John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

John, Sara Beth, Callum, Haley, Kobe, and Samuel

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Be A Cheerful Giver

As most of you know, areas that surround us have been hit hard by the tornadoes last week and left a lot of people with absolutely nothing except the clothes on their backs. My dad quickly advertised the business he owns as a drop off location. He began deeming it as a drop off location late Thursday night and by Saturday morning when they pulled out onto the road to deliver the supplies they had two trailers, two SUVs, and two truck beds full.I went late Friday evening and bought all I could on what money I had collected through out the day and my mom and I both pitched in to make it even more. We bought a lot of baby supplies and toiletries. We threw in some batteries, flashlights, paper plates, snacks for the kids, formula, pull ups, wipes, baby cereal, baby food, and I couldn't help but buy those babies some chocolate chip cookies and gummies. At my house, that always brings a smile. While my mom and I shopped, John, Callum,Kobe, and Samuel accepted donations and loaded them up on the trailers. Early this morning the boys went for breakfast with my dad and then headed out to deliver supplies to those who needed them. Samuel and I stayed behind and gathered clothes,books, toys, and coloring books for the some victims at a local hotel. We took them over and I prayed for peace and comfort for all in that were in the hotel as I walked the perimeter of the building. My heart goes out to them and cries out to Jesus to show them His glory! The boys had a very eye opening experience today. I am so thankful that they went and learned about giving and helping others. We are instructed to love our neighbors and help those who are in need. This community has displayed these principles more than I could have ever expected. It is awesome! He is STILL God of this city and greater things are yet to come and greater things are STILL TO BE DONE in this city. Please continue to pray and help these victims. They will need help for far longer than we could possibly imagine. They have lost everything. The boys have shared stories with me today and thoughts that I am so proud to hear them tell and I am so thankful of the young men they are becoming. I have reminded them that when we give, we are to give and let it be to HIS glory, not our own glory. They understand that and I am most thankful for that. I have told them that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. Maybe that's why they haven't been able to wipe the smiles from their faces all day long. It is truly better to give than to receive.

This Month's Mumblings (and Proud Mommy Moments)--April

First off... WOW! The time is going by so very quickly this year.I can't believe I just typed April as the month in the title of this blog. So, with that said...let the Proud Mommy Moments and Cute Mumblings begin:


Proud Mommy Moment: Last Sunday in Church we were having normal praise and worship time when all of a sudden, Samuel must have heard something he liked because he threw his little hands up in the air and begin singing and waving his little hands around. Last night upon realizing that we (Kobe and myself) had "lost" the race home against John, Samuel, and Callum...at the stop sign before our street Kobe looks at me and says, "Can we please just ride around for a little bit and that way they will think we went somewhere else and weren't really racing. I don't want them knowing they won!" On the way home from the park tonight, Kobe was making a face at Sam trying to be "tough" and Samuel said, "Quit making that face...you don't scare nobody!" I told Samuel that he couldn't eat a whole Hot Pocket because if he did it meant he was getting too big. He then told me "Don't worry...you can still call me your baby!". John said well, what if we get another baby then what will you be...I said...well, we won't be getting another baby and Samuel said, "well, one day when you get big and married you will!" Both Kobe and Samuel have been begging me for a pet cat. I've told them no. I'm allergic. I've explained that cats make me sick and I can't have one. Kobe and Samuel came up with a sales pitch: If I let them get a cat they will keep it and the litterbox in their room and will never let it out...and they will clean the bathroom...still I'm allergic! Bless them, they don't understand! Tonight on the way home Kobe was using his phone and the ringtone that he uses for text messages went off and Samuel sais, "Kobe, who are you texting?" Kobe said, "Now what do you know about texting?" Ha! Technology.... Yesterday morning was John's birthday... Samuel told him this: Happy Birthday. I am glad you were "born-d" Samuel told me that he HATES when I wash his hair so John told him fine, he would let the hair fairy know and it could come get his hair while he slept. He said, Daddy, there is no such thing as a Hair Fairy. There is only ONE fairy and she doesn't want HAIR she wants TEETH!






ME: Kobe did you put on your deoderant?



Kobe: No, I am going to Nana's and I will be getting dirty and nasty anyway so I figure I shouldn't bother!



UHMMM... yeah, you should definately bother!




Upon realizing he was being taken to daycare this morning, a displeased Samuel said, "UGHHH I thought I was going to church!"

