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

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Five on Friday 1-27-12

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE. I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: Storage

1.What are your favorite storage containers like? ** I love to store things in lined wicker baskets. I also love the canvas style basket for the boys' rooms.**

2. What seems to require more time and energy to store than it’s worth? **Outside toys. They are always looking so messy. They are supposed to go in the storage shed in the back yard but I went out on the back porch the other day and there were PLENTY just sitting there. I say put them on the side of the road because no one ever plays with them any way. The boys end up MAYBE riding their bikes or digging in the dirt with sticks or picking apples and climbing the apple tree.**

3. What unusual container are you storing something in? **A butter container. We put some VERY small Legos in one. We have also put toys in the gallon bucket that ice cream has come in before.**

4. What packaged product has a container you really like? **Rice Box Take Out. I love their take out plates. We wash them and re-use them over and over.**

5. If you suddenly had some new storage space in your home, what would likely go there? **Arts and Crafts Supplies**



Friday, January 27, 2012

Thankful Thursday 1-26-12

The list this week goes:

1. God. Thankful for forgiveness and for renewed mercy each day.

2. Jesus. Thankful that He is interceding on my family's behalf.

3. John. Just plain old thankful for him today!

4. Kids. My sweet, sweet babies. I absolutely adore them!

5. Work. I am so thankful that I come to a place that I love to "work".

6. Friends. I am thankful for good friends who listen when we need them to and talk when we need them to.

7. Parents. I am thankful that my parents care so much about me and my family.

8. Surprise Packages. Yesterday the boys got a surprise package in the mail from PawPaw Bruce and Diane. They LOVED them. They liked getting a little goodie from PawPaw and Diane.

9. Anticipation. I love knowing that something good is about to happen. I don't know what it is but I can't wait to see how God works this out.

10. Patience. Although I may not have an over-abundance of it... I am thankful that I got a little bit!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Five on Friday 1-20-12 (A Stitch of Time)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE. I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: A Stitch In Time

1. What was your first wristwatch like? **I believe it was a brown leather band with a gold face and it said "Guess" on the band and the face and the second hand was a little question mark.**

2. What lately seems to have been a thief of time? **Work, Gym, Work...did I say work?**

3. What were yesterday’s quietest five minutes like? **Those would be the five minutes that I ate my dinner at midnight. We left the gym late and so I ran through Burget King for the kids. I didn't get anything because I am on my fast. I needed to go by the post office so while I did that the boys ate in the car and finished up while I packed their snacks/breakfast and my lunch for the next day. After that bath time and bedtime routines, a phone call and then FINALLY Five minutes to EAT! :)**

4. In what way have you lately been saving time? **I have just started a new chore chart for the kids. They have some responsibilities that they normally do but this way I don't have to even ask and they get rewards for it too!**

5. We are often charged hourly rates for labor, but we never get to reciprocate in kind when promised completion times don’t match actual completion. If you could bill people for the time you spend waiting, what would be a reasonable amount? **OH WOW! I think I should charge the same rate that I was being charged!**

                                          Man Trying to Stop Time

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday 01-19-12

This Week's Top Ten:

1. God. He gives and takes away but my heart will CHOOSE to say Blessed Be His Name!

2. Jesus. Thank you for carrying us when we can't walk.

3. My Family. My guys. My joy. My heart. My happiness. My world.

4. My Parents. They are so special to all of us and we love them so much.

5. My Church and Church Family. I love my church. I love my pastors. I love each and every single person that comes in and out of that building. I am so blessed that the Lord saw fit to put us in each other's lives.

6. Determination. I have it. I have been on a fast for NINE days now. I plan to continue for TWELVE more!I am following the Daniel Fast. Fruits, vegetables, water, NO bread, NO meat, NO dairy. I have found though that I love Pita bread and Pita crackers and it is allowed on the Daniel Fast!

7. Reading. I am thankful that I get a chance to read books. I am reading The Shack right now and I hate when I have to put it down but glad that I have something to look forward to.

8. Softlips. This has made my top ten before ...but this time in a new flavor...I just found Strawberry Softlips.

9. Our Home. I have lived there for over TEN years. That makes me sound old but it is true. I remember sitting alone in that house before I had Kobe thinking that it was TOO big for me. Now, we are packed in but I still love our little house. There are updates and things that need to be done but it is where I call home.

