Friday, August 17, 2012

I Blinked

Just the other day I was following him as he enthusiastically skipped up the road to the bus stop for first time. 

 Then I blinked and turned from the passenger seat of my van and saw him driving. 

First day of Sophomore year

Just the other day I was pushing a grocery cart out to the van and he sat in the seat smiling up at me and we sang silly songs together without a care of who could be watching or listening. 

 Then I blinked and looked up and heard him talking about plans for his 10th birthday.

First day of 4th grade

 Just the other day I was nuzzling his sweet smellin' newborn baby head and giving Thanks to God for the opportunity to be a mama to a third boy.

Then I blinked and saw him glancing over his shoulder at me after trying on his new backpack for kindergarten

First day of kindergarten.

And there he goes...     

Monday, May 14, 2012


Oh sweet boy....where has the time gone?

I remember so clearly the day we found out we were pregnant.  I remember so clearly the warm, April day that you came into the world.

These past 5 years have gone so fast.  But have been so sweet. 

You are so full of joy that is contagious and brings so much joy to everyone who knows and loves you. 

 You have a heart that loves big and isn't afraid to share that love with others.  

You have grown into such a big boy this past year.  Weekly play dates with friends, taking pride in the chores you do around the home, playing soccer, swim lessons, enthusiastically embracing all the learning opportunities at school, speech, church and home. 

You can't wait for Kindergarten.  I'm hoping the summer lasts forever.

Your favorite color is still yellow. Everyone knows it too!  It's a good favorite color for you because yellow is such a warm, cheery, happy color just like your personality.  

Routine is important.  There must be a book before bed regardless of the hour on the clock. We need to get a milk from Starbucks when we visit Target and you like to pick out lunchables from the grocery store after MOPS for a car picnic on the way to preschool.   

You want to be a Farmer Dad when you grow up and have 10 kids.  You tell me that you are going to give me bunnies and you insist that I come and visit your farm.  You got it, buddy!!!!

You have a curiosity and a love for Jesus which stretches my faith.  You love being together as a family, always encouraging game time.  You are very strict about meal time prayers.  The other day we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and you sweetly looked across the table and said, "Let's pray"  You tell me I'm beautiful at least 5 times a day.  You love to snuggle in my bed and have me read books to you.  It's a precious sweet time.  You seem to always beat me in Sorry.  I'm getting better though.  

You and BuhBuh continue to have a strong brotherly bond.  You enjoy when The Boy is left to babysit you and makes you a "mix bowl".  If given the choice between staying home with him and coming with me, you choose him

You love monster trucks and stuffed animals playdough and coloring.  Helping mom in the kitchen and helping dad in the yard.  

You look forward to your weekly daddy nights and your stay home days on Mondays.  

I sure do love being your mommy.  I haven't taken a single day of these past 5 years for granted.  You have brought so much joy and love into this home than I would have ever thought was possible.  Although my heart breaks at the thought of you beginning school, I know that there will be more sweet blessings that you will continue to bring into our lives.   

Happy (a little late) Birthday my sweet boy.  What fun we are going to have in the months and years to come!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Forks along the way...

This past October I visited the seminary that I hope to start in the fall.  I had butterflies in my stomach.  I was nervous.

Every day they have scheduled chapel time, no classes are in session for that time of the morning.  The student pastor preached that morning on Hebrews 12:1-2

"As for us, we have this large crowd of witnesses around us.  So then, let us rid ourselves of everything that holds on to us so tightly and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end."
Appropriate I thought for this scared seminary seeking stay-at-hom mom.  It put me at ease.  And being gathered in worship with a group of people who too are heeding the call from God for ordanied ministry was pretty awesome as well.

I thought I had it all planned how my future education path would look.  In speaking with the admissions director, financial aid and the chair of the degree program that I plan to work for, I realized it was silly to plan.  It became clear that my plan was not going to work.

Later that evening the reality of it all hit me.  I cried.  No.  That's incorrect.  I bawled like a baby!!  Sobs and everything!

