Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Clothes War III

Today I feel the need to be transparent.  I feel the need to confess.  I know that my confession will make some judge, but others will be comforted by the fact that everyone has their hidden issues.  There is a war raging in my house today and I am determined to come up victorious!  :)  With two more people in the house, comes two more people worth of clothes.  Add a busy schedule to that and the result is that if you at least have clean clothes....you are winning the battle.  But today I plan to win the war......all those clean clothes are going down......or is that up (in their drawers)!! 

Here is my confession:  for the past few weeks I have had several tubs of clean clothes at the end of my bed.  In the mornings after I make my bed, I dump the piles on the bed and we stir around to find what people are looking for.  As clothes get washed, they just get added to the pile.  I usually make a mental note to do some folding that day "when I get a chance."  At about 10:00 each night, when I can barely keep my eyes open anymore, I rake all the clothes off the bed back into the baskets and hope for better luck tomorrow in the folding department.  There it is.  The truth is out. 

But today will be different.  Today I have on my fighting shoes.  When I made the bed this morning and dumped the piles, I told them that this would be the day of their defeat!  :) 

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating; here is documented proof!  ;) 
Well, I must go now.   As you can see, I have work to do!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
                                                            1 Thessalonians 5:18

Wow, there is so much in this one short verse.  I taught a children's lesson last week about this verse, and as often happens, God ended up teaching me!!  This verse is encouraging and comforting to me, because it gives instruction to each Christian about God's plan for our lives.  Maybe you are a college student struggling with a career choice.  Maybe you are a woman struggling with infertility.  Maybe you are a senior adult struggling with what God would have you do after retirement.   No matter what God's specific plan is for each of our lives, this verse says that there is one thing that we can all be sure is in God's will for our lives.......to give thanks in all circumstances.  So, whether we know God's specific plan for our lives at this moment or not, we can be actively living in His will.  Whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, we should give thanks. 

This brings up some tough questions, though.  We all know that it is easy to give thanks in the good circumstances, but what about the hard times that we all find ourselves in sometimes.  What about that woman that is struggling with infertility?  Or what about a widow that is alone during the holidays, remembering times past?  What about a mother that has just unexpectedly lost a child in a random accident?  Do they have to give thanks in these circumstances as well?

This is the really cool part that gets me excited!!  You see, it is the last three words in this verse that are the secret ingredient, if you will.  When tough times come, we as Christians, can have hope and are able to be grateful, because we are in Christ Jesus.  We know from experience that God can be trusted and even when our hearts might be breaking, we can still have faith in His love and have hope for our lives in Christ Jesus.  And oh, what a testimony it is to the people around us when they see a Christian giving thanks during a horrific circumstance.  Of course, God doesn't say that we have to give thanks for the circumstance, only to give thanks during it!  :)  There are specific Christians in my own life that immediately come to mind when I think of someone who gave thanks during a tough circumstance.  This causes unbelievers to do a double take and consider the power of this person we call, Christ Jesus.  That is what it's all about.

So, this Thanksgiving season, no matter what circumstances you are in, I encourage you to give thanks and to have hope.  Remember, if you are a Christian, you have an unmatchable power inside of you just waiting to be tapped into.  If you are not a Christian, maybe this is the day that God has chosen to invite you to accept him into your life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Lunch

Today the kids and I went to Victoria's school to eat Thanksgiving lunch with her.  They had the traditional turkey and dressing meal.  Victoria didn't want to eat in the cafeteria, so she just ate her packed lunch!  :)  I personally thought the turkey and dressing looked pretty good!

This is Victoria with her friend, Reece
I am looking forward to having a memorable Thanksgiving and spending special time with family....also looking forward to some good eating!  My hubby makes a mean sweet potato casserole!  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Look who got glasses!!

Victoria had been complaining about not being able to see the TV without squinting and her teacher has been letting her go to the floor by the board to read things.  So, we decided her eyes needed to be tested.  Sure enough, she can not see at a distance very well.  He said anything beyond eight feet was fuzzy!  She was amazed at how clear things looked when she put on her glasses.
Here she is on Sunday with her friend, Emma.  I'm so glad that Emma had to get glasses recently also, so Victoria isn't embarrassed.  She was actually very excited about getting glasses! ;) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


A few weeks ago Robert and I went to see the movie, Courageous.  I knew that it was a Christian movie, so when we went to the theatre, I convinced Robert to let us watch it to help support it.  He agreed!  What I didn't know was that the whole movie was about fathers being good dads.  I felt bad at first, because it appeared that I had convinced Robert to watch the movie as an "intervention."  Ha!  While we were driving home, I explained how great of a dad that I thought he was.  His response to the movie was, "Watching that movie reminds every good daddy why he does what he does and encourages others to do better."  So, either way, I would encourage any daddy to watch this movie.  It is very sweet.  If you have not seen the movie, you can view the trailer below.

