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

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

That's Just the Way Life is Today

My third grade teacher used to say this all the time to us as a class. I hated when she said it. We would ask her to go outside and she would say no. We would ask why and she would say, "That's just the way life is today". You can imagine that this was her answer for A LOT of things that year. That saying has really stuck with me my whole life. I am ashamed to say it, considering how much I HATED that phrase, but I use this sentence in my house quite often. If the boys think something is unfair, they don't get their way, the other kid gets to pick the movie that night, or anything else happens that they don't particularly like and they make the mistake of letting me know about it... well, I use this handy dandy phrase and just keep on moving like nothing ever happened.

Well, sometimes in life I hear God whispering this phrase to me. Last night was one of those nights. I know a lot of people write blogs and it sounds like everything is PERFECT and CLEAN and well, perfect. BUT, I am going to be just down right honest for a little bit. Last night was anything BUT perfect. It started off that way but how many of us know that often times the way it starts is the direct opposite of how it ends! It started off with me cooking dinner and that went so smoothly and I chatted on the phone with a friend while I stirred pots on the stove and pushed buttons on my microwave (HEY! I said I was going to be honest here). Dinner was served and since John and Callum had meetings at church it was just me, Kobe, and Sam. We enjoyed our dinner and we talked about the day and that part could have been inserted into a Norman Rockwell painting (a modern day one...but still) because it went so smoothly and Kobe even said Amen at the end of Sam's prayer before dinner. I mean, it was really nice. Both boys helped clean up after dinner and then we headed to the grocery store.

I want to let you all know that what happens next is not for the weak! In fact, it may be down right emotional for some of you. It is hard to type...but I will be honest about what happened.

We made it to the store. We had fun going on a treasure hunt for groceries. Kobe and I took turns pushing Sam in the buggy and Sam helped pick things off the shelf and we all participated when it was time to put our groceries on the belt and back in the buggy as they were bagged. We continued on outside to our vehicle where (this is where it begins to go awry) Sam began acting a little wild. I chalked this up to the fact that he had been cooped up in the buggy that whole time and I was telling him no to ice cream and popsicles when we got home. After telling him more than a couple of times to get into his booster seat and get buckled with no action...I popped his bottom and he gladly hopped in the car and he and Kobe got buckled and ready to go home. The ride home was uneventful as we sang along to the radio. Once home, I decided to reward my little boys for their help (without complaining, I might add) and for being patient at the store...especially since I "used" their evening free time to go grocery shopping. (Here is where it gets ugly) I turned around and told the boys that because of their great behavior and their helping out with a joyful attitude that I was going to reward them by letting them stay up thirty minutes after they were through taking baths. They were already up past their bedtimes so they were really getting a treat. I told them that I would like for them to take my keys and unlock the door and I would bring the grocery bags up on the porch and they could carry them to the kitchen and then they could start their baths which would ultimately lead to thirty minutes of play time. I walked to the porch to sit my purse down and as I am turning around Samuel is opening the back of my SUV. Now, I normally open ONLY the glass part because I have just piled everything in and ...yep, you guessed it... if you open the entire back...the groceries will dump out on the ground. So, Samuel has opened the back and groceries are falling out. That normally wouldn't have bothered me as badly as it did last night BUT the bags that toppled out were the bags containing milk, diet Pepsi, gallons of tea, and crescent rolls. You can only imagine the mess I made it over to. I lost a gallon of milk, a gallon of tea, two cans of crescent rolls popped open, AND a diet pepsi was spurting everywhere. Not to mention that there were groceries laying everywhere and cans and boxes and bags of food were dripping in milk and tea and it was a GIGANTIC mess. I reacted quickly (and without completely thinking I might add) and yelled for Samuel to just go in the house. As I was saying this... I have to mention that Samuel is standing over this mess looking very sad because after all, he is only four and trying to help. He hesitated about going inside which made me yell again and a little louder for him to get his tail inside and get his pajamas on. I then showed him and pointed out the very LARGE mess I was about to have to clean up because he dumped it all out of my car ( go ahead enter my name in as "Mom of the Year"). He is very sadly walking and crying to his room as I stand there looking at this mess. As I get a laundry basket to take in the groceries that I can't carry in because the bags are full of milk, tea, or diet Pepsi I catch a glimpse of his sad face as he is getting ready for bed. That look plagued me the entire time I cleaned the mess up.

