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

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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thankful Thursday 06-28-2012

This Week I am thankful for the following:

1. God's Timing. We may not understand it...but we know he is never late, rarely early, and always right on time!

2. Jesus' Love. I want to love more like Him.

3. John. I am thankful to him all the time for the big things like supporting us, loving us, etc but today to be very specific ... I am so thankful that he cooked and cleaned the kitchen last night AND he kept the kids quiet while I went to bed early  crashed on the couch. I also remember him whispering something sweet about Sam and I as he leaned down to kiss us as we slept together on the couch after turning on a cartoon.

4. My Kids. They are the *best*! Seriously. I am sorry... I know you all think your kids are the best...but mine really are :) They are so sweet and play pretty well together (most of the time) and when they don't play so well they make up easily and quickly. They tell me they love me and they still hug and kiss me. I have some pretty great kids.

5. Water Day. Thursday is water day at Samuel's school. This is the ONLY day of the week that he gets up and is ready to go to daycare and the ONLY day of the week that he hugs me and kisses me and tells me bye without making me feel like the worst parent in America for taking him to daycare.

6. Basketball Camp. This week I have not had to hear "I am Bored" from Kobe. Not one time! He has been at the basketball camp held here at the university and has enjoyed it SO much. I am really happy that he had the opportunity to go and learn and make new friends.

7. Summer Heat. OK, I know some of you just re-read that but seriously...let me tell you why: When it is 108 degrees no matter what you set your thermostat on it is WARM in your house. Turning on the oven would make it EVEN MORE warm in your house. Therefore, I have decided that this week we are going to have "easy meals" so that I don't have to cook in that hot kitchen! We have had sandwiches, wraps, pizza & corn dogs, and cereal (don't judge me!). I am starting to miss cooking though so I am going to fix taco salads tonight. Not too much cooking or TOO long for that HOT oven in the kitchen.

8. Our life. Tuesday night I sat down on the lid of the toilet to dry Samuel off and comb his hair and lotion him up after his bath and John walked into the bathroom and sat down on the side of the bathtub. He said, "You know, there are people out there with real problems. We are lucky to have the life we do". You know, he is SO right. He went on to say how bad he felt about complaining about little things when he sees people who have much BIGGER things and don't seem so down about life. He is right. We are very blessed.

9. Personal Days/Vacation Days. OH YES! I can't wait to use them next week!!

10. Results. I started a diet/nutrition regimen on the 18th. Well, really, I started it on the 1st of June but I really started it on the 18th. I am proud to report that I am down 9 pounds.

What are you thankful for?


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

52 Home--Week 25

Talk about DOG DAYS OF SUMMER!  Saturday looks like a day that I will be INdoors!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh The Places I Will (Want to) Go

Good Tuesday Morning and welcome to all of the readers from The Eloping Stethoscope. Today I am linking up to the Tuesday 10 post entitled "10 Places To Travel". This post is going to be so easy and quick for me! I have been keeping a board on Pinterest as a dream of where John and I will (would like to) go when our children are older and some while they can still go with us. So here is my list for places I would like to travel to:

1. Bora Bora

Bora Bora

2.   Cape Elizabeth, Maine

cape elizabeth

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

4. Ireland Countryside
Ireland country side

5. Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas

6. Venice, Italy


7. Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

8. Tuscany, Italy

Tuscany Italy

9. Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

10. Belize


Monday, June 25, 2012

You Deserve Better Too

Yesterday at church we had a visitor. He has been there before and I have heard him speak and I always enjoy it. I made sure to get a seat near to the front (the last few Sundays have been so packed that I am finding myself further and further back and I like being up front).  I got my notebook out and took notes as he was talking.

I was a greeter yesterday morning and as I said "Good Morning" to one of my friends at church she told me that she wasn't feeling all that well and had been suffering from a migraine for the past couple of days. Later in the service the visiting pastor asked who was having a migraine and pain behind her right eye. She said it was her and he prayed with her for it to be healed...and it was. I love when God cares about the little things in our lives...even headaches.

Later through the service he called for people who had any unforgiveness that they needed to get rid of. I sat there proudly because I knew I had forgiven everyone who had ever hurt me or anyone that I felt had wronged me. He kept saying there are more of you. Please come forward. Still. Just sitting there. I began to justify in my mind and heart that I had forgiven everyone. I knew that I didn't have to feel it right away but I had to do it. Time and time again I had uttered the words (about the same person), "Lord, I may not feel it right now but I do forgive them and I pray that with time you will heal my heart so that I will feel forgiveness too". Then, he said there is someone who may not feel the forgiveness but has forgiven them... quit sitting there wondering just come on up here. (He may not have said those exact words there but it was similar) I knew it was me. I felt such a strong tugging in my heart and I knew it was directed at me. I went up there and prayed for my heart to feel what my mouth had confessed many times before. As we were standing there he said, "Who up here has a history of heart problems and a family history of heart problems and you are worried about it passing along to you and causing you trouble?". Again, me. There were others in the church as well and we said a simple prayer about our health and especially our hearts.

