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

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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My MOST Prized Possessions

I am linking up with Mom 2 Memphis and Ruby today (**Update... I am not linking up because I am late getting my post done ...but this is the page that hosted this idea for Ten on Tuesday this week. I hope to do better and link up next week**)and I will be doing a post about my favorite possessions. Possessions can be big or little. Expensive or not so expensive. These are the possessions that I continue to keep and that I hold the nearest to my heart:

1. My wedding band. Although, it doesn't quite fit me is the ring that John slipped on my hand when we said "I Do." It has a special place in my heart and always will.

2. My Wedding Picture Album. I love this album. I love these pictures. They make me smile even on the worst of days.

3. Notebook Page Dividers. One Christmas back in 2007...John and I weren't in a GREAT place in our marriage and we had very little extra spending money. On Christmas Eve he gave me my MOST favorite gift from him ...ever...I mean it...hands He gave me a plastic three ring binder. He had covered the binder in fabric. When I opened it he had written down his first memory of me. He went on to tell of other favorite memories of us and then there was a few blank pages. He wrote that he hoped we would fill the notebook with more memories.

**Disclaimer--I know that there is a word on one of these pages that if you look close enough will confuse some of you...the word "Overdose". You can't read the whole "story" but it is about me thinking that if I took ONE sinus pill then surely TWO would be better and how it made me so hyper that I couldn't sleep and so John stayed up with me and we talked all night long once when we were dating.**

4. A Brown Envelope. It isn't just ANY brown envelope either. This envelope is one that contains letters from some of the most important people to me. When I went on the Women's Encounter we received a surprise package from home. That package housed letter upon letter from people who were special to me and anytime I feel alone or down I can open that envelope up and have a reminder of who I am in Christ and some very encouraging letters from people who love me.

5. Heart Shaped Rock. When Kobe was probably three or for he found a rock that looked like a heart. He gave that rock to me and told me he loved me. I found a little frame that says MOM on it and we glued that little rock in that frame. That frame sits on my nightstand and I am unsure if I will EVER be able to part ways with it.

6. These candles. These candles I have had for over ten years now. These candles were lit at my best friend Susie's funeral. I keep them on my dresser in a little cup. Everytime I look at them I remember her.

7. My photo book of Susie. When Susie died her mom gave some of us a photo memory book of her. I keep this book and pull it out when I need a good cry and a good laugh with her.

8. A picture of my Granny Doris. There is a  picture that is one of the only pictures I have of me and my Granny Doris. It sits on my dresser as well.

9. These Charms. They were given to me for Mother's Day this year and I love them. I love them because there is one for each boy and they were each picked out very carefully and with love.

10. My Bible. It has gotten me through a lot of tough days. It has reminded me of promises that my Heavenly Father has given me. He has tear stained pages where I have wept when I read of his love.

**As mentioned in a previous camera has somehow disappeared. So, please forgive me for the pictures that I took with my phone. **

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Five on Friday 05-25-2012 (Intro)

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: INTRO

1. What’s an interesting way you became introduced to someone? ** I was introduced to John by way of my cousin and her husband. I met him while he was sitting at a table talking to his current girlfriend. We didn't date until some time after that but...still... kind of weird.**

2. Upon first being introduced to someone, what pleasantry are you most likely to speak?  **Hi. Nice to meet you.  I love your dress/top/earrings/bag.How are you? **

3. What song do you think has a terrific first line? ** Love on the Rocks by Sara Barielles. --We met on a rainy evening in the summertime...Don't think I need to tell you more**

4. What’s a film that started off poorly but turned out to be quite good? **P.S. I love you.**

5. What’s usually a good early sign that your weekend is going to be great? **When Friday seems to fly by!**

Thankful Thursday 05-24-2012---Completey Different Meaning of Thankful

This past Thursday John and I met for lunch. We decided that we were going to test drive a new car. We went and picked it up and drove it straight to my dad. We wanted him to check it out and see what he thought before we made any decisions.

