Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Honor of Serving Christ's Church

Hubby and I are attending Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church as delegates for our district this week.  It is truly an honor to serve and we are looking forward to being a part of the church on a larger level.  I am also a nominee to attend General Conference next year, which is the body that meets every 4 years to vote on policy and doctrine that may change.  Please pray for our Conference this week and pray for elections, as we set out to determine what the future of our church should look like. 

One of the things I feel very passionately about is that our church and our faith remain relevant for today's generation.  We need to hold strong to our core values and stand firm on those truths we know are right, yet we must also be open minded in how we "do church."  We must embrace technology and use it as a tool to reach others, to show them the love of Christ.  This is one of the reasons I blog...to share what Christ is doing in my life and how I am growing, how my family is growing because of His great mercy and love.  We can reach so many more people with blogs, facebook, websites, twitter. 

I appreciate your prayers and can't wait to tell you about the amazing ways God is going to work and move this week.  Stay tuned!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

I can remember visiting my great-aunt in Tennessee when I was a child and she would take us with her to the cemetery for Decoration Day and we'd take flowers to put on the graves.  I didn't really understand at the time what all of that meant, I just knew that that's what you did.  Memorial Day, Decoration Day, whatever you choose to call it, we remember those heroes who have served our country to protect our freedom.  I am so thankful for all of the men and women who have given their lives for our country.  Throughout the years I have been so proud that my Daddy chose to serve in the Navy. 

It wasn't until Sunday, sitting in church that I thought about how differently things could have ended up had he not come home from Vietnam.  For one thing, I wouldn't have been born.  I am so blessed to have the parents and the life that I have.  My parents have given me every opportunity they could and support me no matter what.  I am blessed to have been born in the United States, where I can worship and pray openly, where I can still say "one nation under God" when I pledge to our flag, where I have the freedom of speech to express my opinions in this blog.  Tonight I am praying for all of those who have lost loved ones in battle and for all of those families who are missing their loved ones currently serving our country. 
God Bless America.
This is a picture of my Dad in Vietnam.  He is on the bottom left.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Battling The Waves

We went to the beach this afternoon and spent several hours relaxing, watching the children play and playing with them in the water.  It was a beautiful day and we so enjoyed our time together.

We don't allow the kids to go out in the water past their ankles without one of us with them, for fear they will get caught in the rip current.  So after they played patiently in ankle deep water for a while, Hubby and I joined them in the water and took them out further to jump over the waves.  We had such a good time, trying not to let the power of the waves knock us under.

Princess, bless her heart, kept getting swept under, but she would come up smiling every time saying, "This is great!"  However, after a while, I noticed that whenever a wave came, she would hold onto my waist and use my strength and stability to help keep her from going under.  As I watched, I began to think about our relationship with God and the parallel between what Princess was doing and what we should do.  I have faced many situations where I have been knocked off of my feet, thrown for a loop, and pulled under the water.  As I struggle to find my way back to my feet I finally get my footing, before another wave comes and knocks me down again.  There will always be struggles, they will keep coming, just as the waves never stop.  Some are bigger than others, some more powerful and life changing than others, but I can be certain that they will always come.  I can try to bolster up and handle these on my own, or I can cling to God, who gives me strength and reinforcement when I need it.  If I cling to Him, my chances of going under are much less.  God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble ~ Psalm 46:1. 
I'm so glad Princess was hanging on to me this afternoon, using my strength so that she didn't have to continually be knocked down.  I'll bet my Heavenly Father is glad when I hang on to Him and gain my strength from Him.  I seem to make things much harder than they have to be when I try to go it alone.  It's so tiring when you try to fight those battles by yourself over and over again.  He's standing there, just waiting for me to reach out and grab hold, it's mine if I'll only hang on. 
What a sweet reminder from a sweet blessing from God!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Love and War Book Review: A Must Read for Couples

