11 years and still Loving.


Today marks 11 years of wedded bliss between Josh and me.  I “cheesed” it up and wrote a little poem for him and attached it to a small shovel.  We’ve talked about how we can look back and see how we’ve lived life more on the surface than digging deep…playing it “safe” instead of risking all of our small plans for whatever it is that the Lord might have for us.  I do pray we have the next 11+ years to dig deep into life together.

Eleven Years of Digging and Living Life with You

We married at age 23 in 2001. Little did we realize, the fun had just begun!

We worked, we played, we payed the rent on a sweet, one-bedroom apartment;

(Weren’t those years so dear?)

Then in time we signed the line–(our address is here) Trail– excited for the next fun chapter of our fairytale.

First, Ruby. Then, Molly. And then came Mack! One thing is certain–for babies, we did not lack!

In searching for the next big thing, we set our sights on MORE– then the Lord used restlessness to show us He had a better plan in store.

We lost your mom to Heaven–the loss too much to comprehend, but once again, our Heavenly Father showed Himself to be the One on Whom we could depend.

God has shaped us in ways we never might have chosen, but I love the way He has woven the ups and downs of all of life because He’s made us a better husband and wife.

The shovel is to be a symbol of the goal for (Lord-willing) all the years to come. Let’s go deeper, stay off the surface as we live this life as one.





Tongue is a Fire

This morning I read in James regarding the tongue, “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;  from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.  My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.  Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?”

I thought of my words over the last week…let’s not even reflect on the last month, for that might be a bit much for me to take.  I can see some “old habits” creeping back into my daily life.  Things like self-pity–all those “Woe is me” statements that come so easily out of my mouth.  And then there are the  harsh statements I send in my kids direction–“What are you thinking?????”  or  “You are making me CRAZY!”  or  “Do you see how much work you are causing me by your sillyness???”  Don’t even make me talk about my tone.

BIG SIGH.  (It’s right here that I might want to just go back to bed and pull the covers up over my head and stay there in my failure.)

I asked myself– What kind of water is flowing from the fountain of my heart?  It takes a direct route through my tongue.

Just like in Exodus when Moses was shown by the Lord a tree to throw into the bitter waters of Marah to make them sweet, the Lord wants to show me my bitter words so that He can fill me and make them sweet.  Left to myself, there’s no telling what might come out of my mouth!  But filled with the Holy Spirit of God and keeping in step with Him, my heart will be in a place that only sweet water can flow.  I’m praying that today what I hear coming out of my mouth today will be a result of a heart change, a heart healing by my Redeemer.  I’ll be grateful.  And so will my kids.

Life is moving on…

Well, well, well…January is about to be over, which is just crazy to me.  Time is such a weird thing.

And here I am trying to catch up on my blog, just wanting to update on our family for our remembrance because things change quickly around here and the kids are growing like weeds.  Mack will be five in about eight weeks, which is just so strange to me.  I’ll deal with the fact that my baby is so not a baby some other time.

Let’s see….January started with that one great home school day we had.  I recorded what we did in hopes to duplicate it for many days.  That did not happen.  Not even a little bit.

My grandfather passed away on the 7th, so I went to Augusta for about four emotionally draining days.  Whew.  Deaths are difficult enough.  Add a little drama and you can find yourself mentally exhausted.  Those days, though, have really been helping me think about some life issues and challenged me to examine the way I “do life.”

We got home and tried to get back into our routine, which did eventually happen.

Josh and I will officially be married 11 years on Friday, but we celebrated last weekend since it didn’t work out for us to be together on the actual date.  It was a fun time away.  I really enjoy spending time with him.  He’s such a good husband and my very best friend.

This week we’ve been doing school and doctoring some strep throat.

Let me see if I can give some personal little updates:

Ruby is SUCH a first born.  I love watching her and the way she bosses leads the others.  She loves to wrestle and run and chase and push.  Quite the aggressive one if you don’t watch her.  She likes to sleep alone (as opposed to how the other two love to sleep in the same room).  She is getting so much better at her math.  She still loves to read.  She still hates taking medicine.  She loves desserts, hates most real food.  She is quiet if I have her one on one, but comfortably so…just likes being with me and doesn’t need constant conversation.  She memorizes well and loves, loves, loves to sing out of the hymn book (whether she knows the tune or not).  She always puts up some sort of argument about why she shouldn’t have to go to bed.  She’s gonna play soccer starting in March.

Molly is a sweet middle child, just like her Mama was.  heehee…..Really, she is sweet to the others, but if you get her mad she really has quite a mean tone of voice that, unfortunately, she really did get from me.  Yikes.  She is growing her hair out to go down to her ankles, or so she says.  She always wants to help me in the kitchen, and she does a good job….she’ll fix breakfast three out of five mornings. She  uses a cane to walk even though she doesn’t need one.  She asked for a wheelchair for her birthday.  (don’t know what that is about)  She can still throw herself on the ground with no control of her limbs when things aren’t going her way.  It’s quite scary.  She helps Mack with anything he asks her to.

