Monday, November 30, 2009

With Feet...

I have told you before about my precious mother-in-law, Maria. She is fighting a RELENTLESS battle with ovarian cancer. My friend Flo, who lost her mother to cancer, says that cancer is an UGLY word.

I agree.

However, I have never seen anyone deal with something so ugly in such a BEAUTIFUL way. John and Maria have given "feet" to so many scriptures through this long and difficult journey.

James 1:2-4 says..."Consider it pure JOY, my brothers when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops PERSEVERANCE...
I have watching Maria find JOY in knowing her savior more through this journey, I have seen her and John cry tears of JOY as they have talked about the ways they have been able to minister to others who are struggling through this battle. And never in my life have seen more PERSEVERANCE. Ovarian Cancer is will go into remission but then it returns with a vengeance. With much grace and beauty John and Maria have persevered through treatment after treatment and hospital stay after hospital stay. Even at some of her worst and weakest moments I have seen them smile and give praise to their savior Jesus.
Can't you just see how much he loves her!
1 Corinthians 13:5 says...Love is not self-seeking...
In spite of this battle that is raging around them John and Maria decided to put others first this holiday season. By others I mean their 11, yes I said 11, grandchildren! On Friday after Thanksgiving they had the oldest 8 grand kids over for a camp out. (And let me just stop here and tell you that even though they were the oldest of the 11 they were from ages 2-7...and 7 of them were boys!) They enjoyed hayrides, and roasting Marshmallows, scary stories around the campfire, hot dogs, and 6 of them even slept in the tents! I have never seen kids have more fun. What I am not sure John and Maria realized is that they were living out Scripture for their grand kids. Maria spent three days in the hospital prior to the camp out getting fluids so that she would be ready to go. In the face or pain and weariness they chose to think of others happiness when it would have been easier to just buy the kids a gift or send them a card...they were showing our kiddos what is means to put others first, to live a life that is not self-seeking. For that I am truly grateful.
The next day was filled so many wonderful moments my DVR wouldn't be able to hold them all!

Thank you for such a wonderful weekend Papa and Grammie!

*photos courtesy of Britney Lorick

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey Time

I have "mom dreams"! You know the ones I am talking about...the ones where you dream about being that mom who always has fresh cookies made...who is always doing fun creative things with her kids...all while keeping the house clean, having dinner on the table, and never ever getting frustrated.

I will admit that this is just fantasy and things with three kids never work out the way you plan for them to. But today was a pretty great day even from my "mom dream" point of view.

One of the coolest things about keeping Kaden home this year is that my sweet friend Jennifer has also done the same thing with her son Austin. We are even using the same curriculum which is great for swapping ideas. Kaden and Austin are best buds and love to get together. So in honor of Thanksgiving we got our kiddos together for a little Turkey Celebration.
We made Indian hats...

Isn't Kaitlyn just the cutest thing?
toilet paper roll turkeys... and by far their favorite activity of the day was making turkey cupcakes.

We ended the day with a toothpick feast!
And even though not everything worked out like I planned (the glue didn't stick on the toilet paper turkeys, all of my laundry was still out in the playroom, Karter just ate his cupcake without making it into a turkey first)...we had the best time creating, playing, and eating together!

Happy Turkey Day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Checking In

I am a starter...I love to start things. You know, I start a new workout program, or an attempt to learn how to sew. I start looking into a new ministry, or even start a new devotional. I make up schedules of how I can fit everything into my day all with the intent of finishing all of these things I love starting. The problem...I am NOT a good finisher.
So I am checking in, holding myself accountable for the things I have started recently. Not long ago I wrote a post about diligence and knowing that God is calling me to be diligent even when I don't feel like it or when things are hard. He has even promised that those who are diligent will get results. It is my desire to allow God to change my make me a finisher.
Here are the things I have started:
*doing school with Kaden at home
*buying groceries on a budget of $100 per week
*Reading and studying The Mission of Motherhood with a group of ladies
*working out (P90x and running)

Here is how I am doing:
*school with Kaden is really going well. Yes, there have been those days when I didn't feel like doing school or when Kaden didn't feel like it either. But, I am starting to see the fruits of my labor. ( I will have a post about this soon). We have been going for 12+ weeks now!:)
*I have managed to stay right at or very close to my $100 budget for the last 3 weeks! There are lots of days when I don't want to cut out coupons or search for the best deal, days when it would be easier to just walk through and get exactly what I want without even looking at the cost...but diligence in this area is really paying off!
*I have done really well with the bible is VERY challenging and has forced me to think long and hard about my calling as a mom and to break free of some ideas I had about parenting.
*working out is still an area where I struggle. I have been careful not to go a whole week without at least exercising or running one time. Last week I worked in 2 runs and a workout video. My LEAST 5 days a week.