I loved John Eldredge's "Wild at Heart," and then "Captivating," which he and Stasi wrote together.  Now they have put the two parts together in "Love and War...Find Your Way to Something Beautiful in Your Marriage."  It was a fantastic read, and I now want to re-read this book with Hubby, discussing each chapter as we go.  Marriage is hard.  People don't tell you that before you get married, or if they do, your head is too far in the clouds to listen.  In this book, the Eldredges discuss marriage relationships and God's divine design for His people.  Here are a few of the high points of the book, as listed in the beginning of chapter 8:
* You and your spouse live in a love story that is set in the midst of a very real war.
* God gave us marriage, both as a picture of his love to the world, and because we are going to need each other.  We are not playing house - we are living in an epic love story.
*Your marriage is a perfect storm because your borkenness and sin collide in devastating precision with your spouse's.  Yet God is in that, because he is using your marriage to transform you.
*When it comes to love and happiness, we are broken cups.  We will put untold amounts of pressure on our marriage until we realize that God is teh waterfall; he is the love we are looking for.  The greatest gift you can give your spouse (and everyone else in your life) is to have a real relationship with God.

The more of this book I read, the more I wanted to read.  I love the way the Eldredges use examples from their own marriage and are completely honest about the struggles they have faced and issues that still arise.  They use scripture to explain how our relationships were made to work.  I would highly recommend this book to any married couple, no matter how long they have been married or what kind of shape they believe their marriage is in and to couples thinking about getting married.  It was a great read, and I enjoyed thinking about my own marriage and God's wonderful desires and plans for our lives.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Going by Grace

I am currently sitting in a quiet hotel room while Hubby is in work meetings.  We arrived yesterday afternoon and I have had a chance to catch up on some much needed sleep and to have fellowship with the other wives.  We decided to do our own thing this afternoon, which for me included coming back to the room for time with my Bible and quiet reflection.  I am in the process of applying to begin my master's degree at a seminary and I am supposed to be thinking and writing about my personal history, including my relationship with Christ and my spiritual pilgrimage.  I have always considered myself to be a deeply reflective person but I am finding this difficult.  There are other questions such as my motivation in preparing for ministry and vocational experience, but I am having the most difficulty with writing about my spiritual pilgrimage.  I think this is because it has been such an emotional journey and I find myself emotionally exhausted as I type and begin to relive it all.  One thing I know is true: "All things work together for the good of those that love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." ~ Romans 8:28
No matter the trial, I have been able to come through it (eventually) knowing that God is faithful and that He will use those trials in my life for His greater good.  I know that God has called me into a life of ministry and that I want to be in His will.  It is scary for me to step out in faith, because I don't know how this will all unfold.  I like to know the plan and then to have back up plans in place just in case it doesn't work out.  I've always been a big planner.  I think this is why God doesn't give me the plan ahead of time, it's part of the faith journey, to trust in Him. "The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you."  I don't know who said this but it brings me comfort to meditate on these words, knowing that I am upheld by His grace because I certainly couldn't do this on my own.  I pray that as God guides me through each step of His plan for my life, I will be obedient to His call and step out in faith. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Last Day...

This was the first day of school
Today is the last day of kindergarten for my sweet Prince and Princess.  It is so hard to believe that the year has come and gone.  When I first left them, Princess cried every day for several weeks, making me feel like a bad Mommy for leaving.  Prince was just so spontaneous that I never knew what to expect when I went to pick them up.  Prince is still spontaneous and I still don't know what he'll say or come up with, but he is growing.  Their sweet teacher Miss J has done a great job with them.  They have blossomed and learned so much.  She did for them what I had hoped could be done...she met them where they were and accepted their imperfections.  She guided them and gave them grace to be who they are, yet not letting them get away with things they shouldn't.  They are reading, writing, adding, counting money...little people and they are growing up before my very eyes.  I am looking forward to this summer and having more time with my favorite two little people, but I am going to miss their teacher terribly.  She has been such a blessing in our lives.  I have already begun praying for their teachers next year.  I know God will go before us and make things right according to His purpose and plan. 
Tonight there will be a special little graduation ceremony at the school.  I am trying very hard not to get emotional.  I'm not really succeeding with this effort.  It's so hard to see my babies grow up, but I am trying to enjoy every single solitary moment of it, for I know it goes by too quickly.  I am reminded daily of the many blessings I have to celebrate...they are too many to count.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wild Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. What reveals more about a woman-her refrigerator or her purse?