Lately, I have been hearing the Lord whisper to me that he wants me to start taking better care of myself. Not just health wise. But just all across the board. I know it sounds silly, but I have felt Him telling me to take time for myself and reward myself once in a while. I have talked about it with two friends and I actually put it as one of my goals for my 35 before 35 list . I have been feeling this for a couple of months now and yesterday the visiting Pastor spoke a few personal prophecies. He came to me and he placed he handed the microphone to someone standing there and he placed his hands on my head and he said that he didn't know where I worked or what I did but he sees me teaching. He went on to say that God was saying that he sees that I always want better for others and that I always put them before me but that I deserve better too and that I needed to start taking care of myself. WOW! I love when  God cares about the smallest details of my life. What probably seems tiny or insignificant to some was HUGE to me.

It made me think about how intricately he knows us and formed us. It made me think of this verse:

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

I am so thankful for a God who loves me and cares so much about me and who confirms things that He whispers to my heart.

It's All Up To You

You know....things happen in life. Things we don't like. Things that are unfair. Things that hurt. Things that could have been helped. Things that couldn't have been helped. Things just happen sometimes. I don't ignore these things. I acknowledge that they have happened but I try to look at it a little differently.

That doesn't mean I try to "paint" my life differently or perfect. That means I CHOOSE to look at things differently. Sure, I could get down in the dumps over stuff that happens or I could look at it in a different light. I am not always able to look at it on a positive note. I have my days where I do just want to complain and get down about stuff. But, you know what, that usually makes me feel WORSE than the original thing that made me feel less than happy.

I am trying to learn to let things go quicker too. Holding on to all that junk is just stressful and ridiculous. I think that is why I sometimes have a different "take" on things or the way something happened. I may not remember it the way others do because I am trying to see the good and not dwell on it.

Sometimes hurtful words can cut me to the core. They can knock me around and stay with me. I am working on not only being able to just let it go and look on the bright side but also... forgetting. I hear people say, I have forgiven but I will never forget. Now, I am not saying to be a doormat but I am saying that if you forgive then you should just forget it too. Let it go. We are commanded to love each other like Christ loves us. He forgives and thankfully, He forgets. Sometimes, sure, there are times that we need to cut our ties and count it as a loss and move forward with our lives. Some things and some people are toxic to our lives and only cause more negative than good. That is not to say that they are not a good person...just not good for you. That don't mean you hate them, wish bad upon them, and never want to speak to them again. It just means, you don't want your life consumed by nonsense.

I have been noticing a lot of negativity and dwelling on bad things lately and using things as excuses and crutches instead of doing something about it and letting it go. I have never known a situation when negative talk and "rehashing" something one hundred times has worked. It is your actions that matter...not all the useless words.

We have to start speaking life into situations. We have to stop speaking death.

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 NLT

So, who cares who was right and who was wrong...what I care about is DOING the RIGHT thing. I care about extending the love and forgiveness of Christ to those that I meet.

I find that I am always overly nice and loving to those that I meet at work or in everyday life but I tend to be a little hard on those that I live with. My family deserves better than that and so I am going to start doing better on that. It is not that I am not nice to my husband and kids...but I know that I am a little shorter tempered and less patient with them when I know they are the ones I should be most patient with.

Don't let situations in life dictate how you react and respond. Let how you respond and react dictate the situations in you life. It is all up to you. You can make or break any given moment. Life is too short. Make it great!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five on Friday 6-22-2012 (Scattergories)

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: Scatttergories

1.      What random letter was generated by the online random-letter generator? (this doesn’t really count as one of your five questions)  **Y*

2.   What food item, whose name begins with the letter in question #1, are you most likely to eat within the next few days? **Yogurt**

3.    What item, whose name begins with the letter in question #1, are you most likely to purchase this weekend? **YooHoo Drink Boxes at the store**

4.    What famous person, whose last name begins with the letter in question #1, makes you think thoughts you probably shouldn’t? **I try not to think badly of people or "criticize" them in my mind BUT Dwight Yoakam's voice just pushes all my buttons!**

5.     What is your favorite film whose title begins with the letter in question #1? **You've Got Mail*

6.    What geographical location, whose name begins with the letter in question #1, are you most likely to see within the next few days?  **Youth Soccer Field and possibly a Yardsale**

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thankful Thursday 06-21-2012

Each week I try to think of TEN things that I am thankful for pertaining to that week. Sometimes there are a couple of the same things and sometimes they are completely different. Some weeks are harder than others to come up with ten things. So here is what made the cut this week:

1. Today. God woke me up. I am alive. I am breathing. That means that my purpose in this life isn't fulfilled yet and that gives me goosebumps to think of what He has in store for me!