Today we had some bad storms and the power began to "blink". I asked Kobe if he saw the power flicker and he said, "No Mom. It didn't. I think you just blinked your eyes!"

Wednesday afternoon Samuel just kept telling me he wanted to pray for his friend at school. I heard him but didn't take the time to hear him out. Later that evening when we got home from church he said Mommy I need to pray for my friend at school. So I kneeled down beside him and this is what he said:
Dear Lord,
I want to pray for Briley at my school. He is mean sometimes and I want him to be nicer. I also want to pray about his boo boo on his knee from when he fell today. Thank you Lord for all you give us. We love you Jesus! Amen.




Basketball Birthday Jam

This year for Kobe's 9th birthday he decided he wanted a REAL basketball game party where he and his friends were the basketball stars! We decided to have it at the local recreation center where I could rent a party room and the gym for the game! I surprised him with some very authentic (looking) invitations and he supplied me with a guest list and menu. I only used black and orange to decorate and balloons. Kobe isn't much for a lot of decorating but he does love balloons and I chose stars...for basketball "stars" of course. I normally buy a Happy Birthday Banner that matches the theme of the party every year but this year I chose to make them just like the game signs fans bring to games. He invited 10 friends. His friends Nate, David, EJ,Jacob,Braeden and his cousin Maddie, brothers Callum and Samuel and friends Lori, John, and Izzy came. Along with myself,John, Nana, and Poppa, Grannie and PawPaw he had just enough people to make it fun and memorable! When we got there we had "basketball pre-game practice" and the boys went to the gym and practiced dribbling and shooting the ball. We then went into the Rec Center's party room and had snacks, drinks, cake, and opened presents. I made him a CD soundtrack for his party that we played while we ate and opened presents. It contained all the good basketball songs, to name a few: (They're Playing) Basketball by Lil Bow Bow (from Kobe's FAVORITE movie Like Mike), Let's Get it Started by Black Eyed Peas, and several more. We enjoyed his selections on our menu: wings, nachos (the kind from the basketball games and they needed to be in the little plastic trays), carrots, and celery and ranch dressing and of course, Orange Powerade. We then lit candles and sang Happy Birthday to him as he made his wish and blew out the candles. Today just happened to be my grandfather's birthday so we sang Happy Birthday to him as well. After that we opened gifts. Kobe got several really cool outside (sports) toys, Air Jordan outfits (from Nana),and money from everyone else. John and I got him a cell phone he has been begging for and I surprised him with something he has been about to drive me crazy for over the last few months. He wanted some Air Jordan basketball sandals. I have told him no and wouldn't let him spend his own money on them just because I have had them for a little while but I had to special order them because our stores didn't carry his size in them. After the gifts were opened we headed back to the gym for our "game". They had such a great time! Once the game was over, while we waited on parents to come pick up their children, we headed back to the party room for make your own ice cream sundaes.  I came up with some creative names for the menu items: Air Jordan Wings, Free Throw Nachos, Birthday "Jam" Cake, and Slam Dunk Sundaes. Even the Powerade bottles had basketballs and basketball nets on them...thanks to the Final Four! After the ice cream was finished each child left with a over the door basketball hoop and miniature basketball set, Orange Powerade, and balloon to take home. We had a great time and I am so happy Kobe loved his party. To top it all off, Kobe had a friend over to spend the night. Kobe and Nate have played everything they could get their hands on and now... they are having a UFC Party and I am even forgoing the "Family Dinner Table" tonight and letting them eat in the living room. It has been a GREAT day.

Ticket Invitation for Kobe's party

"Game Time Signs"

Game Time Sign

Game Time Sign

Party Room at the Rec Center

Kobe and some of his guests

Kobe


Air Jordan Wings


Free Throw Nachos, with jalepenos, and the little plastic trays you get at games




We had vanilla, chocolate, strawberry ice cream, chocolate,carmel topping,sprinkles, nuts, and of course cherries to put on top!

Party favors!
Samuel didn't make it... not even through the first fight!

Callum---texting as always!

Kobe and Nate just hanging out! I told Kobe if he didn't have on yellow shirts they would be twins!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Five on Friday 4-29-2011 (April 27th Tornado Special)

I normally post a fun and cute post on Fridays and answer 5 random questions about myslef or my life. This week it is going to be a little different. This week I want to list FIVE ways to help those affected by the storms here in Alabama.

