that you can choose from.
If you have any questions please contact me… I will have gift tags on all gifts when they are delivered. It will take one week.
Please pass this e-mail to any of your local friends!!!

Emily Shiver
emilyshiver@graceba.net
334-596-4594
I will provide you will all receipts.

Friends

Guess what?
Today we are playing with some special friends.
They are the children of some gals that are like my little sisters.
I love them.
I love their kiddos.
Can't wait for a fun play date.

Guess what else?
My house is MESSY.
No problemo.
Just a little sweeping here and there.
The rest will just have to stay messy.

I am decorated for Fall!
I am not decorated for Christmas.
I LOVE Christmas, but refuse to shaft Thanksgiving.
So, I will post pictures tonight of my Fall decor.
I am so sure you really want to see my decorating.
You will simply say,"Bless her heart, she tried."
But, I took pictures to show you my feeble effort and so I must proceed.  

David is in a toddler bed.  Sorry.  I don't like them.
We couldn't figure out the twin bed conversion.  So for now.  It is the toddler.
His armoire is in the hall so he wouldn't repel from it.
I don't like misplaced items.  The hall is NOT where this piece of furniture needs to be, but alas, it is what it is.

A BIG thanks to my anonymous friend that warned me about the climbing out of the crib.
I am honored that you read and so thankful for your warning.
Blog "stalkers" are always welcomed here.  

Side note:  Obama smokes. 
I will address this later.  Thought I would wet your appetite.
He has claimed that he quit.  We'll discuss further.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Granny Hannie, A Lady

Helen Lee, as many knew her, was a woman of elegance.  She played bridge and referred to the fridge as an ice box.  She bought me bon bons.  We made trips to the salon together for hair and nails.  
We enjoyed chicken salad on summer days, but the French toast she would make on Saturday mornings melted in my mouth.  I can still smell it.  She made it with Texas Toast.
She had shoes.  Lots of them.  
She would take my mom, her daughter in law, on Mystery Trips to places like New York and Montana.
Granny was a fabulous hostess.   She was on a cooking show once.  Granny cooked for fancy people and for the Food Pantry.
I miss her.
Granny didn't like the smell of chewing gum.  
She was nicknamed The Queen.  I was of course, Princess.  
She made Baked Alaskan and Prime Rib on Christmas Eve.  Sometimes her smoke alarm would go off.  We would all laugh.
She traveled the world.  She has even been to Antarctica.  
Granny preserved family antiques carefully.  We have a rich family history.  She says we were distantly related to Pochihauntus and Ben Franklin.  I don't know about that, but I like it.
Our family has beautiful pieces of furniture in our homes that graced the homes of ancestors before the turn of the century.  Granny was a humble socialite.
If there is such a thing.
She taught me the importance of thank you notes and hand written replies to formal invitations.  
Granny loved silver, fine sterling silver.  She was an only child.  Her father owned a family moving and storage company.  
She grew up during the Depression.  It didn't affect her much.  She married a stunning young man.  He went to war and came home to her safely.   He loved her and is devoted to her to death and beyond.  He misses her.  A lot.
They were members of the Country Club and enjoyed Pot Luck with good company.
They lived in a mid-western town and had good values.  
She made her help lunch.  Good lunches.  
She enjoyed entertaining.  She loved sororities and secret clubs.  She was a Junior Leaguer.  She had two boys.  They are successful men.  She was their Boy Scout Troop Mom.
Granny, grew up a Baptist, became a Presbyterian, and I hope that she knew Jesus.
I asked her about that.
She said there were many ways to heaven.
I said there was only one.  His name is Jesus.  We are forgiven only because of  His death and victory over death.  She listened.
We talked several more times about it.  If she were alive now, I feel certain, she would want you to know the Truth.  She was that kind of lady.
"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."  John 3:36
He gave His most precious gift for you friend, to cover you, to cleanse you,  forgive you, and to save you.
It doesn't matter if you write thank you notes, have silver, or have kin named Ben Franklin.
We die.
Granny is dead.
Where will you be when that time comes?
I was with Granny Hannie when she passed from this world to the next.  
I miss Granny Hannie.  She was a lovely woman.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stars and Midnight Moon