2. Jesus. I am thankful for His love and sacrifice.

3. Empty Dishwasher. I am thankful that John was so kind to run the dishwasher AND put the dishes up last night. I LOVE empty dishwashers and empty laundry baskets.

4. Our Town. I love our little town. Sometimes, it can be too close for comfort but I love how we have little festivals and parades and when you go you see people that you have known forever. Tonight kicks of the Helen Keller Parade and I am really excited to take the kids to the parade and the street dance. I used to go when I was younger and I know they will love it!

5. Small Hands. I love when I am walking and I feel a little hand slip into mine. It is normally Sam. He is still little and doesn't mind getting caught out in public holding my hand but occasionally Kobe will catch himself still reaching for my hand. **Off topic but I feel the need to insert this: When we go jogging, if I slow down a little, Sam will slow down too and turn around to stay with us and Kobe will place his hand on my back as if to encourage me or let me know that he is right there. I have sweet boys!**

6. A Multi-Generational Church. I love that last night at church the youngest in the service was 11 and the oldest was 92. We talked about what the different generations would want the others to know about them. It was good. I can honestly say that our church meshes well and we are all able to have conversations with one another. We truly care about and love one another.

7. Unexpected Kindness. Each morning when I leave Sam's daycare I have to somehow get myself into traffic on one of the busiest streets in our area. Often I sit and sit waiting for my turn to pull out into traffic but not today. Today, a kind man in a red truck motioned for me to get in front of him and even held up traffic as I waited for a car in the turning lane to pass. I really appreciated the kindness he showed me this morning! Especially since, as always, I was running a tad late!

8. Late nights. I love staying up late and catching up on the shows on my DVR or talking to Kobe in the kitchen or having a family night with everyone. I like getting the most out of the day that we possibly can.

9. Eight. That is the number of days until vacation! Of course, we are having a "staycation" but I have some fun things planned for us to do that week. We have a lot of interesting places and things to do within an hour or so of here and I am looking forward to doing something fun and unique each day with the kids and John.

10. Insurance. I found myself kind of complaining that I had spent so much money this past week on medical visits and prescriptions. The truth is though, if we didn't have insurance it would be A LOT more. I am very thankful that we are insured. Samuel is having a little bout with his eardrum right now and I am thankful that we have insurance to help us along the way. Please say a little prayer for Sam. He has a perforation in his right ear drum and is possibly facing a skin graft to fix it. I made the mistake of reading about the surgery online and so now more than ever I am praying for that ear to be supernaturally healed by God.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

35 List

I am inspired! My blog friend Kelly is making a list of the 40 things she wants to do before she is 40. Then as she does them she is going to cross them off of her list. I think this is a fun idea! As she stated in her blog, the 30 before 30 ship has sailed so I am doing 35 things I would like to do before I am 35.

1. Lose 60 pounds.
2. Establish a date night at least once a month with John and sticking to it. I will feel that I can cross that off when we have had six consecutive monthly dates.
3. Make a memory jar with the kids that we can read aloud with each other each year on New Year's Day.
4. Try to set aside a little money for myself. I rarely buy anything for myself. It is always for the kids or for our home. I mean like jewelry, purses, clothes, etc. I would like to see myself buy something personal for myself at least once every six weeks or so.
5. I want to celebrate our ten year anniversary in a big and special way. I am not sure exactly what or where but I want it to be really nice and just us. We never had a honeymoon so this is important to me.
6. Replace the shower walls.
7. Have a flower bed/garden. With pretty flowers and not bushes.
8. I want a bigger more organized closet. If I organized mine might seem bigger.
9. Get rid of things that I am just hanging on to. For no particular reason. (I started this past weekend! 6-16-2012)
10. Move. We need a house with more space.
11. Get out of debt. Completely. Working on it and just for fun's sake... we paid off two bills this month!
12. Learn more about my friends. Spend more time with them.
13. Make a monthly Girl's Night Out. We used to do this and we stuck to it but not so much anymore but it is so important. I really hope we can do it!
14. Take the boys on "mommy/son dates". I often take them places together but rarely just one on one.
15. Join a reading/cooking/craft club of some kind. Outside of church and the kid's sports ... I don't really have much to be involved in that is just for me.
16. Buy new bedroom furniture.
17. Take the kids to Disney World.
18. Go on a family cruise once more before Callum is out of high school. I don't know his plans yet but I figure that it will be hard to get him nailed down for a family vacation after graduation. (I will be 33)
19. I would like to see John and myself go on a long weekend trip to NY. We never go anywhere alone and I think it would be nice. We both love NY and want to go back.
20. Have a nice backyard set up. A new patio set and a fire pit.
21. Start saving my change in a Milk Jug. I read somewhere that if you fill a milk jug with pennies you would have about $200. Once that is full....just go buy myself something with half of it and make a fun family day with the rest.
22. Watch at least 3 music/light shows at Spring Park.
23. Take the kids to the park/playground at least once a week (weather permitting)
24. Finish Couch25k
25. Run/Jog a 5K
26. Have all new kitchen cookware. I have had mine for a good ten years and I would like to pick up a complete and matching set.
27. Compile all of the boys' artwork and school papers into some kind of binder/album for easier viewing and better storage.
28. Clean out my craft/supply hall closet. It is pitiful. I want to throw away and find a way to re-organize this messy place in my house.
29. Take the kids out to an ice cream place once a month during the summer months.
30. Read the entire Bible.
31. Replace the flooring in our home.
32. Go to Maine.
33. Go to an antique mall.
34. Paint a room (in my new house when I get it) lime green.
35. Take the boys to a baseball game.