I think it depends on what you want to know.  A woman's purse tells more about who she is personally.  I have a bit of everything in my purse and am prepared for most any ocassion or incident that could occur.  I have a Mommy purse, but also things in there for myself.  I think the contents of the fridge tell more about what a woman as a wife and mother, because it shows what kinds of foods she prepares for her family.  Incidentally, I need to clean out both my purse and the fridge. 
2. When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where? What's your favorite zoo animal?
I took the kids to the zoo in Feb. 2010 in Tampa when Hubby had a conference over there.  This giraffe kept licking Prince's head.  It was quite funny.
 We haven't been much to the zoo for a couple of reasons.  1.  We've had annual passes to Disney and have frequented Animal Kingdom.  We have gone there A LOT!  
2. We are very much aquarium people.  We have taken our kids to many aquariums.  However, after Joyce's post on Monday, I am now in the mood to go to the zoo.  Good thing school is out after this week.  I think a trip to our local zoo is in order.
My favorite zoo animal?  I'd have to say giraffes or elephants. 

3. What social issue fires you up?
How about the fact that I have no social life now that I have kids?  I used to be a very social person.  I am now too tired to be social.

4. Are you a coupon clipper? If so, are you extreme?
Yes, I clip the coupons.  I'm not extreme though.  I like saving money just like everyone else, but at some point for the extreme people (like on the t.v. show) it takes over their lives.  That's just not me.  I like saving money where I can and I rely on certain websites to help me find the best deals and do the coupon match-ups for me with local stores.  My goal is to always save half.  If I can cut my grocery bill in half with coupons I feel I'm doing pretty well and I don't have to be consumed by it.

5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels?
A small wooden figure of the John Wesley statue in Savannah, GA.  Hubby proposed to me in front of that statue in Reynolds Square.  It's a sweet reminder of how incredibly thoughtful and romantic my Hubby is.

6. Lemon meringue or key lime?
As a Florida girl, I have to say key lime but not the stuff that the stores put green food coloring in and call key lime.  Real key lime pie is not really green at all.  It's really more white than anything else.  My Mema makes the best key lime pie!

7. What is the most beautiful word you know in any language?
Jesus ~ for at the mentioning of His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I need sleep!  This is such a hectic week with kindergarten graduation and preschool graduation and I feel I'm being pulled professionally and personally and have way to much to do for both.  However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Hubby has a work retreat Saturday - Tuesday and I will be retreating at the hotel by myself.  The kiddos are taken care of and I plan to spend quiet moments to myself in reflection, perhaps do some writing, reading, laying by the pool...and some adult social time.
This will be my paradise. I can hardly wait!

Monday, May 16, 2011

6 Years Old Going on 16

This week will be the culmination of the school year for me.  And boy is it ever going to be a week!!  I have kindergarten graduation for Prince and Princess on Thursday night and then preschool graduation on Friday night.  I can't believe my Prince and Princess are finishing kindergarten.  The time is going too fast.  I want a pause button!  or at least a feature where I can put it in slow motion.  As I've been wondering where the time has gone, God has given me a verse:
 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." Ecclesiastes 3:1. 

This is the season of my little kids growing into bigger kids.  In church yesterday, Prince wanted to snuggle in my lap.  I love those snuggles, yes I do.  I have noticed though how big he is getting.  It's quite hard in the pew to snuggle him on my lap because there just isn't enough space.  Sigh...

Princess is 6 going on 16.  She got a new diary last week with a lock on it.  She thinks she is big stuff with that diary.  She wanted to know where she could hide it so her brother wouldn't read all of her little secrets she writes in there.  So I showed her my old secret hiding place, between the mattress and boxsprings of her bed. NOTE: If you are related to me and are reading this, I no longer keep a secret diary so don't bother going to look under my mattress.  You won't find anything there.  I don't have that kind of free time anymore.
OK, back to my story.  So Princess took her diary over to Grandma's house on Saturday afternoon and was writing in it.  She asked Grandma for her phone number and Grandma told her and she wrote it in her cute little diary.  Then she asked Grandma for her aunt's phone number.  Grandma told her and she wrote that one underneath along with her aunt's name that Grandma spelled out for her.  Does anyone else see that this is a disaster waiting to happen?!  Grandma and Princess are tight and Grandma does not believe that her little Princess ever does wrong.  I usually end up getting some portion of the blame for why Princess may have done something she shouldn't have.  ANYWAY, yesterday morning I received a phone call at 7:20 and I could tell from caller ID that it was my sister.  Her boys are up early but she doesn't usually call this early so I was a bit surprised and concerned that something might be wrong. 
Me: Hello?
Sis: You rang?
Me: No, you called me.  Is something wrong?
Sis: No, you called me. 
Me: No I didn't. 
Sis: Well someone from your house called me.
Me: I think I might know what happened.  I'll take care of this.  Sorry about that.