I was so aggrevated. But as I was cleaning that mess up the Lord spoke to me and He told me that I have made much BIGGER messes in my life that He has cleaned up. He hasn't HAD to clean them up HE WANTED to clean them up. I instantly began to feel such shame for the way I had just treated my Samuel. I felt guilty for Kobe being there and having to be involved by default. I hated myself. I hated my actions. I was so ashamed of myself.

I went inside and put away all the groceries to the soundtrack of Samuel sniffling. I got completely done and called Samuel into the kitchen. I got down on my knees and looked into his eyes and told him how sorry I was. He just started wailing! Which, made me cry too. I told him that sometimes mommies say stupid stuff and that I hoped he would forgive me. To my complete surprise my four year old began defending me...he said, "Mommy, you are NOT stupid! You are smart and good". I tried explaining what I meant but he really didn't understand. I eventually just told him how sorry I was. He laid his little head on my shoulder and said "me too". I asked for what and he said making a mess. Now, I was really feeling the guilt! If he had asked for ANYTHING he would have gotten it right then. He pulled back from hugging me and started playing with my hair and just said that he loved me with all of his heart. The Lord spoke to me very clearly and very quickly (because at this point I was contemplating on hosting a "How to Break Your Kid's Spirit" class as a professional horrible mom) and He told me that my child could have never responded to this incident if I had not taught him how to respond in a loving and forgiving way.

We all have our bad mommy moments. We all have "those days". As I sat there holding my sweet boy and literally crying on his shoulder I began to know what the love of the Father really feels like. Just pure, unconditional love...even when we make messes. Needless to say, Samuel got that popsicle. I was trying to just chalk that up to a lesson learned and know that we all make mistakes and things like this are going to happen...and I found myself thinking..."Well, that is just the way life is today".

This Month's Mumblings--February 2012

This conversation happened as Kobe was searching through his ipod to try and find a song for him and Samuel to dance listen to:

Sam: Kobe, can we listen to that baby, baby, baby song?
Kobe: NO, Sam. If I listen to Justin Beiber it will ruin my appetite for the next few days!

Last night I was so productive! I finished up the kid's teachers Valentines Day gifts, microwaved cooked dinner, gave Samuel his bath and got pajamas on, bathed both dogs, blow dried their hair and brushed them... and then it dawned on me that I was supposed to wait for a text from Coach Gargis as to when to pick Kobe up at the school after basketball. I ran  to my phone and it said "we will be ready in 20 minutes". The message was sent at 7:15 and it was now 7:32. I had not had ONE bite to eat but I had fed Callum and Sam while I bathed the dogs. Sam had a small little piece of BBQ sandwich laying on his plate. I was starving! I asked him if I could have that little bite if I would fix him another one when we got home. He said, "Mommy we arent' supposed to eat or drink after other people BUT I guess its ok since I did live in your stomach!" True enough. I ate the BBQ!

As Samuel and I walked outside to let the dogs out he asked me a question that perplexed me. He is smart. I don't know how he comes up with stuff like this at four: "Mommy, when we open the door the dogs run out into the dark. Why can they see in the dark but us people can't?" Good question.

Samuel has been really fond of picking flowers for me lately and this is how he explained it to me upon the last delivery of buttercups:
Sam: Mom, you know God decided to leave little flowers all around so that little boys would always have something to give to their mommies. But what can we give our dads?
Me: Dads like flowers too.
Sam: Not my dad. My dad likes man things. He doesn't want girl flowers. I guess that is why God left sticks and rocks laying everywhere.

The other day I went to pick the boys up from my mom. This happened:

Kobe: Mom, Sam ate a worm.
Me: For real??
Kobe: Yep!
Me: Sam, where did you find the worm?
Sam: Uhhmmm....where do you think?? In the dirt!

Kobe: I don't have any homework today. Mrs. Goins said that tonight we are to get our parents to do our homework so that we can see who as the smartest parents in the class. (very.long.pause) JUST KIDDING!