Upon arriving at my dad's shop John and I both noticed something wasn't right. A few minutes later my dad said he thought he was having a stroke.  He wasn't acting normal and his speech was a little slurred. We urged him to go to the hospital...but of course, he wouldn't before he finished looking at this car. John and I were not the LEAST bit concerned about this car now. We didn't care if we ever bought another car we just wanted him to go get checked out right away. We finally just told my mom to take him on and we would lock up for him. My mom was visibly upset as she tried calling his doctor's office. I offered to come straight back after we dropped this car off and got my car back. She would have normally told me no. To go on back to work and she would call me. When she didn't say that... I knew she was shaken and a little scared. So we drove as quickly and safely as we could and I made it back in record time. I cried and prayed probably some of the hardest cries and most heart felt prayers I ever have that day on the way back.

By the time I got to the ER my dad was already in a room and was getting some initial blood work and tests run. They came and took him for some cat scans and did some Xrays as well. We were all trying to be in good spirits and were laughing but we were all a little nervous. Ok, a lot nervous.

You see, my dad has always been the one we all turn to. The one who has always earned a living. He is the one who worked more to help provide for me and Kobe when I wanted to go back to school and couldn't work full time. And...then...I didn't work at all. He still helped support us. He was the first man in my life and he was the only man there for me and Kobe for a while. You see, he was the "head" of two households for a while. He picked up the slack. He is the one who is the one we always seek opinions and approval from. The one who has a level head and a sound mind when everyone else wants to fall apart. You see, he is the one that we really depend on. He is my daddy and my boy's poppa. I knew he wasn't going to die. I knew he was going to be just fine. But it really shook me up seeing my daddy lay there in that bed.

It turns out that he had an episode of  Bells Palsy. You can read more on it HERE. He has had some weakness in the left side of his face and hopefully will return to normal within a few months. His left eye won't shut all the way and his mouth is paralyzed on the left side. He can only open the right side for now. He has a crooked smile. I will take that crooked smile over what could have been.

I am so thankful that this was something that is not life changing or life threatening. I am so thankful that my dad is OK and on his way to recovery. He is getting better every day. I am thankful for my dad. He is a good husband.  He is a good father. He is a good father in law to John. He is a good Poppa to my kids. He is a good friend and hard worker. He keeps his promises.  He is a man of Faith who believes and trusts God.

I got this email from him and I don't think he would mind me sharing it... I want my boys to always remember what kind of man their Poppa is so I want to post it here. That way, it will be in my blog book for them to read and re-read even when we are long gone.

While I read your comments on your children going up and how much you love them my heart swells with pride. I wish I could have been the kind of parent that I see you being. I was far from what God says I should have been as a father and apologize for that. I had started typing this when you and John pulled up today and now I'm getting back to it. I wish I would have had the kind of relationship with God then that I do now so I could have been that father. It makes me happy knowing my grand children have that kind of parents. I know we had so bumps in our relationship especially when you got pregnant with Kobe. It wasn't because you had let me down it was because my dreams and plans for you had disappeared instantly. I was focused on "my" dreams and plans, I wasn't even considering your dreams or more importantly God's plans. God has thought me so much watching you for the past 10 years. As you watch these boys grow up enjoy your dreams for them but allow God to be in charge of the plans. He has a wonderful plan for them and still has huge plans for you and I look forward to watching the whole plan unfold.

Now, that my friends, is a good father. I am proud to call him my daddy. I am so thankful for who he was and who he is and who he is becoming.

52 Home--Week 21

Self portrait that Kobe took of us

A Whole Hand!

Five. That is how many fingers are on his little hand. He now holds all of those fingers up to show how old he is...he said it for the first time yesterday and my heart kind of hurt a little when I heard him say "I am five". Yes, Samuel, you are five years old.

Five years ago I nervously sat and wondered just how on EARTH I would love another child as I love Kobe. It seemed so impossible that my heart could love two kids that much--the same. Sure, I knew I loved Samuel and I was super excited to get to meet him and love him and take care of him...but I was a little nervous. (You can read more on his birth story HERE.) Now, I couldn't imagine my life without that precious boy. Not for one second. He is a little part that nothing else could ever fill in our family. I am so thankful for this child. I prayed so hard and so diligently for this child. When John and I first decided to try and have a baby I jokingly referred to it as "Catching a Dragonfly" (I am not even sure if I ever told him that...dragonflies are my favorite thing!) and one day he came home with a little wind chime to hang in the baby's room that had dragonflies on it. We found out about two months later that I was pregnant. I went and immediately hung it up in the room that would be Samuel's. It was such a fun time.

