Friday, May 21

Hello, Blog World! I've Missed You...

Wow. I feel like a stranger in my own blog! I have no excuses. Actually, I do, but I'm not going to share them. Let's just say we've been enjoying A LOT of God's Goodness in my absence. And, most of it has been done at the ball park. While I realize that this would be a death sentence to most people, we LOVE it. And, it's something we all enjoy doing together. Caleb and Collin each had at least 10 games this season. Scotty coached them all and Claire and I watched them all. We are away from home more during the spring, but we have spent more time ALL TOGETHER than ever before. It's been fun. reason for writing today. Another chapter is ending for my children. The biggest news is that Collin is a preschool graduate! He has the semi cap and diploma to prove it. He has had such a wonderful preschool experience! His teachers and his friends LOVE him. And, he is so ready for Kindergarten. I couldn't have asked for more. His last day was yesterday, and when he woke up this morning, he really thought he was going to Kindergarten.

Caleb is wrapping up first grade. UNBELIEVABLE! Two years ago, he turned 5, and I was super anxious about it. The reason...because I knew that once he began "real" school, the years would fly by. I was right! However, the time has been so much fun that I can't really grieve it's passing. Every new season has been even more fun than the last. So, I am now excited about the years to come as Caleb leaves the FABULOUS Clinton Park for Northside.

Now, I can't let a door close without looking at all the angles and really analyzing all that we have to be thankful for. I say it over and over, but it's worth repeating...God's greatest gifts to me have always been the PEOPLE that he has placed in my life! I'm talking about family, friends, Scotty, our children, teachers, pastors, mentors, etc. The list could go on and on. At every stage of my life, I can name someone that made a difference in my life at that point.

What I have noticed this year more than ever is that God is blessing my children in the same way! And, that is so exciting. They have been so blessed by the teachers, friends, and leaders that they have come in contact with over the past couple of years. I LOVE that Scotty and I are their main "teachers", but I am also glad that their lives can be enriched by others who are so eager to teach and encourage and love them.

The flip side of that is that they are learning now (in very small ways) that THEY can be that "make a difference" person in someone else's life. And, I pray they will take advantage of those opportunities.

There are LOTS of choices families must make these days about school, church, activities, etc. I don't feel that any one choice is THE right choice. But, we all have to make the right choice for our own families. I'm so happy with the choices we've been able to make for US.

So as we move into the summer knowing that the next school year will begin with Caleb in 2nd grade, Collin in Kindergarten and Claire in preschool (WOW!), I can only look with anticipation for even more relationships that God will bless us with individually and as a family.

Now, let the summer fun begin!!!

Thursday, January 28

The Power of Words....

Claire is becoming quite the talker. She didn't talk as quickly as Collin did. And, we blame most of that on the pacifier. Obviously, we weren't overly concerned about that, because she STILL has it. Recently, however, she has really been talking A LOT. I mean, she's stringing sentences together and really communicating.

Now, as all parents know, this can be really good AND it can be pretty bad. A point made very clear by her most recent phrase..."STOP TALKING TO ME!" which she says very clearly and very emphatically with just a touch of disrespect.

The other day, we were in the van (I know, SHOCKER!)on our way to pick up Caleb, and Collin was really irritating Claire. I mean, honestly, he was driving her nuts. Every time he said something, she would scream her new, favorite phrase. However, he was not getting the picture, and they were BOTH driving ME nuts.

So, I turned around and asked Collin to stop bothering her. Then, I looked at Claire and asked her to quit saying that. She paused, turned her gaze (glare!) to me and said, "YOU stop talking to me TOO!"

Well, I carry a spanking stick in the car for these types of occasions. But, this one took me by such surprise that I had to turn my head for a quick grin before taking care of business.

Wow! I mean, you just assume that certain issues -- like respect for a parent -- are just innate, yet I am reminded over and over that they certainly ARE NOT. That sweet, little girl turned on her Mama in a second, and I saw first hand the power struggle that is beginning already.

Last night, though, I was cleaning the kitchen while she kind of fumbled around at my feet. Without any prompting or persuading, she looked up and said, "Mama, I love you." Awww... I could live off of that for a while.

At some point, Claire will have to learn that with her new knowledge of communication, she now has the power to speak LIFE or DEATH.

In the meantime, it's a good reminder for her mother!

Tuesday, January 5

OH NO...Another Hunter?!?!

Late yesterday afternoon, Scotty pulled out a deer hunting video. He, Caleb and Collin all sat in the den for quite some time watching hunters prepare for and shoot animals. The boys were loving it.

Collin got all worked up over this hunting thing. He made Scotty pull out the guns to show him. They talked about going to shoot at targets and getting ready to hunt "for real".

Right before bed, Collin began announcing that after his "sleep", he was going to go for a hunt in our back yard. He told me that he would shoot a squirrel, bring it inside, and I could cook it. He's very imaginative, so I went along with the pretending.Or, so I thought. 1:30 a.m., Caleb and Collin were standing beside my bed. Caleb looked as if he might still be sleeping. Collin looked wide awake. When I said, "what in the world are y'all doing," Collin said, "we're going hunting!"

At that point, I chuckled a little (out loud which made him a little angry), and Caleb rolled his eyes and went back to his bed. So, I knew that he was indeed still sleeping. There is no telling what his brother told him to get him out of bed.

Thankfully, Collin was able to sleep off his disappointment. But, when Ms. Erin put him in the car after preschool, she let me know that he had told her all about "the hunt" that was about to take place. So, after lunch, he grabbed his bow and arrows, put on his thick camo jacket and climbed the only tree in our backyard that he could climb (a very short Dogwood). He sat perched there quite some time with his arrow in place and the string pulled back just waiting for the perfect squirrel. I don't know much about hunting in general, but I'm pretty sure squirrels don't come to you. And, a bow and arrow wouldn't necessarily be the best choice in weapon for such a hunting excursion. I guess he knew, though, that a deer sure wasn't going to happen into our back yard.

I have had MANY frustrations over the years with Scotty's hunting. It's hard to get used to the obsession. Then, with a family, it's difficult to like the thing that takes Daddy away from us on precious days off. BUT, if the boys end up enjoying it and it's something they can do together, it just might be worth it.

Because, that sweet, little boy had so much fun pretending this morning that the real thing should be quite an adventure.

Monday, January 4

I'm So Beautiful!!!

Is my new look GORGEOUS or what!?!

I have a very talented friend that takes pictures. I've had this photo in mind for a while. So, while she was doing our Christmas cards, I asked her to snap this picture of the kids. It will soon be hanging above the fireplace in our den. I can't wait.

I have another talented friend that is an ARTIST (I don't know her title). I asked her if she could insert Heather's picture as my title, because I couldn't figure out how to do it. And, this is what she did.


Now, I'll just have to find time to come here and write about the events of our days. I'll need an excuse to come stare at the beauty that is blog.

It sure does pay to have talented friends. :) Thanks, girls.