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

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Line Up

Several months ago Callum was diagnosed with Stickler's Syndrome. While John was with him at the doctor's office he asked about Samuel and the possibility of him having this disease as well. The doctor told that it was a pretty sure thing since it is a genetically passed down problem. We talked about it and decided to take Samuel in for testing. We prayed about it and believed God for a healing but we also knew that until that healing came he would need preventative procedures and treatment in the mean time.

So, a few weeks ago John and I took Samuel to a Genetics doctor at UAB Children's Hospital. We went to the doctor's office first and did a little question and answer session with the doctor and his research assistant. After that we went to the lab to have some blood work drawn. When we stepped into Children's Hospital and began seeing all of these sick children John and I were overcome with emotion and couldn't help but cry. We felt sorrow and pain for the parents and children going through the different sicknesses but also we were just so grateful that our children are healthy. Once Samuel had all of his blood work done they said it would be about 4-6 weeks before we heard back from them on the verdict. I circled that date on my calendar. Once that date got here and I hadn't heard from them I called to check the status of his testing. I got the doctor's voice mail and left a message. The next day I got a call back saying that they had just gotten his results in that day. She told me that she didn't understand it but that Samuel had NO mutations. He was free of Stickler's Syndrome. I confirmed. Three times. I finally asked if that meant we would no longer need to continue seeing them. She answered that we would in fact be released from their care. I just started sobbing. I think I said thank you and bye but I can't be for sure.

I am just so overwhelmed by Samuel's healing. I am not shocked because I knew it was possible. I am just in awe. I have prayed over him for months that his little body would line up with the Word of God and be made whole. We have all prayed for a supernatural healing that would baffle doctors. We have broken generational curses (medical and non medical) off of his life. We have prayed without ceasing for his renewed and continued health.

Our Daddy God is so good. He hears our every prayer.  I looked up Samuel's name and what meaning it has according to the Bible. Samuel means : God Heard.

What seemed a definite and impossible turned into the possible. With HIM all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26
 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Thursday, August 23, 2012

52 Home--Week 33

The First Day of School. My mom read me this book before I went to Kindergarten. I read it to Kobe and to Samuel as well. 

One of my favorite books to read to my boys! I just love it! We all sit and look at the pictures as we read it and we are always saying, "Oh how cute!" at little Chester Raccoon.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School Days School Days Dear Old Golden Rule Days

Well, every year I say it and this year is no different...where has the time gone?

Seriously! I would like a little refund on my time here please!

My babies all went back to school this week.

Callum is entering the 10th grade and is very glad to NOT be a Freshman any longer! He is the big Sophomore this year. So far, he has been very organized and responsible and I am very proud of him for his attitude so far this school year. I am really praying for the Lord to direct his path not only in school but in life. I am looking forward to seeing all that he is capable of doing and learning this year.

Kobe is entering 5th grade this year. I thought I would be OK with this. But NO! I cried a little. Just a tad. Not a lot at all really but it did sting my heart to see him growing taller and taller and getting smarter and smarter and getting one year closer to leaving me! I know that may sound crazy but that is really how I think! He has been looking forward to this year because in our school system...5th grade is the last year of elementary school. It is also the year of switching classes. He will have three teachers this year. Ms. Thomas, Ms. McClannahan, and Ms. Whitehead. So far, he loves all three of them. Next year he will go to Middle/Jr High school and that... well, that I can't even think about right now. Kobe is a good friend, a good student, a good boy. He likes making friends and hanging out with old and new friends alike. His teachers always tell me how much they love him and what a "joy" he is in class. In fact, I got an email yesterday from one of his teachers this year telling me how much she is already enjoying him and how great he is in her class. The 5th grade theme is a "Jungle Theme" and they can earn Jungle Bucks to use once every nine weeks or they can save them up for a big purchase at the end. I really think it is a cute reward system. Kobe came home yesterday very happy to report that he had already earned 1 Jungle Buck for pushing a student's chair under the table because the kid forgot to. So since his teacher saw him do something nice for someone else without being asked she rewarded him with a Jungle Buck. That makes my heart smile. Kobe is playing football and it is in FULL swing. I am really proud of him and all that he does. I know that he will go very, very far in life and that he will accomplish anything he puts his mind to.