My sweet husband consoled me by saying, "Uh, hun.  I don't know what to do when you cry like this"

Then he affirmed, "When God calls us into something, we have to do it."

My problem was what this change would do to our family.  Would our marriage be ok?  Would my kids be ok?  Would my house fall apart if I"m not here to care for it?  What would we eat for dinner?

I wanted God to tell me that everything would be OK before I pursued this any further. 

 I Found myself weeping at the communion rail the next Sunday as I listened to the words of the songs the congregation sang.  I found myself dragging my feet a bit on the next steps that I needed to take.  Found myself walking around in a bit of a haze. I found myself not wanting this season of life to end.  How had time gone so fast these past 5 years?  Past 10 years?  How could this season of having babies at home really be almost over?

I felt like there was a fork in the road that I was going to have to decide which path to follow.  I wasn't there yet, but I could see it off in the distance a bit.

Then I found myself needing some direction before I reached that fork.  So I reached for my life map.

I turned to a bright green sticky tab that marked a verse that I must have taught on before.  My eyes were drawn down to the verse.  The words jumped off the page at me in a way that made my heart skip. 

"The Lord will make you go through hard times, but he himself will be there to teach you and you will not have to search for him any more.  If you wander off the road to the right or the left you will hear his voice behind you saying, 'Here is the road.  Follow it"  Isaiah 30:20-21
 I hadn't seen the third prong in the proverbial fork in the road from where I was until I read that verse.

I could choose the path to the right, which could look something like not going to seminary, remaining at home, continuing to work part-time on staff for my church as the children/youth leader, maybe even become a substitute teacher or a teachers aide in our school district. 

I could choose the path to the left, which could look something like waiting another year or longer before deciding to go to seminary.


I could stop worrying about the details.  Stop worrying about whether or not I'll be able to do the work.  Stop worrying about how to finance this.  Stop worrying about whether or not my kids are going to be ok.  Stop caring about what the house will look like in the middle of studying for finals.

Just stop.

Just listen.

Listen for the voice of my Lord behind me saying, "Here's is THE road.  Follow it.  THIS is the road I have laid out for you to follow.  THIS is the path you need to take.  Is it going to be easy?  NO.  But trust ME to take care of the details.  Trust IN me that I know what is best for you.  Trust in me to not let you wander.  Trust in me to lead you to where it is I have been calling you since that day I first whispered into your heart.  Trust me.  Walk by faith.  Here is the road.  Follow it."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Written November 2011...

Here we are....2 years into our 17 year stretch of teenagers in our home.  1 year shy of you driving.


Happy 15th Birthday!!!  Traditional Birthday Breakfast!
These past 10 years have been a blessing.  To walk alongside you as you have learned, grown, played and accomplished all that you have.  I get a lump in my throat when I think about how we really only have 3 1/2 years left with you under our roof.  Perhaps you'll stay close and go to the Jr. College for two years, but I remember how little I was home during that time in my life 15 years ago.  I'm not ready for the dynamics of our family to change. 

But let's not rush things.  Let's just enjoy the moment.

You weren't excited to sit and open family gifts in front of everyone this year.  But you were a really good sport about it. 
Where we are right now;  Celebrating who you have become.  A young man.  Tall.  Handsome.  Intelligent.  A warrior for God.  A friend.  A leader. 

It was exciting watching you be promoted from 8th grade into high school.

8th Grade Promotion!

So long Middle School!  Bring on High School!
I could have cried when we attended the freshmen orientation and they welcomed "The Class of 2015"  The emotions are a combination of just how proud I am of you and the reality of how fast life goes and how fast I knew high school would fly by.

You wrapped up 8th grade and survived not having a cell phone.  Really.  You actually lived to see your freshmen year!!  I know you weren't sure if that was possible.  But we made it!!!

Thrilled to receive a cell phone at the beginning of 9th grade!

