Friday, December 28, 2012

Catching up on Pictures

After months of no visuals to accompany my is some snapshots from events of the last year:

Elijah, with his long-awaited new puppy, which he affectionately named Chinook :).

Boy & Pup, napping on the kitchen foor. Now that's bonding.

Emma helping me open gifts at Josie's baby shower. 

Emma playing games at the baby shower.

All the kids at the church Christmas Dinner. 

The Kids' Christmas choir. These guys were awesome!

Gracie, in her Little House costume, made by Gran Gran. 

Elijah, on Country Christmas Day at Gran-Gran's.

Elijah built his first doghouse this summer, under Papa's supervision.

We celebrated my parents' 40th wedding anniversary with a surprise shindig (with my brother, Bradley and his wife, Monica).

Our trip to the beach in June! 

Gracie celebrated her 6th birthday while we were at the beach. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Bit of Preggo Talk & Letter to Josie

Because, consequently, I am now 36 weeks, which puts me a mere 2 1/2 weeks from delivery (C-section scheduled for Jan 11). this point, being heavily with child, it pretty much consumes my every action and thought. Actions being those akin to a mama walrus clumsily scooting itself across a beach. If sheer size were not enough, add in hemorrhoids, constipation, and a pulled rear end/leg muscle to the picture. I think miserable is a good description. And, yes, I did just blog about hemorrhoids and constipation.

Josie Amelia, we await your arrival with great anticipation. We can't wait to hold you and kiss you and hear that first red-faced cry. To watch in wonder as you snuggle up for your first feeding. To count your tiny fingers and toes. To sigh with relief that the 9 long months are FINALLY over :). That you're OUT. Because, dearie, you are somehow managing to lay on both my bladder and tailbone all at once.  Your Daddy is so patient to administer wonderful back rubs every night, but I sense that he too is ready for his wife to return to normal. I can tell that you are running out of room, because your movements are not quite so frequent and small, but slow, big and pronounced.

I wonder if you will be a thumb-sucker like your two sisters. Hopefully the paci will be a good deterrent. Speaking of your sisters, they are two very excited little girls. They love to get out all your pretty outfits and bows, bibs, and blankies and oo and aahh over them. So far, there has not been one inkling of jealousy, though that could change once you are here and taking up so much of Mama's attention. Your big brother still acts a little miffed that you are not a boy, but I can't wait to see the look on his face when he sees you for the first time. No doubt he will be completely smitten.

You have a slew of cousins, aunts and uncles, and a church family waiting to love you. You have two sets of great-grands and still around as well. Plus 5 grandparents. You are a lucky little girl. 

I hope that you have grown accustomed to the ruckus around our house from inside your cocoon. Don't be startled when yelling, singing, and caterwauling breaks out around you. It's just the normal goings-on around here. Soon you will be adding your own wail to the chaos. Welcome to the family!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Popping In!

Hello, everyone! I thought I'd pop in and do a little blogging this evening. Can you believe Christmas is only mere weeks away? Egad! I'm not sure that I am going to be ready for it.  But Christmas, this year, you are taking a back seat to another most important event--the birth of our third daughter and fourth child, Josie ______. {middle name undecided at this time}. Josie is due to be born via C-section on Jan 11th, 2013, unless of course, she decides to make her appearance sooner. About this event we are even more excited than Christmas.  I have already entered the nesting stage, putting up the bed, buying clothes, and even making her a blanket (thank you, Pinterest). Still, I feel so unprepared for this baby. I haven't even made a single hairbow for her (I know, shameful).  Hopefully, by the time she arrives her drawers and closet will be well-stocked and I can rest easy.

The last few months have been a blur. We finally moved out of the travel trailer and RV park we were staying in and into a small house in the country. It is not our dream house, but we are thankful for the opportunity to enjoy the quietness of country life. The children have 3 acres on which to run and play and explore (and believe me they do) and John gets to watch deer graze in our backyard from our bedroom window. I love being just a 30 minute drive from friends and family, after 10 years of being 7 (and for a little while, even 12) hours away.

Note: For those who were wondering, John and I are still happily married, so put your minds at ease (wink, wink).  No separation here. If he ever tries to leave, he has to take me with him! Although I have no idea what, if anything, would give someone that idea!