As the credits were rolling after the movie, something special happened.  In the last scene of the movie one of the dads is sharing his testimony at a local church.  He asks the question, "Who will be a man of courage?"  Men in the congregation begin to stand up and say, "I will."  There in the pitch dark movie theatre, a man down front stood to his feet and said, "I will."  Then another stood and said, "I will."  Men all over the movie theatre stood and made that promise.  Oh my, what a moving and incredible impromptu moment!!  It was amazing...I definitely witnessed a special moment and I feel very blessed that the man that God gave my children has promised, "I will."

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mother of Four

I have been the mother to four blessings for two weeks now.  l remember the fear that I had those first few days.  I knew that being a mother to four kids would be different; it would require me to be different.  I knew that who I was would evolve and change; I could almost feel it happening inside of me and it terrified me a little bit.  I wondered if once the tranformation was done, would I still feel like myself?  Would I still be me?  Or would I be so different that I regretted the change and longed to go back to the way that I was.  This may sound completely ridiculus, but none the less, it was how I felt.  I can remember feeling something similiar right before I was to give birth to Carson.  How would it feel to be the mother of two instead of the mother of just one?  Would the new responsibilities and demands change me?    Would it change my relationship with the first?  Change always brings unknown.  Oh, but God is good.  And He is undoubtedly shaking His head at my worries.  "My Child, if you will trust in me, I can bless you."

And blessing me, He is.  Fortunately, I am successfully becoming the mother of four and yes, I am happy to say that I do still feel like myself.  Ha!  Is our family changing?  YES!  Is it good change?  YES!  After only two weeks, it is becoming hard to imagine our life and our family without them.  I feared that adding two more children would change me and I would not feel like myself; I am quickly realizing that now I would not know who I was if I wasn't the mother to these four.  God chose to bless our family with these four specific wonderful kids.  We were made for them and they were made for us. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Carson got to wear his Halloween costume to school on Monday.  He was so excited and they had a blast.  They had pizza for lunch and a fun party!  Carson sent Halloween sugar cookies as his treats for his friends.

Mrs. Tata's class (Carson is the Red Ranger)

Carson with his buddy, Carter, aka Batman

The whole group again!  So cute!
Our Beautiful Cleopatra.......Queen of the Nile  :)

Our brew!
A fun time was had by all!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Tonight we carved the pumpkins that we picked out at the pumpkin patch last week.  They turned out really cute!  Looking forward to trick-or-treating tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

Today we went to the Pumpkin Patch with Carson's preschool class.  He had a blast hanging out with his friends!
Carson's class

Carson loves his teacher Mrs. Tata and thinks that she is so cool!

Carson with his best friend, Carter, and his little sister, Elliott

Carter and Carson hiding from my camera! ;)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Job Title

Today was my last day at my part-time job.  I am officially a full-time stay-at-home mom again!

I know that I will miss working with Paige and helping out in the children's ministry office; but I am excited about what God has in store for our family!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Evidence of God Working in My Life

Awhile back I started a series of posts entitled:  Courage Builders and filed them under the tab Courage Builders at the top of my blog.  Looks like this entry would be #8 in that series.  :) 

 My courage builders are things that happen in my life that show God working.  This courage builder is actually evidence of God working in Victoria's life.  Last year Victoria was in first grade and although she was a great student, she really did not like school.  I hated to see her miserable and we began to pray about options for this year.  We seriously prayed about if she would benefit from homeschooling.  Again, she is an At student and had perfect behavior.  It just wasn't fun for her.  I know school isn't fun everyday, but knowing her personality, I knew she should be a little more optimistic about it. 

I realized that maybe one of the reasons she wasn't enjoying school was because although she did have friends at school, none of her school friends, were our family friends.  She has a lot of close girlfriends that go to church with her, dance with her, are family friends, etc.  BUT none of these girls went to her school.  Unlike the school district that I grew up in, our school district here has 4-5 elementary schools and then her church friends are funneling in from Little Rock, Bryant, and Benton.  Last year she had eight little girls at a sleepover for her birthday and none of them went to school with her!

Sooooo, God answered our prayers by bringing her Reece.  Reece has been her friend since they were born.  Actually, I guess you could say they hung out together even before they were born...in their mommy's tummies.   Reece's mom and dad are some of Robert and my best friends from our college years.  Reece's dad and Robert were college roomates and then us girls became fast friends, dreaming about getting married, raising kids, etc.

