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

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Camp Outs and War

This past weekend we celebrated Kobe's birthday by having his birthday party a week early. 
After much deliberation, he finally settled in on a "theme".
He decided he wanted an Air Soft Gun War and to camp out.

Easy enough.

We have camp out gear. We have air soft guns. Fun memories were definitely on their way!

I told him he could invite a few friends to come and celebrate with him.

We decided to go to Poppa's hunting camp to make a bonfire and roast hot dogs and make Smores.  After the bonfire was going good we roasted hot dogs and just let the boys enjoy being in the woods. 

The boys then got started on the first of MANY battles of the air soft gun war that would take place that evening. They all took off with backpacks on their backs like real soldiers down a winding gravel road shooting at the "bad men" lurking in the woods and behind trees. Then they came back towards the camp area and played more Black Ops style hiding behind anything stationary. They trekked up towards the beginning of the gravel road and had a little battle up there. Eventually all that fun was KILLING John so he joined the bad guy! He chased those boys all over that hunting camp. They ran and screamed and shot and fell down trying to get away from him. It was hilarious! At one point they ran and hid inside the camper and John turned the electricity off and that was really funny! 

After a few more battles we all came together to make Smores. That was a fun treat. We sat around the fire talking and telling jokes. After the Smores were all done...back to war they went. This carried on until well after midnight. They just didn't want to stop having battles.

We had planned on spending the night there in the camper BUT with all the sugar and hyper boys (and the freezing temperature) we decided to pack them up and take them home. 

We ended up sleeping at our home that evening. The boys went in full force ready for more party time. We let them pick out a movie and settle into their sleeping bags. They were all out within 30 minutes. I think all the running around must have gotten to them.

The next morning they woke up EXTRA early. They immediately headed to the back to play basketball. 

Around lunch time we loaded them up and took them to the park and had a picnic lunch for the last of Kobe's party. We had Subway sandwiches, chips, and of course...cake!

The boys all played on the playground for a little while but ultimately ended up on the empty baseball practice field hitting base balls and playing football.

It was such a fun time with Kobe and his friends. I know that these type parties will be few and far between shortly so I really tried to enjoy that time with him and make it special.

All the boys were sad to go and seemed to have a great time.

Their "this means war" faces

Good Buddies! 

I just can't believe my little baby is almost 11 years old!

Monday, April 22, 2013

52 Home--Week 15

John and I went to a Marriage Conference and they had a photo booth set up. It was SO much fun! 

52 Home--Week 14

My Sweet Sam!

I had to add this in today. Sam had a worksheet and he had to write about things he "knows". He chose Jesus.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Just For Today

Today I am going to live...just for today. Not for tomorrow. Not for what lies ahead or what is behind me. I can only live one day at a time. No need to rush tomorrow's problems, anxieties, or memories by crowding today with them. Today I fully plan to interact with my children on a deeper and more personal level. I am choosing to live for today and today only. This day will only last for 24 hours and then it is gone...forever.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I haven't done a "Sam-isms" post in a while so I think it is high time!

Let's jump right in, shall we?

A couple of days ago on our ride home Sam gave me a Science lesson on snakes:

Mom, dad used to have corn snakes. Do you know about corn snakes? (ME: Not too much, Sam, I don't really like snakes all that much and I don't even prefer to talk about them.) Well, mom, you need to listen to me because one day when you get a little older you may have to go through some danger. I have had to go through danger already at poppa's hunting camp. SO I know about danger. But, corn snakes aren't dangerous. They are nice. If they look sad then just give them some food. If they look mad then just give them some water. They protect our corn, ya know? They sleep in the corn stalks and keep mice, birds, and bugs from eating it. See, corn snakes are good. If we didn't have them...we might not get to have corn at supper time.

That was probably one of the *best* science lessons ever.

The other night I let the kids stay up WAY too late. We were just hanging out and watching shows together. I told them that it was time to start winding down and getting ready for bed. Sam left the room and came back with the FAMILY size bag of potato chips. I just gave him "the" look. He said, "God said!" I gave him another "the" look. He said, "God said I can have these and I know you like to do what God says, don't you?"

The other day Sam got into the car after school and told me that "Kilby Catch" (a game they play in P.E.) had been "abandoned" at his school. After some time of talking and trying to understand I finally figured out that due to unnecessary had been BANNED.

In conversation one afternoon I asked Samuel what kind of ice cream he had gotten at lunch that day. He said he didn't get any that day. I asked why because I knew I had sent him his ice cream money to school that morning. He told me he gave his ice cream to a friend today because that friend doesn't ever get to buy ice cream but really wants to.

A conversation between brothers:

Sam: Kobe, if you want a girlfriend you have to dress nice. Then she will see that you have nice things and that will make her think you might give her nice things. Just dress nice and give her a rose every now and then. 
Kobe: That's the good thing about being don't have to waste time buying anything girly.