My camera has been down for several months now, and it pains me to have missed so many opportunities for preserving moments.

A few such moments:
*Two weeks ago, when Elijah discovered an old metal barrel in the backyard, climbed in, and got himself stuck. I could not manage to get him out, but thankfully, the garbage truck arrived at that moment and 3 garbage men worked together to get him unstuck and out of the barrel. Sheesh. But wouldn't that have made a great scrapbook page? Elijah posing with the garbage men, shaking their hands in gratitude that he would not be wearing a barrel to his high school graduation? Yeah.

*Emma, getting stuck not once, but twice in one day, in a climbing tree. The same tree.

*Gracie, rocking four wee kittens, all nestled on a quilted doll blanket, sound to sleep in her doll cradle. It really was precious. And kinda sad because three of them died within a week. We're down to one kitten :(. That story really is a blog post in itself.

After all that reminiscing, I'm about to anoint and lay hands on my camera and pray for its speedy return to operation. Can I get an Amen?

Please forgive this picture-less blog. Hope to redeem myself soon. Till then, Merry Getting-Ready For Christmas!

Friday, September 28, 2012


Our family, last Easter

Hello out there! Remember me? I'm the girl (can I still call myself a girl at 31? I think I shall). I'm that girl who used to blog about her silly kids and wonderful husband and sometimes preach you a sermonette. Life has landed us in a tailspin reality where we traded a 2500 square foot home with a big yard for a 38 foot travel trailer squeezed in the middle of a row of similar abodes. With no internet. Or stove/oven. Or wash/dryer. Which are completely irrelevent to my point, which was explaining the reason for being absent from blogging. But believe me, I have missed you, my bloggy friends. There is SO much to blog about! But I will just say that although we have given up some convenient technologies, we have more time as a family than we have ever had, and learning to live with less has been good for us.

We recently found out that baby #4 is another girl! We were all convinced it was a boy, but I think by now we have accepted that it is a girl, except for Elijah who declares he is going to live with his grandparents to get away from all these girls :). And John is a little rattled by that fact that he will have three weddings to pay for now!  We have settled on a name, but since we have 3 1/2 more months to change our minds, I will hold off on sharing it for a little bit longer.

We are in full swing with homeschool, and each year I realize more and more how homeschooling is a process of trial and error. It is a process of figuring out what makes each individual child tick and tailoring their learning to their style. The kids are doing great this year, and we are learning to love a more Charlotte-Mason style of schooling rather than the traditional style we were previously wading through.

It has been a challenging time for our family. My children have been homesick for Louisiana and often ask to go back to our old house and see neighbors and friends we left behind. This is very hard for a Mommy! I try to reaffirm to them that we are God wants us to be and that things will get better with time. I pray that God will fill their little hearts with peace and understanding. We are here because God called us here, and therefore living in His will, and we stand on that promise while we wait for the next door to open. Please keep our family in our prayers as we look forward with an expectation of great things to come--an abundant harvest for the kingdom of God!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Trust or Not To Trust

Phillipians 4:6 
 Be careful {anxious} for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

{Warning: Sermon Ahead}

Worry, worry, worry. It worms its way into your consciousness, takes over your thoughts, and before you know it, it's running your life. You give worry an inch, and it takes 5 miles. It affects every part of your life, and spills over onto the people around you: namely, your husband and children (or anyone else you come into direct contact with on a daily basis). How do I know? Because for the last month or two, I've been a bon-a-fide Worry Wart. 

I've fretted, I've cried, I've stewed. Because, see, we are about to make this life-changing move, and I wanted everything to happen just like I thought it should. Give me a straight line from point A to point Z,  and let's get this thing done. Things are rolling, A - B, OK, that worked out great, but somewhere between C - D, we began to encounter some bumps in the road. Well, maybe more like road blocks than bumps. Or, maybe more like that detour you took once when you had NO idea where you were or when you were going to end up back on the familiar road you left hours ago. Yeah, I think that describes it. 

The root of worry  is lack of trust. The reason we are making this move in the first place is because God said, "Go here." So, we waited on Him to open up the door, and then stepped out in faith. So, basically, He is calling the shots. He is in the driver's seat. We're trusting Him to make the way clear.