You jumped right in to high school life in early June with football practice.  You were there for every practice they had this past summer, working hard, with the exception for the two weeks you went away to camp. 
We thought it was so cool to learn that you wore the same number your Grandpa wore in High School!  #65               
 It was a tough season for you.  My mama heart ached for you every game that I saw you anxiously waiting to play from the sidelines. It was a different experience for you than Jr. Rams was.  We've said it is your choice on whether or not you play your sophomore year.  Regardless of what you do next year, we are PROUD of you for your hard work, dedication, patient and perseverance that you showed on the field this year.

Your rocked the marching band on the Quads this year. You looked so handsome in your uniform and I was so proud of the improvement you made and how quickly you learned to play.

Marching in the Homecoming Parade

 Your grades continue to be good.  Although I know you could get all A's if you wanted to, I'm trying really hard to compliment the hard work that you are doing.  God is using this time in school to prepare you for something bigger in your life later on.

You had the opportunity to do lights and sound for the musical this fall  and are currently preparing to participate on the Speech Team.  (**grin!!**)

I'm most proud of the young Christian man you have grown to be.

Welcomed into membership at First United Methodist Church

Confirmation August 2011
You love going to camp; say that's where you fit in at best.  You dislike people who may talk the talk at youth group but don't walk the walk at school.  You feel God calling you to be a leader.  But haven't been able to put your finger on it.  It's hard waiting for God to reveal the big picture, isn't it?  All I can do is listen and encourage you to keep listening to God.

 It's so hard being a teenager.  Trying to discover who you are, where you belong, where you want to go.  It's hard trying to fit in when you don't agree with the way the "world" works and it contrasts with the way God wants us to live.

I pray for a friend to come into your life who could be your accountability partner in this faith walk who could also encourage you when the high school path gets frustrating.  I will continue to pray for your discernment on what and where God wants you to serve both now in high school and later in life.

There are friends in your life who I am thankful for.  You are still in touch with our former neighbor even though we have moved and she isn't yet in high school.  You have also become friends with our neighbor here at this house. 

My biggest prayer and mama goal is that you feel loved and worthy.  Loved by God and loved by us.  I pray that you see and sense that is the only thing that matters in this season of life right now.  Once you are confident in that, that's when you will be able to extend the same grace and love that God has blessed you with to others.  That's when you'll begin to be transformed into the leader you feel God calling you to be.

I have two scripture verses that I claim for you, my son as you continue this life journey....

1:Timothy 4:8  "Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future"

I don't care, more importantly, God doesn't care, about how much play time you get on the field, or how well you do in any extra curricular activity.  God only cares about your heart and how you work to grow closer to Him.  Period.  Are extra curricular activities bad?  No.  Do they define who you are or how successful you will be?  NO!  Participate in all of the fun things you can in high school but do it with an attitude of discernment as God continues to reveal to you your call.  Use it as an opportunity to be the light of Christ that others need to see.  And, while you're at it, HAVE FUN!!!!

1 Timothy 4:12 "Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith and purity"

Don't be afraid of your faith.  It is strong and even if you don't realize it, you are planting seeds among your peers everyday. You are planting seeds into your brothers and your dad and I too.

Lookin' Good!  Ready for Homecoming 2011
Love you bud....You make me proud.  Thank you for making me a mom.  It's the best job I've ever been blessed to do! 
"Fifteen there's still time for you  Time to buy and time to lose
Fifteen, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got hundred years to live"  Five for Fighting-100 years

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bedtime Stories

The Boy:  Mooommmm.....tell me a bedtime story...

Me:  Once upon a time, there was a little boy who loved his mommy so much that he would pretend to fall asleep on the way to daycare so that she would carry him in.  He hated when she left so much that he would cling to her, not let her go and cry.  One day she decided she just couldn't take it anymore so she quit her job.  The two of them had a sweet summer together.  She took him to swim lessons, they went to the library and parks and did VBS for the first time and she enjoyed her special one-on-one time with him so much that summer before he started kindergarten and their family grew....

The Boy:  Then the next 10 years went by so fast...