10. Lunch. Normally, that wouldn't make the cut for my list each week but today is a special lunch day... I am having lunch with the Star Student of the Week ...Kobe!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

52 Home --- Week 3

Samuel went on his first hunting trip with his Poppa this weekend. He had such a fun time and can't wait to go back!


Buttons. We all have them. On our cars, washing machines, blenders, microwaves, and even on some toothbrushes! Buttons are everywhere. But, these aren't the buttons I am talking about. I am talking about our very own buttons. The ones we "wear" but others can't see. The ones that people push in good and bad ways. Mostly we hear of people pushing our buttons and that makes us think of someone who has aggravated us or made us feel offended.

I have decided to remove my buttons. I will no longer have these little things that people can do to bother me. I am going to pray daily that the Lord will just take off my "buttons". Sometimes, buttons make us act in ways that we normally wouldn't even dream of behaving. I don't want that temptation any longer so I am deactivating those antagonizing buttons!

When we squeeze an apple we expect to see apple juice and the same with when we expect to see orange juice squeezed out of an orange. So, why aren't we all just as shocked when we see anything but LOVE come out of a Christian when they get "squeezed"? I have seen it happen time and time again and I have even been the one in the pinch that didn't behave the way I had hoped. I have changed that over the past year and a half and I plan to keep getting better. The only way to not get your buttons "pushed" is to remove them. So... goodbye buttons!

thread13.gif - 6.0 K

Five on Friday 01-13-2012 (Type)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: Type

1.What’s a decorative font you really like?  **My favorite is Lucida Handwriting and Comic Sans MS but I generally type in Times New Roman for work purposes.**

2. MS Word uses Times New Roman as the default plain font; Apple Pages uses Helvetica. Is there a plain font you like better? **I like the way Helvetica looks the best.**

3.In words per minute, how fast do you type? (if you Google “check your typing speed” or something like that, you’ll find many online options for testing yourself) **126WPM**

4.Who in your life is just your type, but for some reason not romantically compatible with you?  **N/A to my life!**

5. What’s your blood type? **A-**

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday 1-12-12

This past week has been a rather difficult one so this list may seem strange or different from the other posts in the past.

1. God. No matter where I go...He never lets me go.

2. Jesus. I can pray anytime and KNOW that although I may not get my answer right then I can still trust Him and know that He is on the throne.

3. Truth. The enemy is the father of lies. He will lie to us to try to bring us off track but I am happy to report that I recognize the voice of the enemy and I KNOW it is a LIE and while it may detour me for just a second... don't worry I will get back on track!

4. Quiet. Sometimes you just need some quiet time to think and pray.

5. Giggles. From my kids make me happy even in the saddest of moods.

6. Promises. I stand on the promises of God and I KNOW He will NOT leave or forsake me. I know that He watches over His word to preform it. Thank you Lord.

7. Blankets. Sometimes you just need to be all wrapped up. It makes you feel better. It feels like a fuzzy hug.

8. Understanding. I am so thankful for understanding. Without it, I don't know where I would be or who I would be without.

9. Forgiveness. I am so very thankful that I serve a MIGHTY GOD who forgives me of ALL OF MY SINS if I ask Him to. There is NOTHING that He won't forgive. devil, you can take that lie somewhere else.

10. Conviction/Repentant Hearts. I am so thankful that even when I am being "bad" the Lord loves me enough to bring almost instant conviction on me and I feel the need to repent for my sins.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Bushel and A Peck

My mom used to sing this song to me when I was a little girl. She sang it to Kobe when he was younger. I learned not long ago that she sings it to Samuel because he came home singing it one day too. That gave me the perfect idea for a Christmas present for her. We had a lady handmake her a necklace that says "I love you a Bushel and a Peck" on it. It is out of metal and copper. There is a round metal piece that says "A bushel and a peck" aroud the outside of it and a horizontal copper piece that lays over the top of it that says "I love you". It is a memory that she has shared with each of us. The song goes:

I love you, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Of course I sing it with them at home sometimes but this a special thing with Nana. I hope that when they are older and have children of their own they will remember this song and sing it to their babies!

52 Home--- Week 2

I have decided to post a different kind of picture this week. Normally it is something from my family, home, or life but this week's picture is different. This week, in honor of my mom and Kobe I post this:

They are both such HUGE Alabama fans so I thought this should have a place in my blog for them. Roll Tide Roll!