Ben and I have come a long way.
We have talked a lot about our relationship over the last week. 
He means more to me today than 7 years ago.
He is the moonlight to me in the midst of night.
I have given him my heart.  I have shown myself at my best and worst to him.
I often seem guarded and cold.  I like to think I can protect myself from hurt.
I cannot.
If you would, listen to the song that says to me what I would aspire to say of my my husband. It's song number 4 on the sidebar.  You can click the next button on the sidebar until you get to Stars and Midnight Moon. 
I am so thankful that he keeps a short record of wrongs.  I am thankful that the Lord is showing me how to bite my tongue.  It can be so hurtful.  You can never take back what leaves your mouth.  Ben has gently taught me that.  I am quick to speak.  Often to lash out at him, but that is mellowing as I am learning and being refined by my husband to be more like my Savior.
We are thankful that we have each other.  We love each other deeply, passionately, and strongly. We are learning how to love each other each day.
We have been through several difficult periods of our lives together.
The first year, we watched as his grandad died months after we were married.  I found skin cancer on Ben's back and his mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I also found out I was pregnant. I lost my mom's mom.  I had postpartum depression that went untreated.
Our second year I found out I was pregnant again.  We had a 5 month old at the time.  His mom found out she had another type of cancer.  
His grandmother died.  She was a precious beacon to us both.  The loss of her light was very hard on us.  She died on his birthday.
Ben left his job for a new one as a drug rep with Pfizer.  He was gone in New York when we sold our house by owner and moved to a new one in another town.  I was eight months pregnant with our second child.  We had a 14 month old.
Our third year, we were told we might have to move.  We were in limbo for months.  We thankfully did not have to.  I lost my dear grandmother.  I miss her and have a lump in my throat as I type this.  I will do a post about this wonderful woman I affectionately call Granny Hannie.
Our fourth year, we found out we were having another baby boy.  This would make #3.  Pfizer began a record number of layoffs.  Ben was one of them.  I was thankful for my beautiful baby number 3.  We called him our blessed distraction.   Layoffs happened at Christmas.  I didn't like Christmas lights that year.
I became cold and didn't warm up again until sometime this year.  Probably a couple of months ago.  We have in the last year sold our house, built a house, and rejoice in a job that Ben enjoys and is blessed to work with Godly men that he has great respect for.
I am more than thankful to put up Christmas decorations this year and to savor the Joy of this season than probably any year before.
I see that God is the Giver and the Taker.  I think I have often thought of my Father as only a Taker.  I am reminded now of how precious He is to also give.  It does hurt so when He takes.  I think that is why I am so guarded with my heart.  It hurts to lose.  I have for years feared the time when I will lose Ben.  The love of my life ripped from me.  I couldn't bear the thought of it.  So, I protected myself, so I thought, from the pain of it.  I would keep up a little wall that would keep me safe when that happened.
I am glad to say that the wall is gone.  It has melted.  In a marriage when the husband is seeking earnestly to be more like Christ, there is a safe-guard.  A stability.  A God-given ability to jackhammer stubborn spots in a wife's heart that are hard, perhaps wounded.  There is a softness with his prodding that protects wounds and heals.  Ben has been to me a Redeemer.  A healer, in spots that only the Lord could show him.  He has been faithful to continue to prod, carefully and diligently.  Even on the days that I wouldn't cooperate.
I am thankful to have given my heart to one such as you Ben.  I am more thankful than you will ever know that my boys have a daddy that they can watch love their mommy well.  Just like the song says,  "I have lost myself in you."  I am blessed to serve you and more than honored to be your wife.  Just like we said the other night, I am more in love with you now than ever.  I know this might be a bit much, especially if you're Ben's brother and you're reading this.  But if you are his brother, and you happen to read this, I want you to know these things.  He is a fine example of what it means to be a husband.  It isn't what you get, but what you give that sets you apart as a fine husband.  Ben, serves.  He doesn't seek to be served.  He is a servant leader.  I am thankful to have you Ben.  I am learning to cherish the time we have instead of protecting myself for a time that I do not yet know, man I love you!

