Thursday, August 25, 2011

We are on a roll now!

(Two posts in one week, y'all!  It's feast or famine 'round the ol' blog lately.  I'm going to make a noble attempt to get back in the swing of things, but no promises.)

We ate cucumbers for dinner Monday night.  No, not just cucumbers.  I'm sure there was other stuff...not that I remember what it was now.  Anyhow, for some weird reason, cucumber seeds kept showing up all over the house on Tuesday.  I found two on the sofa, one on a door, and two on the floor.  I'm not sure how they got everywhere like that, but Anna Beth had a guilty look on her face when I asked.  I'm just sayin'.

Luke saw me picking one up.  I was mumbling something about how they were everywhere and how weird it was.  He stopped doing his homework and looked at me intently.

Luke:  "You know, Mommy?  If you left those on the floor, I bet we could grow some cucumbers in the house."
Me:  "What kind of housekeeper do you think I am?  HOW DIRTY DO YOU THINK THESE FLOORS ARE?"
Luke:   "Well, you *do* have "Good Housekeeping" magazine on your Nook.  Maybe you need to read that."
Me:  *Silence*

Umm.. Wow.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Luke is lucky that he's cute...

...because he sure is blunt--and honest.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If it looks like a post, smells like a post, and sounds like a post... probably kinda is one.  Sorta.  I wrote this on my phone's notepad back in April, so things have definitely changed since then, but I still giggled at it a little.  Maybe you will, too.

Anna Beth's to do list:
  • Wake up at 3:30 a.m..  Mommy misses me the most at that hour.  She likes for me to be in her bed, not mine.
  • Put my feet on Mommy's nose while she sleeps. She likes that.
  • Be grouchy when I get up.  Mommy, do you know you snore?
  • Throw most of my breakfast on the floor for Tootie. I kinda owe her for something.
  • After breakfast, mess with the blinds. Mommy will raise them so I can see outside. When she puts them up, she'll find the dead moth that I was going to take care of. What?!?  I was going to clean up. I'm a giver.
  • Find Mommy's last 4 issues of "Southern Living." She hasn't had time to read them, so I will eat them.
  • Have an exploding diaper incident that defies laws of physics and gravity. Consider that your science lesson for the day, Mommy.  
  • Mommy has to change my outfit because of the diaper thing, so it's a fashion show!  Work it, girl!!!
  • Laundry time.  While Mommy folds clothes, I take the folded clothes out of the basket and throw them after I slobber on them.
  • Nap, but only after I put up a prize-winning fight.
  • Lunchtime. Scream like a demon and hit the spoon every time Mommy tries to feed me vegetable turkey. If it looks like puke in a jar, it probably tastes like it, too. Eat Mommy's sandwich and Cheez-its instead. Winning!
  • Spit up on freshly-vacuumed carpet and Mommy's new shirt. Told ya I didn't like vegetable turkey.
  • Find half bath door ajar. Play in the big white fountain. Be amazed at how high-pitched Mommy can scream.
  • Eat fridge magnets. Open kitchen cabinets. Smash fingers repeatedly. Bump head numerous times.
  • Make note to self to get new hobbies.
  • Eat Tootie's food. Enjoy impromptu bath and mouth-washing in kitchen sink.
  • Pick up Emma and Luke from school.  Try to eat their homework.
  • Attack Tootie while she sleeps. Laugh maniacally.
  • Look innocent and confused when Daddy gets home and Mommy tells him that she's exhausted from our day. 
  • Eat/throw dinner.  Wear as much of it as possible.
  • Take a bath. Splash Daddy.  Eat washcloth.
  • Pretend to go to sleep by 11:00 p.m.  Get up screaming at 11:30. Ha, ha!!!  I fooled you, Mommy!  I'm not sleepy!  Let's do it all again tomorrow!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Deal or No Deal?

This summer we’ve watched a little bit of the game shows, “Let’s Make a Deal” and “Deal or No Deal.”  The premise is the same:  You can trade what you have for something bigger and better, or possibly not as good as what you have.  The problem with these shows is that the outcome is uncertain.  Greed, ambition, and foolhardiness often overtake good judgment.  The result is usually that everything they’ve won is taken away.  Not such a good deal, after all…

I am something of a deal maker when it comes to my family.  At mealtime:  “One piece of broccoli, two green beans, and three bites of meat, and you can be done, Luke.”  At playtime:  “Emma, if you will clean your bathroom, you can have computer time.”  I even *try* to make deals with God:  “Lord, if You will just let Anna Beth sleep through the night, I will get up early for some quiet time in the Word.”  At least my deals typically have a good outcome.  (By the way, trying to make that deal with God doesn’t work.  He expects me to be obedient and have quiet time with Him anyhow.  It’s funny what sleep deprivation will do to you.)