52 Home--Week 24

For those of you who may be new to my blog or have no idea why I have a post every week called 52 Home, I will explain. I started this project last year with GIRL TALK FOR BIBLICAL WOMEN and I loved it so much I wanted to continue doing it this year too. You pick a picture. Any picture from your life that week and post it. It can be a pile of dishes, a mess your kids made, a full (or clean) sink. I mean...anything! It is fun to look back and see what pictures I have chosen along the way. **Sometimes I can't choose so I post two**

This week's 52 Home Project Pictures are of the crafts my boys made for John at church on Father's Day.

Samuel "made" this. His teacher asked him to tell her some things he loved about his dad and she wrote them in. They are: 1. Sometimes he let me sleep in his bed 2. He fixes me Ravioli 3. We watch Transformers together

Kobe's hand print Fish.

Ten Reasons Why I Love My Life

Today I am linking up with Mom2Ruby&Max and participating in today's Tuesday Ten.

1. I have the *best* husband ever!  He is funny, silly, always on my side, serious when he needs to be, and supportive in all ways. I really love this silly picture of him.

2. I know I may be a little biased here, but I also have the *best* kids in the world too! They use their manners, they "defend" me, they draw me pictures, they want to snuggle with me, they go jogging with me, and they love me (Flaws and all)! **Defend me: The other day we went trail riding in John's Jeep and we got stuck. So, we had to take a little walk back to the sign in station (I don't know how far but it seemed far--45 minutes UPHILL!!) and I told John to go ahead because I knew he could go faster than me and I hated for him to wait on me. So, he went a little faster but would not let me get out of his sight. Sam rode on his back. Kobe held my hand. Would.not.leave.his.mother. He said he needed to walk with me in case an animal tried to get me. If John is pretending to hurt me I will say, "Sam come save me!" and...for those who know him in know he will. He thinks he is a tough/army man/fighter man/superhero man. I love them.

3. My little dogs. I love my dogs!!! (Most of the time) They make messes sometimes but I still love them. They are so cute and sweet. They are Buster (Boston Terrier), Chief (Boxer), and Levi (Pug). 




4. I am loving that I am more active than I used to be. There is something to be said for getting out of the house with your family and going for a walk or jog. Or just getting out ...period.

5. I love that I have a home to come to when the day is done. A home that I share with John and with my kids. A place that is safe. It is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. A place where we eat watermelon on the front porch and catch lightening bugs in the front yard. We live on a dead end street and we own three lots in the city limits so we have plenty of room to run and play! It is home.

Excuse the child that opened the door as I was trying to take the picture and the mud riding Jeep and the package UPS dropped on my porch! Still... I love this house! We are definitely outgrowing it but it is my home!

6. My Parents. I love that my kids get to go to Nana and Papa's house on the weekends sometimes and that my parents are so close by for us to hang out with and spend time around them frequently. My mom always sacrifices so much for me and my kids. She will help with them when they are sick but not sick enough for me to miss work. She carts them here and there for me at times. She never missed anything I did in school and she rarely misses a football/soccer/basketball/band event or practice. She kept my childhood home running and helped my dad with his business too when I was growing up. She sacrificed then and continues to do so even now. She loves me, John,  and her grand children. She is such a great mom and Nana and my kids and I are blessed to have her!

My Dad and the boys

My Mom and the boys

7. My Grandparents. I love that we all live so close to each other. I love that my boys get to go to their great-grandparents house a couple of days each week and hang out with them while I am at work. They get to "go all over town" as they put it with them and I know they enjoy the simplicity of being with them.

My PawPaw and Granny with Sam

PawPaw and Kobe fishing (Sam and Papa were there too)

8. My Job. I love my job. I have said that a thousand times but I really mean it! I just love it! I am so blessed to have a job that allows me to participate in my children's lives and be off with them when school is out and get off shortly after school lets out. I have the best of both worlds! I get to work and help provide the fun and extras to my kids and I get to participate with them too! I rarely need to miss a party or event unless I just don't feel the need to participate or if one of them says...they are too big for me to... I am hearing that much more often now. AH! The joys of boys! I love my job!