1. Pray for them. The Lord can give them comfort that we cannot give. The Lord can provide things for them that they may not even know they need.

2. Donate Items! My dad's business, Valley Automotive at 607 E Michigan Avenue in Muscle Shoals, Al (behind Wendys and across from Harvest Buffet) is a drop off location. They have lost everything and need so much! We will be delivering a load first thing in the morning to the shelter at Oakwood Baptist Church in Phil Campbell tomorrow morning.

3. Donate Blood. So many people need blood transfusions right now. Donate for them! You may save someone's life.

4. When you are able donate time to help with clean up and relief efforts.

5. Pull together with others in our community to brainstorm on things that you may can do or organize that will mean so much to them and cost you so little and be such an overwhelming blessing to all involved.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?


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Matthew
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

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Proverbs 18:10 10
 The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
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Matthew 11:28-30

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

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Philippians 4:19
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus

God is Love. Love is Here!

Thankful Thursday 4-28-2011

My list this week:

1. God's protection and Healing Power.

2. Jesus' Ultimate Sacrifice and Reassuring Presence.

3. My Church Family and Pastors.

4. My Husband and My Children!

5. Being Alive!

6. Having a Home,power, and food in my cabinets.

7. Having a job to be able to come to and work.

8. Dedicated News Crews and Weathermen and women.

9. Emergency Workers and Volunteer Relief Crews.

10. Communities that Stick together and help one another out.

In light of the recent storms that have hit our area so hard and left so many without so much, I am so thankful that the Lord was watching over my family. I am so thankful that we were spared. I am thankful of His presence I felt that day comforting me as I huddled in the hallway with my children and pets praying for John's safe return home.

***My dad's business, Valley Automotive, at 607 E Michigan Avenue in Muscle Shoals will be accepting donations for the Phil Campbell community. We will be taking truck loads up first thing in the morning. Drop off as much as you can for these victims. His building his located behind Wendy's in Muscle Shoals and across from Harvest Buffet. You were blessed if you are reading this so bless someone else today! Pay it forward!***

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seek Shelter NOW!

It began early this morning. I begin hearing the dreaded tornado sirens around 3:45 this morning. I promptly woke John up because, after all, I am not going to be scared and awake by myself. Well, that and the fact I need him to read the radar to me! So we were awake and looking outside,watching the news, and deciding if we should wake the boys up or not. We didn't have to wake them. The sirens did that for us. Samuel was first then Kobe. We assured them that if we needed to seek shelter and get in our storm safe place that we would get them in plenty of time. We put them both back to bed. Callum slept through the whole thing. Samuel decided he could not sleep and ended up in our bed. I finally got back to sleep about the time it was time to be getting up for work and school. I got Kobe and Callum off to school and John took Samuel this morning. I arrived at work and started it like any other day. Around 10:30 it was mandatory that we get in our "safe room" at work. So we all gathered and waited it out. It was so nasty outside. It was downright scary looking. I prayed it would lift and be clear long enough for me to get the boys picked up from school and home safely. I got the email from my boss that basically said to go get my kids, go home, and be safe. She sent us all home because she wanted us to be safe instead of leaving right when the storm was supposed to be really bad. I checked Kobe and Callum out of school a few minutes early to beat the traffic and got Samuel picked up. We then came straight home and got our storm safe place stocked up and ready. We got pillows, blankets, our cell phones, snacks, the dogs, and of course I grabbed my purse! During all of this I found out that John was literally stuck in the middle of the storm on the highway. Literally standing in a field on the side of the highway leading home to us (where he is was trying to get as fast as possible) due to wrecks,storm damage, and power lines that were down. He was stuck for quite a while. Our sirens began to go off and the weather man was SHOUTING for us to SEEK SHELTER NOW!  The kids were worried about dad because I had told them what was going on with him and we prayed for him. We had been trying to send text messages and call but he had NO service. Samuel wasn't feeling well. The dogs were whining. I am scared of storms. It was almost too much and I began crying. Not the hysterical cry but the kind where I felt like I just wanted John home to protect us so I didn't have to be so strong and we could all be together. At that moment, the Lord whispered something to my heart. He told me this: "I am ALL the shelter you need." I began thinking of the song Strong Tower and praying and believing John would arrive safely and that my family would be protected. I prayed we would be kept as the apple of His eye and hidden under His protective wing. The storms were pretty bad. We only had a few limbs down in our back yard and side yard. We are very blessed. It could have been so much worse. It was worse for some. The state of Alabama had several fatalities due to this line of storms and a tremendous amount of damage. People lost all they had today. I hope we can all realize how important it is to always be ready. We never know what can happen. I am so thankful that the Lord may not have calmed the storm outside of my home but He calmed the storm inside of me today.

