Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I've got that feeling. . .

Today I have that "it just doesn't get any better than this" feeling. At present I am sitting at my computer with my feet up sipping coffee to the sound of rain on the roof. Does it get better than that? Days like this are a gift from God, and I am not one to take them for granted!! James Christofer is sleeping, and Joshua is playing quietly in his room (trains). So, here I sit soaking in the sound of Alli Rogers on my CD player mixed with the melody of the rain - pure peace for my soul.

Earlier today I took the boys for a walk at the park. I promised them if they let me walk 3 miles that I would let them play for a few minutes afterward - a win-win situation for all involved. As I walked the little path, I was overwhelmed. I love fall. No, I mean it, I really love fall. I love the leaves. There is nothing more beautiful to me. I have always loved fall. I remember (seriously, I do) walking down the street to my friend's house when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. I remember listening to the leaves crunch under my feet as I walked, and I thought it was the most wonderful sound in the world. And, today I heard that sweet sound again. As we walked leaves fell like snow on our heads. How perfect is that! And, after our walk I watched my two boys chase eachother around the park. As I sat watching them, I was overwhelmed. Precious little guys playing in a fall wonderland. They tossed leaves on eachother - and me. :-) They made piles of leaves and pine-needles and jumped in them. It is times like this, moments like these, that I wish I could freeze time. I don't want to keep them from growing up, but I would like to be able to come back and visit these moments again one day. Okay, I am getting too sappy, sorry. There is just something about this day rain + fall foliage + coffee + sweet boys + (pregnancy hormones) = one sappy mommy.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Worth rejoicing over. . .

It occured to me today how very much children need to be rejoiced over. A few weeks ago I began to notice some changes in my sweet 3 year old son's attitude. His words have been more negative, his actions more aggressive, and his temper more easily ignited. Being a very analytical girl, I began contemplating all of this. Why was he acting this way? And, then last night it hit me. . .

I think it was when he began dancing like a madman to a song on a Peanuts video. He was doing some very interesting dance moves - something resembling the Roger Rabbit mixed with a little Michael Jackson moonwalking, add a little Elvis hip movement - and then every now and then a little Madonna like pose that he would hold for a few seconds - Vogue. My husband and I were in stitches on the floor, laughing until the tears flowed. And, Joshua relished it. He loved it. And, that is when it hit me. . .

I have been so busy with the house renovation, with various phone calls and errands. I have been getting babysitters alot lately. And, in doing all this, I have not taken the time to stop and rejoice over this son of mine, and he needs it. He needs to know that he is the apple of my eye. He needs to be marveled over because he is the child God gave me. And, no matter how busy life gets, I cannot take that for granted. They (our children) are worth rejoicing over - over and over again. And, it is my theory that sometimes when they are acting the worst (and it is not easy to rejoice over them) - this is when they need to be rejoiced over the most. They need to know that we (who represent to them their heavenly Father) love them no matter how they act or how poor their attitude is. Now don't get me wrong. . . they must be corrected, but in their discipline they must know how great our love for them is. They need to know, to feel, how we rejoice over them - just because they are who they are - not for any other reason, nothing they have done. Simply put, I realized that I just need to follow the example that my Father set for me and all will fall into place.

". . . He will rejoice over you with singing. . . " Zeph. 3:17

Friday, October 27, 2006

Lemonade

A few of you have asked about my sister-in-love. . . So, I thought I'd give a quick update. She had her second chemo treatment this past Tuesday. It has not been a breeze, but we knew it wouldn't. But, she is super resilient and has a wonderful, hopeful outlook. Cecilia has a way of taking lemons and making lemonade.

My brother shaved his head, too. So, for my birthday I received a card with a picture of the two of them - bald - with their tongues sticking out!! Joshua thinks this is the best picture in the world. He looks at it off and on all day. "Uncle Telly and Aunt Cece took their hair off, Mommy, how silly!" He loves it! Kelly and Cecilia are known for sending funny cards - this is by far not the first!

They continue to inspire and challenge me. I love them both so much. I thought this was a wonderful idea, so I thought I'd throw it out there. . . When Cecilia's hair began to fall out, she let her girls play hair-dresser on her. They took two pair of scissors, a few pictures, and made a memory and a large ice-cold pitcher of lemonade. . .

For My Mom. . .


who loves my hair shoulder length and lives far enough away that my hair will grow before she sees me. . . I promise, Mom, that it looks alot shorter in person than it does in this picture. It just touches my shoulders, really, it does just barely touch my shoulders. Anyway, this is how the story goes. . .

It was a very rainy, messy day so my hair was curly and frizzy and crazy as I drove to the salon. Ann straightened it with that wonderful Chi iron thingy. What a glorious invention! If only it had been around when I was in high school fighting with all my might to straighten my hair each morning before school. Only to walk outside and have that wonderful Southern humidity curl my hair right back up!