So I go looking for Princess.  I found her down the hall looking all innocent. 
Me: Princess, did you call your aunt?
Princess: Am I in trouble?
Me: Did you call your aunt's house?
Princess is trying to decide how much to tell me at this point.  She is acting like the details are a bit sketchy.  She finally said: Yes?  Am I in trouble?
Me: You woke her up!  Why would you call her at 7:00 in the morning?!  You are supposed to ask permission before using the phone anyway.
Princess: Well I didn't actually know I had to ask permission to call her and I figured my cousins get up early anyway so I didn't know I would be waking her up.  I thought she was up. 

About this time Hubby got up and I told him what had happened.  He asked, "Princess, why were you trying to call your aunt this morning?  What did you need?"
Princess: I needed to see if she would do my nails. 
I thought I was going to bust a gut!  I'm trying not to laugh, but not doing well with this.  Hubby's response was even better.  With a half smirk he says, "Next time you need to call her during regular business hours."

Happy Monday All!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Beyond All Measure ~ Book Review

Ada Wentworth is a Yankee from Boston who has lost everything.  With her parents no longer alive, a broken romance and no money, she moves to the small town of Hickory Ridge, Tennessee post Civil War to take care of the elderly Mrs. Lillian.  She answered an ad in the newspaper and had no idea what she was getting into until she arrived.  Although she made friends, many of the citizens in the small town were not happy that a Yankee had moved into their town and they found ways to make her life difficult.  There were many political tensions and the Klan was active in punishing anyone who showed compassion to "the coloreds." While caring for Mrs. Lillian, Ada begins to fall for Wyatt Caldwell, Lillian's nephew who is also Ada's boss.  Ada is forced to deal with issues of trust and forgiveness in her past so that she can learn to love again.

This was the first book I read on my new Kindle and I enjoyed it immensely.  I had a difficult time putting it down, once I started reading.  The characters and scenes were so vivid that I felt like I was really there.  I wanted to befriend sweet Ada and walk in Mrs. Lillian's garden with them.  The town was quite charming as were many of the people and I loved to hate those that were hateful to Ada.  I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction or romance stories. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Final Summit ~ Book Review

 "The Final Summit", by Andy Andrews is a sequel to "The Traveler's Gift." Although it is a sequel, it can be read on its own.  It is about David Ponder, a millionaire who lost everything.  He was involved in a car accident and while he was in a coma, met some of history's most prominent figures who each gave him a piece of the secret to success.  These 7 artifacts represented key advice that helped Ponder rebuild his fortune.  From that point on, Ponder never spent money he didn't have and built an empire on that principle.  Ponder is visited by the angel Gabriel and is given a task that seems too great to believe.  Ponder meets up with many more historical figures trying to find the one principle that will save humanity. 

I really wanted to like this book, but I didn't.  I had a hard time getting into it and it just wasn't my cup of tea.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Moving into the Wednesday Hodge Podge

It's Hodgepodge Wednesday everyone!  Go see Joyce HERE and link up with your answers, but first, read mine!