Part of the UNA campus

9. My Church. I love my church and I love the friends I have made. I was at the very first service that this church held. I have been in on it since the beginning and it is my church. It holds my church family. It holds my Pastors. I love it.

The Sanctuary at Church of the Shoals

10. Last but CERTAINLY not least. I LOVE my friends. I love that I have a few good friends. I used to have many more but as life goes on we weed out and prune back. God places who need in our lives for seasons. I always hate to drift away from friends but then again, sometimes it is necessary. I am very blessed with the people that God has hand picked and placed in my life.

Monday, June 18, 2012


This past weekend was a busy and celebratory weekend. Sunday marked the sixth year that I have had the honor and privilege of calling John my husband. We celebrated last weekend because we had a babysitter and we knew this weekend would be a little hectic! We went to eat at one of our favorite local restaurants, Frank's Italian. It is so cozy and romantic in there. We loved it so much we got my parents a gift card to enjoy their Anniversary dinner there too (theirs is June 14th). I ordered the Shrimp Cannelloni and John ordered the Meat Lasagna. We ate bread with the BEST marinara dipping sauce and a friend of mine, Rachel, was our waitress. She was so sweet and attentive to us and even gave us a piece of triple chocolate cake for dessert since it was our anniversary.

I really do love him more now than the day we said "I do". I most definitely do not regret marrying this man. He is a great best friend, co-parent, life partner, advice giver, patient and calm listener and he always tells me I am beautiful and make me feel safe and loved.

I am one blessed lady!

Happy Father's Day to John

Oh! John...where do I START? This man is a good dad.

I have watched him paint toenails, try to braid hair, read books to figure out what to do with a little girl. I have watched him dive all the way into different hobbies over the years just because one of the boys showed a little bit of interest. I have watched him be a dad from a distance to Haley and that isn't easy. But, he does his best and I am proud of him.

He wakes up early to go jogging with the boys at their request, he has sat through countless hours of sports events and practices, he plays Batman, and watches Transformers. He is a "cool" dad. He drives a Jeep with no doors and trains people how to fight. So, he is pretty much up there with Chuck Norris in the eyes of the boys.

The kids know that if someone tries to harm them, takes them, or does something to them...that they will be "having a bad day" as John put it once when he was explaining to Kobe that he will always be there for him and protect him. Now, if something happens to me or the kids...Kobe always reminds us that if they aren't careful John may make them "have a bad day". It always tickles me but it is true.

He shows his kids good work ethic and reminds them of the importance of education. He supports them and believes in them. He tells them they did well and hugs them and plays with them and wrestles with them. He takes them camping, hiking, watches UFC with them, I mean, who could ask for more?? He is definitely a man's man! The kids love it. I have heard both Sam and Kobe brag about him being a "fighter" on more than one occasion. I have heard them brag about his lifted truck or his Jeep. They are pretty proud. And while the things that they brag about will change over time... I have the feeling they will always be proud.

They all look up to him and seek his opinion and approval (in a house full of boys... I know nothing! At least Haley is here for the summer!). They want to wear what he wears and eat what he eats and do what he does. And... I guess he isn't a shabby little role model either.

This man LOVES God. He prays for us. He prays for our kids. He helps others. He would give the shirt off of his back if he had to. The kids still talk about the time he didn't show up for dinner one night. We have a little thing where we ALWAYS have dinner together at our dining room table (unless it is a special situation or we are out to eat but 6 nights a week guaranteed we are in the dining room). Well, one night we ate without John. The boys didn't want to. But, I explained to them that I didn't know when he would be back. John had ran into someone who was in bad shape and needed prayer and food. He immediately went to the store and brought groceries back to them and prayed for them...but mostly...he just let them know that there is someone that cares. He shared the love of Christ to them and the person told him that no one had ever shown them love like he had...yep, that is the kind of daddy my kids have.

He not only is a good daddy but he chose to be a daddy to Kobe and adopt him. (You can read on that HERE--worth the read if you ask me!) He didn't have to do this but he wanted to. I am so grateful and thankful to this man every single day for this act of love. Kobe wrote him a note for Father's Day and in it he wrote that he was so happy to be a Rainey. That melted my heart and I think it may have melted John's a little too.

We kicked off Father's Day with pancakes and sausage and fresh fruit. Of course the kids were DYING to give John a gift bag and so we did so during breakfast. This is what he got:

A Venus Fly Trap from Kobe
A Batman Movie from Samuel
A screwdriver tool kit from Haley

and an abundance of cards and drawings. Kobe picked out one about being a hero and Sam picked out one that sings (of course! He won't have it any other way!) and it sang a bushel and a peck. I love that song and it is a song that my momma taught me and then she taught it to Samuel so I love it!

