Monday, May 30, 2016

The Beach 2016

When our plans to go to the beach were in the early stages,  Erik was hoping to find a place on Rosemary Beach or Destin.  But, for some silly reason, my heart is here at Fort Morgan.  I know it isn't as pretty.  But, it also is not as touristy nor as crowded. And, when it came down to being 2 blocks from the beach or being directly on the beach for the same price, we again went with Fort Morgan.  And, for 5 days we listened to old Jack Johnson (Curious George soundtrack) and took it slow...

Daddy did the big grocery trip once we got to Gulf Shores, and he bought some fun things!! :-)

I think one of my favorite things about the beach is how it wears out my kids!! So much fun!

I love that when we go (spring and fall) we almost have the beach to ourselves.  It makes watching the kids so much less stressful!

Next year we will have to buy a tent because someone did not like the sun on her! :-)

Mother's Day 2016...

My favorite thing to do at the beach...

Steamers in Gulf Shores at the recommendation of some sweet friends!  The perfect spot for a big family like ours!

Matt's Homemade Alabama Ice Cream was awesome! We will be back for sure!

Fort Morgan, thank you once again for a peaceful, wonderful family vacation! This makes our fourth trip to this beach, and it is beginning to feel like a second home to me!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Pouring Out...

Wow. It's quiet. I'm sipping hot chocolate and writing. What??

It's a rare treasure indeed.  I couldn't decide how to spend my quiet 30 minutes or so...  I could grade papers, get ready for tomorrow, or write...

I chose to write even though it is painful for me right now.  It is painful and slow.  I feel uninspired. I don't talk about it much ~ how hard it is.  But, everyday is a challenge these days.  This stage of life calls for me to be many things for a good many people.  I work from sun up to sun down and give until I am literally, completely, and wholly spent. I crawl into bed so exhausted. Each day I give every ounce of everything He gives me.  Never in my life have I felt this kind of tired.  It is new to me. The laundry must be done, the counters wiped, the dinner for 9 made, the papers graded, the naked bottomed baby chased, the white boards readied for another day.... The list goes on and on.

I don't meant to complain.  But, it has been on my mind a lot lately.  Lord, how long can I continue at this pace with almost never a moment to myself?  Being the introvert that I am, this is such a stretch!

And, as I ask this question, I feel His answer pressing in on my soul. He tells me that He is doing something, working some beautiful things in me, working some ugly things out of me...  He assures me that He sees me on those days when I feel like no sees me.  On the days when I feel like a body being drug from one fire to the next, doing my best to put each one out ~ little hands grabbing my sweater pulling me to the fridge for more milk, older boys asking for a grilled cheese or homemade cookies or a fried egg on toast, math questions, a stopped up toilet again... I'm stumbling through so bewildered and overwhelmed, trying to just. do. the. next. thing.  On those days, He is near, and He assures me that His hands are on me, molding me, stretching me, holding me closely.  He is not far removed.  He is not distant. He is with me here in my chaos.  And, that is beautiful. And, it makes everything worth it.

And, as hard as it is.  I feel Him like never before.  As we puttered through our school day today listening to praise and worship on You tube in the schoolroom, Oceans came on. I couldn't breathe, I cried so hard. I just worshipped right there with Zekey holding my legs and the boys working all around the table.  I just cried and couldn't stop. I looked around the table.  Do they get it?  I know we have been faithful to tell them all about our great God.  They could beat most adults at Bible Trivia. But, do they get it?  Because when you are being stretched and pulled and tugged and worn ragged by the world, Bible trivia won't help you. But, the Holy Spirit of the Living God inside you breathing life, infusing hope, raining grace, and pouring out mercy ~ that will be all they need. Oh, how I pray that they get that!

I'd like to be perfect like... yesterday!  But, I'm not.  Try as I may, I cannot go long without derailing.  He knows.  He keeps assuring me that He is working, and I feel it, so I keep on.  And, if you want to know the truth, that exhausted feeling that I feel at the end of the day....

I LOVE it.  Is there a better way to live than to give all I have? I crawl into bed, pull up my covers up under my chin, and lay there just praying.  My bed has never felt so wonderful as it has the last few years when more has been asked of me than ever before.  I'm thankful. One day when life is quieter, less busy, I will miss going to bed completely spent.  I'll miss the way it felt to pour myself out ~ empty. Only to lay down and let Him refill me for the next day.

Thank You, Jesus.

Friday, October 02, 2015

These are the days!

My boys and our sweet neighbor friends singing the pre game national anthem before beginning to play football in the front yard.  Such fun! Fall makes my heart happy.

I can't explain it.  I just love this time of year. Everything about it makes me happy!  The smells, the colors, the cool weather... Happy.