And this one...just for kicks:

52 Home ---Week 1

My view for around 8 hours a day
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Friday, January 6, 2012

Five on Friday 01-06-12 (Inventions)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: Inventions

1. If they could invent a remote control for something in your house that doesn’t have one, what would you wish it to be? **I would like a remote control for the carpet cleaner. I love when the carpets are cleaned but I wish I could hit the "play" button and it would go to work and "stop" when I hit the button and use "rewind" for those spots that just won't come up easily!**

2. What could your car really use that they just hasn’t invented yet? **A hose that comes out from under each seat and vacuums your car out each time the engine shuts off and then somehow disposes of the crumbs, trash, and occasional McDonald's toy..**

3. Who among your friends could probably be a great inventor if he or she had enough funding to do it? **Probably John...he has some weird unique ways of doing things...they always get done but the method sometimes seems strange.**

4. What invention seems to do its job in a less-satisfying manner than the old-fashioned way? **My dishwasher. I find myself not liking the way some of our dishes look and end up hand washing them anyway.**

5. Lately, vending machines have gone beyond drinks and snacks: you can rent DVDs from them or even purchase iPods from them. What’s something your life could be improved by if it were available in vending machines? **Milk. We go through at least four gallons a week and it sure would be nice to just walk up and get a gallon instead of parking and waiting in line at Wal-Mart!**


Thankful Thursday 01-06-12

This week's list goes a little something like this:

1. God. Thankful I have a God who remains the same and doesn't change.

2. Jesus. Thankful that He couldn't love me any more or any less than He does at this very moment!

3. My Family. I am so thankful for John, my boys, and my parenst. They each add so much to my much that it would never fit into this little blog!

4. A Home. I often find myself taking things for granted. One of them being my home. I am blessed to have a place that we can come to at the end of the day to spend time with eachother, eat dinner as a family, and sleep in our warm (or cool depending on the weather) beds. I often look around at all that needs to be fixed/updated in our home... but I trying to be grateful for what we have.

5. Dependable Cars. I am thankful that John and I each have a car that we can get our children and ourselves where we need to go without any problems. Our cars don't leave us stranded and they keep us warm (or cool) during travel time. They may not be the *best* cars but they get us where we need to go and ONE Of them is paid for!

6. Plans. I am thankfkul that I still plan and dream about things. They may not all happen but I am thankful that I still love myself, my family, and my life enough to want things to happen and take place with the ones I love.

7. Faith. I have faith that the God will get me through anything that life hands me. Enough said.

8. Good Grades. I am so proud of Kobe for making the Honor Roll at school. I know he can do anything he puts his little mind to and I hope he always remembers that. He is so special to me and has such a tender little place in my heart. I know that the Lord has such great plans for him.

9. Humor. Samuel James Rainey. That child is so funny. He keeps me laughing. Whether he is dancing on a cruise ship to "Funky Cold Medina" or dressing up like Batman to go to Wal-Mart (not during Halloween) or just dancing around the house he is so funny and lovable. He has the sweetest little ways about him and I can't wait to see what God has in store for his little life. I know it is BIG!

10. Closure. I am so thankful for some opportunities that have been afforded to me to be able to get closure on some things in my life. One major source of closure is SO Close and I am *so* thrilled... and I can't wait to write it in my blog...but until then ... you will have to isn't quite time yet!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Resolutions

This year I really hope to do the following things:

1. Take More Pictures. I look at my friend's blogs and Facebook posts and I realize that I don't take that many pictures. I feel like a bad mom because I didn't take ONE single picture during Christmas Eve or morning. I missed out on getting that picture by Santa's cookies in the pajamas and the looks on their faces while unwrapping gifts. I missed out on getting pictures of us and our friends on New Year's Eve. I got maybe 5 pictures total of all the kids birthday parties combined. I would like to commit to taking more pictures during special and non special times.

2. Being more Cheerful. I give constantly. I give to my boss, my coworkers, my husband, my children, my parents, my friends, my church, and even my pets. I like giving. It makes me happy. I love giving something and I especially like giving my time. However, sometimes by the end of the task I am not so cheerful and it ends ...well, not as great as it began. I would like to see myself be more cheerful as a daughter of God. I would like to be more cheerful as I do the laundry, walk the dogs, read a story to the kids, tuck them in at night, cook dinner, pay the bills, and even as I clean the bathroom.