God is the ultimate deal maker.  When you accept Jesus as your Savior, curtain #1 has the Father, curtain #2 has the Son, and curtain #3 has the Holy Spirit.  You can’t make a wrong choice.  As long as you make a good decision to trust God, He will give you the most grand of gifts—eternal life.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Friday, July 01, 2011


   Last weekend as we were coming home from a outing, we came upon a roadblock where policemen had closed the highway.  They were checking for driver’s licenses, proof of insurance, current tags, and looking for impaired drivers.  We passed through without incident, but Emma and Luke were a little shaken by the experience.  They were worried we had done something wrong.

   God puts up roadblocks for us, too.  When we start down a path that He doesn’t intend for us to tread, He often will speak to us through the Holy Spirit and gently remind us that we need to go another way.  Sometimes His roadblocks are just temporary setbacks that put us in the right place at the right time, delaying us from being in the way of danger. Other times, He sets up a checkpoint to refresh our relationship with Him through His word and through conviction of sins.

   Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord shows him what to do."  God knows the best way for us to go.  Sometimes His ways don’t make perfect sense to us, but they get us to the place where He wants us to be—near to His heart.

   The best roadblock God has given us stops us from taking the path away from Heaven.  Jesus is God’s way of stopping us from going the wrong way altogether.  Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Though life may throw up obstacles along the journey, there is one clear path to our Father—the loving arms of Jesus lead the way.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Checking In


Now that Anna Beth is mobile, walking and crawling anywhere she pleases, she’s getting a little more independent on where she wants to go.  Gone are the days where she stays right next to me, just content to be in my presence; now she’s on the go!  She wants to explore everything and every place she can. 

Even though Anna Beth’s journeys take her further away from her comfort zone right next to me, she uses a technique that I compare to that of bats using echolocation.  Bats make sounds as they fly through the dark to find out exactly where they are.  Anna Beth uses the word “hi” (said over and over) to let me know where she is and to find out exactly where I am.  If I don’t answer her “hi” check-in right away, she cries and lets it be known how unhappy that makes her.

God desires for us to check-in with Him in that same kind of way.  Our prayer relationship with Him should be constant, always letting Him know what is on our minds and where we are with Him.  It’s not that He doesn’t know how or where we stand, but He wants us to keep those lines of communication open with Him. 

1st Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.”  God wants more than just a check-in of “hi” from us.  He wants a real relationship that we maintain because we want to be close to Him, to feel His love and to let Him know the desires of our hearts.  He is always near, just waiting for us to check-in with Him.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

My storm week later.

My storm story isn't much of a story at all. We were awakened by Winfield's tornado siren at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27. Our satellite wasn't working, so I pulled up radar on my phone. We saw that the storm was north of us, in the Hamilton/Hackleburg area, so we knew we would be okay. School ended up being cancelled due to the expected bad weather to come. Jason had to go into work since our Internet got knocked out in the morning storm, and he couldn't work from home.

The kids were glad to be home. I was glad to have them here, but I worried about Jason. Turns out, Birmingham had fared much worse in the morning's storm. His office had no power, no Internet, and their generator had been hit by lightning. He hung around until it was clear no work could be done. He made it back home by noon.

As the day went on, we watched James Spann show community after community go under tornado warnings. Each storm went just barely north or south of our town. A couple got close enough to make us seek shelter in our poured concrete closet. We watched in horror, disbelief, and sadness as we watched Cullman get hit by a terrible tornado, live on camera.

Time after time, we headed for shelter, but never had any problem until our power went out at 5:00 p.m.  It was probably a blessing in disguise.

At 5:13 p.m., a massive tornado destroyed a huge portion of Jason's one-time hometown of Tuscaloosa. It played out live on tv and radio. We were blissfully unaware.

Our power didn't return overnight. We had no phone, no cell, and no Internet. Concerned family nationwide tried to call, e-mail, and text, but nothing could get through.

School was cancelled on Thursday. Landlines worked, and I found out that my parents' power was back on. We decided to see if we could pick up breakfast in town. We were stunned to see the lines all over town at the gas stations and restaurants. We still didn't understand the local scope of what had happened. With the new dawn, radio stations were reporting the devastation in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, but no one knew exactly what was happening in our own county.

We headed to my parents' home. Dad provided coffee and tv coverage. I sat in front of their tv screen, dumbfounded. How could this have happened in my beloved Alabama? Why were we spared? Literally, you could draw a circle around my hometown and from every compass point around us, there was death, damage, and destruction in every direction. Hamilton, Hackleburg, Smithville (MS), Jasper, Tuscaloosa, Cordova, Birmingham, Cullman..."Oh, Father, have mercy," was the only prayer I could voice, and I prayed it over and over all day.

Our power returned later that afternoon. My gratefulness was saturated with sadness for my county, my state, my region. "Why, Lord, why?," I questioned, not out of anger, but grief.

I changed my mindset come Friday. I wanted, no, NEEDED to help. I'd heard that local stores were wiped out, so I raided my own stash of personal goods and baby items. For once it was good to be something of a hoarder. :)

When I finally mustered up enough courage to go to the store, I just couldn't make myself want to buy anything for my family. We had a full fridge, freezer, and pantry. We were all healthy, had clothing, and a roof over our heads. We filled up one cart with baby food, formula, and toys. Our other cart had little because we honestly needed little. I guess I have something akin to survivor's guilt. At the same time, I realize just how blessed we are. I don't deserve God's favor. None of us do.