Sometimes, the kids and I hop in the van and of course, they always want to know where we are going, why, and how long is it going to take for us to get there. Once these facts have been established in their brain, these kiddos have rock-solid faith that that is just exactly what is going to happen. We are going to Wal-Mart to get some milk and bread and coming right back home.  So when Mama sees a Garage Sale sign and turns down a side road, you can except an uproar of, "Why are we going this way? This is not the right way to Wal-Mart!" or "Are you sure you know where you're going, Mom?" and on and on until I say, "Just sit back and relax. Don't worry about it. I know where I am going and I am going to get you to where you need to be, eventually."

We adults, we are a lot like my kids. God is the driver, and we are trusting Him to get us where we need/want to be. Sometimes, he takes a different route and we get confused, anxious, and doubtful about where we are going to end up.  I definitely never dreamed our move would result in my family living in a travel trailer instead of a nice little rent house somewhere. Not that I am complaining--I'd rather live in a clean travel trailer that is my own than in some of the awful houses that were available to us while we were looking (ugh). This is way God has worked it out for us. But in between looking at old, nasty, over-priced rent houses (you'd be shocked) and settling on the decision to buy a travel trailer, I was acting just like my kids.  I can imagine the Lord listening to my whining and going, "Would you just relax? I am your Father. You are my child. I am going to take care of you. Just wait and see. TRUST ME." 

One morning during my Bible reading, I came across this verse, and it forced me to ask myself some hard questions:
  • "Be careful {anxious} for nothing;...." Nothing, Lord? You mean you've got every detail under control? But if I give You control, that means I have no control! Augh!
  •  "...but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."  Have I been been bringing my needs to You, and asking You to meet them, or have I been trying to figure it out on my own? And thankful? How can I be thankful when I am complaining every breath? 
  • "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Peace? Yes, yes! Let's make a trade. I'm giving up this worry in exchange for PEACE.
So now I have un-wrung my hands, the knots have left my belly, and the furrow  has left my brow. It is going to be OK. And it was going to be the entire time. What did all the worry accomplish? Nothing, but a whole lot of unnecessary tension and headaches. If you're on a road of uncertainty, and you've given Him the wheel, sit back, and enjoy the ride. He is going to get you to the right destination, in His own time and His own way.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wrapping Up 12 Weeks

Yesterday (Friday) marked the end of my 12th week! The first trimester is almost gone! I'm gonna be honest, it was rough! I don't remember feeling so bad with my first three. Maybe it's because I didn't have 3 children and all that they entail to take care of, or maybe it's because I was 4 years younger. But, I am happy to report that each week is getting better. The ever-present nausea is subsiding, and I'm down to one nap a day instead of two. My family is so thankful! I have been one cranky Mama (ashamedly). I didn't even like myself!

The kids are SO excited about the baby and are always talking about names and monitoring my nutrition to make sure I am eating healthy for the baby. At mealtime, I can expect to get a suspicious, "Mama, is that healthy for the baby?" from one of them before we leave the table. So, I make sure to have at least one good-for-you item on my plate! They keep me accountable :).

On Wednesday (the 4th of July), we were returning from spending the day with my father-in-law and step mom-in-law when a girl pulled out in front of us and caused us to have a T-bone collision. We hit her on my side (passenger) and although everything seemed fine, the paramedics advised that I go in for an ultrasound for precautionary reasons. I was having some pain across my abdomen, which I believe was caused from the seat belt, but my husband was worried sick and insisted we go to the ER. They ordered a vaginal ultrasound, and as you can imagine, I was overjoyed at the prospect (sarcasm, anyone?). The technician was on-call and was evidently not pleased to be called into the ER on the evening of her 4th of July holiday. She was very curt and rude, not the sort of attitude you want to see in a person who is about to perform THAT kind of procedure on you.  I'd had one before, and it was pretty quick, although not quite painless. But oh, boy, this time, it was neither of the above. At one point, I was so uncomfortable and asked her was she almost done. Her reply: "What do you think this is, McDonald's? Do you want to have this done at McDonald's or a hospital?" I'm still not quite sure what McDonald's had to do with anything, but I think Ronald would have been a lot more pleasant to deal with at that moment.

Although the screened was turned away from me, John saw two little feet moving  and said it looked like he/she was sucking its thumb. I think at this point their hands are always up by their mouth, so hopefully that is the case and we will not have a 3rd thumbsucker!

