Thursday, January 29


I am so thankful to have a little girl. Not many people have heard me say this before, but I asked God for a girl not long after Collin was born.

He was not quite 2 months old yet. I was sleeping on the floor in his room. (Scotty and I took turns doing this when the other person needed a good night's rest. That's why Claire has a twin bed in her room.)I'm pretty sure Collin had just woken up, taken a bottle and gone back to sleep. As I tried to get back to sleep myself, I began to think that I just couldn't be "done" having children. I knew that I was going to have to do "the baby thing" one more time, and at that moment, I asked God that it be a girl. I loved my boys, but I wanted to experience both.

When I found out that Claire was a girl, I sighed in relief thinking of all the moments I would not be experiencing again. Collin's second year and a half were BUSY to put it nicely. Surely a girl would be calmer, milder and not into EVERYTHING.

Today, I felt like I was chasing 18 month old Collin around the house.

She found a pack of gum, opened every piece and ended up with about 8 of the pieces in her mouth. She actually did a pretty good job of chewing it. I'll probably find bits and pieces of it for weeks.

She drew all over the refrigerator door -- thankfully with a pencil.

She's also drawn on the couch and ottoman -- NOT with a pencil.

She hates the word "no" so much that she will throw herself into a fit on the floor at the sound of it -- okay, that's a little more like Caleb.

And, she scares me to death in the bathtub -- flipping and twisting and jumping like it's a swimming pool.

So, not only does Claire LOOK exactly like the boys wearing a bow, she acts just like them too. They've trained her well.

Tuesday, January 27

Appropriate Living

Several years ago, I was asked to write devotionals for the women's ministry in the church I was attending. I'm still not quite sure how my name got to the director (I did not know her that well) or why she thought of me, but I really enjoyed it. This morning, I began reading through Colossians. A few things jumped out at me, and I thought I would do a little writing again.

I love the book of Colossians and would highly recommend you read through it on your own. I especially love chapter one, because it is here that the Word makes it very clear, to me, that Christ's coming was for ALL and not just a few. Paul uses the word "everyone" and "everything" over and over.

In verses nine and ten, Paul writes out his prayer for the Colossians:

"...that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God."

What a great prayer -- one that I am writing out to pray for myself, my husband, my children and others.

This morning, though, I got caught up in the first part; to walk worthy of the Lord. Is that even possible? Surely, walking worthy of the Lord means perfection. He is perfect. So, if I am to walk in a manner worthy of Him, do I have to be perfect?

It would be very easy to adapt to that line of thinking. I mean, we know we can't be perfect; therefore, God wouldn't ask us to be. But, how many of us naturally begin to list all that we must DO in order to walk worthy of the Lord?

I dusted off my concordance, because I wanted to see the original Greek for "walk" and "worthy". If you've ever used Strong's concordance, you know that there are usually several options/words given in the definition. "Walk" as it is used here means "live" and "worthy" means "appropriately".

I really do want you to read through this chapter on your own, but let me give you a preview. Paul explains in detail all that God, the Father, has done in order that we may "share" in His life. In a statement, He sent Christ! He goes on to say that God was PLEASED to have all fullness dwell in Jesus and through Christ to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the cross.

Caleb is learning to tie his shoes. We have to do it in stages, and he is getting pretty good at the first step. So, each morning, I tie his shoes for him. Very appropriately, Caleb jumps up when I am finished and runs off to do whatever is next. It would be extremely inappropriate for Caleb to sit in the floor trying to do for himself what I have already done. He would miss out on so much if that were his response to my actions towards him.

Now, I know that is somewhat of a silly illustration. But, I find myself doing the same thing on many occasions. I look at all that God has done for me, and I want to add to it somehow. However, wouldn't I be "walking worthy of the Lord" or "living appropriately" to get up each day thanking Him for all the HE has done and asking Him to show me how I can participate in His work -- in His life?

The theme of chapter one is that we have been reconciled through Christ. That work is done. So, let's receive it as the gift that it is and live appropriately.

Monday, January 26

So Frustrating...Keep Reading

Number 6 Birthday

Caleb's birthday weekend was a success. We all had a fabulous time as you can tell by the pictures. I have become thoroughly aggravated in attempting to put together this slideshow. It REALLY frustrates me that the slideshow and my post are separate, but I'm tired of playing with it.

Last January, right after Caleb's 5th birthday, his class at preschool spent 6 weeks at Funtime Skateland learning to skate. He announced at some point during that time that he wanted a skating party for his "#6 birthday". I was shocked that he remembered this year when I asked him what he wanted to do.