It is almost March! The kids are learning so much and Samuel is really putting things together so well and recognizing his letters and he writes his name now. I have always called him Samuel. I was surprised the other day when he asked me to just start calling him "SAM". I asked why. He told me it is because it is easier to write just SAM. So, I said ok.  Kobe is almost in the FIFTH grade. He is on the Honor Roll and I am proud of him for the extracurricular activities that he is involved with. That doesn't seem quite real but my sweet little boy will turn 10 in a few weeks. He is the sweetest boy and still longs so much for our attention and approval. I would say I am a pretty lucky mommy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Five on Friday 2-24-2012 (Anniversaries)

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: Anniversaries

1.What significant anniversary will you be celebrating sometime this year? **John and I will celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary in June.**

2. In your life, what is today the one-month anniversary of? **That is a great question... I guess when I started trying to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.**

3. What is today the one-week anniversary of? **One week since I started trying to keep better personal finance records.**

4. Sometimes the traditional wedding anniversary gifts seem a bit staid. If you had your way, what would be the right gift themes for the five years’ worth of wedding anniversaries? **Five Years deserves a trip somewhere!**

5. Among your friends, who’s been married the longest? **I would have to say ... My cousin Ashley and her husband Jeff.**

Thankful Thursday 2-23-2012

This week's top ten is as follows:

1. God. He is so good to us all the time!

2. Jesus. When I think of Him I can literally feel pure joy in my soul.

3. John. This week John surprised me by coming to my office. He brought me flowers and took me to lunch. That was so thoughtful and I really needed that time with just him. He also came bearing gifts for the Chair of the department I work for. He brought her two lions for her office and she is still talking about them.

4. My little boys. OH! I love them. My heart soars when I think of them. They are what makes my heart beat.

5. The words "Paid In Full". We paid off four debts this week. That feels so good to say. I won't lie... I had a little bit of "buyer's remorse" when I saw the amounts and all the FUN thing I could have done with that money but I am so thankful I chose to be responsible and get these things out of our life for good!

6. Dinner with Friends. I am getting a treat and getting to have dinner with two friends this weekend. I can't wait to see them!

7. My Mom. My mom has helped me out so much this week and I truly appreciate her!

8. Reconciliation. I had lost touch with someone almost ten years ago and because she forgave me and I was able to forgive past hurts...we are back in touch. I am so glad that I serve a God who is able to put things back together. Through our messes He makes masterpieces.

9. Haircuts. I love getting my hair cut. I got it trimmed and thinned out this week and I feel so much better!

10. Children's Ministry Team. I am so thankful for the Children's Ministry Team at Church of the Shoals. They are so awesome and I can't say enough good things about what all they are teaching and nuturing in my children!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

52 Home--Week 8

Flowers I got today...just because! John just wanted to brighten my day!

Oh My!

I am sitting here absolutely SHOCKED that it is almost March. The good thing about that is the cold/nasty weather is almost gone and warm/pretty times are ahead of us. The bad part about this is that this is the time of year when I feel OLDER! This is the time of the year that my family starts having birthdays. We have John's on April 14th, Kobe's on April 25th, Haley's on April 28th, Callum's on May 29th, and little Samuel's on May 30th. OH WOW! Luckily, Callum never wants anything TOO big done for his birthday. Normally just a night to Buffalo Wild Wings and maybe rent a UFC fight or have a couple friends over. Haley is not normally with us on her birthday so we do a birthday dinner at our home when we see her and give her money. The other I have a few ideas brewing in my head and I love to party plan so I will enjoy all the buying, decorating, putting together, and organizing for sure. PLUS I get to plan and have one more party as well this year... can't tell you what that party is just is a surprise to be revealed in a few days! I love having a party for the kids but it always makes me reflect and think about how big they are getting so quickly. Callum will be 15 this year, Haley 14, Kobe 10, and Samuel 5. My baby is going to go to Kindergarten. Luckily, my sweet boss suggested I put his name on the Kilby list and see about him going there since we will be so close and I could check on him everyday if I felt the need. She also works at Kilby with the education majors for their student teaching so...she will be there to check in a couple of times a week as well! We will find out for sure if he "made the cut" sometime before Spring Break. He is really excited to go to Kindergarten near the Lions. **For those of you reading that may not understand this: Kilby is a K-6 Laboratory School here on UNA Campus and is literally across the street from my office. It is a great school that is very advanced and I have heard nothing but GREAT things about it.** Updates on my family:

I have begun volunteering with a faith-based  local establishment that helps women who have substance abuse problems and have agreed to taking on some extra responsibilities in the Children's Department at church. I am also serving at the next North Alabama Women's Encounter in April and I am really looking forward to this event!

John is still very involved with the planning and implementing of the North Alabama Men's Encounter and stays very busy between that and being involved in the Praise and Worship Band at church.

Callum is trying to figure his way out in high school. His freshman year is almost over. As I type that I look to make sure that the information is is so hard to believe that in just a couple of years this child will be an adult! He will get his driver's permit in May and that just blows my mind. He is a great kid and I look forward to making plenty of memories with him during his "last years" at home.