We are once again camera-less, so no 12 weeks Mama/Baby pics :(. Hope to remedy that soon! But, while looking through my files this week, I came across this one of when I was about 8 months along with Emma. I love this pic! I can't believe how little my babies were and how much they have grown!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grace's birthday interview (a week late)

On the 14th of this month, my Gracie-girl turned 6! She is the smartest, sweetest little 6 year-old ever! I'm so proud of the young lady she is becoming and thankful to be her Mommy!

I feel rotten for waiting so long to be interview her, but things have been slightly crazy with packing, cleaning up after remodeling projects, and passing out from sheer exhaustion about 3 times a day. Sometimes I wonder if there are two babies in there, sucking all the energy out of me!

Anyway, we celebrated her birthday at the beach, while we were visiting in Alabama. It was her first time to visit the ocean (or the gulf, I should say) and I have never seen her enjoy herself so much. We had a party at the house we were renting with a few of my Mom's sisters and my parents. Sadly, all the pictures were taken on my Mom's camera and I do not have them to share :(.

My favorite food:  Doritos

The best show:Willy Wonka (we saw the play once)

The coolest person on earth is:  Mall-Mall (Mallary)

My favorite thing to learn about in school is:  Math

The thing that I do most awesomely:  Play Leapster

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to:  Hawaii

My favorite color is:  Pink

When I grow up, I’m going to be a:  I would like to be a nurse.

My current favorite song is:  Angels We Have Heard On High (she likes the glo-o-oria part)

The book I am loving right now:  American Girl books

Three words that describe me are:  pretty, drama queen, hilarious

When I was little, I used to: jump in the laundry basket

My favorite season of the year is:  wintertime (snow)

The absolute best thing about being at the beach: collecting sea shells

The snack that I like best is:  Granola bars with chocolate on them

One food that I really dislike is: spinach

My best friend is:  TexAnna

If I had one wish it would be:  If I kissed a frog I would like to be a princess and then the frog would turn into a prince

My best memory is:  When I went to TexAnna's birthday party and had the best time ever!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


If it's what makes the world go 'round, then mine is spinning, twirling, rolling. So are my emotions: excitement, fear, relief, apprehension.

In a matter of weeks, my little family will be living in another state, an unfamiliar house. My husband will be learning the ropes at a new job, and we will be settling into a new church, trying to fit in the grooves of new relationships.

Oh, and in 6 months, we will be enjoying a new little Acklen, and there is no little excitement around here about that! (shocked, much?).

We've been waiting on this move for literal years, and now it's happening so fast I don't know if I can keep up! But my husband and kiddos are the best anyone could ask for, and I can't think of anyone else I'd rather share this wild ride with. Between packing, painting, and craving weird things like sour kraut, I'll keep you posted (I'll try). And if you can spare a whisper, please use one to offer up a prayer for our family, that we will weather the changes ahead with grace.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Nanny Orange

 (The Cooper Grandchildren, sans Leta, with Nanny and Papa, '82 or '83)

Call me sentimental. Go ahead. But I've always been fascinated with how little things, like a scent or a song, can conjure up long-buried memories as vibrantly as if time had stood still. The older I get, the more precious those memories become.

There are some things about childhood that never leave you. My paternal grandmother, "Nanny", lived just around the corner of the red dirt-road where we lived during the earliest years of my childhood, and us kids visited her just about every day I guess. She never learned to drive and didn't really like to leave home very much, so she was pretty much a permanent fixture for me. She'd always be there, on her screened-in front porch, waiting in her favorite rocking chair.

She was in her 40s when my Dad was born, so by the time I came along, some 30 years later, she had already slowed down quite a bit. She wasn't the type of grandmother that was able to get outside and pull me in a wagon or take me for a swim, but she had her way of doting on us grandkids. While we sat on the front porch swing, surrounded by hanging and potted plants, she would shuffle to kitchen, slice some oranges in half, and sprinkle sugar on top. She wasn't stingy with her sugar, either.  Then we would eat them, right out of the peel, with juice dripping down our chins. You had to get it just right with your teeth or you would get the yellow, bitter part of the peel and have to spit out the whole bite. And when we'd ate about two-thirds of the orange half, we would turn it inside out and get the good, juice part left in the bottom. She'd sit and chat with us about our day while we slurped on our sugared oranges.