First of all, I was a little bit hesitant when I heard what it cost to have a party at the skating rink. We usually have home parties, so spending a large amount of money for a party seemed frivilous. But, IT WAS SO WORTH IT. The kids had lots of fun. Several of the parents even skated, and we had fun too.

The birthday cake is always an issue for me. I have never even considered making the cake for any of the kids' parties, because I am too much of a perfectionist. While I am pretty sure I could make a cake that would taste decent, I would know that someone else could have made one that would LOOK much better. I decided to try a local bakery this year instead of making my run to Pearl for That Special Touch. Baker's Bakery did a fabulous job. The cake was very cute and very good. So, if you need a cake, give Beth a call.

On Friday night, Caleb had 4 of his friends over to spend the night. WOW!!! They played the Wii and it actually sounded as if we were at a live sporting event. They wrestled upstairs (with Scotty) and I can not believe no one was injured. About 10 o'clock, I put in a movie and fixed all of the sleeping bags on the floor in the den. They all finished the movie but passed out soon after. For six year olds, I thought they did beautifully.

We also made a trip to the mall with Sassy to "Build a Bear". Then, Caleb got new tennis shoes, baseball cleats and some new clothes. Even though he is a boy, Caleb enjoys getting new clothes as much as I do. Then, MiMi Norma came on Saturday. She added some money to the cash already received and he got his DS. He was FIRED UP!

I'm pretty sure this was his best birthday so far. Since I still enjoy my own birthday, I was so happy to see him have such a great time.

It will be hard to top "#6 birthday".

Thursday, January 22

Has Anyone Seen This Baby?

I realize that all of our children look alike. So, if you're having trouble figuring out who this is, don't worry. Caleb's birthday is tomorrow, and I have been feeling somewhat nostalgic. I was going through the pictures and remembering bits and pieces of our first 6 years together. Everything baby about him is now gone.

I must confess that every bone in my body wants to be sad. I could really spend some time remembering how quickly these six years have come and gone and how in the blink of an eye, the next 6 and the next 6 will follow suit.
Just check out my cruise down memory lane (but don't look too closely. Scotty wasn't here to help me scan pictures, so I took pictures of pictures).

Caleb at 4 months and our first Easter together.

This is Caleb at 2 years old. Collin had just been born.

Caleb is three years old and this is one of my favorite pictures.

Caleb is opening presents at his 4th birthday party.

Caleb's invitation picture for his 5th birthday party

There's only one reason why I just can't let myself be the least bit sad today...Magdalena Grace Roberts. Do you know her? Have you met her sweet parents? Have you read about how her entire family rejoiced in every, single day she had here on Earth?

If not, let me just tell you. Magdalena was born with a disease called Trisomy 18. Her parents (along with many other parents in similar situations) were not guaranteed one minute with her alive. With this diagnosis, many times doctors will advise abortion. But, Noah and Julie accepted the reality of her illness but refused to cut their time with her shorter than God had planned.

Magdalena was born and lived over 150 days (you can find the exact number on their site), and I watched and read as her family embraced every day. There was no apparent mourning over the fact that their time would inevitably be cut short. They did not resist attaching themselves to her out of the fear of having to say "goodbye". And, today, I wonder why it is my natural tendency to mourn time's quick passing.

No, I'm going against my nature. Today, I am going to be defiant (and that's always been difficult for me). Turning my back on what I am naturally bent to do, I'm going to embrace the example given to me by the Roberts/Moore/Prather families. And, I am going to celebrate LIFE.

Caleb's life is truly a gift. He has blessed us tremendously in six years. Therefore, I will look forward to the next six and the next 6 and... Because I know that what God has in store for him is great. And, I'm very grateful that I get to share in it.

Ecclesiastes says, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." There is certainly a time for sadness, but I think a six year birthday is not it. :)

So, Happy Birthday, sweet boy. You make us very proud.

Sunday, January 18

The Finished Product

After a weekend without children (thanks to MeMe and Pop), the bathroom project is complete.

First of all, thanks to all who "voted" on a cabinet color. Thanks also for the tips and thoughts. I know that the majority chose brown as the best choice for the cabinets. And, believe me, it was my choice too. Until I got into the paint store.

Saturday morning, I took my inspiration towel into Sherwin Williams to match the brown. As I was looking, I just began to worry that painting them a dark color would mess up my lighting AND close in an already tight space. So, I opted on a creamy yellow with brown hardware.