Haley is still living in Indiana with her mom. We are praying that the Lord will move her closer to us...but most of all that she finds a place to fill comfortable and continues to go to church and develop a deeper relationship with Christ.

Kobe is enjoying school as he always has and was asked to play on the travel basketball team for Muscle Shoals 4th grade this year. He is learning so much and I am so very proud of him. He is on the honor roll and is doing great in academics. He has a *big* event coming up soon...but I can't share it just yet.

Samuel is really learning a lot at his preschool. They are top notch and I am so pleased with his teachers and the whole center as well. He loves his friends, his school, and going to chapel every day. I am really going to miss him going to a Christian school when he starts Kindergarten. It means so much to me that he gets to go to Chapel everyday and learn to pray and worship. He has a perforation in his right eardrum and has had some minimal hearing loss due to this. The doctor we are seeing is a man of God and we absolutely love him. He is praying for Samuel and for a complete and miraculous healing from our Lord so that Samuel doesn't have to go through a surgery. We will go back in June for a check up and I am going to continue to pray for a complete healing and restoration in Samuel's hearing. Please add him to your prayer list.

So, it looks as if I have a busy few months ahead of me. I look forward to these moments with my family and I will cherish each and every single one of them. I can say that I am one blessed lady!

Lessons To Remember

Something happened during December that just caught up with me yesterday. It is like it just "sunk in" what happened that day.

It was a couple of days after Christmas. Callum had gone to stay with his mom for a couple of weeks before school was back in session and me and the boys  were going to meet John for lunch. I had gotten a bracelet for Christmas that didn't fit well and I was going to return it and swap it out for something that did fit. While I was putting it into a bag to carry with me that day I noticed the necklace and earrings that John had picked up for me at the same store and decided to return it as well...because, well... it just really wasn't my "style". It wasn't anything I would have ever picked out for myself. I couldn't really see myself ever wearing it and so I thought the only thing to do was swap it for something I would like and wear. I grabbed it and sat it in my front seat and when we pulled up to the store I began putting it in the bag to carry inside with us. Without looking in the backseat, I told the boys to come on and lets hurry and get in and get out so we could meet daddy for lunch. They didn't move. I asked again. No words. No movement. I turned around and both of them were sitting there silent with tears rolling down their little faces. I asked what was wrong and the answer I got changed me...probably for life. Kobe said this" We don't want you to return that necklace and earrings because WE picked it out for you. I am sorry you don't like it. We got it because it has your favorite thing on it: Crosses." Then Samuel chimed in and said, "And Angel Wings!". You can imagine the imaginary punch I felt in my stomach and the gigantic knot I felt lump up in my throat. I had not stopped for one second to think about them being with John when they bought this gift. They all picked it out together and here I was basically saying to them that I don't like what they pick out for me. I immediately put that necklace on and I have worn it at least once a week since that day. I know that it cut my kids to the core that day. They taught me a really is the thought that counts. My sweet boys probably picked up and looked at each piece of jewelry they could get their hands on that day...and all they saw were two things that mean a lot to me so they chose that one. From that day forward I have appreciated every single gift...even the rocks and flowers picked out of my yard. I wore that necklace today...and proudly I might add!  I love how thoughtful my children are and that they know me so well. I am so thankful for these two boys that God has entrusted me to raise.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday 02-16-2012

I was so busy last week with Power and Love Conference among other things that I simply did not have a chance to do a Thankful Thursday post. So, without further adieu... this week's top ten:

1. God. I am thankful for the everlasting and constant presence of God in my everyday life...not just on Sundays!

2. Jesus. I am so thankful to have an intercessor in Heaven that is seated at the right hand of the Father.

3. John. I am very proud of John. He went to Power and Love conference last week and did amazing things for others and for myself. He is an awesome man of God!

4. My boys. OH WOW! They are really getting big and growing up so quickly. I am so thankful that they still request Family Nights!

5. My Job. I absolutely love my job and the Chair to the Physics and Earth Science Department (the department I work in). I never really wake up and dread coming to work! That is a blessing!

6. Friends. Mainly, Rachel Johnson. That girl! I just love her to pieces. We try to meet up once a month for dinner/coffee/something and get out of the house,just us girls, and talk. I am always shocked when I leave 4 or 5 hours always seems like our time together is shorter than that. She is one of my truest and best friends and I love her!

7. My Crockpot. I have said it before and I am going to say it again... I love my crockpot! I love that I can put something in there and come back home and dinner is ready!