Samuel is such a funny little child! He has his very own mind and that is for sure! He is a strong boy for just five and he isn't scared of ANYTHING. He is rough and tough and tells me he wants to be an "Army man" when he grows up.  He loves anything that will get him dirty and loves playing outside. He loves camping, hiking, and playing army. He loves being in the water. He loves chicken, corn on the cob, and of course, french fries. He loves juice boxes of any kind and string cheese. His favorite treat is M&Ms. He loves going to his school and has made some sweet friends and learned a lot of new things this year. I can't believe he is going to be starting Kindergarten so soon! He knows all the books of the Bible, he says the blessing for us each and every night, he checks on me and still likes to snuggle. He calls himself his daddy's snuggle bunny. He isn't a fan of going to bed in his own bed and while he may not start off there he ends up there and vice versa. His hair smells like apples after a bath and he loves playing with bubbles in the bathtub. He picks ONE animal to sleep with each night and he generally picks Broccoli. Broccoli is the first thing I ever bought for Kobe. It is a blue chenille bear and Kobe name it Broccoli and has now passed it on the Samuel. Sam loves Batman, Transformers, and his favorite movies are Napoleon Dynamite, The Dark Knight, and Chipmunks. He loves Popsicles, grapes, and peanut butter sandwiches. He loves playing "army" in our yard and hiding behind trees with his "guns". He loves our dogs. He loves animals in general. He likes catching them and holding them and trying to get me to let him keep them! He especially loves going to his Nana's house and catching frogs.

He is my sweet Sam man. My little Pumpkin Doodle. Oh HOW I LOVE this child and when he runs to me and hugs my neck OH SO tight after a long day. He tells me he loves me "with all of his hearts". He gets "embarrassed" when I tell him he is my little cutie patootie and turns really red in the face.  He can always make me smile. He has such a precious heart for others already. He asks me to go pray for people, which just melts my heart! He is my little helper, my little angel. I love him so much!

I still can't believe my little precious boy is FIVE. Oh time, please slow down!

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

Thank you Lord for Samuel James Rainey! He is such a light in my life and I am forever grateful! Thank you Lord that you love him and protect him even more than I ever could. I have said it before and I will say it again, I can't imagine that anyone could ever love my children more than I do ...but I KNOW our Heavenly Father does... I don't know how...but it is true. Thank you Lord for seeing fit that I care for this child. That I be called "mommy" by him.

I speak blessings and favor over his little life. I pray that his way will be easy and that he will follow his Heavenly Father and be tuned in to what his purpose is in life. I pray for continued health and that his mind and heart would be filtered from as much hurt as possible. I pray that he makes good decisions and good friends along the way. I pray that he will always know that I am here for him no matter what! I pray that he always shares big and small things with me.

He is kind.
He is important.
He is smart.
He is a helper.
He is my baby.
He is my pumpkin doodle.
He is a good friend.
He is handsome.
He uses his manners.
He is a good little brother.
He is a good son.
He is a good grandson.
He is funny.
He is strong.
He is tough.
He is precious.

Happy Birthday to Samuel... my little Pumpkin Doodle!

Just for my own memory's sake I am going to post what we did for each birthday so that I can always remember:

1st Birthday: At the splash pad at Spring Park. We had a frog cupcake cake.
2nd Birthday: At home. We had pizza and cake and I believe we had a water day in our yard. (See why I need to jot these things down??)
3rd Birthday: We had pizza and a Toy Story cake at home with my parents and then went to a Monster Truck Show. He was really in to Monster Trucks that year.
4th Birthday: Splash Pad at Gattman Park. We did a Pirate Theme. You can read about that HERE.

**Bear with me, I couldn't just pick out a couple pictures I wanted to include here**

Sam at around 7 or 8 months old

You just have to KNOW Sam to appreciate this picture!

One year old Precious baby!

Always lookin' for a fight!

I just love how happy he is the way...these headphones were not hooked up to anything. He just liked wearing them and it made him THIS happy!

Fishing with PawPaw and Poppa

Very excited about the fish he saw at the aquarium. He was about two.

Three years old...first four wheeler ride

Four years old

Last Year:

Yesterday at his *most* favorite place in the world: Buffalo Wild Wings

Five years old with his new "Army Man" haircut. Some would think this an inappropriate picture for the "five year old" candid birthday picture...but if you know Sam then you know this is him in his element: a Batman Shirt, his new Army man haircut AND he is eating wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. Yes, this is a perfect portrayal.