Some of our pillows and blankets

Some of our snacks

More pillows and blankets and that is Samuel's Leo the Lion that he made take cover too!

Chief and Buster needed in too!

Making the best of a scary situation

This big baby was scared!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Today Kobe is 9

Today Kobe turned 9 years old but it feels like just yesterday that I was in the doctor's office, begging for my labor to be induced. It was my due date. April 24th, 2002. My doctor said that if I hadn't gone into labor on my own by the next morning at 5:00 to come to the hospital and he would begin the induction process so I could meet my baby boy. Considering the fact that I had experienced a very uneventful pregnancy and that I had walked the TVA trail TWICE and the bleachers at the high school, I figured I could go on home and rest and plan on being at the hospital the next morning. All night I tossed and turned. I couldn't get comfortable. I was nervous. I was excited. The next morning I was at the hospital at 5 on the dot. I was ready to meet my son. I got there and when I arrived I was alarmed to find out that I was almost 7 centimeters and really close to having a baby! I was super excited. By 7:30 AM I was settled in and just waiting. Just before noon I was told that it was time and that my family and I would have a new member before lunchtime and we could have a celebratory lunch. Not so. To make a long and not so glamourous story short... I had Kobe at 6:24 PM. When he was born he didn't cry right away. I remember my mom standing right there beside me cheering him on, "Cry Baby Cry!".  I looked at him across the room and about that time the doctor apologized to me and told me he thought he had broken Kobe's arm. At that moment, as if on que, he screamed and began crying and held his little fist in the air to show us he was ok. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever laid my eyes on. Everyone was there. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends. He was born at 10 pounds 9 ounces and 28.5 inches long. He had a head FULL of black hair. Bless his heart, he looked like a baby Sumo Wrestler. The nursery did not have any diapers in the nursery that would fit him so they had to go get some from the hospital's supply closet. He began wearing a size 1 diaper. They put the little shirt on him and it didn't fit either! A friend,who worked for New Balance at the time, brought him his first pair of New Balance and they didn't fit. He had to exchange them for a size 2. The special outfit I had for him to come home in didn't fit either. He was absolutely perfect to me. The moment my eyes saw him I was completely in love. This is the first time in my life, other than my parents, that I knew what real unconditional love was and what it felt like. He was my first love. I couldn't believe how much I could love someone that I just met. He was my heart and soul. I took him home two days later. Just us. I had no idea what I was doing but with the help of my parents I figured it out. I became a pretty good mom. It was just me and him. We were stuck together like glue. He loved me with all of his heart and looked to me for everything and I felt the exact same way about him. We sort of grew up together. I learned responsibility,sacrifice, and maturity while learning to become a good mom to him. We had a lot of fun times and a lot of trying times. I remember a time that we played in the mud and rain and when we were coming in he put his hand on the front shutter on the house and it left a muddy little handprint. It took me forever to wash that away because it was such a fun day and I didn't want to wash the evidence away. I remember him sitting on my kitchen counter as I cried when I cooked beanie weanies. I cried partly because I hated them and partly because it was all we had. Then, I cried when he ate them and told me how good they were. I remember him coming to me to console him and to comfort him when he had a bad dream and looking to me as if I could do ANYTHING. In his little eyes (and still now) he thought and believed I could. He has always been my baby and I don't think he will ever be anything other than that to me. There was a time when we were all eachother had in the whole world and that made us so close to one another. I have enjoyed watching my sweet baby turn into a smart,funny,caring, and sweet young boy. I can't believe how fast the time goes by. It is hard to imagine that in the amount of time I have had him in my life that this many more years and he will be on his way to college. Tonight to celebrate his actual birthday he wanted to grill hamburgers and hot dogs. So, that is just what we did. We had hamburgers, hotdogs, and tater tots. He decided he wanted ice cream and watermelon instead of cake for his birthday dinner at home tonight. After dinner, the boys played outside and blew bubbles in the yard. We ended the night with a game of tag and UNO.  I pray for him every single day and I hug him every single day. I tell him I love him every single day. We still die out laughing together when no one else even knows why. We have memories together that belong to only us. I am so glad we have been able to make memories as a family as well. I look forward to many more memories with this sweet boy. No matter how old he gets, No matter what he gets himself in to in life, no matter where life may take him... he will always be my baby. Just like our favorite book when he was so little:
I like you forever. I love you for always. As long as you're living...my baby you'll be.


