Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spring Training and 8 months...

If you have ever spent much time with my boys you know that they love all things sports...the current fav is football.  We play football, we watch football, we draw pictures of football games, and even our action figures play football.  Tonight after bath time the boys decided they needed to start "training" for football.  Kaden said he wanted to exercise, so he put on the 30 Day Shred and we all got to work.  It was a bonus for me...I was planning on working out after they went to bed...this way I got to spend time with them and work the extra roll from dinner off.  To make things even better my abs got an added work out just watching the boys.  They were so funny!  Notice the lincoln logs Kaden is using for his weights!

Today is also the day Kolson is 8 months old.  He is still such a happy little guy...although he starting to show signs that I may have spoiled him just a bit a lot!  He loves to watch his brothers and just the other day I saw him trying to get up on all fours!  It won't be long and he will be all over the place with the rest of the crew.  I can't wait to watch them all playing and laughing together.  We just need a few more and we could have our own team! (Just kidding Nathan...well sort of)   I love being the mommy to these 3 sweet, crazy boys!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I am a response person.  What I mean by that is simply the fact that there is something in my personality that needs a response, a reaction, some affirmation.  I often feel inadequate or feel like others are not satisfied when I don't get a response.  This is something I did not recognize in myself until my husband pointed it out to me several months ago.  I argued at first (of course) but the more time I have sat pondering just who I really am...I have decided it is true.

This morning as I thought about this I was reminded of the verses in Galatians were Paul is talking and he says..." Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God? ".  Wow!  How many years of my life have I spent looking for affirmation and responses from others so that I would feel worthy, and appreciated.

The Story:

I went out of town this weekend to sing at a ladies retreat.  It was the first time I have ever left all three boys with Nathan.  I had no doubt he could handle it!

Let me insert this here- 
I have the kind of brain that likes to imagine how things will happen before they even happen.  You would think after years of doing this I would realize that nothing ever turns out the way I imagine it in my head.  Still I continue to imagine!- ok back to the story.

Nathan called several times and I could hear the usual chaos in the background.  This is when the imagining began.  You see, I started thinking about what would happen when I got home.  I had it all planned out in my head.  I would walk in the door and my husband and children would come running to me because they had missed me so much.  I imagined (ok, I hoped :) that Nathan would tell me how glad he was that I was home and how thankful he was for me.  I thought he would tell me how hard my job of being the mom is and how he could never do it as well as I do (I know my imagination is a little out of control).  But, as I am sure you have guess by now, that is not what happened.  The kids were in bed when I got home and Nathan was watching a movie.  No one ran to hug me and Nathan even said that it was an easy weekend.  He even managed a trip to Wal-Mart with all three of them and he thought that was easy as well.

Insert pity party here-  (just keeping it real folks)

Even though I know in my heart that my family is thankful for me and that they do appreciate the things I do for them, I  still started thinking to myself...wow, why do they need me?  Anyone could do my job and Nathan could probably do it even better than me.  What is the point?  Why am I always striving so hard?

Insert my time with the Lord here-

As I sat on the couch this morning I decided to confess my feelings to the Lord.  I told him that I felt like I deserved some affirmation and appreciation.  He reminded me of the verse I shared earlier.  And then He brought a song to my mind that I had listened to several times on my trip.  The song is called Beautiful by Bethany Dillon.  It is the story of a girl who longs to be beautiful and to feel worthy.  The last chorus is my favorite...it is when she realizes that Jesus is the one who makes her beautiful, He is the one she is amazed by and He makes her worthy.  Here is a link to the song if you would like to listen.

So today I am reminding myself to live a life that seeks to win the approval of my God and not men.  I am reminding myself that whatever I do whether in words or in deeds should be done for His glory and not my own.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dear Karter...