3. Pay Better Attention. I pay attention at work. I pay attention while driving. I pay attention in church. I even pay attention to the TV. However, I don't always pay attention to conversations. I mean well... I really do. It always seems like I am trying to get to the next "thing" on my list and I end up rushing that conversation. I want to begin to pay closer attention to John when he tells me things, to the kids stories (even if I have heard them before), and to starting conversations with them instead of them coming to me all the time. I want to be able to pay such good attention that I really hear what they are saying and come back later for follow up details!

4. Get Healthy. It is no secret that I could stand to lose a few pounds... well more than a few actually....and I want to. But, more than that I want to be healthy. I want to create a healthy environment and healthy parents for my children. I want all of us to exercise more and eat better. I want to actually use my gym membership!

5. Get Organized. I am very organized when it comes to certain things. I am on one end of the spectrum...either REALLY organized or REALLY unorganized. I would like to organize my life a little better by beginning with our budget, closets, and kitchen cabinets!

6. Just Do It. I want to quit making "Wish Lists" and "To Do Lists". I want to actually DO it. Last year we finally updated our porch. It needed it and I love it. I felt so great pulling up and seeing that re-done porch. I want to feel that way more often. That feeling comes from a sense of accomplishment. Two of the MAIN things I want to do are re-do the bathroom and the backyard. I have others but I don't want to make it to where I am defeated before I begin. I will start off small and work myself to the bigger things.

7. Become a Better Steward of my Time. I would like to make wiser decisions on how to spend my time. I would like to take the boys for a walk instead of them sitting with me on the couch to watch a show/movie while I look at Facebook and play Words With Friends on my phone. That may not be the case each time, I'm just being honest. It happens. I would like to put my phone and TV away and spend some good quality time playing with my kids. A game of UNO or Scrabble. Maybe even Checkers or Monopoly or a game on the Wii??? I just want to find myself actually interacting more than I do now.

8. Read. I have two different aspects of this one. I would like to read more to myself and more to my kids. I have a book that John got me for Christmas that I haven't touched other than to move it from one table to another. I would like to sit down in the floor of my kids' room and read to them each night.

Well, there you have it. My candid, real, honest, at times painful, resolutions for the year 2012.

A New Year---2012

I just read my very first post of the year for 2011. I set a goal of writitng at least two blogs a week... I can say that I have met that goal. I am really happy that I have started this little blog and that I was able to keep it up. It is so funny because as I was reading that post I was thinking about how very similar that post will be to this one. The theme: God works everything out for our good! It is true that what the enemy means for harm our Lord will turn into something great. I have a little secret that I am keeping until the right time and I can't wait to share it...but that will have to be in a later post because now is not the right time!

I am planning on continuing my 52 Home Project, Thankful Thursdays, and Five on Friday. I like these blogs. 52 Home Project shows my everyday life. It might be a dirty house, a laughing kid, or a cute little dog but it is my life and I know that these ordinary day pictures will be something to cherish over the years. I love Thankful Thursday because it gives me a chance to reflect on my week and count some of my blessings and share them with others and children will be able to see what meant something to me during that very week of that very year. Five on Friday is a fun post because my main reason for this blog is to print it into books so that my children will someday have these to look back and see what I thought or felt about certain events and things. Five on Friday questions are a good little unique way for them to get to know things (or remember things) about me that otherwise might not ever come up.

I would like to start finishing the "This Month's Mumblings" blog each month. I always start it but rarely finish it. I hope I get more of those funny sayings and thoughts down so I won't forget. There are so many things that I said I would never forget...but I have!

This year is already looking like a good year to me... I can't wait to see what it holds!

Five on Friday 12-30-11 (Closing Time)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: Closing Time

1. What business establishment’s recent closing was the most disappointing for you? **This business didn't technically close down but we found out we are NOT getting a Publix in our area. That disappointed me. **

2. At what place of business or service are you most likely to be the day’s last customer out the door? **The Hair Salon. I always make my appointments late in the day. I usually end up as the last client!**

3. What place of business or service seems to be closed at times inconvenient to you? **The Public Library.**

4. Where in the real world (not online) will you most likely spend your last 2011 money? **The gas station!**

5. What business or service has been the biggest blessing? **Samuel's daycare. I am so happy with our choice of centers and he loves it too!**

Five on Friday 12-23-11 (2011 Review)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: 2011 Review