And Mack–He is rotten.  There is really no way around it.  Sweet?  Absolutely!!  Funny?  You bet!!!  Rotten?  Yes.  I just love watching him be “all boy.”  Just this past week he had a friend over, and I loved seeing him play so well with Lincoln.  They fought with swords, played with trucks and just had a good time together.  I took them to the Dollar Store and Wal-Mart to pick out a toy.  They liked that!  Mack LOVES the Dollar Store.  He gets little men wrestlers and plays with them. ??  He still thinks he is too little to do any jobs.  I’ll ask him to put away his pajamas or try to make his bed and he says, “But I’m just a little boy” or “I’m your baby.”  What a stinker!!!  He likes to tell Ruby that she is not in charge of him.  He says that little statement often….”YOU are not in CHARGE of MEEEEE!!!!!”  He eats too much junk.  Candy is his friend…gummy bears, peppermints, gum, sweet tarts….you name it, he likes it.

Josh is traveling fairly regularly for this and that.  Each week I have a suitcase to unload, it seems.  He is still teaching Sunday School at this season of life, which makes for almost 10 years of teaching Young Adults.  He loves it.  He still has a great attitude about most every situation we might find ourselves in, which is a priceless gift.  I can tell you the worst thing that can happen….and I can tell you in record time.  He doesn’t work that way….thank the Lord!  We surely don’t need two of me.  He enjoys playing wii with the kids…and beating them.  He still doesn’t know where the laundry basket is after all these years….oh wait, it’s so close to our anniversary….I better be nice.  In all seriousness, he is such a great husband and Daddy and provider and leader of our home.  I am blessed beyond belief with him.

So there’s a little update.  I’m sure you were dying to hear all about us.  Now here are some pictures:

Are these not the cutest little friends?  They were so kind to each other and really seemed to just enjoy being together.  So cute!


Josh took Ruby and Molly to see ANNIE at The Fox Theatre tonight.  They were so excited!!

I stayed home with Mack.  His friend came over to hang out with us.  We ate spaghetti and took a trip to the Dollar Store and Wal-Mart and then to McDonalds for a milkshake.  I’ll have to post some pictures later (my camera battery died in mid-download) and tell some of the stories of hanging out with those two boys.  They were ALL boy!  You’d never know that Mack is over run with girls most of the time…except for the fact that he is so compassionate and aware of other people’s feelings….not a bad character at all.

Can’t wait to hear how the girls enjoyed ANNIE!


One year ago today, Deb, Josh’s mom, went to be with Jesus.  Some things are just so personal and so deep that trying to wrap words around them just doesn’t seem to work.

This is one of those things.

I usually don’t have a hard time talking.  Indeed, too many times I talk too much.  But in certain situations, there are just no words that will suffice.

We had the kids draw pictures and write notes to Gran, and we sent them up attached to a helium balloon.  It was more the symbolism, of course, and the remembering of all that Gran was and is to us.  And the kids enjoyed that so much.  I think Molly didn’t quite catch on to the symbolism part of it  though.  She asked me if we could keep some of the peanut butter cookies for ourselves (those were Gran’s favorite kind!), and I let her know that we were actually keeping them all here, as opposed to attaching them to a balloon and sending them to Gran.  She was relieved about that because she thought “we were gonna put them in a ziploc bag and send them.”

She also told Josh that “we’re sending up the balloons and notes tonight so that by tomorrow they will get to Gran in Heaven.”  She also sent a picture with some instructions for Gran to “Finish Coloring This Please.”

I didn’t tell her that the notes wouldn’t make their way to Gran because, to be honest, I don’t know that they won’t.

And before you think I’m crazy, neither do you!  You can’t say for sure what God allows.  🙂

Aunt Pep sent an email out for all of the family to write out some joyful remembrances of Gran, and I’ve enjoyed reading those.  We all miss her in more ways than we could tell….it really does help to remember the wonderful times with her.  I’m thankful that one day I’ll see her again.  God’s promises are so comforting….don’t know what I’d do without His Truth.



A Productive Day

Well, we are halfway through the day that I was dreading a bit.  I just wasn’t super excited about keeping the kids focused on school work when we haven’t touched anything school related in two weeks.  However, it has gone well.  So well, that I am going to type out how it has gone down in hopes that maybe we can do this again tomorrow.  I know it’s wishful thinking because each day around here goes so very differently.  But, here goes….

6:30-I wake up to quiet house and warm coffee, though it was freezing cold out from under the covers.  Enjoyed Day 2 of James study as well as a devotion that reminded me that God knows at what pace I need to be going.  He remembers that I am dust!  I need Him.