Kobe on his 9th birthday after a VERY intense game of UNO

52 Home---Week 16

April 24th, 2011

Easter Morning

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Weekend

Yesterday we went to our church's Easter Egg Hunt and Family Picnic. It was so much fun to be able to watch the kids play together and to be able to talk and hang out with good friends! Kobe and Samuel both found the 1st place prize egg and were so happy to get a money prize! John and I really love our church and so do all of the kids! They each have different reasons why they love our church so much. We feel very blessed to be involved in such a loving church family and to love each and every single one of them as well.


This morning I was woken up by the sound of a sweet little voice asking me, "Mommy, can we please play with our toys in our Easter "Bastets" (how Sam says basket). I say of course and get on up. John and I left Kobe and Callum in charge and went on our morning jog. We get to walk and jog and talk...without interruption and with the older two being here (and the dogs coupled with the fact we stay in our neighborhood and are only gone for thirty minutes) we get to enjoy some "us time"! When we got back we looked and saw what all the Easter Rabbit had brought to the boys and then we began to get ready for church. We left early to make sure we got seats inside the sanctuary instead of sitting in the overflow section... either is fine but I enjoy being in the middle of it all! After church we went to my mom and dad's house for lunch. I marinated and prepared chicken and my dad got them yesterday so that we would be ready to eat when we got out of church. Normally, my parents attend church with us but today my parents went to the Methodist church in Sheffied because my mom was singing in the choir this morning. The Methodist church gets out right at 12 so my parents knew they would have time to get lunch ready before we got out of church and got over there. We had Chicken, Ribs, Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Bread, Chips, Hot Dogs (mainly for Samuel) and my mom made Twinkie Pie! YUMMY! We had a great time hanging out. My grandparents and Uncle Greg came and it was really a fun time.



The kids loved their baskets from us and my parents. They especially loved the chocolate Easter Bunny that my grandparents gave them. The kids played and the adults talked and spent time with eachother. After a while we began to notice that Samuel (and myself) needed a nap! We gathered all of our things together and came home to relax for a while. After our nap we played and put away all of our Easter things. Today was a fun time had by all and I look forward to more days like this.

Mom's Center piece at lunch
All of us

Us

The boys

Kobe and Samuel

The infamous picture in front of our tree

Me and the guys!

John and the guys

After the Easter Bunny had come by to see us

Kobe, Callum, and Samuel's basket

We left the Easter bunny cookies and carrots

Cutie pie!
Sweet Sam


After the Egg Hunt

Sama and Kobe won first prize egg at the hunt

I thnk Sam likes what is in that egg!

Smarty pants!

Loves all the eggs in his basket

Before the church Easter Egg Hunt
The Easter wreath I made for our front door



At his school egg hunt

Ready for some egg hunting!





























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Friday, April 22, 2011

Five on Friday 4-22-11 (Tee Vee)

Here is this week's Five On Friday! I got the list at friday5.org if you would like to participate and create your own Friday 5 blog. I hope you each have a Fabulous Friday, friends!

This Week's Topic: Tee Vee

1.What are your thoughts on late-night television talk shows? **I normally just watch the things that are recorded on my DVR. The only talk show I enjoy watching is Dr. Phil. I could do without the rest!**
2.What television program is so bad you can’t believe anyone watches it? **John watches things on the Science and History channels... no.thank.you. I find that BORING. I like reality TV or dramas!**
3.In what way have your television-viewing habits changed over the years? **I definately watch more than I used to five years ago but less than I did a year ago.**
4.If you were in charge of the universe, what changes might you make to television? **That more than TWO shows could record at the same time!**
5.What is most likely the very next thing you will be watching on television?**I will likely be watching a movie that the boys pick out but if I don't watch anything before tomorrow... it will be America's Most Wanted with John Walsh. I tune in every Saturday that it is on.**

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Leo and Una

Last week our local college, University of Northa Alabama, held a Birthday Party for the mascot lions, Leo and Una. Samuel and I spent the whole day together going to their party and on a picnic. We took turns taking pictures of the lions that day. We had a great time and he is still talking about Leo and Una! :)