Something Sam told me one morning before school:

Momma, one of my friends at school was scared of the storms after we looked up the weather yesterday in class. I told him not to be scared. I told him that anytime he feels a little scared that he can be brave because Jesus is always with us everywhere. Momma, if Jesus lives in your heart when you don't feel strong He can make you strong.

  1. Photo: I <3 this child!


Every single solitary year I start to feel this way about this time.

It is the time of year when it is shoved right in my face that my children are getting bigger. Older.

It is when I have an overwhelming feeling that I am missing out. Even though I really am not, I mean I am with my children every single day. I participate in their daily lives. I watch them, I laugh with them, I nurture them, I cuddle them, I tickle them, I LOVE them, I miss them while we are apart. I mean, I could go on and on.

This time of year is when it hits me ... my children are going to be turning another year older very soon and then very soon after that they will promote to another, higher grade in school.

This is very hard for a mama to adjust to. I beg them every.single.night of my life to please not grow up anymore...but they still do! Every night when I put them to sleep I tell them that I don't want them waking up taller and another day older. I tell them to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay just like they are...but it hasn't worked just yet.

Kobe will turn 11 soon. That is really a hard thing to wrap my mind around. I have known him for 11 years. It seems like just yesterday and it literally breaks this mama's heart to think of him not being my "mama's boy" in the hard years that are so quickly approaching. What's even harder is the fact that my "baby boy" is within mere months of his last day of elementary school. Which means, he will be going to middle school in August. I am sorry, I am sentimental. I am that mother. I long for him to always be little and just stay with me forever... He says he will...but I have a feeling that his plans may change!

Samuel will be 6 soon. There is no way that can be right! He was born yesterday! Seriously?! SIX years old. He is such a very, very special part of my life and holds the key to a very special place in my heart. He will be going to 1st grade. Kindergarten changes everything. Why do they have to grow up and go to Kindergarten? After that, there is no stopping this terrible thing known as time. It goes way too fast.

I am making conscious decisions to spend more, quality time with them. I know these days are honestly far and few between. I mean, today is the only day in the history of America that these babies will be this very age. And while that saddens my heart... it makes me aware. Aware that I have to make an intentional effort to be the *best* mama I can be to them. Every day. I don't get to take that day will NEVER come again.

I really try to do fun things with them and make good memories with them so that when they are older they will look back on things with a smile and a fondness for their childhood. I try and put lotion on every morning and every night. This may seem like a weird thing to include here but I can smell a certain smell and it immediately makes me think of how my granny Doris smelled or how my own mom smelled growing up. I want that for them. When they catch just a slight smell of a certain fragrance I want them to remember...well, me.

I include them. They are important. I value them and their opinions. I mess up. I apologize. I argue with their daddy (all married couples do it!) and I let them see us make up. I let them think they have caught us hugging or kissing. I smile and wink at them. I walk by and my tickle meter goes off because their tickle tanks are empty and I fill them back up with...well, tickles.

I watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 and Air Buddies with Samuel (1000+ times) and laugh when he does or act surprised when he tells me something is about to happen (even though I probably just watched like yesterday). I keep his favorite snacks in a little bucket in the bottom cabinet that he can reach and his favorite juice boxes on the door of the fridge so he can get them easily. I clap like I am insane if he does ANYTHING and cry like a baby when he sings or speaks in a play or program at church or school.

I try to make an effort to be an intentional listener when Kobe comes into the bathroom every.single.morning to talk to me while I put on my makeup. He tells me all kinds of things. I hear a lot of people say that they learn the most during the drive home from school...that time is important for sure...but I seem to learn the most while applying my face each morning! I discipline him when he does things so that he know I love him with all of my heart and only want him to grow up to be the BEST person he can possibly be.

I pray over my children, with my children, for my children. I ask protection over them of my life. I teach them that when they are afraid they can go to their Heavenly Father who can do more for them than even I can. I tell them that though it may seem hard to understand, HE loves them even more than I do! I mean, sit and think on that for just a second... how much you absolutely love and adore your children...our Heavenly Father loves us more than that! Oh wow! I have preached myself happy here!

I hold their little (and growing) hands. I rub their backs and in Kobe's case...his arm. I wipe their tears. I tell them to be tough when they need to hear it. I teach them to stand up for themselves and the "least of these". I teach them to have compassion. To do the right thing..even though it is often times the HARDEST thing to do. 

I tell them that as of right now their only job in America is to be a good son, a good student, and a good friend. I tell them that my wish for them is that they grow up to love Jesus even more, go to college, get a good education, get a job they love, be able to support themselves and help others, find a wife they love, and be good upstanding citizens of America.

I tuck notes in their pockets. In their snack bags, in the sack lunches. I leaves little surprise packages all over the house when I am away for the night just so they know that I am most definitely thinking of them while I am not with them. I call them. I text them. I Face Book stalk them.