Today I took my little Sam-man to Kindergarten for the first day of school. I have been crying over this since Saturday and quite honestly, I am tearing up now just thinking of the words to type here. He is my last little boy who will go through Kindergarten and it is really hurting my heart! He just looks so little to me.Which, ask any of my kids and they will tell you, that it doesn't matter how big you get... you are still going to by MY baby! I have prayed and prayed about this morning because I knew it would be harder on me than on Sam. We started it off by reading a book called "The First Day of School". This book is one that my mom read to me before I went to Kindergarten and I read it to Kobe and now I have read it to Sam. I cried pretty much all through that book. Then we read the Kissing Hand. Of course, Samuel LOVES that book and I did a little better on the crying. Well, not really. I waited until he walked out of the room and then I cried. This morning he jumped up and down clapping his little hands because it was finally the day of Kindergarten! He was so excited. He got dressed and brushed his hair and his teeth and even asked to put on Daddy's deodorant and cologne! He was so ready! He put his BIG backpack on his LITTLE body and he was ready to go. I wasn't. I kept asking if he was SURE he wanted to do this??? Of course he said he was. We arrived at his school a little earlier than I had anticipated so we just chatted for a little bit. He told me that he thought he would be like the girl, Elizabeth, in that book (First Day of School) except he wouldn't get himself stuck in his cubby closet (cubby hole... I don't know why he is calling it a cubby closet). I hope not! I smiled because I know what all that little girl talks about in the book. About making new friends, feeling a little anxious but in the end she says she loves school! We decided it was time to go on in and so we got out of the car and started that LONG walk in. Well, it wasn't all that long but I wanted it to be even longer so it would last a little longer for me! He told me he wanted us to walk on the curb and balance without we did. Then he wanted to only walk on a certain side of the side we did. At last, to the front door. Believe me, I did not want to open that door up at all! I had to. We went in and to the gym for morning announcements. Because it was his first day they said that we (parents) could stay for announcements if we would like. Like? I love! I wanted to! So we just stood there and were the only ones for about five or so minutes and then some other Kindergarten students wandered on in. Some of their parents stayed but most chose to go ahead and go. Not me. I stood there. I laughed and nervously "petted" Samuel's hair and rubbed his back. I could tell I was starting to feel a little better. A couple of teachers came up and introduced themselves to us and I was noticing Samuel's behavior changing. He began to turn his head away from them and bury his face in my arm and hold on very very tightly to my hand and that is when I knew I had to go. I knew it was only going to get worse the longer I stayed and I also knew that if I saw tears... that would be it. I would have to enroll myself into Kindergarten because I couldn't have left him crying. So, I (smiling as big as possible) hugged him really tight and told him I had to go to work. He was holding on tight and had his little eyes closed. I whispered to him that I loved him and although I couldn't stay with him all day there would be someone with him all day ... and that if he got to feeling nervous or a little scared he could do one thing that I knew would make him feel better and he looked and said, "I know mommy. I am praying to Jesus right now." I hated to dash out the way I did but I gave him a quick squeeze and told him how much I love him and that I would be back to get him soon and basically had to run out of that building because I had promised myself that I would NOT cry inside the school. I had to hurry because my eyes were filling up fast and I didn't want the tears to drop. I didn't lose it when I got in my car but I had a little cry. And again when my co-workers asked me how it went. And again when I talked to John. And again just every single time I think of his face. I can't wait to walk across the street and pick him up.