Me:  **lump in throat** Yep they sure did.  But I'm so glad I've been home for all 10 of them.  Good night.  I love you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Day of Praise

"Rejoice always,  pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Gracious and Loving God, life is busy and full.  There is much to do and very little down time.  But rather than wallow in my selfishness, I choose to give thanks for all the blessings that are in my life.

I give thanks for the overflowing hampers...
what a blessing it is to have clothes for our children when there are so many who go without.

I give thanks for the dirty blessed we are to have enough food to eat 3 times (or more!) a day when there are children starving around the world, in our country and in our community.

 I give thanks for the giant blow up guitar, star wars light sabers, Sorry game and plastic army guys that I can see from where I reminds me that just yesterday the house was full of children playing and having fun.

I give thanks for the full fall schedules that we's a reminder that we have active boys and a family with a heart to serve and share their time, gifts and talents.

I give thanks for the dirt on the floors, dust on the shelves and streaks on the reminds me that there are more important things in life.

I give thanks for the little boy in the backseat of the van with questions, and questions and more questions....thank you for blessing us with healthy, smart, sweet boys.  I pray Lord I can lead them and teach them to know and love you. 

I give thanks for your son, Jesus...who without the love, grace, mercy and hope that he taught me, I wouldn't have the capacity to be thankful in all circumstances. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Dear BuhBuh,

I know, I know...this is two weeks.  This letter has been floating around in my head and I just haven't taken the time to sit down and write it.

Just before your 9th birthday we reflected and remembered those who died on September 11th 10 years ago.  I remember how my life was 10 years ago; how I felt that everything in my life and my country were falling apart.  Then one year and 5 days later there you were in my arms.  You are the visible reminder of hope, rebirth, grace and love in my life. 

And you're a pretty cool kid on top of that!  You have a heart for blessing others.  It's natural for you. You think of others before you think of yourself.  For your birthday party this year you wanted to go to the park so that your cousins had someplace to play.   You have enjoyed baking cakes for your brothers this past year for their birthdays.  Last Christmas you wrapped up one of your old toys and placed it under the tree for Little Dude to have.   You have this way about being able to find lost things that is almost funny.  If something is missing, you can usually locate it.  You also are able to understand what Little Dude is saying when I can't. 

You are a loyal friend and really love spending time with those friends who are your close buddies.  It warmed my mama heart to hear how you sat with one of your friends the other day on the playground after he got hurt.

 In addition to your school buddies you are also very good friends with your cousin who is 5 weeks older than you

Whenever the two of you are able to spend time together you are inseparable.  It is a very sweet, loving relationship which makes all of us smile.  We hope that it lasts beyond childhood and into your teenage years and adulthood. 

You are such a good big brother to Little Dude.  You are patient and kind and the two of you have so much fun together.  He really loves you and looks up to you.  I pray that one day you and The Boy can be friends.  I think you are just trying to figure that relationship out and aren't sure how.  I celebrate the times that the two of you play games or build together.

This past year you rode your first roller coaster at Disney World, played baseball, advanced to a higher level of swimming, and are playing fall soccer right now.  You have taking a liking to playing games, but have a funny way of playing.  In the game Dominion that we like to play you never try to win but try to either earn the most money or have the fewest points.

If I had a magic wand I would make it so that school wasn't so hard for you.  It's hard to see you struggle; hard to make you do homework when you come home; hard to see you get upset about it.  So, we will keep on preserving in the best way that we can because it has to be done.  I know that when you put your mind to something, you will work hard and diligently.  I know that God has amazing plans for you.

I saw a glimpse of a leader last Sunday in Sunday School as you sang loud as we practiced a song and as you re-told the story we were learning about.  I shared how proud I was of you for doing that and will continue to encourage your leadership and faith in church, in the home and at school. 

Micah 6:8 says, "and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
You, my darling boy, live this verse.  You seek what is right, you show love and kindness to others and you are humble in your faith.   I'm so proud of who you are and all that you do.

I look forward to watching you grow, learn and serve in this coming stop:  double digits!  But this mama isn't rushing a thing!

I love you!!!!  Happy Birthday!