I made him this and framed it in a thick black frame for Father's Day
Courtesy of Positively Splendid

After that we all went to church and Kobe and Samuel made John some crafts while in their classes. (I will post these pictures tomorrow. I am using them as my 52 Home project this week.) When church was over we all went to my parent's house. My dad grilled steaks and we brought baked potatoes and salad and my mom and dad made homemade vanilla and butter pecan ice cream. It was so delicious! I considered that my "cheat day" this week. Of course, the kids would stay forever if they could and did not want to leave but I was so tired and not feeling well (I ate TOO much and I am not used to eating that type of food anymore) and I was ready to go. Nana invited the kids to stay for a while to play in the water. So we let them.

Later my parents brought the kids back home and I made homemade chicken and dumplings for our dinner.

It was a great day. I really enjoyed it and I hope that John and my dad did too.

There is one other father that I am so thankful for Heavenly Father. He is such a good, good Father. He loves more no less than right now! He forgives me and has plans for my future that are full of hope. He washed all of my past regret, shame, guilt, and sins away by the blood of His son on the cross. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father, for His sacrifice, and for His never ending love.

My Dad

My daddy:

He is a good daddy. I remember always wanting to go with him when he went somewhere. Normally it was just to go "loafing" as he called it but I didn't care... I just wanted to go. I remember going to Uncle Charlie's Flea Market. Back then, I couldn't stand I see why he loved it! I remember that anytime he ever went anywhere...even just to the store for milk... he always brought me back something. There was a store near to our house called "Loves". Whenever my mom would send him there for milk or for anything else... I KNEW what I was getting : A Mr. Goodbar! My favorite candy bar! 

Growing up my dad was hard on me. Or at least I always thought he was. I always had the earliest curfew of everyone, the strictest rules, and I better NOT bring home a bad report card. I have always looked up to my daddy. I have always depended on my daddy. If anything ever happened that I didn't know how to fix or something wasn't fair or right ... I always went straight to my dad. I knew he could and would handle whatever the problem was. And I still feel that way! He always stood beside me and stood up for me. That is what I think of when I think of my dad. I think of all the times that he stuck his neck out for me to defend me or stand up for me. (The funny things is, now that I am a parent,  that is something I see that my boys love about me...they know that I am on their side anytime, anyplace. I may wear their rear ends out when we leave for whatever they did wrong...but best believe ... I am on their side and I am gong to defend them when it counts and when it matters. In my opinion, a child needs to know that they have someone ALWAYS pulling for them and in their corner. Ok, enough of the side note) If ever I needed him growing up he was only a phone call and a few minutes away. I always wanted my dad to come to the school just to eat lunch with me. He rarely did. It was normally my mom that always came. But once in high school (I am sure there were other times but I just have this one sticking out in my mind) he came. I was so proud that he did. When I got up to him he apologized that he couldn't change before he came and was in his work clothes. I didn't care... I just remember loving that he was there. Now, that I can look back I am so thankful for a hard working dad. Sure, he wore a uniform and not a suit. Sure, his hands were calloused, cut, and often times bleeding, and dirty from working all day but those are the hands that sacrificed for me so that I could have anything and everything I wanted and needed. My dad was always the sole provider for our family and I appreciate it so much more now that I am a parent. Especially when I think of all the years of dance lessons, piano lessons, violin lessons, dresses for proms and school dances, recital uniforms, three cars, insurance payments, and I mean this list could go on and on... because now that I am a parent I know how hard John and I have to work and how much we sacrifice for our kids to do these things and participate. I wish so badly that I knew then what I know now instead of being a little spoiled rotten brat. Sure, I said thank you and I meant it but I wasn't grateful like I am now. 

Now that I am a parent I know what all goes on "behind the scenes" and I am so thankful. When I was growing up I always felt like we were rich. I always had what I needed and pretty much anything I wanted.  I mean, I guess my parents did OK but one thing that I am glad they did is that they never discussed finances around me. John and I do the same with our kids. We do let them save their money to buy things and earn money and sometimes we are very honest and just say "You know, with Christmas/band/basketball/soccer/football/camp (etc.) we are going to have to wait on that for week or two." I don't make them feel badly about it but with four kids we sometimes do have to take turns on stuff. I remember my dad teaching me this lesson. I wanted a new stereo and speakers to put in my bedroom. He took me to Wal-Mart to pick out what I would like to have. I picked it out then he took me to lay-a-way where he let me put it until I could pay for it in full. I worked hard (well, probably not that hard) and earned money and I eventually got that stereo. I still have it. I take pride in it because I bought it with my own money. First thing I ever bought. He could have bought it for me but the lesson he taught me was worth so much more.

He never missed a dance recital or a play that I was involved with. He never missed anything that I recall. Always there front and center and afterwards...he always had flowers for me. As I have gotten older the flowers still come. My dad never forgets to send me flowers for Valentine's Day. Always, Always I can depend and look forward to flowers from my dad on that day. 

He can be tough when he needs to be and gentle too. He has recently had a bird nest in the middle of his business' parking lot and he has put up orange cones to make people aware of it and also built a little "fence" once the baby bird was born. He has taken care of these little birds and named them Faith and Joy. The boys love going by to see the birds as much as possible. You can go HERE...TO HIS WEBSITE to check out pictures and stories of the birds. 