1. How many times in your life have you moved house?

Not as much as a lot of people, seeing as how I grew up in the same how from the time I was 5 until I got married at 25.  There was that one semester that I decided to go away to college, only to find out that I was not really ready to be away so I lasted the one semester and moved back home.  After my Grandaddy died I moved in with my Mema, but I didn't have to move furniture, just my clothes and a few things  I wanted with me.  After all, my house was only a mile away.  The first BIG move occurred when Hubby and I got married.  In addition to all of the wedding preparations I had to pack up a house and get it ready for my parents, sister and bro-in-law to bring it all up to me in a u-haul.  This was a challenge.  I had somehow accumulated a 3 bedroom house full of furniture and Hubby had his furniture and  I didn't really do a great job of downsizing beforehand.  Let's just say we had a LOT of stuff.  We still have a lot of stuff!  So we had a cute little rental house that we loved.  We did not love the little landlady who reminded me of Gladys Kravitz and came around for her rent money on the first that we had to pay in cash.  I'm convinced she would stuff her mattress with the money and not claim it as income, but that's another story.  Anywho, we had been in that cute little house for almost 2 years when we found out we were having twins and this cute little house suddenly was already feeling cramped.  So we found another rental and moved just across town.  However, we had to have the help of all of our family because I was pregnant and couldn't lift, and Hubby broke his foot.  We loved this house and brought our babies home to it and all was great until we changed landlords twice and then they were looking to sell again.  So we moved into a townhouse for a short while before moving to Florida.  We stayed with my parents for a little over a month until we found our house.  That feels like a lot of moving to me.

My bro-in-law and Dad proudly stand by the truck they packed up to move me from Florida to Georgia.  I told you I had a lot to move!

2. What subject would you study if you had a year to devote to it?
I'm about to commit to studying for a few years to get a Master of Divinity.

3. What in this world breaks your heart?
Children that go without.  My children are my world and they want for nothing.  Sometimes I feel guilty about that because there are so many children with needs in this world. 
4. What is one item that symbolizes the times in which we live? Why?
I think the smart phone.  Unfortunately we are all about instant access to everyone and everything and the smart phones have enabled that.  You can call, email, or message anyone.  You also have access to the internet and can get any information you want at any time.  Sometimes I wish I were a little more disconnected from all of it.
5. Share a favorite bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan.
I've been wanting a bumper sticker that I saw a while back that says, "Got Twins?"  but I haven't found one.
I think my new favorite shirt is the one I bought Hubby a while back:

6. How do you like your spaghetti?
I make spaghetti about once a week and I doctor it differently depending on what kind of mood I'm in.  I grew up with ground beef in the sauce.  However, I have taken to buying frozen meatballs from the wholesale club and it makes it very easy to heat them and pop them in the sauce. 

7. What is one piece of advice you would give a recent, or soon to be recent, graduate?
To not be afraid to take chances, go after what you want, and never stop learning. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Ever wake up and think "it's going to be one of those days?"  Yep, it's gonna be one of THOSE days for me.  It's 6 a.m. and already I feel like I need Calgon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random Thoughts on Tuesday

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Morn

1.  My Mother's Day was amazing!  Hubby and the kiddos made and served me a blt for breakfast.  I don't like to eat in bed, so we gathered at the dining room table, where they each said prayers of thanksgiving for me.  It was so sweet!  Hubs got me a charm for my pandora bracelet, precious moments figurines and a kindle.  We went to church and then had a pool party at my mom and dad's house. 

2.  While we were at my parents' house, we talked Prince into getting a buzz cut.  My sister did the honors and it came out so cute.  I think he looks older.  Prince has been reisisting this for a few weeks because he was afaid he would "look bold (bald) like Daddy."  He seems happy with it.  Princess keeps telling him how handsome he looks.

3.  I can not see my followers on my blog page.  Why would this be?  Have I done something to the set-up?  I can see them when I look at my blog from my i-phone, but not from my computer.  This bothers me.  Anybody have any advice on how to fix this?

4. Last Friday was promotion day in tae kwon do.  Both kiddos got their yellow belts and they were so proud.  I'm really pleasantly surprised at how much better they are doing than when they first started.
                                                           Here is the Prince in action.

Princess shows off her high block.