1. In 2011, what did you do far too many times? **Turn on My Washing Machine. I wash clothes TOO often. I need to let them build up for a few days. I always say I am going to and I do good for a little while but then I will find myself doing little load daily and then this type of situation will come up where I wonder why on EARTH am I doing so much laundry! And... I will vow to myself (like I am doing right now) that I will start waiting at least a week in between laundry days!**

2. In 2011, what did you rediscover? **Myself. Not in all ways but in some ways. I learned that I really like being me (most times!) **

3. What 2011 event will you still be paying for in 2012? **An ER visit!**

4. In what unexpected place did you find a friend in 2011? **Right under my nose. I have known her for a while but never really "got to know her". I am so thankful God placed her in my life and put us in each other's path.**

5. As 2011 comes to a close, what in your life is trending upward toward a much better 2012? **My new job. I love it and I know it will only get better!**

Five on Friday 12-16-11 (Golden Globes)

Here is this week's Five on Friday blog! If you would like to start your own Friday5 blog go HERE and get your weekly list and don't forget to link them in your blog and comment on theirs!! If you ever begin wondering or would just like to know "why" I do these blogs take a look at my explanation HERE I Hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday!!!

This Week's Topic: "Golden Globe Awards"

1.What wins your award for Best Supporting Household Appliance?  **The Dishwasher. Thankfully I don't have to hand wash ALL those dishes**

2.What wins your award for Outstanding Performance by Something that Comes in a Bottle or Can? **Coke Zero. It surpasses ALL my expectations. I LOVE COKE ZERO! I don't drink it that often but when I do it makes me happy!**

3.Who wins your award for Excellence in Poor Timing? **The Garbage Men. They didn't pick up our garbage last week and so this week it was horrible.**

4.What wins your award for Wardrobe Newcomer of the Year? **Dress, Tights, Boots. I know that was worn last year...but not by me... I am glad that I have found that I LOVE wearing a dress and my furry boots!**

5.What wins your award for Outstanding Achievement in Stealing Time? **WORK! It steals 40 hours of my week!** 

(bonus question!) The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Oscar. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences calls its trophy the Grammy. What do you call yours? **The "Rainey" of course!**
"The Rainey Awards"

Reflections of 2011 (this week's Thankful Thursday 12-29-11)

I have sort of "skipped" out on my Thankful Thursday posts as of the past couple of months. I haven't meant to, really! I really enjoy doing these weekly posts but I have truly been too busy to even sit down and write them. This post is a little different. I am not going to list them out but I am going to highlight some things I am thankful for. As always, I am thankful for God, my Heavenly Father. I am thankful for the love,mercy, grace, and forgiveness from Jesus Christ. I am thankful for my husband, my children, my parents, my friends, and my church family.

This is my last Thankful Thursday post of 2011. This year has had so many ups and downs (as all years have and will). I am truly grateful for each and every single situation that God has placed me in this year. I have been blessed, rewarded, and taught lessons. The times that I considered "hard" (which some would laugh at me considering hard I am sure) were just lessons from God. He doesn't try to teach us lessons to harm us...they draw us nearer to Him. I am so glad that I serve a God who longs for me to draw closer and longs for me to talk with Him and walk Him. He gives and takes away but you better believe that when he takes away he gives back so much more!