A big boy bed!

Thank you so much to my anonymous reader that gave me the safety tip!
They said a little boy had broken his neck when he fell out of his crib!
That has put the quickening in my step to pick out a big boy bed.
I am not so sure what direction to take.  The big boys have really rustic beds.  The kind that are hand-made and still have bark.  So, I want to be in keeping with those and feel like I need to get a move on it.  Especially for his safety.  They have twin beds, so I am thinking I will get another twin.  Hmmm.  What do you all think?  We do have a guest room with a full bed.  It is too high for him to move into that.  Should I do twin beds/bed or a full?  I hope to take care of this by the weekend.  Perhaps, I'll buy some time and make his crib into a toddler bed.  Although, I really don't like toddler beds.  I prefer to make the transition once into their bed.  Your advice is welcomed!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Biscuit in the pillow.

Last night, Ben found something in Luke's pillow.
It was a biscuit.
I guess when you have two other brothers, you have make sure you get enough to eat.

Yesterday, I was spraying Windex.  Benjamin was lying on the floor under me.
He said, "The floor is smelly.  Is that economics?"
I laughed so hard.  I wanted to say economics stinks alright, but I refrained.  I mean where in the world did smelly and economics come from?

David is really talking a lot.  He is also climbing AGAIN.
We went through him climbing out of his crib a few months ago.  Well, he's doing it again.
A couple of days ago, I heard him yell, "Yee Haaa!"  He had jumped out of his crib and had taken a drawer out along with all of its contents.   I wanted to take a picture, but the camera was downstairs.  That would have required effort.  Too much at that point.  You get the picture.

I hope that you had a great day today.  Happy Monday-may your pillow be full of biscuits and your floor free from economics.  

Saturday, November 15, 2008

O Happy Day!

Today, started with the boys heading to mom and dad's.  Ben and I went and got Carmel Machiatos.  You know how happy that makes me.  
We enjoyed Christmas shopping.  I found some wonderful black heals at Belk's!  We had a great time together.

I married a hunter.  The original hunt was scheduled for this morning.  It turned out to be too warm, so he and his partner postponed until this afternoon.  It has turned deliciously cold and so, hunter was out in the woods (with all of his safety equipment!) this afternoon.

I decided to make the most of the time by using a little elbow grease!  I scrubbed my bathroom on hands and knees.  That makes me really happy.  I got to the baseboards in the family room and kitchen too.  Now, I just have to finish 2 of the bathrooms upstairs and vacuum.  Oops, I forgot about the wood floors downstairs-they have to be done too.  

Ben is getting the boys Happy Meals and a sitter.  We have a date tonight.  Can't wait.  I have a new outfit to wear.

We enjoyed having some friends over Tuesday night.  My sweet friend, Abby at The Maddox Family, discussed some frustration about the box that we find ourselves in when we have multiple children and we like to entertain.  I LOVE to have friends over.  I relish planning the meal, cleaning the house, choosing the right napkins, all that goes into the evening.  FESTIVE is a key word.  Well, let's not be naive.  I have 3 munchkin-mess-makers.  I usually end up getting frustrated with them in the course of the planning at some or any given point.  What I have decided is when I am entertaining a family, I don't clean house before they come.  Children want to have fun and are just messy.  Parents feel better knowing I haven't cleaned that day and don't expect it to be clean when they leave.  I have to say, we don't have families over a whole lot because it is hard.  Enjoyable, but hard.  We had a great time Tuesday night...we are thankful for friends that we don't clean up for and enjoy our company no matter what.   O yeah-the green bean bundles were nicknamed by me as green bean jerky.  I have never laughed so hard in my life about something I made.  