5.  On Saturday we went to the beach.  Prince found a giant hole that someone else dug and had Princess pouring water on him like it was his own private swimming pool. 
It's great if you can get someone to wait on you.  Perhaps that is a perk of having a twin. 
The beach was amazingly relaxing.  I didn't want to leave.  Hubby and I ventured out into the water with the kids and it was COLD!  The kids don't care, they have been going in the ocean since February.  This was the first time we had gone in this year and it was still too cold.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good Morning

A few weeks ago as we were waking up Hubby rolled over and said, "Good Morning."  I of course returned the sentiment.  Hubby then explained that he heard about a study that had been done showing that couples that say "Good Morning" to each other every morning stay married longer.  I thought that was interesting and even more interesting, Hubby picked up on it and has decided to make the effort to tell me "Good Morning" each day before he leaves for work.  Many times just as the alarm is going off he says it to me.  Some mornings though, we are both tired and we don't immediately think of it.  On those mornings we may engage in other conversations and then he'll randomly say, "Good Morning."  Those mornings almost mean more than when one of us remembers right as we are waking up because when Hubby says it not out of habit, but remembers, he is saying to me, "I love you and I value our marriage.  I want to be married to you a long time."  I like how that makes me feel and now I've started trying to beat him to saying it. 

Good Morning ~ two little words that say a lot in our marriage.  I don't know what made those words so magical in the study, but I know why they are so magical to me. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Montage Part 2

I have mentioned before that the twins were born 7 weeks early and the circumstances of their birth were quite difficult.  They were sent to a NICU an hour and a half away and the day after they were born, my kidneys and liver started to shut down.  I remember very clearly the conversation with Hubby after my doctor left the room from telling us I was moving to ICU.  Hubby sat with me on the bed and held my hands.  We weren't sure what the prognosis was going to be, it all depended on how my body responded to the meds, but at this point, things didn't look good.  I explained to Hubby that I wasn't scared, just disappointed.  I was disappointed at the thought of finally having these babies, finally being a Mommy, something I had wanted my entire, and now I might not live to see them grow.  In those moments, I told Hubby that I knew he'd be a great Daddy and raise our children well and that I wanted for him to find a good mom for our kids.  Those were hard words, because I wanted to be the only mom they would know, but I also knew that there was a possibility that they wouldn't know or remember anything about me. 

Just a few months before their second birthday, I was faced with this reality again when my Crohn's doctors told me that if I didn't have surgery I would die within a month.  Recovery from this surgery was tough and I had two busy little toddlers and a Hubby who was with me every step of the way, but that also meant that he couldn't be with me and the babies at the same time.  My mom and my sister took over as the twins' caretakers ~ their second mothers ~ and I couldn't think of anyone better for the job. 

This Mother's Day, all of those thoughts have been swirling around in my head.  I feel a little bit cheated because there are so many things I wasn't able to be a part of when it comes to seeing my babies grow and do things, but I also know that I am blessed to even be here.  Blessed that God chose for me to be their mommy.  Blessed that I have a mommy and a sister who could stand in the gap when I couldn't be there for my own babies.  Mother's Day means so much more because I'm here, loving on my babies, watching them grow into these beautiful people and it's only by God's grace that they are.  When I hear the things they say and see how they are growing in their faith, I wish I could take credit for that.  That's all God.  I can be here to answer their questions and help guide, but it is the Holy Spirit living in them that has made them who they are.  I can't imagine my life without these two blessings, and I am so glad that God saw it fit to heal my body so that I could be a part of this:
Thank you God for dirty fingerprints on my walls, spilt milk at the table, messy bedrooms, a trail of clothes down the hall, morning snuggles, a thousand questions asked each day, hugs around my middle, belly laughs, and goodnight prayers.  Through it all, I am blessed.

Happy Mother's Day, all!  I want to especially thank my own Mom, Mema, and Sister for being women I admire so much.  You three have been there to help nurture, love, and change dirty diapers when I couldn't and words can't express how glad I am that my babies have you, that I have you.  I love you dearly and thank God for you in my life!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Montage

This week I've been feeling like taking a trip down memory lane. 
My mom and Mema helped put the wallpaper border up in the nursery on Mother's Day 2004.  For some reason I can't find pictures from that day, but here is the finished product.

My first Mother's Day
We went to church and then on a picnic to Plains, Ga. 
I'm not sure why, but both babies loved to suck on each other's heads.  Prince is going in for the kill and Princess looks terrified.  In reality, she didn't mind it at all.

Mother's Day of 2006 I had just had Crohn's surgery and was feeling extremely weak.  This picture was taken a few weeks later.

Mother's Day 2007 we moved into our new house in Florida. 
Happy Mother's Day to me! We were first time homeowners!  I'm guessing we were too busy moving to take a picture of me with the kids.