My dearest Karty boy,
We took you to eat pizza after church today.  Sundays always seem to be a rather stressful day for you.  You are normally crying by the time I make it to the nursery to pick you up and most of the time I have to literally drag you to the car.  Today was no different.  I should have known from the melt down in the parking lot that today was most likely not the best day for a meal out. Never the less, I was out of town this weekend and did not have lunch planned so, we decided to brave it anyway.  You did not disappoint!  After I did not let you carry your own plate of jello you had a full blown melt down.  I always know a melt down is coming when you take your shoes off....I guess it is your way of showing me you your dissatisfaction.  Today you even took your socks off...I assume you were severely dissatisfied!  Your melt down included VERY loud crying while you rolled on the floor.  Yes, there were other church members there and yes it was a little embarrassing but to be honest we are used to it by now!  I am telling you all of this so that someday when you have a curly red headed boy who has a serious problem controlling his temper you will know that you are not the first parent dealing with this...and so you can call and apologize...just kidding!:)
Karter you are such a strong and tough little boy.  You rarely cry when you get hurt and you have a very STRONG desire for things to be done YOUR way (you are a lot like your Daddy:)!  I know that some day God is going to use your strong personality to do great things for Him...much like the way He is using your Daddy here in Malakoff.  The hardest part for me as your mommy is figuring out how to get you to that point!  You are our miracle baby, our long awaited one, an answer to prayers.  When you were born I thought that God was just answering my prayer to have another baby...now I am convinced that He answered my prayer to have more patience as well!:)  You challenge me and stretch me and make me want to think out of the box!  I am praying that God will use me as your mommy to train you how to use that powerful personality He has given you.
I love you sweet Karter...even when you are in melt down mode!  I love the way your smile lights up a room.  I love your zeal for live and every kind of ball on the face of the earth.  I love the way you adore your Bubba and want to be just like him.  God has big plans for you sweet boy...let's just work on a little self control!:)
I am so blessed to be the mommy of you and your sweet brothers.  There is never a dull moment with the three of you. 

I love you!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sweet Curls...

I will admit that Karter may be a little very challenging little toddler however, he does have some of the sweetest curls!
He his learning at such a fast pace these days.  It seems like he is saying something new every day.  I love to hear his little voice when it is saying things like "buv you" or "ge nigh mommy".  Like every toddler he does have his terrible 2 moments.  "No" is one of his newest most favorite words!  Yesterday our sweet little Karty didn't like what I was serving for lunch so he threw the plate (with the food on it) across the room!  Needless to say Karter and the time out chair are pretty good friends!  Even in these crazy and challenging moments I am so thankful for K2.  I can't wait to see what God will do with his firey little personality...and yes I am praying that he will have little one just like himself one day!:)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Homemaking 101...

Since I have become a SAHM (stay at home mom) this year I have been striving to be the best I can be at keeping things in order, planning meals, staying on a budget, and trying to stay caught up on the laundry (notice I said trying :).  I still have a LONG way to go but I am learning and one of my goals for 2010 is to invest in some books that will help me whip this unorganized girl into shape!

One recent quest I have been on is to make my own bread.  If you know me well you know that I LOVE bread.  I love rolls and sweet breads, I love sandwiches on sourdough bread, and breads made with cheese.  And to be quite honest I would rather not waste the calories on a regular piece of sandwich bread...boring!

So back to the quest...it started before Christmas with a desire to make some dinner rolls.  Attempt number 1 yielded some edible but not great rolls.  Attempt number 2 took place on Christmas day and the results were NOT pretty.  They came out hard and did not rise.  Nathan made fun me so I threw one at him and it was so hard it busted his lip..ha!  Attempt number 3 was a huge success!  After learning the proper techniques for proofing the yeast and finding a great recipe from the Pioneer Woman I finally made some great rolls!  What was even better was that this particular recipe made LOTS of dough that you could keep in the frig for a few days.  So last night I made rolls once again!

They were so good...especially with a good ole pat of butter...the real stuff!

After my success I was feeling a little invincible so I decided to tackle something I have never tried...cinnamon rolls!  They were near as good as mother in law's but hey it was my  first attempt.  Next time I will add more yummy filling and I need to master my icing but all in all I would give them a 7 out of 10!

Here they are right before baking and then the finished product.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I am having one of those moments in life.  The moments when you come face to face with yourself and who you really are and the only thing you can say is...yuck.
I am not throwing a pity party or looking for someone to tell me that I am some wonderful person.  What I am wanting to do is just be real.  I just want to admit the things that Lord is pointing out to me...the ugly corners He has found in my heart.

