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

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

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

52 Home--Week 23

Ready for his first Church Summer Camp Adventure

52 Home--Week 22

First and Last of Kindergarten

52 Home--Week 21

First and Last Day of 5th Grade

52 Home--Week 20

Samuel at the Music and Art Night at Kilby
The Kindergarten class sang a couple of songs and played some of the instruments

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

52 Home---Week 19

52 Home--Week 18

Giddy Up!

This past weekend we had Samuel's sixth birthday party. Sixth. I won't go off topic now, I will save my astonishment at how quickly this little fellow is growing for another post.

Samuel decided several months ago that he wanted a cowboy party. One where you could go and ride horses. I did a little investigating and was able to secure a perfect venue for his party.

I have been planning, creating, and buying for this party for a couple of months. I really enjoyed planning this party for him because it was his first party to invite school friends and it is just something I really enjoy.

The first thing I had to do was settle in on an invitation. I found some very cute invitations and a whole package that matched through a recommendation by my sweet friend Lauren of Capes and Crowns. She recommended Lauren Haddox Designs and I couldn't have been more pleased!

After I settled in on the invitation, I got to work on how I wanted to decorate. We were going to a farm and I knew that I would have to take that into consideration. I tried to incorporate vintage cowboy in as much as possible! I decided on red and tan tablecloths with a vintage material as an overlay. 

I then began to brainstorm on what kind of little things could be on and around the table. I decided on old soup cans with burlap ribbon wrapped around them, mason jars with black and tan rope tied around them, a couple of pictures, and a galvanized bucket of white daisies with ribbon and lace around the bucket. Perfect. I hung a banner that said "HOWDY" across the front of the table and sat a blue and white checked quilt out to the side for the kids to sit on and had a table that held the cowboy hats for our guests on the other side.

We had Chicken Feed (Trail Mix), Cowboy Chips and Salsa, Apple Orchard, Hay Bales (Rice Krispy Treats), Tractor Wheels (Oreos), Cupcakes, Kool-Aid, and Water.

Each child received a cowboy hat upon arrival. They got to pet the horses and just scuff around in the grass and dirt while we waited for everyone to arrive.

Once everyone was there we got to go and ride the horses. That was probably every one's favorite part. All the kids seemed to really enjoy it! They each took turns riding the horse for over an hour and a half. While they waited their turn they learned how to rope a calf on a roping dummy. They all loved slinging those ropes around. The kids played, laughed, and were really sweet to one another.

I don't think I will ever forget this little smile. He was SO incredibly happy and would NOT take off that hot long sleeved shirt!

After the riding was finished we headed back towards the shade trees and sang Happy Birthday to Samand let him open presents

This year he asked us for a REAL bow with arrows and a Red Ryder BB gun. We got the bow and my parents got him the gun. He was in Heaven!

After the cake and gifts were out of the way there was just one more fun thing planned...

Ms. Laura of Killen Time Farm allowed the kids to paint her horse and leave their little hand prints.

Afterwards they got to wash the horse off with the water hose. I know the kids especially loved that part!

As they left I handed out little clear plastic bags of S'mores. The tags were adorable. They said Thanks, Partner! Take home for S'more fun! I tied them up with black/tan rope. They were so cute! I did fail to get a picture of those!

I wish I had taken more pictures of the action but I did good to get what I got! 

I can't tell you how much it makes my heart soar to hear Samuel talk about his birthday party in excitement and thank me for his fun party. 

I love this little cowboy SO much.

My cousin, Ashley, captured the BEST picture ever of him. It is my most favorite picture of the whole day!

**Long Live Cowboys**

Monday, May 13, 2013

52 Home--Week 17

Sam and I had a Baja Freeze date to Taco Bell. We listened to The Beach Boys and just talked. Eventually, he told me he had a brain freeze! 

52 Home--Week 16

Levi HAS to be right beside someone at all times!

Army of THE ONE

Our church has a program called Army of the One. This about raising up an Army for God! 

The program is specifically designed for 5th grade students only. The purpose of the program is to disciple and prepare the children who are going to be moving up from Faith Kids to Thrive Youth as they enter into 6th grade. 

I can hardly believe that I am typing that right now! 

It isn't mandatory, but Kobe decided he would like to participate and so I signed him up. He made a 10 week commitment. He was there every Sunday (except one that we were out of town on a mini vacation) night for an hour and a half learning about God, what His words says, what it means, and how to apply it. 

They memorized Bible verses, prayed for one another and with each other, learned about the gifts God gives to His children, and grew in the Lord over this time period.

They were given shirts that said "Army of the One" and were to wear them each time. They had a binder where they kept all of their information and things they were learning. 

At the end of the ten weeks, Ms. Lynn (children's pastor at Faith Church) held a little graduation ceremony for them. 