Mother's Day 2008

4 Generations
Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day 2010

My kiddos are growing up so fast!  It seems like just yesterday that I brought them home from the hospital.
Can you believe they were almost 2 months old in this picture?!
To be continued...I need to go snuggle with my babies for a while!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

If it's Wednesday, it must be time for the Hodgepodge.  Go see Joyce and link up...BUT first read my answers!
1. Have you ever been served breakfast in bed? Do you enjoy that? If someone were serving you breakfast in bed this coming weekend what would you hope to see on the tray?

I have been served breakfast in bed, but it rarely happens.  However, over Spring Break one morning I got up with the kids and got them situated with food, drink and a television show and then went back to bed.  I was awakened a while later when Princess came into my room with a paper plate that had grapes and cookies on it.  Bless her heart, she was serving me breakfast in bed.  She is quite thoughtful.  I don't usually enjoy breakfast in bed because I don't want to get crumbs in the bed and I find it awkward to get comfy.  If someone were serving me breakfast in bed I would want eggs over easy, thick cut bacon (like the kind at Cracker Barrel), and biscuits and gravy.  Can't you hear my arteries hardening?  I'm not a big breakfast eater, but when I do eat breakfast, I more than make up for it. 

2. What is one piece of advice you would give a new mother?
Enjoy every moment.  Soak it up in your memory bank and snuggle them as long as you can.  They grow up entirely too fast!

3. When was the last time you wanted to scream? Explain.
I have children.  This means that I probably want to scream at least once a day but I am trying to practice restraint.  In all seriousness, probably the last time I wanted to scream was last Wednesday when I was trying to decide whether or not to cancel school due to the scheduled shuttle launch and couldn't get the information I needed to make a good decision.  That combined with other things going on that day made for a stressful day. 

4. Can you hula hoop?
Any preschool teacher/director worth her salt can hula hoop.  Yes, I still can hula hoop.  I just can't keep it going as long as I used to.

5. What is something people do in traffic that really bothers you?
Tailgate.  I hate it when I look in the rearview mirror and see someone right on my bumper.  When Hubby and I were dating he told my dad that he thought I was this sweet innocent little church girl until he got in the car with me behind the wheel.  I have a habit of talking to other drivers when I drive and it isn't always so nice.  However, I have shed that nasty little habit of using bad words so now it's mostly just gripes and grumbles of why can't people just drive right?!

6. What do you do when people don't admit they're wrong?
I usually hold my ground and sit back and wait.  I'm stubborn like that.

7. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'fun'?
I picture all of the things we do as a family with the kiddos. 

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am looking forward to Mother's Day.  Since becoming a mother, I am much more appreciative of my own mom and all she has done for me. 

Here is my cute Mama the day we brought the twins home from the hospital.  They were a month old.
We will spend Mother's Day with my Mema, my parents and my sis and her gang.  It will be a fun afternoon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Importance of Obedience

I'm pretty sure my 6 year olds are smarter than I am.  I've always thought that children are wiser than adults, they don't have the life experience, but they are more open minded and have more room in their hearts to really soak things in.  This afternoon Prince confirmed that for me.  Very matter of factly he said to me, "Mom, if you can't conquer obedience then temptation and sin will always be a problem in your life."  Come again?  I had to really think about what he just said to me.  I asked him where he heard this and he said that he had a dream last night and when he woke up he just knew it.  I'm not sure where he has heard this, but it fits right along with what I've been thinking about lately. 

God has been leading me in a direction that will cause some major changes in my life.  I am planning to go back to school and I have felt those nudges, but I have also had a lot of excuses as to why I can't do what He wants me to do.  I have been thinking a lot about obedience and how comfortable I've become right where I am.  It would be a lot easier if I could just bloom where I'm planted and stay put doin' my own thang.  Life doesn't work that way.  I have found though, that when I am walking in obedience to God I feel closer to Him.  When I feel closer to God, it somehow feels easier to resist temptation.  When I step out to do my own thing, it is easy for me to stray from His plan and temptation and sin are a real problem.  I've learned a lot from my kiddos.  This afternoon's lesson confirmed that God's message comes through whoever He chooses to use.