The other night I was telling him how I wish he could stay little forever and of course, I started crying then too and he said, "Don't worry mommy! I know right where your office is and I will walk over there and I will check on you when I can. I will be fine and you will too!". Isn't he sweet?? I am so blessed to have him going to the Elementary school here on campus. It is actually a Laboratory school here on campus that is used by the Elementary Education department and I am very excited to have him close by to me! As I was darting out the door of the school this morning the Principal stopped me and said, "Mrs. Rainey, I ran into Samuel's Pre-K teacher and she told me what a sweet boy he is and how much we are all going to just fall in love with him. We are really looking forward to having him here.". That.Made.My.Day.  I know that Samuel is a persitent and determined little boy. He is super smart and will do well and make friends easily. I am not ready for him to be this big just yet but I know we will all settle in.

My prayer for my boys this year is:

Dear Lord,
Please use your loving hand to guide my sweet boys through this year. Please help them to be able to consider other's feelings and needs when making decisions. Help them to use their words wisely. Help them to continue to turn their thoughts and hearts more towards you and more like you.  Please pour out compassion and love through them. Help them to tune their ears into not only what the teachers are saying but to hear what you are saying as well. Please direct their feet to go down the path that you already have laid out for them. I thank you, Father, for going before them and making a way. I pray that every single thing they try and participate in would be an accomplishment. That their hands and minds would be favored. I pray Lord over their feet...that every single step they take is in peace and in love.Help them Lord to walk in the confidence and boldness that you have placed in them through Jesus Christ. I pray Lord that all their dreams and attempts be made successful. Help remind them of who they are in you. They are victorious, of a Royal Priesthood, A Prince, a son of the Most High King, above and not beneath, highly favored, blessed, loved, never alone, the head and not the tail. Please keep them safe while we have to be away from each other Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Me and the boys before school

Kobe's first day of 5th grade

Callum--first day of 10th grade

Brothers! The infamous "tree" picture

Me and Kobe before his first day of school

This is Kobe on his way into school... he looked back to be silly and I was trying to take the following picture and accidentally got this one...but I love it! It is SO Kobe!

 On his way into school

Samuel on his first day of Kindergarten

He is ready! Here he comes Kindergarten!!

On our way into the school...look how big his backpack looks and how little he looks!!

And this... this is Samuel's "Silly Squirrel" face! 

Last Weekend of Summer

Well, I had made myself a little list of things I would like to do with my kids this summer before they had to go back to school. I am going to be honest... I failed! Miserably! I always have GREAT intentions and great ideas but I just don't always carry them out. I have taken a few days off from work here and there to hang out with them or take them places but I didn't really get to ALL of my list.

I was off from work on Thursday and just hung out with the kids all day long. Kobe had registration for the 5th grade and so we went and met his teacher and turned in a lot of paperwork and then we headed to the mall and other stores to shop around and see what we could find. Kobe was wanting a few more things for back to school and I needed a few things for Samuel so it was a pretty productive day. We had lunch together and laughed and talked and held hands. It was a great day. That afternoon Kobe had football practice and as Samuel and I were walking up I noticed someone sitting beside my dad and after I realized who it was I asked Samuel who it was. He squealed out, "It is my PawPaw Bruce sitting by my Poppa!". John's dad and Diane had snuck into town and Bruce had come to Kobe's practice. We visited with them after practice and ate dinner and then they went back to my parent's house to stay the night.

Friday I went into work but I knew the kids would have a great day since PawPaw Bruce and Diane were in town. They picked the boys up and took them out to lunch and then to Spring Park to feed the ducks and ride on the rides. I think the roller coaster was their favorite. Diane said they rode it about thirty times! We all ate dinner together and hung out for a while and then they went back to my parents house to spend the night.