I digress. . . Ann made my hair Barbie doll straight with the Chi - making my hair look even longer. Then, she put my hair in 4 ponytails, measured them each, and gently cut each one above the rubber-band at the 10 inch mark (the 2 in the back were actually longer than 10 inches). We were both amazed at how long my hair still was after she cut the pony-tails. And, BOOM, in a matter of seconds, I went from the longest hair I have ever had in my life to shoulder length hair! So, Mom, here it is. The before and after shots. So, now after a year of pony-tails and braids, my hair has been down for 2 whole days !!!!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Maybe this one will be a girl. . ."

My boys like to get up early. So, unless I am willing to arise at 5:00, I am not going to get quiet time before they wake up. And, I can assure you that 5:00 a.m. is not going to happen for me - at least not in this stage of my life. So, I have devised a plan. I let them watch a 30 minute video shortly after their father leaves for work. I pour a cup of coffee, push play on the VCR, and pull up a chair for me and Jesus at the kitchen table. It is sweet time.

Well, this morning as I am enjoying my coffee, I look over at my darling children watching Barney. Side by side, they sit on their little couch about 2 inches from the TV screen. Joshua leans over and gives James Christofer a sweet hug, and then, looks back at me saying, "Did you see that, Mommy?" And, I smile and watch them for a few minutes overwhelmed by the love I feel for them. And, I whisper in my heart to God, "I'd take 50 little boys, Lord, if You wanted to give them to me." (A slight exageration on my part - 50 - might be a bit too many. . .) But, I love my boys. And, I don't know what God's plans for our family are, but I will gladly take whatever He gives, with my arms open wide. . .

"Maybe this one will be a girl. . ." is the phrase I have heard about 60 billion times over the past 2 months as I have announced my pregnancy. I have even had a good friend offer to come over and rub her little girls clothes all over me in hopes that something might rub off. Now that tickled me a little bit!! :-) But, I guess what I am trying to say is that if this darling child is a boy, he will be rejoiced over just as much as our first boy was rejoiced over. As I look over at their sweet strawberry blond heads, my heart wells up with joy. Maybe this one will be a girl or maybe this one will be a boy. But, one thing is for certain. . . This one is a gift from a loving God to our family, a blessing, a little life, for me to hold, protect, love, and train with all that God has given me. And, that is the blessing of it all.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Under Construction. . .



I had no idea how undeniably emotional renovating our home would be!! The workers showed up at our home on Monday, September 25th, at 7:00 a.m. By 7:30 there was a huge pile of rubble in our front yard, and the sounds of destruction could be heard all over our neighborhood (horrible sounds - ripping, tearing, hammering, sawing, etc.). The home I have grown to love like no other I have ever lived in was being ripped to shreads. I literally felt that my heart would break. I could not escape the feeling in the pit of my stomach even after I drove miles from my home. I took the boys on a long car-ride that morning. I got a chai latte and called my favorite sounding board - my mom. I think I wept on the phone with her, certain we had made a huge mistake when we decided to renovate. I'd be telling a story if I said that was the only time I have had second thoughts. . .

The picture above was taken at noon on Monday. Mr. Cole's crew is undoubtedly a group of hardworking men. The destruction continued that day and the next, and the hole grew to the top of the roof line. The picture left is of our living room. For a day and a half, we had a lovely sky light in there. This room has since been completely gutted. The wall to the right has been torn down to open the kitchen to the living room, and the french doors are gone. A fireplace will replace the french doors, and there will be new wooden doors with large windows flanking the fireplace.




Now I just had to get a picture of this! This is what it looked like as we walked up our stairs that Monday evening. A beautiful view of trees greeted us as we topped the stairs. Now remember that this is the home I love. . . I felt sick at my stomach for the first week or so. But, I know we will love the finished product, and that is what keeps us going. . .








This was Joshua's room. It will now be our guest room. We are adding on a bathroom and walk-in closet so our guests will have the privacy of their own bathroom and an extra place to put a pack 'n play if they would like to separate their children.






The most fun part for me has been getting to know the men who work for Mr. Cole. They are a cute little fraternity - a group of men I would never have had the opportunity to meet had they not come to work in my home. They have wonderful names. Names like Stumpy, Flat, Homeboy ("Home" for short), and good old Gerald. Gerald is in his 60s, reeks of cigarette smoke, but is very sweet and hardworking. "Home" is Erik and I's personal favorite. He is also a fireman, a Christian, and the loving father of a very lucky little girl. Flat has strawberry blond hair and a wife with severe kidney problems and no medical insurance. More than once, I have come to our home exhausted only to find that they have "destroyed" yet another room. (We are literally gutting the house so each room is slowing being dismantled.) My usual response to the workers is, "Would you please stop tearing my house to pieces?" To which they laugh and respond with words of reassurance like. . . "We promise one day you'll come in, and it'll look better. We just gotta do the tearin' out first."

This is a picture of the house taken Tuesday evening. By Wednesday at lunch they had put the ceiling on, and we were in "the dry." I need to take some more pics. We now have our new roof on and the deck has been torn out. The porch on the back is longer, etc. Things keep changing. . . This week they are hanging sheet-rock!!! Yippee!! I am hoping that this will be a turning point. Maybe from now on things will start looking better instead of worse. . .



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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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