Can I be honest and tell you that I get overwhelmed by the mundane things in life?  I get overwhelmed by the never ending stacks of laundry, the dishwasher that is always full, the toys that always need to be put away, and the meals that need to be made.  Maybe it is the lack of accomplishment in the mundane things...since they always need to be done again and again.  To make matters worse, when major life change happens, as has been the case for us in the past month, I get overly overwhelmed.  When that happens those ugly corners start to take over.  What is in the ugly corners?  They are full of selfishness.  The ugliest kind of selfishness that thinks only of myself and what is best for me.  The kind of selfishness that makes me feel like it is okay to be ugly or rude to my husband and family because I have endured SO much (please hear the sarcasm there).  What the Lord is showing me tonight is that when I allow those ugly corners to take over I am not gaining anything.  Truthfully, I am missing out on everything when I choose to focus on me.  Yes, the mundane things get old...but if I am not careful I will look up and that stack of laundry will be much smaller because all of my children are grown and gone.  As I read in another blog today...I will miss these times, I will miss giving baths and singing songs, hearing about football players, and picking up screaming babies.
My selfishness has never looked so ugly as it has in the past few days.  In the wake of all that has happened in Haiti, I am still thinking that my house is too small and how great it would be to have bigger closets.  My husband is losing his mom and I have still tried to make him feel guilty about not spending enough time on me. 
It is times like this when I come face to face with me that I am reminded of what a great sacrifice it was for God to send his son for me.  He sent even knowing that I would be selfish and think only of myself.  A lot of times we are willing to give to others if we know the person will get on the right track.  But God sent His son for me even knowing that their would be SO many times I would just flat fall off the track.  Thank you Lord for your great mercy...please forgive my selfishness and help me to sweep it out of my heart.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We interrupt the regularly scheduled craziness for...

...a normal day!

Our life has been a little  a lot crazy lately. It seems like there is always something going on and most days Nathan and I just see each other as we are passing from one event to the next. The boys have been off schedule and things have been anything but normal...UNTIL today!

We woke had breakfast, had our school time, and we have just had a blast playing hide and seek, going for a walk, and taking time to play in the back yard. Now K2 and K3 are napping while Kaden and I are enjoying some down time together.

I am thankful to the Lord for a normal day in the midst of the craziness...it is just what we needed to be ready for the next wave of craziness!:)

Today was the first day that ALL 3 boys enjoyed the swings...

Monday, January 11, 2010


On Saturday I had the great privilege to sit with Maria for just a few moments. It was just the two of us and sweet baby Kolson. I got to hold her hand and tell her that I would be better because I have known her. I watched Kolson "talk" to her and hold her hand as well. I promised her that her grandchildren would always be reminded of her and how much she loves them. She had their newest picture sitting right in front of her. She said that she prays for them everyday...she prays for them in the present but also for their futures...for who they will marry and who they will become. It reminds me of the verse in Hebrews that says faith is being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see...she will be like Abraham...only able to see these things and welcome them from a distance.
Her soul longs to be with Jesus in a place where her cancer and pain is defeated but her heart aches for those of us she is leaving behind. There is still part of her that wants to be here living life with her family...watching them grow, being at birthday parties, but more importantly kneeling before the Lord to pray for them. She even told me that praying for her husband, children, and grandchildren has been the greatest honor of her life. She hopes she will still be able to pray for us from heaven.
Many people find honor in doing the "great" things. I was so touched to know that praying for me and my family has been an honor in Maria's life. So often we are focused on doing big, huge things to honor God when we forget what an honor and privilege it is just to be able to come into his presence and sit at his feet interceding for others and for ourselves.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My heart is heavy. News from Shreveport, where my sweet mother-in-law is fighting ovarian cancer, is not good. It seems Maria may be going to meet our precious Savior soon. Nathan is still in Virginia but will be flying home tomorrow to be with his family.

As I am sitting here tonight, helpless and unable to do anything to change things, I am reminded of some of my favorite memories with Maria.Maria was the first person to ever keep Kaden over night! He was only two months old and I gave her literally 2 pages of "instructions" for how to take care of him! She should have said..."you know, I HAVE done this before"...but instead she smiled and took my instructions!:)

John and Maria were the first ones there after we lost Konner. Maria just sat with me while Nathan and his dad went to make funeral arrangements. She was there to listen and comfort me in one of the darkest hours of my life.
I love watching her and John at Christmas! They always like to go a little over board as far as toys go but the joy in their eyes as they sit and watch their children and grandchildren is priceless. I always loved watching John surprise Maria with Christmas presents...he is a great gift giver...he always picked out the perfect dress or perfume or jewelry. I love that the cards always said "to my sweet Re".

