Thursday, May 31, 2012

embrace the camera: beachin' it take 1

Picture this: Me, my 3 kids, Jenny Beth, her 4 kids, and 4 graduated 18 year olds.  Oh wait, here ya go...
Massive beach picture overload soon to come...get excited.  Lots of kiddos in the sand, pool, looking cute & tired.  

linking up with emily, enjoy her cute family...i always do :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So very proud of Ren & all the girls in my Potter's House small group for graduating!  They worked hard these last years for sure.  Excited to see what God has in store for their futures with college, jobs, families, and whatever else He brings their way.  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

cute pic finds

Found these pics hangin' around and thought I'd share some happies.  Love making memories with my babies.

  We went to First Thursday at the Fayetteville Square and had a blast.  Face painting, balloon animals, newspaper hats, puppet was very family friendly and we loved it!

 On our staycation we went to Terra Studios & they were setting up for a music festival.  We took full advantage of the mics and had a little song show.  Madeline l.o.v.e.d it!
 double datin' 

 Anna has a deep deep love for her thumb.
 Sim with his new bow & arrow.  This is his warrior face.  Or something like that.  
 MGB loves gymnastics...she doesn't take classes technically, but she plays gymnastics often.  Gram found this new outfit at 2nd Mile shop.  She loves it.

 Look at these sweet little lovies.  Happy.
 Anna just being cute.
 Climbing in the dryer...good fun.

Monday, May 21, 2012

beachin' it

On a little vacation this week...beachin' it with my kiddos, Jenny Beth & her 4 kiddos, and our 4 fabulous senior girls!  Happy senior trip to them!  Be back in a week or so with pics & updates on the fabulously large little amount of sleep I will have gotten.

Friday, May 18, 2012

i'm a mama

to Madeline, Simeon, Anna, & my baby girl far away-

Thank you, my sweeties, for making me a mama.

I could not have imagined, dreamed up, planned for, anticipated, or known the goodness that entered my life when you each entered my life.

Madeline, you are my dreamer and my generous, loving friend.  Your creative imagination is beautiful to me.  Your thoughtfulness for others brings so much happiness to me.  For birthdays, you like to wrap up gifts in all your blankets and give them away.  You draw pictures and write cards for family and friends.  You are sad when you see sadness.  You are joyful when you see joy.  I learn more about Jesus because of you and you make me a better person.  Thank you, my sweet beautiful girl.

Simeon, you are my dedicated, energetic, kindhearted big boy.   Your determination astounds me.  You love to learn and try new things.  You are adventurous and your energy is contagious.  Your kindness and love for your sisters makes me grin all over.  You baby talk with Anna and share your toys when she wants them.  It is precious.  You spontaneously ask to prayer for baby girl far away.  You pray to ask God is He can make a way for her to be in our family.  You truly melt my heart.  I learn more about Jesus because of you and you make me a better person.  Thank you, my sweet big boy.

Anna, you are my sweet, smiley, easy-going baby girl.  You are attentive and you understand so much.  You love to play wherever your sister and brother are playing.  You reach and run and smile when you see me and I treasure that each and every time.  When your daddy pulls in you squeel with delight and race to the front door.    Your giggle make our lives brighter.  You bring me joy.  I learn more about Jesus because of you and you make me a better person.  Thank you, my sweet baby girl.

And to my little girl who is still far away.  I am so very eager to know you.  To hold you and learn of the precious person that God has created you to be.  I long to see you smile, hear you giggle, watch your creativity and energies flow.  Mostly, I want to rock you and whisper in your ears that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  That you are loved beyond your imagination.  I learn more about Jesus because of you and you make me a better person.  Thank you, my sweet far away girl.

You are my great joys, thank you, I love you.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

embrace the camera: mama day

Well, as you may know, my mama day got a little crazy and there were no family pictures.  So we took a few minutes last night and snapped these lovelies.  Embraced the camera this week without my arm being the cameraman.  This time, the hubby did it.  As you can tell, all my little ones love to look and smile at the same time.  Let's just pretend that's true.  

this is Ana for, "let me go" 
 i mean, c'mon Madeline, you're the oldest, help a mama out 
 probably the most realistic to my life
but I do love this one

linking up again with emily, enjoy!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

incredi-baby: Anna Elise, thank you, Lord!

"Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect me." Psalm 40:11

This is always true, and we are thankful to have seen and experienced His mercy, love, faithfulness, and protection for our Anna in these last days.  A little recap for anyone who missed it...

On Sunday afternoon Anna fell off the edge of a playground at the park.  She was about 3 feet up and hit her head on a metal bar on the way down.  I was a few feet from her and scooped her up quickly.  Let's just say it was a terrible feeling to watch your baby fall like that and then know she was in pain.  I held and rocked and sang and prayed.  We decided to go to our pediatrician & friends house immediately to see what he thought.  We are so incredibly thankful for Dr. Jackson who always always goes over and beyond his "job" to help us.  He sent us to the ER to get a CT scan to check for bleeding.  The ER doctor and staff were very encouraging to us and no one thought anything would be wrong. We strapped our sweetie up to a machine and she laid there perfectly still and precious and had a red light scan her head.  We found out then that she had actually fractured her skull in two places and would need to see a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital in Little Rock.  This all happened within about 30 minutes of us getting to the ER.  It was crazy and overwhelming to say the least.  By 9pm we were in an ambulance headed to LR and still, Anna was perfect.  She never never complained and didn't even cry for the first time they put the IV in her little hand.  We got to the ER in Little Rock about midnight and then spent six very long hours waiting to be admitting.  I won't go into detail there but we were asked TONS of questions, Anna was xray'ed & scanned again, we attempted to sleep, and prayed for our sweet girl.  There were several things being looked at: bleeding on the brain, internal swelling and pressure, and the depth of the depression in her skull.  Any or all of these would have led to surgery but surgery risks were also high because of the veins that run beneath the area she broke.  After many many hours, we were finally told she would not need surgery, had no bleeding or swelling, and that the fractures would heal on their own!  Praise the Lord!  We were admitting then and taken to a room to keep watching her and double check everything with the head pediatric neurologist when she got in.  As was expected, she agreed and told us we would be soon able to leave.  

So, less than 24 hours later, we were driving away and our Anna was fine.  She has a good little bruise and we will definitely be watching her for any signs of new symptoms but, overall, she is great!  

We are so unbelievably thankful for God's work in our lives and for protecting Anna.  We were also overwhelmingly humbled and thankful for our family and friends who bent over backwards for us through prayer, encouragement, messages, and love.  We could not ask for better community.  Thank you, Jesus!  May He be always glorified through wherever our lives take us and how He uses us to share Him to others.  

Friday, May 11, 2012

things I just may not handle very well

If this is hard now, I can't fathom how much harder I know it will get.

We went to the park this morning and the kiddos began running around, doing their thing.  There was a group of little kids playing and I watched as Madeline ran over to introduce herself.  In my unbiased opinion, she is unbelievably precious and sweet.  My mama radar heightens as I watch and worry (so hard not to do) and see what will happen.  Most of the time all goes well.  Sadly, today was not that day.  She came walking toward me with her head down and tears in her eyes and I knew what had happened.  The kids told her she couldn't play with them and called her an ugly name.  I hold her and hug her and tell her she is special and wonderful and made by God and He loves her more than anything.  I tell her she is sweet, kind, and fun.  We talk about being a good friend and loving others well.  We pray and forgive and start our own game of hide & seek.  Meanwhile, I am holding back my mama tears and thinking many many wrong thoughts towards these children who dared to be mean to my baby and doing my own forgiveness work.

Please, somebody tell me how in the world I will make it through the harder things to come!

On a sweet high note, Madeline was having some rest time in her room and asked me to bring her some crayons.  When I did she said this (seriously, no prompting!):

Thanks, Mom!  You're the best!

Love that girl!  She is currently in her room making cards for all her friends and family.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

embrace the camera: oldies

So I didn't embrace this week :(  My bad, folks.  See previous post about iphone for more details.  Instead, here are a few oldies that I love.  Our family has changed so much in just 9 years of marriage, 5 years since being pregnant with our first daughter, and in the last year and a half since these photos were taken.  Within months we will add Cyrenthia's baby boy, Elijah, and hopefully within a fewish more months we will bring home our sweet daughter!  Happy Thursday, ya'll!  Also, a very happy birthday shout out to my bestie, Anita!  Love ya, friend!

linking up with emily,enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

words of life: God's divine power

"His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." 2 Peter 1:3

Called by His own glory & goodness, given everything I need for a godly life through my knowledge of Him--all made possible by His divine power.