8. Blueberry. I am in love with the smell of anything and everything blueberry...especially blueberry muffin!

9. Gain. I am so thankful that the powers that be saw it fit to create every product (from dish liquid,laundry products, candles, and multipurpose cleaner) in the fragrance of original Gain.

10. Plans. I love having a plan. I love implementing a plan. Best of all... I love completing a plan.


52 Home---Week 6

Kobe's assignment was to create a unique Valentine Box for his friends to put his Valentine's Day cards into...Kobe's "box" was a basketball goal

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

52 Home--Week 7

Samuel at his little Valentine's Day Party at School... He is so cute...even if he did take his button up shirt off of his body when he walked into the daycare building!

Kobe...holding his hand up for a Valentine Card that I would cut a slit above and below and slip a sucker in the holes and he would give them to his friends at school... a LOT of work... and at the last minute... FUN DIP Valentine's won the battle!
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

52 Home--Week 5

Samuel and Kobe brought me these flowers the other day to thank me for letting them play outside.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

52 Home--Week 4

Samuel got sick and needed to go to the doctor. Once we were in the room, I tried reading him a book, singing songs, and I even offered up my phone to pass the time since we were being worked in to the schedule. None of it worked. He was so mad at me for taking him to the doctor that he turned his head and wouldn't even look at me! **Side note** Notice the holes in this child's jeans! He left for school with fully clothed legs... he returns with HOLES! Every single pair of pants...except for the ones I have earmarked "church pants" have holes in the knees! I love this child!

Go Trojans!

Kobe is playing travel Basketball this year so a lot of our time is spent in gyms watching games ... Number 1 in our hearts...number 3 on the court!

Thankful Thursday 2-2-12

This Week's Top Ten:

1. God. So thankful for my Heavenly Father.

2. Jesus. I am so thankful that I can take EVERYTHING to Him.

3. Healing. There are so many kinds of healing that we all need. It may be spiritual, physical, mental, financial... I could go on and on. The best part of these needs is that God is ABLE to heal us of each and every single one of these things.

4. My husband. I can't type enough words to express how thankful I am for this man. He provides for us emotionally, spiritually, and financially.

5. My KIDS! These boys just make my life worth it! I love them so much with my whole heart!

6. Change. The Bible says that God makes all things new. He made me new. He changed me into a new person. I love when something happens and I normally would act a certain way about it (before) and now I act COMPLETELY different. I love that little reminder that God made me new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

7. My Calorie Counter App. I am finding it much easier to stick with my diet having this handy dandy calorie counter on my phone! I am so thankful for technology. Even though... I am probably one of the MOST technologically challenged people I know.

8. Prayer. It just makes me feel better to have time to talk to the Lord.

9. Surprises. It reminds us that we aren't in control! God is.

10. Pinterest. I am so thankful for that little website that helps me come up with my own spin on crafty ideas and gives me great new recipes to try out!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This Month's Mumblings--January 2012

Last night Samuel was talking to his Paw Paw Bruce on the phone and was telling that Kobe had a girlfriend. Paw Paw asked him if he had a girlfriend... He said yes. Paw Paw asked him what her name was. Samuel said he didn't know her name but he knew that was HIS girlfriend.

A few days ago Kobe informed me that he would like to buy his girlfriend something for Valentine's Day. I asked him what he was thinking of buying. He replied with: GERM-X for her backpack! So, I asked a few friends what would be some good ideas for a 9 year old little girl since I am SURROUNDED by boys I truly have NO idea what a 9 year old girl might like.  You know what they told me?? Personal sized germ-x bottles in the holders for backpacks from Bath and Body Works and some nail polish or lip gloss. So... I told him what I was told... his response: "I TOLD YOU!" with that "I told you" look to go with it!

Me: Sam, you are a Cutie Patootie!
Sam: NO I AM NOT! Do I look like a girl??

Samuel was very excited to pick out and buy some Kid's Cuisines last night. So, when we got home naturally he wanted to eat one for dinner. He picked out the one he wanted and said that he was very excited about his "dinner tray" and then said, "Mommy, please read the instructions. I want this to be good!" all while flipping the box over and pointing to the instructions as he said, "Here are the instructions, Mommy!".

The other night at dinner Samuel announced that he no longer had a girlfriend. I asked what happened... he said: " You Know! I broke up with her!". These kids have gone girl crazy...and overnight!

Kobe tells me that he needs to go to the bathroom at church. I tell him to hurry. He comes back and opens his hand. Inside the hand is a tooth. He said he needed some money!