We haven't always been really close and that's OK. That just isn't my dad's way. I know my dad loves me and is always there for me. There was a time that I thought we would never speak again but luckily, a father/daughter dinner date changed all of that (To Casa Mexicana) and became a Wednesday night tradition. It came just in the nick of time too...because a couple months later I became a mom. I remember the day I became a mom. My dad NEVER left that hallway. He popped in my room all day long to check on me. He wanted me to have space (and to be quite honest was probably a little uncomfortable that I was in the hospital to have a baby) but he wanted me to know he was there. And I did. The next morning I woke up to my his work uniform... holding Kobe beside my bed. He had brought me breakfast and I think that was an excuse to hold Kobe. My dad says that God used Kobe to change him and feels like Kobe is  his "second chance" at having a son since my parents suffered the loss of a child...a son. Those two are like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together.They always have been. For a while, my dad was dad to me and to Kobe. I was young and didn't know what to do and Kobe needed a male in his life. So, once again, my dad stepped up to the plate. He helped me with Kobe in every way. Physically, emotionally, and financially all while doing the same for me. I remember many nights that I would call and  my dad would come to let me rest or take a shower or just give me someone to talk to. Eventually, he would tell me to go to bed and rest and he would sit up all night in his work uniform and tend to Kobe so I could tend to myself a little and then he would go to work when it was time the next morning.I remember feeling lucky that he would come to take care of Kobe...but really...he was taking care of both of us. 

Over the years my daddy has written me letters. I have each one of them tucked away in a special place all together and sometimes when I need to feel encouraged... I pull them out and re-read them. Sometimes I will stumble across one I had forgotten about. These are probably my most favorite gifts I have ever gotten from my daddy.

I know my dad loved helping me out but I know he loved it more when I got married and he could go to being just a papa to Kobe instead of having to help parent him too. Now he can fully enjoy all the benefits of being Papa. Plus, we added three to his list! He takes them fishing, camping, hunting, and "loafing" around in his truck. The love going with him and I love their relationship with him. Samuel especially like riding in Papa's truck and going to Papa's house. They know that Papa Promises are NEVER broken NO.Matter.What. They know that what Papa says...Papa does. This may mean a treat or a pop on that tail. He is a good dad, a good father in law to my husband, and a good Papa. We are so blessed to have him. 

He always goes above and beyond to make sure we are happy. He is very, very special to us and we love him so much. 

Thank you Daddy...for everything.

I made this for my dad and framed it in a thick black frame for Father's Day.
Courtesy Positively Splendid

Gold Medal Winner

Friday I had to take some time off to take Samuel to the doctor and get some things done. Kobe decided he wouldn't mind tagging along. We went to the doctor's office, to the mall, to lunch, and shopping for Father's Day. We were enjoying the day together and having a pretty good time despite Samuel not feeling so well. It kind of pangs my heart a little a lot that he is so used to ear infections that he just resumes life as normal and does so with a pretty good attitude. Anyway...back to the story. As my little boys were getting some extra time with me it must have really made Kobe happy because he put his hand on mine and looked at me and said, "Mom, if there was an Mom Olympics, you would be the Gold Medal Winner!". Samuel agreed. So, there you have it... the little things in life that help you keep going and keep smiling. It helps to hear that you are making a difference (and a positive one) in your kids lives ...straight out of their own mouths!

On an unrelated note:

Now that it is Summer and schedule is a term we no longer know the definition of... Kobe has been having "free reign" at our house at night. He can do whatever until whenever and so after Samuel is in the bed I begin some of my nightly "chores". One of those chores is making my breakfast and lunch for the next day. Each night for the past couple of weeks, Kobe has come into the kitchen with me and talked with me and kept me company while I measure and make my food. I am really enjoying that time with him and I told him so last night in hopes he will keep it up!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five On Friday 6-15-2012 (Lost)

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!!!

1. How easily to do you get lost? ** VERY easily!**

 2. What subject in school made you feel most lost? **Chemistry**

3. What’s something you’ve recently misplaced and have not yet found? **My Camera!!**

4. What’s something you found and were able to return to its owner? **An electronic notebook was left in a lecture room at work and I was able to save it from being stolen misplaced.**

5. When you need some alone time and don’t want anyone to know where you are, where are you most likely to disappear to? **Most my bathtub. I take the ipod docking station, ipod, candles, a lighter, and  a glass of Milo's Sweet Tea with Splenda and go take a HOT bubble bath!**

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thankful Thursday 06-14-2012

This week's list:

1. God. I have been praying about a situation for a couple of months now and on Tuesday night I just let it go. I gave it to God. I just told him that whatever His will and His way and His timing for the situation was that it was fine with me. I told Him that I trusted Him and it was His. Last night He completely and miraculously, and in a way I didn't think it would happen, solved the problem. He is so faithful!