Where am I in all this?  Provided by God with all I need through His word to know, follow, and live in the goodness of Christ and for His glory.  

Where am I in my knowledge of Him?  In my knowledge of His word?  I have all access and my knowledge, desire, and discipline for His word is low compared to  the goodness and abundance that is found within it.  My prayer is for increased discipline to turn to, memorize, and love the words of God, that give me life.

Monday, May 7, 2012

happy monday ya'll...i wish i had an iphone

There is about one reason, and one reason only, that I wish I had an iphone.  Instant picture taking.  We have been on our staycation for several days now and my camera only came out once.  Boo, sad.  I try...but then mostly end with pictures of my kiddos far away or really close or me with my arm awkwardly holding out the camera and snapping a quick funny looking photo.  Anyway.  Happy Monday, ya'll!  Thankful for these lovelies coming up in my week:
Graduation family night for Ren at Chuck E Cheese-yes, she loves it!
Gram day for kiddos so Andrew & I can get some much needed housework done.
Double date night with the Schwartzmans-seriously been forever!

Enjoy your week my friends!  What lovelies make you thankful?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

embrace the camera: staycation!

A few years ago, with 2 kiddos, Andrew & I were brainstorming what family vacations would look like with young kids.  We didn't have much money and didn't really want all the work of packing up all the stuff required when you have toddlers.  Plus, what we really wanted was some quality down time.  Not to mention they are too young to remember much of our vacationing right now anyway.  Thus, staycation was born.  We take about a week off, say no to everything (in general) and stay home!  It is fabulous.  We make sure to plan ahead of time some money we can spend, activities for each day such as hikes, crafts, museums, swimming, and so on.  The kids love it and we get the pleasures of time off with just us as well as our beds and no packing.  Big yeas!  Today is day one of staycation this year and we headed out to Withrow Springs State Park for some hiking and creek playing.  It was a blast!  

linking up with emily today, enjoy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Simeon: Why is bird poop white?
Madeline: Yeah and people poop is black.
*Or in our world, if your children eat a lot of All Berries cereal, it's green.

Madeline's version of this song:
Oh be careful little mouth what you chew
Oh be careful little mouth what you chew
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh be careful little mouth what you chew
*Not sure the spiritual implications here but we will go with it!

Madeline:  Let's sing Jesus loves me really loud so the whole world hears.  Well, just the mean people so they can learn to be good.

Lastly, not something that was said, more like some things that are being done.

Cute, sweet little Anna is becoming a bit of a mess!  In addition to her little mess the other day, this week I have found her coloring the kitchen floor & bringing in & dumping a bucket of sand in the house.  Great fun.  Thank goodness for magic eraser and brooms!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

words of life: chosen

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9-10

Which of these is most difficult to believe about yourself?  
I am chosen.  
I am a member of the royal kingdom and family of God.  
I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ and made holy.  
I am special.  
I am God's special possession.  
I am made to and able to declare the praises of God.
I am called from darkness to light.  
I belong to Him.  
I have been given mercy.

Hands down for me is that I am God's special possession.  Often in my walk and relationship with the Lord I feel like a constant failure.  But the beauty is that I am but that is beyond mattering to God because He has redeemed me through Christ and calls me His. Special. Possession.  I can't express the beauty of that to me.  

I was talking with a friend a few nights ago and we were saying how we struggle with frustration over sins and really frustration over the fact that we can't make them go away.  I do think it is good and necessary to see our sins and desire them to go away of course but I also think that the means by which we overcome them may not look like great victories that we achieve to put to bed our sin and frustration.  

Instead, the means may look more like quick and quiet awareness of my sin, my need, and walking in humility and dependence on my Savior and realizing that, in itself, is victory.  Seeing it, pointing it out, and submitting it to the Lord each and every time.  

And when I believe more and more that I am His chosen, special possession I find so much freedom and joy in humility and weakness because where else would I rather be?