 Nanny was always ready to listen and she loved to laugh with us with her special cackling laugh. If we confided about someone hurting our feelings or some teacher being unfair she was ready to give them what-for (at least from within the privacy of her four walls). "Now", she'd say, "if that don't beat all!". She lived to be in her 90s, and I wish she could have lived longer, although I know she was ready for her good rest. I wish I could have seen her with my children and nieces and nephews. Boy would she have enjoyed them! I want my children to know what they missed in not knowing their Nanny, so the other day, when they asked for an orange, I cut it in half and sprinkled it with sugar. And then I told them how my Nanny would fix it for me, and let them sprinkle as much sugar on it as they wanted. And now, just about every day, they ask, "Mama, can we have a Nanny Orange?" And if the Lord tarries, and they gave me grandchildren of my own, I hope we can sit down together and enjoy a good, juicy orange and a visit rich with laughter and conversation.

I love you, Nanny. You're not forgotten.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taking A Moment....

...for a little update. Things are always hopping at our house. I'm beginning to realize, and grudgingly accept, that things are not liable to slow down anytime soon, so I might as well tighten my boot straps and get with the program. In keeping with this resolution, I joined Weight Watchers two weeks ago. I mean, there's no sense in me dragging around this extra weight, letting it slow me down and hinder all that God has for me to do, right? I also started jogging via Couch 2 5K, which I downloaded for free to my ipod and utilize 3 times a week. So far I've lost 7 lbs in two weeks! Stoked! 

Around the house, there's never a dull moment. We've sort of adopted (not literally--he just stays here a LOT) a little boy in our neighborhood, and it's fun for Elijah to have another boy to carouse with on a regular basis. The girls have each other to do girly stuff with, and so it's good for him to have that boy interaction every day, in place of a brother. They are a hoot.


Schoolwise, we are almost done! In about a week, we will celebrate our last day of school for this year. We did it! I learned SO much, about myself, and my children and their learning styles. I really do have super smart kiddos. Through our awesome homeschool group here, I'm learning more about homeschooling and that there's many different ways to approach it, but that's a whole other post.

 Gracie is a part of a little girls' club called GEMS (also through our homeschool group) and they had a spring tea this week that was absolutely precious and so much fun! She has just recovered from having her tonsils removed, and is feeling much, much better, thank goodness. She really was a trooper through the whole ordeal.

Emma is just full of life and energy and busy, busy, busy. She has such a growny, prissy personality and is always pretending that SHE is the Mama and Miss In Charge! As you can imagine, this drives her brother and sister crazy (and me too at times). One day last week, she filled her purse with my cell phone, car keys, and wallet, put her sunglasses on and declared she was going to Wal-Mart. She proceeded to march out to the van, buckle her baby doll in the seatbelt, and stick the keys in the ignition. Then, she somehow managed to lock everything, including both sets of keys, in the van. Mind you these are the only keys to the van that we own. So, she experienced her first grounding, and was banned to her room pending her father's return from work. Thankfully, my industrious husband was able to break into the van with a coathanger and saved us from being billed from Pop-A-Lock. Miss Thang got a little too big for her britches, but I don't think she will be doing that again anytime soon. We are all a little relieved when at 1:00 every day, Miss Busy Britches goes down for her nap :).

We are enjoying life, and anticipating great things in the next couple of months. We've been waiting on something particularly important to take place for about two years now, and it seems we are closer than ever before. We're at that place where the ball of change is at the top of the hill and is rocking on the edge, just getting ready to set events into motion. We are anxiously watching for it to fall any day, and a little disappointed that it hasn't yet. I keep reminding myself that God's timing is perfect, and while I'm waiting, I might as well learn a little patience, eh? Not the easiest lesson to learn.

To occupy myself while I wait, and I've been tackling the spring cleaning. The fact that we plan on putting the house on the market this summer is good motivation as well. Y'all, I ain't playing around. This house is being de-cluttered like nobody's business! And it feels sooo satisfying to walk through a room that is fresh, clean, clutter free, and can be packed up lickety-split if need be. I'm cleaning by faith! As I clean, I'm praying, Lord, you know  I'm cleaning this room so well because we are going to get good news in a few weeks and I am going to be able to pack everything up in no time! :)

 I feel like this has been a rather choppy little post, but it is what it is. The kiddos are up and ready for breakfast. Hope you have a  great rest of your week. Happy Hump Day! (that's what I call Wednesday).