The clean-up, rebuilding, and healing process have begun. It will be a long, painful, slow ordeal. As I was reminded yesterday as I watched Anna Beth take her first slow, shaky, unsteady steps, I realized that our state's recovery process will be shaky, uncertain, and slow, but we WILL come back from this. We WILL have the opportunities to be God's hands and feet to show His love to our fellow man. God WILL be glorified in this.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Picking Roses

Last Saturday morning I needed to fill two empty vases for table decorations at our Ladies’ Conference.  I first walked out in my garden to my white roses, since our decorating theme was all white.  My white roses looked dingy, old, and slightly wilted.  I settled for the more colorful miniature roses that grew on the other side of the garden.  They were in much better condition.  They showed no signs of decay.  They didn’t have any ragged edges and were brightly hued.  They held their petals tightly.  Most were blemish-free, looked healthy, and smelled lovely.  “Yes,” I thought, “These will have to do.”

I’m so glad that God doesn’t look at Christians the way I looked at my roses.  Sure, we all get dingy in our sin; we get tired in our Christian service; we even show signs of decay in our faith.  But God doesn’t walk away from us, even in our worst state.  He knows that we were “wonderfully made” to serve Him (Psalm 139:14).  No matter how blemished we become from sin, He can still wash us clean through the blood of His Son.  Even on our most ragged days, God can see our potential.  Romans 5:8 tells us that But “God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”  He mercifully looks at our hearts and says, “Yes, these are the ones that I have chosen.” 

I am so thankful that he picked me!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Counting Blessings

Has God ever spoken to you through a song?  I had it happen to me a couple of weeks ago as I sat in church.  It had been one of THOSE mornings.  You know, one where the kids didn’t want to get up, didn’t like their breakfast, one had sniffles, the other didn’t like their clothes, the baby didn’t sleep, and my shoes hurt my feet.  Yeah, one of THOSE mornings.

As we opened our hymnals to “Count Your Blessings,” I realized right then that I had not been counting my blessings; instead, I had been numbering my sorrows.  How much easier and naturally that comes to me!  God has blessed me with a wonderful, healthy family, godly parents, good health, and everything else that I need, yet, my focus is on what I don’t have, can’t obtain, and what isn’t going the way I wanted it to.  How short-sighted of me!

I felt like God was telling me that it was high time that I change my perspective on things.  I could choose to wallow in my sorrows, or I could praise Him for what He has done, is doing, and will do.  I could train my eyes to the ground and be mournful, or I could “lift up my eyes to the hills… [to] the LORD,
         Who made heaven and earth,” (Psalm 121:1-2).

It did me good to be reminded that God is in control over all.  He knows my sorrows, even the petty ones, and He still chooses to bless me, despite all my shortcomings.  I am so thankful to God that He loves me enough to show me what I’m doing wrong…and He’s just gentle enough to do it in a song.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

So, I guess we are doing something right.

I know, I know.  Y'all thought I went off and shut down this blog, didn't you?  It's just that my world of sleep deprivation, diaper changes, and teething is not particularly interesting to me, so I don't feel the need to bore all of you to death with it, too.  That's not saying that I'm not still keeping up with all of you, though.  I read all of y'all's blogs like my life depends on it.  But my lack of commenting probably doesn't prove that too well.  (It's hard to type when you're holding a sleeping 26 pound 9 month old.  Oh yeah. 26 POUNDS!  Girlfriend has got to learn to walk and SOON or my tired, old back is going to give up the ghost.)

So, here is Miss Priss:
(Sorry for the blurry picture.  It's hard to hold 26 pounds steady in one arm, take a picture, and still get to church on time.)  She's teething like crazy, eating everything we offer her, and sleeping through the night occasionally when it suits her...which isn't nearly often enough for me.

Luke is doing great in school.  He just finished basketball season.  He's becoming quite the ladies' man.  He told me just the other day that he has a girlfriend and a back-up girlfriend, just in case.  Here's what makes my heart sing, though:
He loves God so much!  It makes me so proud!  (In case you can't read that, it says, "What do you believe?"  Luke wrote, "The 2,134 pages of my bible, God, and Jesus.")

Emma is doing great in school.  She's OBSESSED with the "Warriors" books, which is a series about cats and their clans and their battles and apprentices and warrior names and OHMYWORD, there's a lot of those books...and I'm not a cat person.  Suddenly, she IS a cat person, so we have something else to disagree about.  *SIGH*  Anyhow, look how grown-up and beautiful she is:

This was taken Friday, after she and I got some serious haircuts.  That was the first fun, nice thing I've done for myself since I can't remember when.  No more ponytails or clippy-up-dos for me. 

One more shot of Prissy McPrisserson before I go and don't blog for the next six blue moons:

Sweet baby has got more rolls than Pillsbury ever thought about.  Love 'em all!

Well, she has abandoned her video and found me sitting in the next room.  She booked it in here on the crawl express and is trying to eat my iPhone cord, so I'll take off.