Each child was allowed to tell their favorite part of the program. Kobe's was "Splatter Time". This is a time where the children scattered out away from each other and prayed for themselves, each other, and whatever else they felt led to pray about. After that each child came up and said his/her favorite Bible verse and was awarded their dog tags with their name engraved and a nicely framed picture of their group. Kobe chose 2 Corinthians 5:17:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

That is one of my favorite verses. It is so easy to get bogged down and sometimes that defeated devil tries to make us think we are still the "old us". It is nice to have this verse to remind ourselves and that defeated foe of who we are in Christ!

I am so proud of Kobe for choosing to participate. He was very nervous about standing up and reciting His chosen Bible verse. We prayed for him before church and spoke Philippians 4:13 over him: 

    I can do all things through Christ which strengths me.

He did a GREAT job. I was so very proud for him to face his fears and so very proud of him for completing the program. Of course, I choked back the tears and swallowed that stinging lump in my throat!

Me and Sam...waiting for the program to begin

Mrs. Lynn and Kobe after the ceremony

Sam during the ceremony! He keeps me laughing!

Kobe waiting his turn to speak!
Getting his dog tags and his group picture

Kobe telling his favorite verse

The whole group


Mother's Day 2013

Of all the thing in my life, my children make me feel the most accomplished. 

Just seeing them makes my heart soar.

I am that mom that cries when my child gets up to sing a song at school. I cry when they walk across the gym at honor day. I choke back tears and swallow hard when they do something extra special. I cry when they get the "big win" that season and cry if they lose. I just love my kids. I didn't grow up fantasizing about having children...but I KNOW that this is one of my life's purposes. They make me happy. They make me feel complete. They make my eyes water and my heart soar.

No matter how big they get, where they go in life, what they accomplish...they will always be my babies.

Mother's Day morning always gets started by breakfast cooked by John and the boys. Yesterday I got up and showered while the guys were hustling and bustling in the kitchen. I opened the door to go back to my bedroom to relax until they came to get me for breakfast and I heard them reading direction off of the back of the pancake mix to each other. That got me so tickled for some reason.

I was asked a half dozen questions about things to do with ingredients and where things were and that just tickled me... I got to laughing just sitting there all by myself when it occurred to me: Mother's Day breakfast is proof that Moms are needed!!

Sam found his way into my room. I helped him pick out an outfit and got him dressed. He wasn't happy with my choice and told me that even though it was Mother's Day that didn't mean I had to be so bossy!

He decided that since it was Mother's Day to LET me help him put his new airplane together. We did. I really had fun doing that simple little task with him. He hugged me tight and told me thanks, that's what moms are for.

Finally I got to be escorted into the dining room for breakfast. Pancakes, bacon, strawberries, bananas, eggs. YUMMY! They even got my favorite coffee creamer!

Then they had me open up my gifts. They got me flowers and the cutest light up, flashy, singing card, all of my favorite candy, two of my favorite candles, a little cash for shopping, and then my favorite part: homemade gifts from school!

Sam made me the CUTEST card. He designed the front on the computers at school. He designed two boys playing basketball and me in the middle. I have to hand it to him...he did a great job! He also put a picture of himself on the front. In true Samuel style, he made one of his faces that he is known for and I LOVE it. He wrote all sorts of information in this book about me. My name (Beth Sara Beth--yes, two Beth's), My age (31), His favorite place I take him (Subway), and then drew a picture of us. He drew me screaming because he had played a joke on me and put a fake spider in my hair. Typical Sam.

Kobe made me a piece of wood with an owl on it. I love it! He cut everything out and made it himself. When I saw it I loved it but when I found out that they were allowed to make whatever they wanted and he chose an owl...I adored it! He knows how much I love owls! On the back he wrote "Owl always love you forever". I put it on an easel in my living room because my throw pillows have owls on them. SO sweet and perfect.

We went to church and my parents joined us. We had a great service and afterwards our church had photographers waiting to take our pictures with our children. When we go back next week they will give them to us, framed. I got one made with my mom since she was there and one with the boys. I thought that was such a special treat.

After church we decided against standing in line for hours waiting to eat and went home and had leftovers! Best.Idea.Ever. We bought everything we needed for a delicious grilled dinner at home for that evening. John grilled the best chicken EVER, squash and zucchini, made baked potatoes, mac and cheese, rolls, and I made  chocolate chip cookie crust brownies for dessert! We shared our meal with my parents and it was SUCH a fun evening. 

We had to put the boys straight to bed after that because it was getting so late. I have to say, of all the Mother's Days, yesterday was my MOST favorite. 