On the day Kolson was born Maria was in the hospital and still called to check in on her newest addition!

But my most favorite memories of Maria, are the everyday ones, the moments when no one else was watching but she still exemplified the fruits of the spirit in every way. Seeing her in the kitchen toting a grandchild while trying to cook and make sure the other grand kids were staying off the stairs, watching her work side by side with John and always being so patient and kind, hearing her talk to friends on the phone and offer words of encouragement, late nights talking with her while Nathan and his dad were out on a donut run, waking up in the mornings only to find her already up with her bible in hand. These are the things I will remember most.

I will be a better wife, mother, and woman of God because I have known Maria.

I have said it before but when I think of Maria I can't help but to think of that song from VBS... but the fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. Maria is leaving such a huge legacy...she has touched so many lives and so much of this world will not be the same because of her.

When Maria was diagnosed she was already at a stage 3 or 4. That is the way it goes with ovarian cancer. By the time most women find out they have this cancer it is already too late. In the midst of her battle and most difficult moments John and Maria have started The Maria Lorick Heart of Hope Cancer Foundation. Their hope is to raise awareness for this brutal cancer and to find a reliable early detection test and eventually a cure! Not only is Maria leaving her family and those who know her a legacy, but through this foundation she is leaving a legacy of hope to all the families who may be touched by this cancer in the future.

I know that she is leaving us to go to a better place. A place where she will not only meet the baby she lost years ago, but also her dad, and the babies we lost, but most importantly she is meeting Jesus...her savior. Still, my heart aches. It aches for my boys...I want each of them to know her and to get to see first hand God's light shining through her. I want them to have more camping weekends with her and rides on Papa's EXTREME hayride. I want to talk with her more, and watch her go down the water slide again. I don't understand this, I will be honest, this is not how I would have planned things, but I can honestly say that, even through tears tonight, I know our God is in control. I know we can trust Him. I know that He works even the hardest things out for good. I know that even when we feel like we are drowning in grief and pain He will not let the waters sweep over us. And I trust that even while we are hurting He will quite us with His love and rejoice over us with singing.

As I was listening to this song tonight I couldn't help but think of our sweet Maria. It starts by saying...You're my beloved, You're my bride, To sing over you is my delight, Come away with me my love...
I couldn't help but think how beautiful the sound of our sweet savior's voice will be as it calls her home.
Here is the link to the song...

Please pray for John and Maria and their children and families tonight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Post Christmas Photo shoot!

Getting a good picture of my three boys together is nearly impossible. While my parents were here I enlisted their help to get some great shots of the boys...


Monday, January 4, 2010

The longest post ever!!

I know I am a little late, but like I have said before, this is my way of scrap booking so I have to document Christmas this year! I will warn you now that this post is VERY long!

Christmas #1-
We had our second ever Christmas Eve and morning at home. We followed our traditions from last year with a few special additions!
After the Christmas Eve service we headed home for some yummy chicken enchiladas. Since this was our first Christmas with Sam we invited her Granny and sister over as well. We had a great time eating with them and getting to know them...they even joined us for our annual trip to look at Christmas lights in Athens! Although I am not sure they knew what they were getting into...the boys were so excited! It was great to share this special night with Sam's family.
When got home we finished up the night by allowing Sam and each of the boys to open a gift.
I love this picture of all 4 of them opening their gifts
The brothers 3!
Thanks for the toys Nonnie and Papaw!
Nathan and I had decided that we would not buy for each other this year...however, he decided that "the boys" would get me something. He had to wrap it himself...and since he has never wrapped before he chose to wrap in foil! No need for tape!:)Christmas morning was great! The boys woke up a little grouchy but their moods quickly changed when they saw the fun things "Santa" left for them. Poor Sam wasn't expecting Santa to come so early! We were banging on her door at 7:30 in the morning!:) I am not sure what was more exciting watching our boys or watching Sam's eyes light up when she opened the lap top that "Santa" brought! The sayings are correct...receiving is WAY overrated...giving is where the real joy comes from!

Christmas tuckered Kolson out!