2. Jesus. So thankful for our friend, Jesus. When no one else is there and no one else will listen... He will.

3. John and my kids. My life would be so boring without them!!

4. My parents. I am thankful for good parents who love us and always try to help us in all aspects. They are good parents. Today is their anniversary. I think they have been married for 37 years.

5. Rachel Johnson. She is really what I consider a true friend. A friend who loves you through the hard times and cries with you and prays with you and for you. A friend who also celebrates in the good times. She is so thoughtful and I am so blessed and honored to call her my friend.

6. Little Praisers. I teach in the children's classes at church. The young children's ministry is called Little Praisers. I taught the 4-5 year old class last night. They were so precious and so sweet and I really had a great time with them. We read books about Jesus and danced and sang as we praised Him. We had snack and played games and watched a movie. I really enjoyed that class last night.

7. Explanations. Last night, Haley (who is here for the summer) asked John if she could go to her cousins house this weekend for her birthday party. She explained that they would drive from Tennessee to our house to pick her up and then bring her home on Saturday evening. I stayed at church after they left to talk and he told her that he would have to wait until he talked to me about it. He explained to her that while neither of us "rule to roost" or "have the final say", we do like to consult each other on everything and like to talk with each other about things before we make any decisions. He told her that he was sorry that she grew up in a divorced family atmosphere (John and his ex divorced while Haley was an infant). He explained that she had never gotten to see how a real marriage is supposed to work and with her getting older he wanted her to see how a husband and wife should treat each other. It made me cry when he told me this. So precious.

8. My Fitness Pal. That little app! I mean, it has changed my life. So simple. So easy. I love it! I can track my calories and my exercise. What's not to love?

9. Crockpots. I am sure this little gem has made my list before BUT since I am going to use it today... it is back on here. I love that I can put something in the crockpot and come home to dinner. Sure, I have to make sides but those are pretty quick and what would have been a two hour process of cooking meat is now ALL done when I get home and we can enjoy a good dinner at a great time!

10. Experience. Experience helps you to learn what not to do, how to do it differently, what to do.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I know I am blessed. I know that I am loved. I am forgiven. I hold and cling to the Promises that God has given me. I am blessed with a healthy and caring husband, healthy and thriving children, my health, a home, a dependable vehicle, a great job, groceries to feed my children,and the list goes on and on. I know that each of these things were given to me by my Heavenly Father. I thank Him for the favor and the blessings He shows my family. I also have a little reminder each day that I am so blessed. It is a simple as just looking in my rear view mirror.

Thank you, God.

Some Things Never Change...

This is Samuel "Shooting" his little gun. That particular day he said he was shooting a squirrel. (We don't really let him!) 2010

This is Samuel shooting a BB gun at a target. 2012

While his body may have gotten a little bigger and the guns have changed...he is still ALL boy.

Just for Fun--Both Boys

I have decided to do a post of pictures that make me smile for both kids. Some are old and some are not. Some of the pictures were taken before I started blogging or you would have probably already seen them. I apologize in advance for all of the pictures I am about to post. However, I really want to post these so they can be in my blog book that I am about to print. I need these for memory's sake. I hope you enjoy!

This is for the pictures of both of the boys together.

Just for Fun--Samuel

I have decided to do a post of pictures that make me smile for both kids. Some are old and some are not. Some of the pictures were taken before I started blogging or you would have probably already seen them. I apologize in advance for all of the pictures I am about to post. However, I really want to post these so they can be in my blog book that I am about to print. I need these for memory's sake. I hope you enjoy!

This is Samuel's.

This picture says EVERYTHING about Sam. A little dirty mischievous little boy. 2010

Playing Army Man. He has one gun over his shoulder and one tucked into the back of his shirt. 2012

I just love this! He wanted to play on the computer this particular day and so we put on some learning games and when we came to check on him he had plugged in the headset and was listening. 2009

Dinner date at Olive Garden with his parents. 2010

Holding Buster Down to make him stay on the couch Petting Buster. 2011

Sneaky little fellow...2012

One of my favorites! 2011

Playing a guitar 2011

At Worship Team Practice with daddy 2012

Love it! This is SO Sam-- 2012

Pumpkin Patch playing in 2011

After an Easter Egg Hunt 2010


Just being silly 2011

SO cute and sweet 2009

Very proud of this Thanksgiving hat he made at school. He wore it into the grocery store. 2010

Little Cute Cute! 2009

First Four Wheeler Ride 2011

He had his birthday party at the Monster Truck Show. 2010

In Gatlinburg  2008

Christmas Morning 2008

At a basketball game 2009

Halloween 2009

Easter 2009



2010 Looking at the water on the cruise ship

Hard worker! 2011



 This is what Samuel looked like when he found out we were not going home but in fact we were going to be getting on a huge cruise ship:

He is so animated!