Well, I hope you are having a restful weekend.  I can't wait to read what you folks have been up to.  

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I know, I know...

I posted an absolutely mind-blowing post and ONLY got four comments about some knock out truths; I can say it was mind-blowing because I didn't write it.  The head master at Briarwood School, Barrett Mosbacker, did. 
I bombarded you with a much too lengthy post.  So, for your ease, I have chosen a portion which I hope you will read, savor, and begin racking your brains for some salt shakers to hop into the political mix.

"As a practical point, the development of distinctly Christian think tanks, which combine the skills of theologians from various orthodox persuasions, the expertise of Christian scholars from many different disciplines, and the practical insight of the policy analyst and those experienced in the "realities" of the political process would be of inestimable value in assisting the Christian community in its role as salt and light.

Rather than bemoaning what is wrong, we are responsible to teach our students how to think biblically and how to apply biblically informed thinking to specific policy issues.  This should be an exciting and very positive endeavor with the goal of working to see "see God's will done on earth as it is in heaven."
Barrett Mosbacker

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of those days.

I turned on the sprinklers this morning.
I just looked outside and it is raining.
That pretty much sums up my day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Frogs and Cows

drawing by shadowowl: flickr
David toots.
We all do.
Yuck.
One morning he tooted and looked startled.  He said, "Mommy, frog?"
He was trying to reach his bottom.
I said, "No honey."
He was sure there was a frog in his diaper.
Today, he let one rip.
It was really loud.
Sweetness said,"Cow."

Friday, November 7, 2008

This is important and worth the time.

This is from Briarwood Christian School's headmaster:

Daddy, is that the bad man? 


Be careful.  Your children/grandchildren are watching, your students are watching, and an unbelieving world is watching.


Let me share a story with you.  When my oldest daughter was about seven or eight years old I remember walking past the den and hearing my daughter pointing at the TV and asking with big saucer eyes, "Daddy, is that the bad man?!"  She was anxiously pointing at President Clinton.

A piercing pang of guilt shot through my soul.  I realized that through my verbal editorializing during news casts that I had taught my daughter to fear and dishonor the President of the United States in direct violation of what the Scriptures teach: "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." (1Pe 2:17)

When Peter wrote those words, Nero was the emperor of Rome. If Peter could encourage the early Christians to honor the man that was feeding them to lions and impaling them upon poles and burning them alive to light his gardens, then surely we can pray for and honor our new President notwithstanding our political views.

Let me suggest that we have a wonderful opportunity to bear a great testimony to the transforming power of the Gospel in how we respond to the election.

1. Pray for our new President and mean it.

(I Peter 2:17; Romans 13:1)  The Scriptures do not differentiate for whom we pray. 

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior... (1Ti 2:1-3)

2. Pray for our country.

Although the structures and policies of government have a profound impact for good or evil, it is the character of individual citizens that ultimately determines the character of any country.  More than a good president, we need powerful faithful pulpits, godly families, and strong Christian schools.  Pray that the Lord's Spirit will blow throughout our land bring with Him revival and deep rooted reformation.

3. Verbally express due honor to the Office of the President and to the man who occupies it. 

It is perfectly legitimate, in fact necessary, to express opposition to those values and policies that are clearly in violation of biblical teaching.  It is not legitimate to herald vindictive and mean spirited abuse at anyone, including the President Elect.

I can think of no better example than David.  Even though King Saul was pursuing David to imprison or kill him, David responded by honoring his persecutor because of the office he held.

And the men of David said to him, "Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.'" Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

And afterward David's heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul's robe. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD's anointed."

So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul ...Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, "My lord the king!" And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage... Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, 'I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD's anointed.' ... As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul ... Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, "You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. (1Sa 24:4-17)

Notice the impact of David's response on Saul.  David's demonstration of trust in God and respect for the authority that God had sovereignly appointed had a profound impact on Saul.  David's response gave great testimony to the power of God's Spirit and was used by God to instruct the King. 