Christmas #2

On Christmas afternoon we headed south of Shreveport to Nathan's sister's house for some celebrating with his mom and step dad. We were so excited to have Sam with us...I think she got more than she bargained for when she hopped in the car with the 5 of us! Honestly, it was a great trip and the boys were excellent! It was so fun just to hang out with family and watch our kids play together. With our 3 boys and Nathan's 2 sister's kiddos we have a total of 8 kiddos ages 7 and under and only 1 of them is a girl...needless to say it was fun! Just watching Nathan and his sisters together is enough entertainment for a few hours...I love their close relationship and the way they are always hassling each other! No celebration with Nathan's mom is ever complete without her delicious cinnamon rolls! They are huge and sooo yummy!

I had so much fun that I forgot to take more pictures!

Christmas #3

We woke up early on Saturday morning to put together a present for Nathan's Dad and Maria. It is something they have wanted for a while but we have been putting off. So finally we all got together and dressed ALL 11 grandkids in white shirts and jeans and took them to a portrait studio (see why we had been putting it off:). I am sure the workers at the studio were more than happy to see us go after our session. With 11 kids 7 and under it was really crazy. I am sure it would have won the $10,000 prize on America's Funniest Videos. Two of the toddlers were just not having it that morning (yes, you guessed it...Karter was one of them) and so all the adults were doing anything they could to make the kids smile. I was bribing with marshmallows, Nathan was wearing pink and purple boas, Michele was getting the little ones with giant teddy bear, and Jennifer was trying anything to just get Pierce to stay in the picture! Like I said...craziness!

Here is our end result:

After the crazy picture taking we headed to Nathan's dad's house to celebrate with everyone! It was another day full of cousin play!We made memories I will not soon forget! Once again Maria gave it her all, in the face of pain and exhaustion she put us first and celebrated Christmas to the full! I cannot put into words how much we love her and how God has used her and John to show us what it really means to have faith and to serve Him even in the storms.

I loved watching them open the picture we had taken and then watching the kids point to themselves in the picture!

Christmas #4-

On Wednesday, after Christmas, my parents made the journey up to East Texas and we were able to celebrate with them. I loved having my parents here and watching them love on our boys. We had so much fun just hanging out. My parents are truly my best friends. I rarely go more than a day without talking to them. I love that my mom and dad are both always there to listen and offer advice and prayers. They call almost daily for "an update" on the latest crazy thing the boys have done!:) They even gave Nathan and I the opportunity to have a night out on New Year's Eve! I never worry about our boys when they are with my parents! My sister and her fiance, Scott and his daughter Gabby joined us on Friday! Kaden loves to play with Gabby!

Presents, Presents Everywhere!

The costumes and hammering blocks were a huge success

I love Kolson's smile behind the passy

My sister and Koley

I love that my mom is not afarid to get on the floor and act like a little crazy with my boys

Proud of my Man!!

My husband is a dreamer, a visionary, a goal setter, a glass half full kind of guy. His mind is always racing with ideas and ways he can make himself, his ministry, and those around him better. He has been this way since we met. In fact, it is one of the things that made me love him so. He is passionate and his passion for Jesus is contagious, inspiring, and intriguing.
Throughout our marriage he has had many of these so called visions and dreams. Some of them have taken us to places we never thought we would go...Tennessee after college, the smallest town in Texas (Martins Mill), snow cone shops, and so much more. On my own I NEVER would have done any of this. I am more the glass is half empty kind of girl who likes to just play it safe and stay where things are nice and normal. But boy I am ever thankful that I have followed my man! On each of our "adventures", as I like to call them, I have learned to love my God more and have fallen more and more in love in with Nathan.
One of the dreams he has had for as long as I have known him is to get his doctorate degree. His grandfather had his doctorate and it is always something Nathan has wanted to do. He has always said that he wanted to have it done by the time he is 30. Me, being the half empty kind of girl that I am really thought that is was impossible. I never said that out loud but I always thought it would take a little longer.
Leave it to my glass is half full husband to prove me wrong!! As I type this, he is in Virginia for his last 2 seminars! All he will have left to do is to write his dissertation (which he has already started). As long as he can finish by Feb. 8th of 2011 (I know he will) he will have met his goal to have a doctorate degree by the time he is 30!
I am proud of my man for his hard work, dedication, and even his dreams and visions!
Love you Nathan!