Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Favorite Christmas Song for 2011

Here With Us - By Joy Williams, Click here to listen

It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small,
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world.......

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

About Noah

On my old blog, from time to time I would mention a little boy named Noah and would ask those reading to pray for him. I received an update this morning, and it looks like this precious boy is in the end stages of his disease. Noah and his family have stood in need of prayers for a few years now, but I'm sure they need them now more than ever. Click HERE if you would like to read more at Noah's blog.

Once again, it certainly puts things in perspective around here. The silly little things I've been worrying over the past few weeks are NOTHING compared to this.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving - 2011

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I hope you did, too! We had quite a busy week during our Thanksgiving break. I enjoyed having Thanksgiving at our home this year, although I did feel a bit of a panic when I woke up Wednesday morning and the realization hit that I had not yet started on anything - not even the housecleaning! I wasn't being lazy. It was mostly due to the fact that Madison plays basketball, and her team had games Monday and Tuesday and practice on Wednesday (they also had games Friday and Saturday - it's a good thing I enjoy watching basketball!).

So, after practice on Wednesday, I came home and made a list of everything I could do on that day. Before I went to bed Wednesday night, I ended up getting almost all of the food ready to be put in the oven on Thursday morning. I got up Thursday morning before everyone else did and did all of my house cleaning. I am still amazed at how smoothly everything went. And yes, I did pray for help and direction, so I really shouldn't be surprised that everything went so well! Everything went in the oven as scheduled and by the time Brad was finished frying the turkey, the meal was ready. It was a beautiful day, and I enjoyed a break from all of our busyness to just spend time with my family.

Next year, I'll probably be wondering what was on the menu the year before, so I'll make it easy on myself. Here's what we enjoyed:

Fried turkey
Dressing with gravy
Potato Salad
Sweet Potato Casserole
Broccoli Casserole
Macaroni & Cheese
Green Bean Wraps (made by Angela)
Deviled Eggs (made by Mom)
Pumpkin Rolls
Cranberry Sauce
and we always have to have olives! (I think my grandmother started this tradition.)
Strawberry Cake (made by Dad)
Pecan Pie (made by Brad)
Heath Bar Cake (made by Angela)

After we ate all that, everyone was pretty much miserable for the rest of the day. LOL

But with a little rest and relaxation, I somehow found the energy to begin my Christmas decorating.

The rest of the weekend was spent at basketball games in Rome, and then yesterday after church, I went to the mall and was able to almost complete my Christmas shopping. Today, I've been taking advantage of Cyber Monday, and I'm pretty much finished with all of my big gifts. Now that feels good!

If you were to take a look at my laundry room, you would discover one thing that I did get behind on last week, so I guess it's time to get off of here and go tackle that mountain!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Great story...

The following story was taken from A Disciples (link in my sidebar). They have twice-weekly devotions that are usually pretty thought provoking, and this one definitely fits that description:

A story has been told of two men crossing the desert in the black of night. Suddenly a voice spoke, “Stop and fill your containers with what your hands find on the ground.” Reluctantly, because of weariness from their long journey, they obeyed the unknown voice even though they could not see in the dark what they were picking up. They continued their journey, and when daybreak came they looked into their containers to discover with amazement they had picked up diamonds. They had both gladness and regret—glad that they had obeyed the voice in the dark of night and regretful they had not enthusiastically gathered more. The Lord promises to reward those who seek Him now with all their heart. Those who do so on earth will be glad they did when in the light of the new day they see what they gathered by faith and not by sight. Those who do not diligently seek Him now will regret it in that day when they see what they missed that will affect their whole eternity. Now—today— is the time to lay up treasure in heaven.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Birthday Weekend!

This past weekend was CRAZY! And I guess I could blame it on not using a calendar properly, but had I done so, I wouldn't have had near as much fun!

Matthew's birthday is actually tomorrow, so we had planned a few weeks ago to have his party the Saturday before. Also, my friend Hope's daughter is having major surgery in a few weeks, and I had planned several weeks ago to help out with a BBQ fundraiser for this. Then, we had the huge Alabama vs. LSU game (we're not a fan of either but knew this would be a fun game to watch), so Brad had invited some people over to watch the game with us. (I have to admit that I'm glad LSU won. Maybe I'm still a little bitter from the Alabama vs. Texas championship game a couple of years ago? LOL) Back to my story....Sunday a week ago was the first time that it entered my mind that I had planned all of these things for the same day. For a moment, I went into panic mode, but then I thought, "I can do this." Oh yeah, forgot to mention that my mother-in-law was driving in from Texas on Friday, but that really didn't factor into anything. She's a big help with the kids when she's around, so that was a bonus that she chose to come visit this past weekend. And, I am very happy to say that everything went off without a hitch! I cleaned my house a little each day last week, did my grocery shopping and most of the cooking on Friday, and on Saturday all I had to do was get where I needed to be and then do a few last minute things when I got home Saturday afternoon. I'm glad I didn't have a proper calendar or otherwise I might have said "no" to something, and as it turned out, there would have been no reason to. But, in all honesty, I am very thankful that the daylight savings time ended this weekend also, and I was able to get an extra hour of sleep yesterday morning! :O)

I think Matthew was a little overwhelmed with all of the attention on Saturday afternoon. We had a family party with relatives from both sides of the family attending, and he was definitely not used to that much attention. In the picture above, he was sinking further and further down into the chair as we sang "Happy Birthday," and there was no way he was going to blow out the candles when we finished, but that's okay ~ he had plenty of help.