David's example comes down through the millennia to instruct us on how we should respond. As a Christian community we have the same opportunity.  Instead of moaning, complaining, predicting the apocalypse, the end of civilization as we know it and verbally assailing and demeaning the President Elect, we have the opportunity to show watching students and a watching world that Christians can disagree without being disagreeable.  We can oppose bad policy and evil without being vindictive, mean-spirited, and disrespectful.

4.Use the election to teach your students how to work through the various policy issues from a biblical perspective--not from a Democratic or a Republican one. 

On a survey we once conducted, a student wrote the following: "Republican = Christian?  Where does that come from?" That thinking student understood that some teachers where implicitly teaching that Republican political philosophy and policy were equivalent with biblical Christianity. 

That is false.  There are points of Biblical connection with both Republican and Democratic policies.  Neither Party has a corner on truth or virtue.

Sound doctrine transcends political ideology, party affiliation, and cultural and ethnic identification.  In this sense, Christianity is always trans-political and trans-cultural.

5. Instead of always protesting what is wrong, offer solutions and prepare our students to do the same.

Several years ago I edited and co-authored School Based Clinics and Other Critical Issues in Public Education (Crossway Books).  Here is a portion of what I wrote that I believe applies to how Christians should be responding to public policy issues in a constructive Christ honoring fashion--regardless of who occupies the White House. 

Unfortunately, much of our cultural dilemma results from the failure of Christians to cultivate a Christian mind, and the result has been the abandonment of most fields of knowledge to those with a secular mind. This abandonment takes two forms: either withdrawal from public debate as it concerns the formation of public policy because we are ill equipped to offer an effective and relevant alternative; or worse, Christians who are involved in public debate are so secular in their thinking that their recommendations represent only slight modifications to secular proposals. In other words, instead of the Christian evangelizing his culture, he has been evangelized by it. Because many Christians have failed to cultivate a Christian Mind (in part due to a lack of instruction from church leaders), many believers are unaware of just how secular their thinking has become.


This is a particularly relevant point in light of the increased political activity of the religious right. In reaction to the rapid erosion of ethics and morality in our country, many Christians have taken up the call to be salt and light by active involvement in the political process. This is a good and vital part of any effort at cultural reform. But a note of caution is in order. As Christians, we must not confuse Christian principles with conservative Republican (or Democratic) politics. They are not the same thing. We must be careful not to confuse theology with ideology, as biblical theology always transcends any particular ideology. Although it can be reasonably argued that portions of the current Republican platform reflect biblical principles-for example, its opposition to abortion-this does not mean to think Christianly is to think like a conservative Republican. There are instances where elements of biblical truth can be found in the platform or the candidates of either party.

Thus, the Christian who wishes to function as salt and light in his culture must devote himself to the study of Scripture and seek through that study to properly interpret all of life. Once having achieved a measure of understanding, he is better prepared to make application of what he has learned to his home, his church, his vocation, and to his civic responsibilities. It should be added that this is not to imply that his knowledge must be exhaustive or that each believer must be a scholar.

Nor does it mean that he refuses to participate in public discourse until he believes he has a complete comprehension of his theology or of any given issue. Learning is a lifelong task. Since we are created as finite beings, exhaustive knowledge is beyond our grasp. Although certain knowledge is possible, exhaustive knowledge is not. Therefore, the challenge of the believer is to seek to simultaneously increase his knowledge while diligently applying that which he already knows. This is then the theological component of our Christianity, and it is the foundation upon which the relational component is built.