I am pleased with the outcome, and Scotty is too. The yellow turned out to be so close to the yellows that we have in the tile around the tub and potty area that Scotty painted the walls in that small apace the same color.

So, here are the pictures. I do love a finished project...

Wednesday, January 14

Cyber-Tag? Seriously?

I didn't know there was such a thing. But, I learned this morning that there is. My friend, Jenny, has photo "tagged" me. How fun!

Her blog explains it nicely. Once tagged, I am to go to photos on my computer, choose the 6th folder and the 6th picture and post it on my blog. Then, I have to tag 6 people to do the same. Now, if you look at her post, her picture is so nice and glamorous. Not the case for mine!
But, it did make me smile. This picture was taken right after Claire was born. We were so happy to have another baby in the house. But, for that baby to be a girl! Well, we were all just giddy. It's hard to catch Caleb being silly for the camera, but he clearly couldn't contain his happiness. I have really enjoyed remembering such a special time this morning.

So, thanks Jenny for the tag. And, (drumroll please) I tag; Michael of the Ford Retort, Jamie of A Day in the Life..., Stephanie of Leaning on Everlasting Arms, DeeDee of As We Go..., Jill of In this Life and Amy of The Henry Crew. Come on guys. It really was fun. :)

P.S. Can you believe I actually posted a post-baby chunky picture of myself. I'm sure many of you are thinking that I could have lied about my 6th folder/6th picture. But, where is the fun in that? So, you chosen 6 -- no cheating. Sixth folder, sixth picture, tag 6 people. I'll be waiting.

AND, I know I am getting long winded, but I just had to show you the #5 picture in this folder. Maybe some of you are wondering where Collin was while I was posing with Caleb and Claire. Well....
He LOVED being the baby and wasn't quite ready to give it up. When he IS ready, I'll let you know. :)

Saturday, January 10

Decorator's Challenge

I love our house. When we moved into this house almost three years ago, I especially liked the older parts of our home. It has things that we didn't see in newer homes (some good, some not so good), and it seemed charming. But, there were things that I new we'd have to do. Many of those updates were completed before moving into the house. The others, we knew, would just have to be done along the way.

Well, as with many other things, last minute touches have been pushed to the end of the list. And, none of them are things that I can't live with for now. Our bathroom, however, is starting to really grate on my nerves.

I'd love to do some major renovations like change out flooring, swap out the tub and toilet, and update the cabinetry. But, that is NOT going to happen right now. So, I've decided that painting the cabinets, updating the hardware, and changing the linens will help "buy" some more time and ease my nerves.

This is where you come in. My inspiration is a hand towel that I was given for Christmas. I love the colors in it. The green in the cross is almost exactly the color of the walls. So, I need your help deciding on a color for the cabinets. I have had three thoughts so far; the same green that is on the wall, brown, or a muted yellow. PLEASE, let me know what you think. I know that some of you are master designers, and I'm dying to hear your opinions.

The view into our bathroom from the den. The wall by the light switch and picture frame is the green that I am talking about possibly using.
The cross that is on the hand towel.
And here is our greatest challenge. This is the floor in the bathroom by the tub and toilet. Interesting, I know. I really can't say that I don't like it. It's very unique. But, I don't want to do something that will clash with this busy floor. Do you see my problem?O.K., I can't wait to hear your ideas. I know they are going to be great. And, I can't wait to post pictures of the new and improved bathroom. Hopefully, sooner than later. Thanks for your help.

Friday, January 2

Tops of 2008

Wow. 2008 has come and gone. Does anyone else feel like the year just flew by? I know I feel like that every year, but last year seems to have vanished into thin air. As I think back over the year, some major memories flood my brain. Some of them good, some of them not so good, but all of these memories have impacted my life and this family tremendously. And, I don't think any one of them carries more weight than the others, so I am listing them in no particular order.

1. We found a new church home. This time last year, we were visiting churches. We weren't committed to any one. As a matter of fact, our boys never knew where we would end up when we all headed out for church. But, this year, we made FBC Clinton our home and felt so happy about it from the very beginning. Only shortly after, Scotty became the preschool interim. For the first time since we got married, Scotty enjoys his job. I am very thankful for this church -- our church.