I have prayed for a specific job for over 5 years. In August 2010 I lost my job. I was devastated. I thought my world would surely end. Being a newly rededicated Christian, I knew my Faith was being tested. I had  rededicated my life just a few months back in March. How easy it would have been to "fall off" then. I considered it such a blow to us financially but more than that (at first) I let it be a blow to my self esteem and to my mental well-being. I let the devil lie to me and tell me I was no good and not worthy. I had envisioned my children starving and ...OH I could go on but I won't...because I began praying... The Lord reminded me that not only would I not die from this... I would flourish! (Beauty for Ashes) The circumstances that surrounded this event in my life were hurtful and done out of malice toward me by a couple of co-workers. The Lord used this situation to teach me to be grateful for what I DID/DO have and to forgive. I am proud to say that since then I have reached out and PERSONALLY forgiven each and every person in person or over the phone. It is a great weight lifted. He taught me that my "worth" or "status" wasn't tied to anything here on this Earth...that  WAS Valued in HIM! He also showed me that what I thought was a "curse" was really a blessing. I was able to enjoy three months at home with my children. I needed those weeks with them to reconnect and just spend some good quality time with them. A few months later I got a job and was very happy to go back to work and help provide for my family. I found myself in a great environment with great co-workers but I was placed in a position that really didn't suit me. I loved the half of my job that was Accounting. I loved the spreadsheets and the paying bills and receiving payments and applying them to correct accounts...but the other half... was collections. I HATED calling people and asking for money. A few years back... that might have been a pretty easy task for me...but as we know God makes all things new and He made a new me... a nicer, more compassionate, caring ME. I no longer wanted any part of any type of confrontation or drama. I would leave crying on my lunch break and at the end of the day most days just simply because of the tasks on my "to do list" at work. I filled out application after application and I didn't hear back from a single one. Feeling rather disappointed, I went to John and we prayed about it. Finally, we decided that I shouldn't be working somewhere that made me so unhappy so I quit. I decided to help a dear friend and keep her little girl for her while she worked. We needed each other and it was perfect. I loved being home with Samuel and hearing first hand about Kobe's day at school and being there for them in a way that I hadn't been before. Several weeks into this I got a call. I got a call for an interview to the very job I had been specifically praying for for nearly five years. I was ecstatic. After a few weeks I was offered the job.  Every single thing that I had "went through" led me to this very "milestone" in my life. I was so thankful that the Lord went before me and paved and carved out a way for me. He took what was meant for harm and manifested my dream into a reality for me. He made ALL things work together for my good!

This year Kobe was invited to play on a travel basketball team. I am so grateful that he is on such a great team with such knowledgeable and supportive coaches. He plays for Muscle Shoals Trojans and is number 3. Number 3 on the court...Number 1 in our hearts! It has been somewhat of a reality check for him. He has always been the best player on the team. The one that always gets all the shots and all the attention. I had been talking to him about practicing more and really focusing in if basketball was his sport of choice because it won't be long until he can try out for his school team. I tried explaining that not everyone makes the team and even when you do... you don't get guaranteed playing time like with the Recreation Department. He didn't believe me ... but he does now. I am glad that he has been afforded this opportunity because I can see that he is learning and will continue to do so. I know that it is his first year and he still gets a little confused at times ...but that is part of the process. I am very, very proud of him.

I am thankful for opportunities that John has been given. He has gone to his first Men's Encounter as a participant and served at one. It has changed him so much... and for the better. I am so proud of him and I could not imagine him getting any better...but then he does. He has really stepped out in Faith on some things...and of course was rewarded. He has become a better and more loving head of our household, husband, and father. He has a dream to go out and minister to the lost and serve with missions. I knew of the desire in his heart to come in contact with some Godly men to form lasting and meaningful friendships with and the Lord has really delivered on that one. He has just poured friendships into our lives beyond our expectations. At one time, he mentioned to me that he missed the days he played in the Praise and Worship Band growing up. I told him to mention it to the band at church and see if they could use him. At the time, he was too shy. He said he couldn't... and I knew he didn't really want me to do it either. So I did the next best thing. I started praying for my husband. I prayed that his dreams would be manifested right before his very eyes. I prayed that prayer specifically listing his desire to be in the Praise and Worship band for several months. I then enlisted the help of my sweet and dear friend, Rachel Johnson. We prayed for him...without him even knowing it. And... of course... you guessed it... God supernaturally put him in the band. While he was a Men's Encounter as a participant one of the band members just randomly asked him if he played the bass guitar and of course John told him yes. He told him to stop by practice the following Thursday night...and the rest is history. You can imagine the tears of pure joy and heartfelt thanks I had (and have even now as I type this) that first service that my husband's dream was a reality...all Glory to God! Of course, as I glanced at my sweet friend Rachel in service her eyes were wet too! I watched him very diligently ask God to place a guitar in his hands. We didn't really have the money to go out and buy one but he wanted his own to practice with instead of just using the one at church. After a time of praying, he was practically given THREE guitars within a matter of a week! He has sold one and put money with that to buy the one he has had his eye on for some time. The other two are being updated and having a few minor repairs in hopes that he can hand one to a young boy/man who has a dream of playing but can't afford to buy a guitar.