Saturday we got up and ate our breakfast and headed out with my dad, PawPaw Bruce, and Diane. We went to the hunting club and just hung out and shot guns. Samuel took a BB gun but ended up getting to shoot the real thing. He was so pleased with himself. Kobe shot several guns that he had not ever shot before and that he was a little scared of at first but did well. I even shot some guns. I did WELL. My dad used to take me target shooting when I was younger but I know I haven't been target shooting in at least ten years and I was still able to shoot my target better than the rest! Kobe was SO jealous!

Saturday evening we all went to my mom's house and ate dinner. We just sat around and talked and enjoyed each other's company and it was very nice. The adults took turns riding a bicycle built for two (harder than it looks!) and the kids rode their bikes and ran around the yard trying to catch frogs. The weather was so nice outside and we really didn't want to go inside!  It is nice that our parents get along with each other so well. John and I took the boys and went home to watch Hunger Games while his dad and Diane stayed behind to chat with my parents.

Sunday morning we were up and went to church. I am so glad that my kids love going to church. They even ask to get there early! We had a good church service and then we went on home for lunch. I had put some chicken tacos in the crock pot so when we got home we got cheese dip from a nearby restaurant and spent some time just chatting and eating together. I had a LOT that needed to be done. I had been busy most nights with Kobe and football practice and had been busy with running here and there all weekend long and had let some things fall to the wayside. I got busy and got to moving right along. The kids were so tired but there was one thing that was on my list that I really, really wanted to do with them so we decided to skip church (which I normally don't do but we figured this ONE time wouldn't hurt!) and go have ice cream for dinner. The kids LOVED it and so did I. They were so cute and thought it was cool that we were really and truly eating ice cream for dinner.

That night after the boys had taken a shower and were all ready for bed we cuddled up on my bed and talked about the coming school year and read some books. We laid every one's clothes out and packed every back pack up.

It was a great last weekend to summer!

John and Callum

John and Kobe

Sam and Poppa

Sam was dying for Poppa to let him shoot a pistol!

Sam and Poppa

Sam and the BB gun... He looks so serious!

Poppa and PawPaw Bruce

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Top Ten::: My Own Personal Favorites

Good Tuesday Morning!!! Welcome to Rainey Kind of Days!!  I am linking up today with Mom 2 Memphis and Ruby for Tuesday 10 and the theme today is FAVORITE BLOG POSTS. I am going to share a few with you that either tell a lot about who I am or give you insight to my crazy life

This is my all time favorite post. It is lengthy but so meaningful to me...and probably one that all moms can relate to:

A fun and silly time with my boys:

It is hard as a mom to get it all done...but sometimes you just have to make the decision to NOT get it all done:

Part of our journey for John to adopt Kobe:

Funny things:

About pushing people's buttons:

A day in my life that I do believe every single mother will understand:

Our story of Adoption:

A letter to my boys:

Oh, I could have chosen more... I love going back and reading some of my thoughts from days gone by. It gives me hope at times and laughs when I need them and reminds me of how truly blessed we all are.

Have a great Tuesday friends!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thankful Thursday 08-09-2012

Each Thursday for about two years now I have tried to come up with atleast ten things that I was thankful for that week. It could be something very small and insignificant to some or it could be something HUGE. At first, (at that point in my life) I struggled sometimes to find ten things but now I have to make myself stop. So, here is this week's top ten:

1. God. He is so good to listen to us. His ways and thoughts are higher. I mean, He is GOD. So, when I specifically pray for something and HE manifests these things... it is so special to me. I mean, He is in charge of everything yet He still hears and listens to me.

2. Jesus. I am thankful for the example that Christ gave us. To love. To love. To love. The Bible doesn't say love this person if... or love this person when... it just says love.

3. Opportunities. This week is John's last week in his current position at work. I am really thankful for the opportunity for growth and promotion that begins next week for him. He really, really deserves it and I am very proud of him.

4. Maturity. Lately, I find myself sounding and acting more mature about situations. Sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest. Sometimes you have to be willing to put your pride aside and do the right thing...even when others won't. And you know what? It doesn't matter if they don't. It matters that you did.