I literally love these boys so much that it makes my heart feel like it could burst. I just love seeing what great kids the Lord decided to bless me with. Me. A woman who feels so unworthy to be their mama. A woman who feels so grateful that I am. 

Time is definitely running away from me. It makes my heart ache, my eyes sting, and my throat get a lump in it. But, for now, they are only this very age once and I will enjoy it... I sure hope they enjoy and love me as much as I do them!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spring Break


The week I had so looked forward to since Christmas break! A week off from work, with my kids, doing what ever we wanted!! 

I had planned to take a day trip with the boys to a zoo one day during our break but John thought it would be more fun if we stayed a couple of days and so he decided to take off from work and go with us. That was a big, unplanned surprise!  I was THRILLED to have John to come with us. 

We decided on the Memphis Zoo. I don't recall the last time I was there and the boys had never been to that particular zoo before. We headed out and had a pretty good ride there with minimal whining and complaining. When we got into town we headed straight to Grace Land. Kobe and Sam said they had NO idea who Elvis was... who could NOT know who Elvis was?? So we told them and had a brief music history lesson with them. They seemed unimpressed so our time was kind of short there.

We went down to the river and Mud Island. That was pretty neat and the little museum had some interesting things inside. Upon leaving there I noticed something looked strangely different about Sam. He had lost his top front tooth! I asked him where it was and he had no idea. The tooth was for sure in his mouth on the way there so the only thing I can figure out is it either came out when he was eating his biscuit for breakfast or it just fell out and he didn't know it. We never did find that tooth!

After that we headed to downtown Memphis. Boy OH Boy did we encounter some colorful characters there. The boys didn't really know what to think! We went into a couple of stores and saw some funny things. We ended up eating at a cute little place called Kooky Canuck. We try to eat some place that we have never been or don't have in our town when we go places so this was right up our alley. It was a fun, family friendly place. They have a 4 lb and a 6 lb burger challenge and we were just lucky enough to see a couple of people take on that challenge. The size of those burgers was crazy!! We decided that we could not leave without having a skillet cookie so we indulged in a yummy dessert. The boys were loving all the wild life that they had hanging all over the walls and throughout the place. I would definitely recommend it.

We did a tiny bit of strolling downtown after we ate but the wind began picking up and we were kind of freezing so we decided to head to our hotel. We took a little tiny nap and then we got up and took the boys to the indoor pool.That was probably their most favorite part of our trip...spending time in the pool. The pool room was glass and so you could see outside while you were swimming...they thought it was so funny that they were warm and swimming but it was cold and rainy outside. We had a great time just letting them splash and play. 

We decided on a late dinner and by late I mean about 9:30 or 10:00. We let them play as long as we could before reigning them in to go get our showers and go eat. We decided on...IHOP. I know that sounds strange but I LOVE breakfast food, we don't have one here, and it was 10:00 at night. We had a great time eating late at night and just being silly together. 

We went to the zoo the next morning. It was cold. It was windy. BUT it did NOT rain! We took in every single thing that we could. Some exhibits were down temporarily and some animals did not brave the cold. Sam was really excited to see the Penguins and the Pan-Pan (Panda...I don't know why he calls them Pan-Pan). We had just watched Kung Fu Panda the night before so that was kind of funny to watch him talk to the Panda about Kung Fu. Kobe really enjoyed the fish and the snakes and lizards. He really loved the crocodile.

My favorite part was the farm animal exhibit. I really enjoyed the Nightlife Exhibit. It was all nocturnal animals and I thought I would enjoy it the least but it ended up being one of my favorite parts. While we were there the boys came up close and personal with a porcupine and a tarantula. A zookeeper was walking around holding them (at different times!) and the boys got to get a good, close look. 

Getting a close look at some of the snakes

We all really enjoyed the bird exhibit. Kobe took a picture of almost every single bird and Sam decided to follow suite by taking a picture of each fish! 

This little Owl was so cute and so funny. He would turn his head at the boys and then wink at us!

Some of the boys' favorite birds:

Favorite Fish:

The boys climbed "out" into a little bubble to watch the Sea Lions swim. They would swim right up to the little bubble and look was so cute!


Watching the Polar Bears

We had such a fun time just running around the zoo together. The boys were sweet to each other and it was nice to just have some uninterrupted family time.

The rest of our week was spent doing whatever we wanted to! We went to the mall and went shopping one day. I cleaned, cleaned out, organized, and painted one day while the boys got to have a Black Ops marathon. On Friday we decided we weren't doing a single thing! We stayed in our home. In our pajamas and watched movies. Later I cleaned out our DVR and the boys played Black Ops. I am really glad it was kind of rainy and overcast that day because it made for a great movie day!! 

I really am so blessed to have the job I have. I LOVE that I can be home with my kids when they are out of school and have the freedom to spend time with them. It is so nice to have these kind of weeks. 

52 Home--Week 12

At the Memphis Zoo