Tuesday, March 27, 2012


 Spring is here, in all its glory! This type of weather makes me want to spring clean from corner-to-corner, wall-to-wall, on the inside. I want to mow and weed and paint and power-wash, on the outside. Unfortunately, I have more ambition than time, and so I have to deal with the frustration of a check-less to-do list.  Say that ten times. Check-less to-do list. Bleh.

As much as I long to have things spiffed and in order, there are much more important, though intangible things I long to see happen, on what I call my "Longing List".

  • To have a certain blonde-haired, green-eyed boy asthma-free, and able to romp and run without the worry of a wheeze
  • For my Gracie-girl to have relief from swollen, blistered tonsils (going on 7 weeks now--they are coming out via tonsillectomy on Monday). 
  • For my husband to regain his strength after a two-week bout of the crud 
  • For true, old-fashioned,  soul-saving, life-changing revival in our churches and our country
  • And, on a bit of a selfish note, a vacation

Seaside, Florida

photo via Pinterest 

photo via Pinterest 

I mean a real vacation, with nothing to do but curl up with a book, build sandcastles with my babes, catch a romantic sunset with my honey while I listen to the waves roll in. Phones of any type not allowed. 

 I might be waiting a long time for that last one,'s OK to dream, isn't it?

And, totally off subject, but I just have to share this GOR-geous pic of my beautiful girls, taken a month or so ago by my talented sis-in-law. So excited about her taking our spring family pics soon!

May the remainder of your week be all you need it to be, and  all the longings of your heart be fulfilled. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

On The Brink

Hello to all my dear readers! Are you still there? This blog may have been inactive lately, but I can assure you that its author has not. We just got out of a week-long revival with the Rev. Rick Simpson and family. We saw lots of great things accomplished for the Lord, and now it's time to clean up from the aftermath of a week of being gone every night, and sleeping too late in the mornings. Add 5 extra changes of clothes every night for a week, and you've got a resulting laundry-room-full of laundry to catch up with. But thanks to paper plates and the crockpot, the kitchen chores were not too overwhelming. Never underestimate the power of a crock pot.

There has been an atmosphere of charged anticipation in our home of late. We are on the brink of change, but it's good change. God is working for us in an area we have been praying about for years, and it's exciting to watch how He unfolds His plans. I can't disclose it all at this time, but when it all works itself out, you will get one loaded blog post!

There really is no shortage of blog subject material around here, as my 3 children supply me with plenty of it. The only shortage is time and opportunity to sit down and put fingers to keys. When I blog, I like to have quiet, uninterrupted time, and that, my friends, is a precious commodity.

I will leave you with a moment from last week, that is definitely one I do not want to soon forget. Elijah's latest "dream" has been to start his own pet business. He dreams big, that one. One evening a couple of weeks ago, he drug his aquairium of "pets", which consisted of snails and centipedes, to the front yard and parked it on a TV tray/table. He came back inside an annouced, "I'm tired of waiting, so I'm starting my pet business today!" So if you were to drive by our house, this is what you would have seen:

This was his expression after about 5 vehicles passed by without stopping. I felt sorry for him and sneaked a few phone calls to a couple of neighbors, who thought it was hilarious and was happy to give him a quarter for a critter. Of course, they really appreciated him taking care of their snails for them, since they didn't really have a place to properly care for one. He wound up making about $2.50 when it was all said and done! Isn't he adorable?

Monday, February 6, 2012

About Little Things, Again

So much to say about little things.

  They spoil vines, after all. They get between your toes when you're walking on the beach.

 They scatter over your floor and hurt really. bad. when your foot finds one in the dark {or the light for that matter}.

They stimulate imagination and awe.

Invoke creativity.

Strengthen the motor skills of little fingers in play.

You can't ignore such things. They demand attention and a response.

So...why do we think the little things we do don't matter? That unless we accomplish some great feat, we'll never make a difference in this world?

Don't fall into the trap of believing the lie that what you do doesn't matter. Because it DOES. God sees.

He sees every dish you wash, every towel you fold, every little tooth you brush.

Every bo-bo you kiss (we call them bo-bos around here, not boo-boos).