5. Wednesday Night Meals. I am really thankful for these. At our church you can go about an hour early on Wednesday nights and eat dinner. The cost is $3 a person or $10 for a family. Not only is it great food at a great price...but you get to see people. You get to talk to people. You get to hang out with your family and chat about the day without feeling hot and tired from preparing the meal and dread rising up about having to clean the kitchen. It is such a convience to our family and I like getting to chat with people that I otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to chat with.

6. Ipods. I have been trying to get Samuel started on some kind of resemblance to a schedule since school will be starting soon. He hasn't ever really had a bedtime or a bedtime routine (I know, I am awful!) so now I am really feeling the "burn". I have started making him go into his room to lay down in his bed to go to sleep to begin getting used to it. The past two nights he has been able to fall asleep in his own bed (Before he was falling asleep while I or John held him and rubbed his back) with the help of a lamp and an ipod. Gotta love that ipod!

7. Off Days. I am looking forward to spending some time with my two favorite little guys ...

8. Marshmallows. Did you know that you can eat 17 Stars and Stripes (The July 4th edition)  marshmallows for just 90 calories??

9. Technology. Those who really know me just did a double take. You see, I am a little behind on the times when it comes to some technology and I often have to ask a lot of questions about things that others just quickly understand. BUT yesterday, I was able to schedule an appointment, pay some bills, contact an old friend, and confirm dental appointments for the boys. Now, that is the kind of technology I can live with!

10. Answers. Answers I get from my kids about things. They make for great laughs and great memories! Yesterday morning I asked Samuel what he thought he might like to be when he grows up. His answer? A snowman. Why does he want to be a snowman? SO he doesn't have to get too hot because they live in snow and cold and so that he can play with kids all the time. But when the kids get tired he can just relax in his gloves and scarf. Funny answers!

What are you thankful for this week? Sometimes we don't think we could come up with ONE thing that we could feel thankful for or blessed with. I have been there when I felt like the whole world was on my shoulders. But if you will try to begin to name just one or two you will feel so much better and pretty soon you will be narrowing down your list because you can't quit thinking of things. Whether you can only utter that you are thankful for the food in your pantry or the clothes on you back...just give thanks!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

52 Home--Week 31

John and I have just started reading this book. I can't wait to get started! I just created my spreadsheet and I am ready to go!

Peer Pressure

Well, it looks like I caved in... to peer pressure. I always tell my kids not to but in this case I just couldn't help it. I have been seeing all of the "If You Really Knew Me" posts and I just couldn't help but get on the bandwagon on this one. So here it goes:

If you really knew me, you would know that I LOVE Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. It is my favorite! I rarely buy it at the store because no one else in my house likes it and I hate to buy a container just for me.

If you really knew me, you would know that I love to create and paint. I love to turn on Kobe's ipod in my kitchen and spread everything out and just paint and use my hot glue gun.

If you really knew me, you would know that I am trying to be less of a neat freak but it is hard. I do like things certain ways and things in particular places....but I am working on it!

If you really knew me, you would know that I LOVE looking at new clothes. I love going and perusing a store for cute things for me. The unfortunate thing of it is, I always end up with NOTHING for myself when I check out because I love buying for my kids instead.

If you really knew me, you would know that I feel extremely guilty when I buy myself something (I am working on that too) and so I justify it by buying for our home when really I want to buy myself a new dress or shirt.

If you really knew me, you would know that I love the smell of GAIN. If it comes in GAIN scent... I want it!

If you really knew me, you would know that I also love Clorox. I mean, I love cleaning with it! I love the way my towels smell after being washed and I love mopping with it and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen with it. 

If you really knew me, you would know that I HATE doing laundry. 

If you really knew me, you would know that I am not a reader. I know that is weird to some people. I just have never gotten into reading. I will see a book and think it is a great story and buy it with every single intention of reading it. It will sit around for a while and then I will start reading it ...but I rarely finish it. I have only read probably fifteen or twenty books other than the required reading in school or books to my kids. 