Last night I made myself a note that I needed to get a different shirt out for Sam for Monday morning because they are celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week at his school this week. They are to wear red to show that they love their teacher. So I wrote RED SHIRT on a piece of note paper and left it on the counter. John asked me what it was for and I told him. He said, "Well, I am glad you are alive to know that because it isn't written on the calendar". I smiled. Yes, it is good to be needed and be the one who keeps our home running and in order. I count it as such an honor. Such a privilege. I couldn't imagine anyone else I would want to share my life with.

I am so incredibly grateful that the Lord specifically chose me to be their mom. I know that they are on loan to me from Him to take care of while we are here on this Earth. I thank Him daily. I know how much love I feel inside of my heart for those two boys. Then I remember that He loves them even more...hard to believe...but I know it is true. Then I think about how that is the same love He has for me...and for you. Such a unconditional love.

To Kobe and Sam, it is my complete honor to by your mom. Thank you for being the ones who call me "Mom".

Card from Kobe

Flowers from all  and Colored Page from Sam

Front of the card that Sam designed at school. His picture of himself in the top right cracks me up! He said he was concentrating on making the card!

Owl made by Kobe

Picture my mom got for me

My sweet goodies minus the Lemon candle. It was already burning in my bedroom.

I failed to mention that we went to a fun Mother's Day Soiree that my sweet friend, Lauren of Capes and Crowns hosted for local moms. It was such a sweet and fun event. She did not let a detail go unnoticed. She also had another sweet friend, Danielle, of Danielle McCann Photography there to take a picture of all the moms with their kids. I have to say, this picture is by far my MOST favorite picture EVER of me and my two boys! It couldn't portray us better!!

So, I have to say, this has been an amazing time with my family. One that I will cherish the memories of ...always!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I Hear Him

Last night I was snuggled up in my big bed, under the covers, with a little snaggle tooth five year old beside me. His hair was still damp from his bath and he smelled so good. I could just sit there and bury my nose in his back as I hold him and hug him or my nose in his hair as we snuggle forever. I love his little smell when he is fresh out of the bathtub. 

He crawled up in my bed and brought with him four books. He brought On the Moon, The Action Bibile, The Adventure Bible, and The Jesus Story Book Bible. I looked at all of these books and reminded him that we only had about 30 minutes to read before bedtime. 

We started off with On the Moon. I would read most of the passages on the pages but I would stop and point my finger to certain words and let him read those to me. He really loved doing that. He corrected me at one point in the book because it says "Launch off" instead of "Blast Off". Luckily, later in the book the author used the term "Blast Off" and all was right in the world again. He asked me a lot of questions while we read this book. He asked me if maybe one day he would go to the moon. I told him that anything is possible that you set your little mind to and that I believed he could do anything and be anything he wanted to when he grew up. He really liked that part. He snuggled in a little tighter.

On the Moon
Usborne Books

We moved quickly through the Action Bible and Adventure Bible. He really loves looking through these Bibles but they are still a little bit too mature for him.


NIV Adventure Bible

We then moved on to the Jesus Story Book Bible. We chose to read about... yep, you guessed it, Samuel! Sam loves reading about "himself" as he says. We read about Samuel and how his ears were tuned in to God's voice. We got finished reading that story and he took my hand in his little hand and laid his head on my arm and looked up and said, "Mom, I DO hear Him. I know what He is saying right now". Of course I asked him to tell me what he was hearing. He said that God was saying, "Your mommy is doing a good thing and a good job reading the Bible to you. You have a good mommy". I will forever remember last night. The night I cuddled him up, breathed the smell of his clean skin and hair deeply in and tried to hold it there so I would always remember it, held his hand in my "big bed", and got loving affirmations spoken over me. 

Front Cover  

Once he had told me that, he looked at me and said, "Now, tell me my good things!". So I reminded him that he is kind, a little cutie, a good friend, a good brother, a good son, loves to help others, etc. The list could go on and on... and it usually does. He loves hearing good all of us do. 

Once we had finished up our book time I told him it was off to bed. He looked and said, "Oh! I am hungry! SO hungry! I need some food!". I promise you right now that the child had MORE than his fair share of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into dinosaur shapes, chips, and popsicles that evening. This was a plot to stay up later. So I told him that he should have mentioned that BEFORE bedtime. He said, "But mommy, I didn't want to seem rude and interrupt you while you were reading to me from the Bible". He is sneaky that little Sam. Very smart that boy!

From now on I have decided to give him a little snack while we read so then there are no excuses!

I pray that Sam will always have "Samuel's ears" and tune into what God would have him to do. It was prophesied over him that the Lord would use his hearing loss to His glory one day and that He had given Sam the "ears of Samuel". 

I pray that Sam's kingdom purpose be revealed to him in a mighty way at an early age so that no time is wasted in confusion or rebellion...but that he will get right to work and be about his Father's business.