These two are night and day different, but they get along so well.  I love them so much.

Watching college football...

We were too into the game to stop and take Jackaroo to bed!

School outside... It happens during fall because mama can't stand to miss out on the nice weather!

This little dog,"Sniffer," continues to hang around.  Now he has started sleeping on our doorstep.  How sweet!  If Erik would let me, I'd adopt you, little one!

One evening this week all the kids played on the swing set.  Every now and then it hits me that one day this wooden structure will stand empty and quiet, no children crawling over every inch of it.  I'm so thankful that this is not true today.  Our swing set is 10 years old and going strong!  It gets so much playtime. It is beginning to look a bit worn.  I love it.  My big boys still play like kids.  I don't know what I'll do when they quit!?!?!  I will miss these days!

Climbing trees...

I love fall so much, but I'm really trying to take in all the GREEN!  I know that in less than two months the leaves will all be gone.  The green is so lush and pretty, but it is slowly turning right before our eyes!  One season bleeding into the next. Might as well sit back and enjoy the change!

Photo bomb!

She has my heart.  There aren't words.

Leaves scattered on the pond means fall is on its way.  Our home, our little neck of the woods, it means so much to me.  The tall trees, the pond, the land for boys to run and play.  I am always grateful for our little piece of land, but during the fall months it overwhelms me.

Playing in the Evening Light

This is just simply my favorite.  That is all there is to say.


We watched caterpillars turn into butterflies again this fall.  The kids always enjoy this so much!!

I actually was able to get video footage of one of the butterflies emerging.  I was putting a band aid on a child and just happened to notice it happening.  Loved it!

We had sweet friends over the night of the butterfly release party, so they got to be a part of it!  That is always fun!


People always ask me what Zeke does while we do school.  He is my only child not doing some sort of school this year.  He is just there with us.  When I do crafts with Jack and Emery, I give him something so he feels like he is a part of what we are doing ~ even if he really doesn't have the fine motor skills to do the craft yet.  We have fun with Zekey!

He really is just there.  Sometimes he totally interrupts, and it is difficult.  But, most of the time, he just plays at our feet or at the table with us.  We love having Zekey in our day!

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Post Full of Happy!

Life lately has been so gentle and sweet.  I feel like we are moving at a good pace for our family.  I can keep up.  I am able to think of and follow through with some fun things for the kids and myself.  And, fall is around the corner! So, much to be thankful for!! This post is a hodge podge of the last few months.  So, many sweet moments!

This is Sniffer.  We didn't choose him.  He chose us.  He won't leave, so I guess he is kind of ours??

This little guy is growing up so fast!!  Such a happy little fella!

Hearts are my thing.  I've drawn hearts by my name since high school.  I've always loved hearts in decorating, jewelry, etc.  A sweet young mama from our church that I love surprised me with this in my mailbox this week.  I love it soooo much!!!  My new favorite!

Don't you love finding photos like the one above on your phone?  It makes me so happy!

Erik killed a snake the other day! EEEEKKKK! Note the head is in the shovel.

I could not possibly love her more.  It is not possible.

Some of the best friends a family could ask for....

You can't really see it, but my kids were playing at the neighbors house on the hill in the distance.  I was overwhelmed at the blessing of it all and had to take a picture.  Children running and playing wild and free and beauty everywhere.  Grateful.

A yard full of happy makes my heart overflow...

James's newest hobby.  It makes him so happy.  Finish school.  Go fishing.  It's really that simple.

Educational movie time!

My little Michaelangelos!!  I love teaching art and then setting them free to create!

My baby isn't looking so much like a baby anymore! Yikes!!

The younger three really have a blast together on school days.  Zeke can hang with them pretty well, and they love him!

I was making dinner, and my older boys surprised me by bathing my younger three!  They are so helpful and so fun!  The littles love their big brothers!!


A sweet friend teaching me to can grape jelly!

A surprise Labor Day midday rain shower!  It came out of nowhere, rained hard for about 20 minutes, and the sun never quit shining!

These two melt me over and over...  I wouldn't have planned to have children 11 months apart, but it has been such a joy!

Stealing a kiss!

He loves Pop best of all!!

My photo
Hi! I live in a sweet country home overflowing with love, laughter, and little ones. I have been blessed to journey these days beside a man that I love, respect, and admire. He is my soul-mate and best friend. Together we are seeking to raise our seven children to be lovers of God, to be wise and discerning, and to be all that our sweet God created them to be. I am in the goldfish and cheerio stage of life, but I am keenly aware that these days are slipping right through my hands. This blog is my attempt to keep our memories safe for years to come.


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