You are my precious. My sweet angel baby. I love you forever. I will like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be!

Happy FIFTH  Birthday precious boy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Holy Birthday, Batman!

This past weekend we celebrated my little Samuel's birthday---Batman style! He has loved Batman for a while now. His favorite toy: His Batman Cave and Batmobile. His favorite movie: The Dark Knight. He has even requested going out in public dressed as Batman...and not during Halloween either! And...I let him. I let him because he is only little once.

"Fighting Crime" in our local WalMart
So, it was NO surprise to me when he said he wanted to have a "Batman Party"! It was my absolute pleasure to give him exactly what he wanted....after all... he only turns 5 ONCE in his life!

He changed where he wanted to have it several times. At first it was the park, then the splash pad, then McDonald's, then Forest Jumps. This is what the invitations looked like:

My sweet friend, Lori, made the invitations for me and they turned out even better than I imagined! I loved them! My favorite part is RSVP to Batmom! My sweet friend, Starla, gets the award for most creative RSVP. She sent me a text and said, "Hey Batmom. This is Biblemom (Bible man's mom). Matthew will be there on Saturday to help save the day!" She is such a sweet and fun friend!!

I decided on the decorations early in this process. Of course, I would use black, yellow, and blue since that is what is in the invitations. I planned on using some toys from home as centerpieces on the tables. The menu was kind of hard for me because we were having the party at Forest Jumps and I didn't want to feed them TOO much and then watch the kids get sick after all the jumping. So, I asked Sam what he would like to have. I kind of liked his ideas and so I stuck with those. I made labels for all of the food and named each item after a Batman character. The menu was:

* Bats In A Blanket (Pigs in a Blanket)
* Joker's Peanut Butter Sandwiches
* Two Face Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
* Mr. Penguin's Puffs (Cheese Puffs)
* Bat Power Cupcakes
* Mr. Freeze's Fruit (Apples and Grapes with Dip)

I cut each sandwich into the Batman Symbol and all of the kids really loved eating those. I also placed a basket of Samuel's favorite candy (M&Ms) in a basket as the centerpiece on one of the tables.

Front of the table where the line would begin for food. I always like to frame an invitation and have it displayed at the kid's parties.

Bats in a Blanket, sandwiches, and a basket full of party favors

Food Table

This year I took a photo of Sam in his Batman costume holding his hand up showing that he is FIVE and wrote "This Superhero is 5" on the frame and placed it at the end of the food table.

Cupcake Cake...Samuel picked this out and he said he chose it because it came with a motorcycle launcher and Batman. Good Choice.

This Superhero is 5

I used the Joker's house as a centerpiece on this table

Batman in a basket full of M&Ms as the centerpiece on this table

Food Table. I used a large black plastic tote as my drink cooler and we just had bottled waters and juice boxes

I had a very hard time deciding on what to use as party favors. I love giving out party favors. I went through a dozen choices and finally decided on crayon roll ups. My mom and I went shopping and picked out the perfect Batman fabric and she made crayon roll ups for each child to take home. I also handed out a Batman coloring page to go home with them as well.

Crayon Roll Up opened up

Crayon Roll Up all rolled up and tied with a ribbon and ready to hand out with a favor tag

Back of the favor tag
His favorite part of the party was blowing out the candles on his cake and opening up presents.

He got a HUGE variety of toys this year. He didn't need a one of them but he loved opening them just the same! He got a lot of Captain America toys, swim trunks, water toys, clothes, and toy guns. He got Legos from Pastor Ben and Lauren and when he saw them he said, "That was nice for someone to bring Kobe something too." I explained that while Kobe did like Legos these were brought for HIM. He was super happy about that. It is his first set of the Lego sets that build actual items.

He ran, played, and jumped with his friends and wore himself out!

After the party was all over and we unloaded everything out of car he decided he wanted to play with the toy that we (me, John, and my parents) gave him for his birthday: A Galaxy Tab. He always feels left out because we all have phones to play on and he had nothing but a DS. So, now he has something that he can get apps and games and most importantly...Netflix! He crawled up in my lap and told me how much fun his party was and how much he loved me. I really enjoyed this party with him!

Me and Sam after his party!

I think he was completely exhausted by this time but we were all in our Batman "gear" so I wanted a picture

This Superhero is FIVE!