2. The boys had some major accomplishments. Collin began the summer by learning to swim. Scotty loves teaching our children to swim. Caleb was very hesitant until last summer. But, Collin was so ready this year. He's not swimming for the Olympics, but he can certainly hold his own. We ended the year with both boys learning to ride their bikes without training wheels. Caleb was first (as he should have been) early in December. After Caleb rode on his own for about a week, Collin decided he wanted to learn. And now, they are both zipping up and down the driveway like they've been doing this for years. Amazing!!!

3. Scotty and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. Talk about time flying. I can't believe it has been that long. We've had ups and we've had downs throughout the whole 11 years. We had both this year; and, more than any other year, I feel that we had to put "us" on the back burner. That stinks! BUT, I also found myself being so thankful that I am married to someone willing to ride out the difficult times while being understanding about the fact that three kids, jobs, stresses, etc. will affect our relationship. And then, he's willing to put in the work it takes to make things right reassuring me that "we" are worth it. Love you, sweet husband! :)

4. I am teaching again. For years, I have wanted to get certified to teach aerobics. Exercising has been my escape -- the thing that I do for me -- since Caleb was born. After a few years of being home, I began to have the desire to teach some classes. But I was too scared!!! I'm not sure what I was scared of, but I was. So, this year, I braved up and just did it. I absolutely love it. I teach cycle, sculpt, and some step. Every time I teach, I am amazed that I can do it. While I don't make that much money, I get paid to exercise and someone keeps my kids for free. Sweet!

5. Caleb started kindergarten. You know, I thought this was going to be so much harder than it was. I think the events of the summer helped me to begin to appreciate life in every phase. I just kept thinking that one day, I would look back and remember Caleb in kindergarten, and I wanted to have great memories. If I had been sad about Caleb starting school, I know that the future me would wish I had just enjoyed that time. So, that's what I tried to do. Now, don't think I didn't cry as I dropped him off. It took me several weeks to stop doing that. He just looked so big walking in that giant school. But, he LOVES school, so that really makes it easier to deal with.
6. We had a fantastic trip to Disney World. Well, who DOESN'T have a fantastic time in Disney? It was especially great for us, because it was our first big trip as a family. And, it was so much fun watching the boys enjoy themselves. We got a card from Disney last week. All of the characters were on the front holding a sign that said, "We miss you." Collin said, "O.K., Mom I'm ready to go back to Disney World." Me too. I wish it were that easy.

**Now, I said I was listing in no particular order. But, these last two, while they aren't so positive, have probably impacted me more than the previous.

7. Claire had two seizures this year. Both of these seizures were febrile seizures and lasted only seconds. But, they have changed me to some degree. I was holding Claire through both seizures. No one should ever have to watch their child's body do what hers was doing. I hope I NEVER have to see it again. I am still working through what this last one had done to me. So, there's probably no way that I can verbalize it just yet. Let's just say that I can't seem to get over it and just relax. But, I do have a greater appreciation for those who live with any type of sickness or those mothers whose children live with sickness.
This is Claire at Christmas as she was starting to feel better.

8. Finally, the life and death of Jason Weathers will forever be a part of me. I've written about it, and many of you keep up with Stephanie's blog as well. But, more than anything else that has happened this year, his sickness has impacted me. Just about every morning since January 7th, I wake up thinking about the Weathers. Since his death, I have been torn between grieving for Stephanie and this life that she now owns and thanking God for the miracles that I have observed along the way. She and the kids are so taken care of right now. There are so many that love them. God is good and if you doubt that in any way, go to her site and read from the beginning. But, the situation is still a reminder that life is short and life is hard. And, for both reasons, we lean on the One that gives us life. The One that made a way that we could have life and enjoy life.

Our focus is so important, because what we focus on is always larger than everything else. So, in this situation, I am choosing to focus on God's provision, God's sovreignty and God's eternal love for us. Jason was also healed in 2008. So, I focus on that as well. And, then I pray for healing for Stephanie, Anna Lea, Jon Brent and Ally.

Well, that's it. What a year!! I'm ready to move on. How about you?

In making the list, I have been overwhelmed by how many people were involved in each of these memories; children, friends, teachers, doctors, nurses, strangers, church members, spouses, etc. Every single person involved helped to make this my list of memories. Let's just remember that we were called to relationship. We never know whose life we might impact. There's no way we can make positive prints on other lives when we aren't enjoying the very life that we are given. I'm making several resolutions this year, but I'm going to make that my enjoy this life and all that is in it. It's short and it's hard, but it's mine, and My Creator designed me to enjoy it abundantly. Hey, yours did too. :)