Moreover, the absence of viable alternatives puts the Christian in the position of always criticizing, attacking and tearing down. For example, when school based "health" clinics are proffered as the solution to teenage pregnancy, the Christian community finds itself aggressively opposing their implementation-and rightly so. Unfortunately, criticism in the absence of alternatives creates an atmosphere in which the Christian community, instead of being viewed as a constructive force in the community, is viewed as a bunch of uncaring obstructionists who do not care about the health of teenagers. We protest such accusations as unfair, but such attitudes are in part understandable if all we have to offer is criticism. It is here, at the policy level that Christian scholars from every discipline can contribute in a tangible way to the reclamation of the culture. Frequently, Christians who are seeking to arrest the implementation of harmful and immoral programs often find themselves at the mercy of a secular establishment armed with research, which "proves" their position. Although much of the research is less than conclusive or is even faulty, it nevertheless adds credence to whatever policy is being proffered.

Consequently, the Christian community finds itself in a noncompetitive position in the marketplace of ideas and by default relinquishes policy formation to the secular establishment. A case in point is provided by the necessity of this writer relying almost exclusively on secular research to demonstrate that as currently constituted, "values-free" sex education and family planning programs are ineffective and inappropriate responses to escalating rates of teenage pregnancy. Fortunately, some of the researchers within the family planning establishment itself have cited the failures (on solely pragmatic grounds), thus giving us a fighting chance. This is not always the case.

As a practical point, the development of distinctly Christian think tanks, which combine the skills of theologians from various orthodox persuasions, the expertise of Christian scholars from many different disciplines, and the practical insight of the policy analyst and those experienced in the "realities" of the political process would be of inestimable value in assisting the Christian community in its role as salt and light.

Rather than bemoaning what is wrong, we are responsible to teach our students how to think biblically and how to apply biblically informed thinking to specific policy issues.  This should be an exciting and very positive endeavor with the goal of working to see "see God's will done on earth as it is in heaven."

6.Celebrate the moral progress that his election represents.

"What, moral progress with the election of a President who aggressively supports abortion rights and gay marriage?"

Yes. 

Although by most measures the United States is in moral decline, the election of an African-American president reflects significant moral progress on the racial front.  Christians should celebrate this achievement and recognize it publicly, not withstanding other legitimate moral concerns.

Celebrating progress on one moral front does not imply endorsement of the President Elect's positions on other social issues. As Christians, we should, we must, be intelligent and thoughtful enough to celebrate the good while addressing the wrong.  The fact that our country has elected an African-American president should be an occasion to celebrate this momentous achievement with those with whom we may disagree on most every other issue.  We should model this attitude for our children, our students, and a watching world.

Imagine, if you will, how this must feel to millions of African-American families and to their young children. African-American mothers and fathers can now turn to their children and say, "In America, you can be anything you wish to be if you are willing to work for it." Is that not something that we would want every parent to be able to say to every child?

7. Remember that "for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose."

The church of Christ is the focal point of history, with Christ being preeminent. God superintends the affairs of men in such a way as to establish genuine free moral agency and personal responsibility, for the good of His people, and for His glory. Ultimately, this election is for our good and God's glory.  This does not mean that everything that occurs will be good but God promises to work all thing together for the good of His people.

Pray, rest in God's wise providence, respect those in authority, work for what is right, model dignity in word and deed before your students and teach them how to think, how to love, and how to Glorify the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

 Thank you,

Barrett Mosbacker

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is 100!

Wow.  I have hit my 100th post.  I started blogging in June after stalking Tonja's blog during the Spring.  I want to say thank you so much for actually taking time to read what I write and leave sweet comments that I look forward to. 
THANK you sweet friends for your encouraging words yesterday.  God is so good.  Ben and I had a long talk yesterday and he was so encouraging and insightful.
We stayed home last night and enjoyed homemade calzones and a game of football tag in the front yard.
I ran over a new little tree while running to get AWAY from the football.  It was soooo funny.  
Today, I am thankful to have gotten a head start on today's needs last night.  
Ben had a meeting with the older boys in his office yesterday evening.  
To sum it up he explained:  You don't work, you don't eat.
Thanks to that, you would be amazed what is getting done around here!
More importantly, I am going to choose to rejoice in whatever task I need to do.
We are heading to the fair tonight.
Here's looking forward to an elephant ear and germs!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I am a lot of things.