He reminded me of the Tasmanian devil on Looney Tunes as he was opening his gifts. It was really hard to keep up, and I actually felt a little dizzy afterwards. ;>) He loved everything he received and has been quite a busy little boy playing with his new toys.

I didn't notice at the party, but in all of his pictures, his ears are bright red! I guess in the future that's how I will be able to tell if he's embarrassed, overwhelmed, etc.

*(Cari had to make an LSU t-shirt to aggravate her friend who was coming over to watch the game with us since he is a huge Alabama fan.)

So, there's a little taste of Matthew's party. You didn't see the food, but I made chili and hotdogs with all the fixings, as well as corn dogs since those are Matthew's absolute favorite food right now. I can't believe my little guy is turning 3 tomorrow. He is the sweetest little boy ever, and I'm very blessed to get several humongous hugs from him every day. I guess this is Matthew's "update" since I haven't got around to his yet. He is a huge helper around the house. Whatever I'm doing, he wants to "help." He is a very intelligent little guy and learns things so easily. Sometimes when I'm working with Amelia during school time on her U.S. map skills, if she gets stuck, she asks Matthew, and he can usually tell her. He also is very smart in regards to getting his way. He can turn his lip under and look pitiful and sad like no other child I've ever seen before. It makes it very hard to say "no" to him, and he knows that, but I'm doing my best to be strong. LOL He has a huge vocabulary - more than I think the girls did at this age - but I'm sure that comes from having three older sisters. With six people in the house, the only time it's quiet around here is when we're all asleep.

A few weeks ago, I was reading a blog (don't remember what blog it was now), but the author of the blog was requesting prayer for a friend of her's whose almost 3-year-old little boy had passed away. I assumed it was sudden because she had mentioned that she had just seen him at the library earlier that day. My mind keeps going back to that and how that mother must feel. It absolutely makes me not want to take one single day for granted with my children, and I think I've been hugging them a little tighter ever since. Words cannot express how thankful I am for each and every one of them!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Fall Pictures

The leaves have been absolutely BEAUTIFUL in Georgia this year. They're starting to fade and blow off the trees now, but I certainly enjoyed them while they lasted. Just a simple drive to pick up my children at school or go to the library was quite breathtaking. Our God is such an amazing Artist!

I took the opportunity one day to get some snapshots of the little kids while they were playing in and around the leaves:

Madison and her BF Sam were carving a pumpkin one evening and had a little help from the brother and sister.

This is our little acorn family that Amelia, Matthew, and I worked on one day during school time. They both love to paint anything that can be painted. :>)

Random shots one night when they saw the camera in my hands. These kiddos love to have their picture taken. Above, you can see that Matthew is quite the poser, and the picture below is Amelia and Cari showing off their face painting they got at our church Family Fun Day.

Brad and the kids are working on a tree house, and here are some pictures from their work in progress. Of course, Amelia saw it as a "House on the Prairie moment" and took full advantage of the situation.

Trick-or-Treat Night. We got to hang out with some friends that we haven't got to see in a while while walking around town collecting candy. This nearby town is locally famous for their trick-or-treating, and I heard someone say that one house gave out 1700 pieces of candy! There are people everywhere, but the lines move fairly quickly from house to house. It is a lot of work, though, because since there are so many children out and about, each house usually just gives one piece of candy per child. But that's okay, sometimes I don't want to admit it, but there is such a thing as too much candy!

In the picture above, you will notice that one pumpkin is looking and the other is not. The one on the right is Madison and Sam's. The one on the left is mine and Cari's, and it was a disaster. Therefore, it was ashamed to have it's picture taken. I guess Sam has more patience for that sort of thing than I do, but next year, I plan to invest in the proper tools and redeem myself!

Matthew got to have his picture made with a real UPS man (daddy) and go sit in the UPS truck and pretend to take a drive. I think that was more fun for him than the trick-or-treating!

And lastly, the next night we went to Madison's softball banquet where she received her "letter" in varsity softball. Our camera was not cooperating too well, so this is not that great of a shot, but it's still something I want to remember. This is her receiving a hug and her award from her coach.


Here's the "more about that" I mentioned in the previous post... I was around 6 years old the first time I realized I nee...