I am so grateful for the insight and knowledge that the Lord has put into Samuel. Samuel is so smart beyond his years. He definitely has the "faith of a child". God is his Heavenly Father and he truly believes that God can do the impossible...which He can. We recently got our newest addition: a Mr. Leviticus Buddy Rainey aka "Levi" from the local animal shelter. We were looking for a dog to rescue and we found little Levi. He was a Pug who had been removed from his home due to neglect and abuse. His eye had been poked "out" and he looked a little sickly. Samuel chose that little sickly dog and began praying for his eye to heal ever since he first saw him. We decided that since Jesus loves us when we are not perfect that we will love that precious dog even though he is not perfect. It was a great lesson all the way around and I am so thankful for my sweet little Samuel.

Callum has really "stepped it up" on being a better big brother this year. We have stressed to him how much the two little ones really look up to him. He still makes mistakes...but don't we all? He is trying very hard to set good examples for the younger two by doing things around the house without being asked and inviting them into his room for some "big brother" time. He is really making a big improvement with his grades and his studying. I am very proud of him because this semester we told him that we would let him "have a go" at it. We told him that if his grades weren't good and he showed signs of not caring about school we would take over and do it our way. He pulled the skin of his teeth at times...but nevertheless he pulled through and I am very proud of him.

I have so many things to be grateful for and I thank God each and every single day. I think about times that I wondered how we would manage...but we His hand. He has guided us... and we let Him. He has definately showed out in our lives and I am so thankful for His never-ending love.

This Month's Mumblings -- December

Sam is attending a new school since I began working. He loves it! He can't wait to go and he never wants to leave... which you would think might make me sad...but no... right the oppostie. It makes me *So* happy that he wants to go and that he loves it enough to want to stay. Of course, he wouldn't want me to leave again when I get there in the afternoon...he wants me to stay with him!

Sam's new school has chapel every day. I love hearing all of the songs he is learning in chapel. We have been working on getting him to go to sleep in his own bed. Normally, he just goes to sleep with us on the couch and then we put him in his bed but we figure it is time fo him to start getting used to laying down in his own big boy bed and going to sleep on his own. He finds VERY creative ways of getting out of that bed too! The other night after we had tucked him in and said all of our good nights and kissed and hugged and prayers and kissed and hugged and good night and cover me up... (you get the idea!) he very quietly snuck into the living room and very slowly climbed up on the couch beside me and told me that he wanted to sing me a song. I say ok... and he all of sudden got this spurt of energy and hopped down on the floor in front of me and formed himself into a little ball. He began singing: Tiny little daisy, what has the Father done for you? He sent the rain and the "shunsine" (the way he says sunshine!) too and that is how you grew and grew. At the end during the grew and grew part he jumps up and hold his arms up. It was the cutest thing ever! I believe he did four or five encore performances... at my request of course! Needless to say, after that, he was allowed to stay in the "libing" room with me.

Yesterday when I went to pick Sam up from daycare he told me "Something "bery" important happened to me today." I asked what it was and of course, he couldn't tell me. I would have to wait until we got home. When we got home and we were walking inside he was telling us "I got bited" "I got bited today"... John asked who was biting him at school and why did they bit him. He kept saying "NO! I got bited"...we finally figured out he meant he got invited  today. A friend invited him to a birthday party. But upon further investigation, the outside of the envelope, said "You are Invited!" and Samuel said that if they wanted him to come... they would need to send one to him with HIS own name on it! He said those letters did NOT spell Sam!

I ran across a cute little website called  Portable North Pole . I set up some cute little video messages from Santa and sent them to the boys. As Samuel watched his video he was so amazed and his eyes were as big as silver dollars the whole time. We tried asking him about it and trying to get him to tell us what he thought of what he was seeing and hearing. He just said, " I gotta go see Kobe." He went to he back of the house and we tuned our ears in to try and hear what he was going to say. He told Kobe, "Kobe! You better know that Santa is texting momma!". So, in comes Kobe. Of course, Santa had sent Kobe a little video too. Except, we decided to make him be on the "Naughty List" as a joke. He didn't find that very funny at all! He was really upset about it actually. He left the living room with Samuel taunting him about being naughty and stayed gone for some time. A while later he came back into the living room and said, "IF Sam is on Santa's nice list and I am on the naughty list... something HAS to be wrong with how he determines who goes on what list!". Poor baby! He had been thinking of it the whole time! I think I better have Santa send him a new video telling him he made it to the nice list!