I am sure I will come up with lots of other things to start but for now this what I am working on... striving my best to finish and finish well!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stolen Moments...

Have you ever wished your life had a DVR? Wouldn't it be great to just push record every time those sweet little moments sneak on you and there is not a camera in sight. Then we could just rewind and relive those sweet, unexpected, priceless moments.
As parents we are blessed to have many opportunities to enjoy such moments...if we are willing to take the time to sit and take it all in that is.
Recently I have been reading a very challenging book about motherhood. The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson is a great book if you are looking to be challenged and stretched in your roll as a mom. In the book Sally challenged me to spend individual time with each of my children. While that may sound simple it has really been a struggle for me.
I have time with our sweet Kaden while the other boys are napping each day.
I spend my nights with Kolson after the older boys are in bed.
But that leaves virtually zero time for little Karty. I had really been praying about how to spend time with him when I walked by his bedroom on my way to bed one night and heard him still awake jumping in his bed! It seems Karter is a little insomniac! Many nights he is still awake when we head to bed or some nights I hear him up at 3 am just jumping in his crib. I decided to maximize my time...I quietly crept into his room careful not to wake Kaden and brought him to our bed. For the next 30-45 minutes Nathan and I just loved on Karter. We made animal sounds and laughed and giggled. It was a DVR I wish I could go back and relive...taking time to memorize his laugh and the way he says "OH MAN".

Last night provided us with a chance to love on Karter as he experienced another insomniac moment. When we put him to bed at 8pm he was so upset because we didn't let him wear "unnies" (undies). At 11pm we heard him jumping so Nathan went to rescue him...what was he still talking about..."unnies". So after a few minutes of fun we put some undies over his Jammie's and he was ready for bed. He has been wearing undies over his pants today as well. Too bad he is not as excited about the potty as he is the undies!!

Take time to enjoy those "DVR" moments this week!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Halloween

We were all about LSU this year! It was our first Halloween to all be coordinated. Kaden and Karter were football players, Kolson was the ball, Nathan was the coach, and Kaden said I was the cheerleader (minus the skirt!:).
Three attempts at a family photo!
To be honest Halloween is NOT my favorite night and most years I almost dread the Fall Festival because Nathan is there to minister and reach out to visitors which means I am ministering to our sweet children on my own! I was really nervous about this year since Kaden and Karter are both SO busy! Fortunately Halloween coincided with Canton weekend this year so Nonnie, Papaw, and Aunt Julie came along for some Halloween fun! Thanks again guys!

Let the games begin!
Both boys wore Nathan's high school football number
Coach and his two favorite players

Our little football got plenty of playing time as well...from his grandparents that is!

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!

Yes...I am still running pretty far behind on blogging...but hey this is my blog and want to remember these moments since I am NOT a scrapbooking girl!=)
This year we loaded up with the Massingill Family and headed to Tyler to visit The Bell Family Farm Pumpkin Patch! It was a blast and best of was free!

Here are so pictures of our day! And can I just add that trying to take pictures with three little boys is SOOO difficult!

See what I mean!

They all loved the barrel train

Best buds

The day was REALLY chilly but Kolson loved watching all the action

My boys loved their fist ride on a see-saw
I loved watching Karter "explore" the pumpkins
Our little scarecrows
This took ALOT of work!:)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just a little late!

Last week our sweet little Kolson turned 5 months! October turned out to be a really busy month for us so I am a little behind...I promise pumpkin patch and Halloween pictures are coming soon!
Kolson is still maintaining his status as "pure sweetness". He smiles at everyone and is pretty content just to watch all of the action. He is proving to be VERY strong. He is already trying to sit-up and LOVES to stand in your lap.
At his latest appointment he weighed in just shy of 15 lbs. All three of my boys weighed about the same at this point but Kolson has got them all beat by nearly an inch in height!
Here are some pictures of our little 5 month old!