If you really knew me, you would know that I get my feelings hurt quite easily. I rarely say anything...well, to the person that hurts me. I normally just tell John all about it until I am sick of hearing myself talk about it and eventually get over it.

If you really knew me, you would know that I mess up. I make mistakes but I do try to be the best wife, mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker that I can possibly be.

If you really knew me, you would know that a good way to get me to stand up for myself or say something is to mess with one of my kids.

If you really knew me, you would know that I am getting to that point in life where I just want to be around those that want to be around me and my family. If you don't, that is fine...but don't expect me to chase you down because YOU feel guilty. Family doesn't always have to be blood related!

If you really knew me, you would know that I love my dogs. They are cute. I just don't love all the duties that come along with having pets.

If you really knew me, you would know that I love watching shows in order. That is why I LOVE Netflix.  

If you really knew me, you would know that I love watching shows like Criminal Minds but that they scare me to death and I can't watch them at night when I am home alone or if it is getting too close to my bed time!

If you really knew me, you would know that I also feel like it is my duty as an American citizen to watch America's Most Wanted each and every Friday night. I love John Walsh. I watch just to see if I might could be the one that helps "Catch that coward" or "helps put that low-life behind bars" as Mr. Walsh would say.

If you really knew me, you would know that no matter what the temperature is outside or inside... if I am at home sitting down and watching a show or movie or reading (HAHA) I have to have a blanket over my legs.

If you really knew me, you would know that I sneeze about twenty times a day. Sometimes more.

If you really knew, you would know that I pretend to not like cats. I really think they are cute. I just sneeze a lot and my eyes start watering when I get around them and they kind of scare me sometimes.

If you really knew me, you would know that I have trouble saying things the way I want to say them. A lot of times it all comes  out in a mess and although my intentions were good ... it doesn't always seem like it.

If you really knew me, you would know that I hate driving but I hate riding with people worse. I beginning to be OK with riding with John...anyone else and I am a nervous wreck!

If you really knew me, you would know that I love Love Spell lotion from Victoria's Secret. It is my favorite.

If you really knew me, you would know that I can only remember ONE time in the past sixteen years that I have actually painted my fingernails a color. I want to get on the finger nail painting bandwagon. I just don't like the way my nails look painted.... I am hoping it grows on me!

If you really knew me, you would know that I could go on and on forever with this list so I will stop here.

Friday, August 3, 2012

52 Home---Week 30

Watching the lions wake up

My Assistant at Work

Today, I had a new assistant at work. His name is {drum roll please}, Samuel! Sam came to work with me today to "help" me work and "help" clean up my office. We got here and he ate his breakfast right away. That must have made him tired because he immediately needed a nap.

Photo: Sam said he was going to help me work and clean my office today...yeah...ok....isn't he sweet?
Hard at work or Hardly working?

After that he opted for "break time" and ate a string cheese and drank a juice box and watched Netflix. He chose to watch the movie Beethoven because he said it is FUNNNNY and Kobe NEVER lets him watch it!

Later we decided to have lunch at the picnic tables by the greenhouse and take a little stroll around campus.

Then we headed over to see what the lions were doing. I think the breeze and warm sun made them sleepy!

Tired Lions

Fast Asleep

In Dream land

We kept walking and Sam discovered something he hasn't seen (or paid attention to) before.

We decided to go to and check the mail and find some goodies in the Bookstore. 

On the way to the Bookstore, I realized that since his big boy backpack just came in that this may be the last time I will see him walking around like this:

Sam with his little puppy dog preschool back pack!

Sam picked out a really cool shirt at the Bookstore and a bag of gummy worms.

After we left the bookstore he was dying to walk across the bridge. So we did. We took the long way back and giggled and talked. After that, we hung out and did some paperwork. We had a really fun day just hanging out today.