One of our good friends, Brett Richardson, is the fore thought of a lot of conversations that happen because the boys really look up to him and love him and view him as their "uncle" So this happened the other night in my car:

Kobe: Today at school Brett and Cameron got into a fight.

Me: Oh no! That's not good. Did they get into trouble?
Kobe: Yeah, Cameron was punching Brett alot!
Me: I hope he is ok.
Kobe: He will be.

A long silence goes by...

Sam: I will beat him up!
Me: WHO??!!
Sam: Cameron.
Me: WHY?
Sam: Because I don't like people to hurt Mr. Brett! I love him!
Sam: Not Brielle's Daddy?
Kobe: NO! DUH?! Mr. Brett is an Army man. He would have CRUSHED him.
Both Boys: YEAH!** Hysterical laughter!**

Last night we went to see Santa. Kobe froze when he saw him and Sam acted terrified! I finally bribed Samuel with dinner anywhere he wanted if he would sit up on Santa's knee. He sat there but wasn't happy about it. Afterwards he announced that he was ready to go eat. I asked him where and he said "I am having a "Zack Attack".  Apparently, that means you want to go to Zaxby's!

When we were seeing Santa, Kobe got completely nervous. I couldn't figure out why... I mean he has been seeing Santa for TEN years now. So, I asked him. He told me that he got really nervous because when he saw Santa he knew that Santa knew he was on the Naughty List! I felt so bad because we signed up on Portable North Pole and asked Santa to send the boys a message. We indicated on Kobe's that it was for a naughty little boy who needed to mind his parents better with the intentions of playing a little joke on him. We meant to go back and resend him one with his name on the Nice List but just haven't gotten around to it!

On Christmas Eve... we told the boys to go get in the bed so that Santa could come... Sam said... UHHH If we have to all be asleep before he comes then he won't come until you guys go to bed so I will just stay with you until you go to bed! Already too smart for his own good!

The other day as we were all in the car the discussion came up about believing in things we can't see. As we were talking we brought up the fact that we can't see Jesus but we do believe in Him. Samuel quickly told us that he sees Jesus. So I asked him what did he look like. He said, " Mommy, he looks like, OH WOW!"

The other night we watched Spy Kids. All of you parents know that if a kid's channel shows a movie...don't worry you can catch it again... in the NEXT HOUR! They replay the same movies over and over. Well, this particular night was not any different. I told the boys that they had to begin getting ready for bed (trying to get them back into the routine of school) BUT I would let them turn on a TV show. So, naturally, Samuel turns on the TV and to our "surprise" Spy Kids was showing once again. I tucked them in and kissed them and told them their good nights and I love yous and went on about my very own nightly routine (getting the coffee maker ready, laundry, etc--you know all that fun stuff they think we do when they go to bed). In a few minutes Kobe is standing in front of me...MAD. This is how it went:

Kobe: Sam wants to watch Spy Kids and it is so stupid!

Me: well, he will be asleep soon just let him for a few minutes.
Kobe: fine but I'm sick of watching these two little 8 year olds.
Me: Kobe, you are only 9!
Kobe: I know but I just can't stand them. Even if they were 8 and three quarters they would still be on my nerves!

We were in Lifeway the other night and Samuel saw a snow globe (he loves these by the way!) that had a manger scene inside. He was very excited and picked it up. Kobe asked him who was in the snow globe and he said Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus. I was so thrilled to hear his sweet little voice say that. John was getting help finding a book and he and the sales associate walked up... so I decided... like any good mother... to show him off! I said, "Samuel, tell daddy (and of course that sales associate) who is in this snow globe. His reply: Moses, David, and some girl I don't know her name! I asked him again... EMPHASIZING that he had just told me and he knew... again, the same. Twice more... the same. On the way to the car... he tells us. I guess that is what I get for trying to make him do tricks!

52 Home--Week 52

So, I made a little vow to myself that I would start this project last January...and finish it. The whole point was to post a picture of our everyday lives once a week for each of the 52 weeks in the year 2011. I did it. I started and finished this poject. I am really glad I did. So, as I close the year I will include a picture that speaks volumes:


52 Home---Week 51

Okay, I know that 52 Home Project is supposed to be ONE picture from your week...but I just couldn't decide this week so I chose two:

Kobe's Basketball Team after a game

Samuel coloring me a picture for my office...GIANT coloring book, crayons, and chocolate chips...what more could you want?