Every test you grade, every bedtime story you read.

Every. single. prayer you pray.

Every door you knock on, searching for a child in need of Sunday School, and every one that slams in your face.

The phone call you made to say, we missed you at church.
It's important. More than you know.

The text you sent that said, You're awesome. Glad you're my friend.
It lightened a load.

There's a bigger picture here--each little thing you do to the best of your ability is a stroke of paint on the canvas of your life.  Sometimes the colors are bright and vibrant, sometimes they are muted and gray, and everything in between. But He sees the melding of it all, that completes the portait that He is painting of you. He sits back, tilts His head, and smiles in satisifaction with what He has made.

So the next time you get frustrated with sweeping the floor (again), know that He is still holding the paintbrush and just because your task is little, doesn't mean it's doesn't matter.

*All photos were borrowed from Google images*

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A 7 Year old In The House!

Yesterday, my little man turned seven! We celebrated with a day off from school, a trip to Party City to ride bumper cars and....angry bird cupcakes! He had a great day! He is the goofiest, quirkiest, craziest little kid and I'm so proud he is mine!

 I stole an idea off Pinterest--to interview him every year on his birthday, and then look back on the answers the following year to see how his opinions and interests have evolved. So here is his 7 year-old interview:

My favorite food: pizza

My favorite sport to play is: basketball and football

The best show: Adventures in Odyssey

The coolest person on earth is: Emory

My favorite thing to learn about in school is: Phonics

The thing that I do most awesomely: Drawing

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would go to: The zoo

My favorite color is: black

When I grow up, I’m going to be a: window washer

My current favorite song is: Father Abraham

The book I am loving right now: Huckleberry Finn

Three words that describe me are: crazy, jumpy, grumpy

When I was little, I used to: sneak and steal Mama’s glasses off the nightstand in the
Morning [he did]

My favorite season of the year is: Christmas because I get a lot of presents but sometimes I just want to act like the Grinch

The absolute best thing about camping is: fishing

The snack that I like best is: popcorn

One food that I really dislike is: broccoli and cheese

My best friend is: Micah

If I had one wish it would be: to have a thousand elephants I could sit on

My best memory is: when I spilled crackers on the floor and ate them, when I lived in Farmerville [he was about 1 1/2 and I have a picture of it...somewhere.]

How fun is that?? 

Monday, January 9, 2012

About Little Things

Big brother, he has the sparliest eyes ever sparkled :)

I'm just a simple girl, really. I don't need a Coach handbag or a pedicure a week or even a Mom's night out once a month (though that last one sounds tempting) to put a smile on my face and contentment in my heart. Neither am I one of those gals who is bursting at the seams to go shopping or on a trip every weekend.....makes me tired just thinking about it.

A new nephew, arriving just in time to usher out the old year:). Who needs fireworks?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate appreciation (can I say that?) and if anyone wants to buy me a Coach for my birthday(it's on the 17th) just knock yo lil' self out!! But, if we're not careful, we get this idea that unless the people we are important to in life make a big show, then we haven't been appropriately recognized. I've been there...wondering when am I ever going to be taken on that cruise or wake up and find someone has hired me a maid for the day. Wow that last one sounds nice. But you know what? That kind of thinking is breeding ground for discontentment. And a discontented woman is like the proverbial drip, drip, drip, to the nerves of her family.

Nieces & Daughters, playing dress-up in their great-grandmother (Nanny's) hats, purses, and gloves.

As I look back on 2011, it's not extravagant family vacations or expensive date nights that highlight my memories, but the little, rich moments of meaning that just about took my breath away. I think they are special because they were unexpected, little pops of color in the midst of ordinary days. The mason jars of "weeds" that continually decorates my kitchen sink windowsill, the "Here, sit down, you look like you need a back rub" from my husband, the email from a friend who read this little blog and found encouragement here (who woulda thunk). An overheard conversation, between big brother and littlest sister, offering comfort and love to each other in the middle of a sick, dark night. The, "You're the best cooker EVER, Mom." Oh, my. What blessings surround me!

Last year was not the year I dropped 60 pounds or earned an award for my blog or won a million dollars.But it was full of a hundred, a thousand little things that fill up more space in my heart than any one of those bigger things ever could. So, thank you, 2011 for your gifts. I sure do appreciate them :).