7:30-shower and then on to our “B”s.  BED (make it up!), BRUSH (your teeth and hair), BREAKFAST, BIBLE

8:30-Started school.  Girls started Math while I reviewed Mack’s sounds and then sent him off to watch LETTER FACTORY.  I started laundry.

9:15- Spelling Lists/FlashMaster when done

9:40-Geography (lines only)

10:00- Break–I switch laundry and then walk on treadmill because I am so out of shape…gracious…and kids put away school folders and then play wii

11:00- Writing and English

11:45-Kids go play store while I write this blog and then fix lunch.

12:15- Eat Lunch

1:00- Reading Time for Ruby (Sarah Noble)

1:30-Reading Time for Molly (four early readers)

2:00- Another Phonics lesson with Mack.

We’ll also start our Read Aloud of the Little House series tonight.

I’d say we’re off to a good start.  I really hope we can keep it up!!!  We can cover a lot of ground over the next few months….and then the weather will turn a little warmer….and then it will be summer time….the pool will open up and we will be there every day.  At least this is what I bribe my kids with off and on all throughout our home school days!  Molly heard me say something a while back, and she has hung on to it:  “Remember Mom, you said that we will do a math sheet and read a book and then go to the pool every day, remember you said that???”

Hope you have had a productive Day 3 of 2012!

Time for a Christmas Re-cap

Irv came to see us the Thursday before Christmas. We all went to the GA Aquarium for the first time and had a good time.  Friday we went to do some things for Josh at his office.  Then, we met Merrilee and Jason at Lenox Mall for a few hours of shopping.  Cra.zy.  And fun, too.  After shopping we went to eat together and finally crashed around midnight.  Saturday we got lunch ready since we were doing Christmas on Christmas Eve with Jason and Merrilee.  They came over around noon to eat and open gifts. They also got to watch the kids “perform” Luke 2.  After the gifts, we went to their church for an Eve service and really enjoyed praising God and reflecting on the greatest gift ever given…Jesus.

Sunday morning we made breakfast and then let the kids open their stockings.  We then got ready for church.  The service was really nice.  We came home and had yummy leftovers and then opened the rest of our gifts.  After that we all took an unexpected turn and went our separate ways.  Irv went to TN to be with Jason and Merrilee and her family while Josh, the kids and me all went to Augusta to see my family.  It was quite a whirlwind of a few days and my body was screaming at me to just lay down.  And so we did just that once we got home….and it was heavenly!  The rest this break was better than we’ve remembered in years past.

Here are some pictures:

Yes, yellow rice was something Molly really wanted from PawPaw.

Kids coming down the stairs Christmas morning

Here’s a sweet story.  Ruby asked for a LalaLoopsy Doll.  That was really all she asked for.  I found one at Target and wrapped it up.  She asked me regularly if I had gotten a doll for her.  I would let her know that I was at Target and there weren’t very many of those dolls left, which was true.  I never said yes or no on if I got her one.  On Christmas morning she opened a tiny gift that was a mini LalaLoopsy set.  She was so excited and said to her dad, “I love this!  There were lots of girls who wanted a big LalaLoopsy doll, so I am just so glad I got this one!!!”  A few gifts later she opened up the big Lala and was super excited!  Such a sweet girl.

Fresh Starts!

I love a New Year.  I love a new day!!  One of my favorite verses is about how the mercies of the Lord are new every morning, and I so need that!!!  We started off the day in church hearing a good Word from our Pastor.  It was a beautiful reminder of what we’d like to leave behind and the hope Christ offers daily as we look ahead.

I have a few pictures I want to post of a couple of little trips that happened in 2011 that I don’t think I ever mentioned here.

1-The kids went to the National Fair in Perry, Ga with Josh and his dad in October.

They had a lot of fun and stayed for HOURS.  They ask us regularly if they can go back to the fair again.  I’m sure we’ll likely find ourselves in Perry, Ga come October 2012.

2- I tagged along with Josh to NYC in December.  He did a little work.  I shopped and enjoyed the sights of such a fun city.

We had a blast!  We ate at Serendipity 3, which was my favorite spot there when I went to NYC in 2006.  The weather was quite mild; we didn’t even need a coat!  The kids were well taken care of by their sweet sitter that even did school work with them!  I enjoyed every minute of being with Josh.  Every time I am away with him I am reminded that he is my favorite person on the planet to spend my time with.  I love us….I especially loved us in NYC near Christmas time with no kids and no agenda!

The only 2011 blogging that I need to take care of is Christmas Day…I may or may not get around to that….we’ll just have to see how this first day of the New Year goes….I’m thinking a nap is in my near future.  You gotta start the year well-rested, right???