Tired of politics.
Sick of messes in my home.
Frustrated with my 4 1/2 year old that changes clothes when he gets home from school and throws all of the clothes that I spent 30 minutes putting away on the floor.
I want to stay HOME one morning, drop my kids off at their rooms, and go home to drink my coffee.
I am tired of rushing all of my children out the door and giving the baby dry cereal in the car.
My kids are off schedule.
They are waking up at 6:15 a.m.
You would think this would help us be on time.
It hasn't after Monday.
I am in a funk.
I like teaching, but today, I was in tears before I left for work.  Just trying to get shoes on and in the car.
I want to plant flowers like I normally do.
Clean house and enjoy it.
Cook a well-balanced meal two or three times a day.
Have a clean car.
Exercise.
Do my Bible Study.
Have lunch with friends or coffee or both.
But somehow, those are not able to get done.  
Today, I am in a funk.
Maybe you are too.
So, I will do the next thing.  I will need the Lord to help me enjoy the next thing.  Because right now I don't feel like it.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

IT is a BIG DAY!


Well, today is Benjamin's birthday! 
I bet you thought I was going to bring up the election. 
Don't worry, I will.
Back to Helper as we affectionately call him.
Big Time Stuff.  Hot Rod.  Benj. Ben and so on.
We give our kiddos nick names, as many of you do.  :)
Our prayer for Benjamin from the day he was born:  That he would bless others.  
He was born 4 weeks early.
I had a kidney stone and went into labor at 32 weeks.  They were able to hold him off with bed rest and medication for me.
He was in the NICU for a week.  We would have been out sooner, but he was jaundice.  That isn't a big deal, but when you are in the NICU everything is a big deal to them.
So, finally, home we went!  Ben and I looked at each other and said we weren't sure what to do with him.  We figured it out; quickly!
We are thankful for his life.  
He was almost hit by a car last night while I was walking with him at dusk.  
They were turning into their driveway and we were walking on the sidewalk with our backs to the street.  
A man saw the car and yelled.  This startled me and I yelled and grabbed him, still not comprehending he was ABOUT to be hit.  The man that yelled was shaken, I was totally wigged out and Benjamin spouted off some hilarious material, in complete Benjamin fashion.
*As we progressed down the sidewalk he said that he wanted to go slowly so he didn't get carried away.
*We went back to apologize to the woman that almost ran into him.  It was a pure mistake on both of our parts, but I wanted him to see that we could still apologize for our part.  
She mentioned that she was an Alabama fan and he smiled and said, "That's alright."
We see him continually reach out to others.  He has a gift with words and is able to articulate Truth as well as conversation. 
Benjamin, we are thankful for your life.  God uses you in our family and encourages us through you.  We are thankful for your early faith in Jesus and your desire to read and know His Word.
This was the verse on his birth announcement:
"About Benjamin he said:
"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long, 
and the one the Lord loves
rests between his shoulders."
Deuteronomy 33:12


Vote, it's important.  People have fought and died so that you will have that freedom.  
Please don't neglect it.  
That is all I have to say about that.  
Actually, I have more, but better writers have already said it.  BTW it isn't coming from CNN, NBC, ABC, FOXNews, or MSNBC.
I don't like any of the networks right now.
None.  
Not even the one/s (ha, ha) that I usually agree with. 
24 hour news is the worst thing (in my opinion) that has been done to politics.
Too much chatter.  
When people have too much time to talk, they do.
Facts are important-too bad those are often left out.

Benjamin loves that his birthday is election day.
He has a candidate in mind.
He wore a shirt today that says: Future Republican President.
We'll see..........
Happy Birthday Hot Rod!








Monday, November 3, 2008

Beachy

"We are but a band of brothers."  Shakespeare
Mommy, how big is God?  Bigger than the ocean?  Oh yes....
Walk humbly with the Lord all of your days.