God knew what Victoria needed.....Reece not only moved to Victoria's school, but they are in the same class with the teacher that I know God handpicked for them.  Between Reece and Mrs. Stipe, Victoria's outlook on school has improved 100%.  Thank you, God, for caring enough about Victoria to orchestrate these things in her life.

Reece is in the front basket.....Victoria in the back

Reece and Victoria in their first outing together
Victoria giving Reece kisses
Reece on left....Victoria on right: at Chuck-E-Cheese
A few months after Reece turned one, they welcome their second daughter, Ashlyn, into their family.  This is the three girls (Victoria, Ashlyn, and then Reece) and Victoria's third birthday party.
Ashlyn, Reece, Victoria, and Carson hanging out during a Razorback game!  Go Hogs!
Reece and Victoria.....so cute!
Reece, Victoria, and Ashlyn on Crazy Clothes Day!
Victoria and Reece showing their Bryant spirit!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


     I stumbled upon a cute idea that I wanted to share with other moms with little ones that take a lunch with them to school/preschool/etc.  Both of my kids take a lunch everyday that they go to school.   I always try to pack them a little something sweet.  Not a huge dessert, just something small.  I was rummaging around in our candy stash in the pantry, trying to find something "peanut" free and school approved.  :)  I found a few Hershey kisses and threw a few in their lunch boxes each.  The next day I rummaged around in the candy stash and did the same.  In the mornings as I pack their lunches, they are sitting at the bar eating breakfast. So I just commented "Hey, I'm putting kisses in your lunchboxes again today."  Of course, I meant Hershey kisses, but it gave me a great idea!  I started laughing and I said the same thing again, but with a twinkle in my eye.  "Hey, I'm putting kisses in your lunchbox." and I added a big lip smacking sound!  Ha!  They looked at each other and laughed!  :)  They are used to me being silly and weird!  Now it is our secret thing!  I always put kisses in their lunchbox, so that they know that I love them.  Luckily my kids don't get homesick too bad while at school, but for a child that did this would be a great way to send encouragement with them.  I wish I could see my kids' faces when they see their "kisses" from mom.  I bet they chuckle a little at their silly mom.  But you know what, I also bet that they know their mom loves them more than anything else in the world.....and that is good enough for me!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Being Obedient

     This past Sunday night I got rebaptized.  What?  Rebaptized?  You are probably wondering....is that theologically sound?  Well, no.  Once a person becomes a Christian, they only need to be baptized once.  In my faith, baptism does not save a person.  It is only an outward display (or testimony) of what has happened to change a person on the inside (in their heart, soul and mind). 
     I believe that a person must come to a point when they decide if they are going to believe that the Bible is truth and that God really is the creator of all things (not that the Big Bang accidentally created us). They must decide if they will accept that Jesus did in fact come to earth as a man and sacrifice His perfect life on a cross, so that each person can be forgiven of their sins and go to heaven.  Every person has to decide if they are going to accept that gift for themselves or not.  I also believe that once a person has asked Jesus to save them, then they can never loose their salvation.
     When I was six or seven years old, I made a profession of faith, saying that I wanted Jesus Christ to be my Savior.  I was baptized at that time.  As I continued to get older and understand more about what it meant to make Jesus the boss of my life, I began to wonder if I had completely understood when I was six.  Satan would make me doubt whether or not  I was a Christian or not.
     One night when I was 13 years old, I decided I wanted to nail down my salvation, so that Satan could never use that against me.  I can remember kneeling in my bathroom floor and praying.  I told God that I wanted to get this nailed down, so that Satan could never make me doubt my salvation.  I thanked God for being in my life and I told Him that I wasn't sure if I had understood what being a Christian completely meant at six, but now I knew I understood the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and I wanted to accept  Him and ask Him to forgive me of my sins.  I wanted to not only invite Him to be apart of my life, but to control my life.  I trusted in the plan He had for me and I wanted that, too.
     From that day forward I never doubted my salvation.  Have I been perfect? No, but I have never doubted who I am in Christ and He has never left me.  I have tried to make a conscious effort throughout my life to let Him lead, not me.  So far, that is working out pretty good!  :) 
    Recently God prodded me that I needed to be rebaptized, because my salvation experience (which was at 13) actually happened after I had been baptized.   At first I questioned Him.  Everybody knows that I am a Christian now, so what would be the point?  Also my daughter who is seven has already made a profession of faith.  I didn't want this to confuse her and make her question the decision that she made.  Plus, I feared that someone might misunderstand and think that I had just become a Christian.  God and I "discussed" this for several weeks.  I kept telling Him all these things, but I still heard that still, small voice saying that I needed to be obedient.  So, I humbled myself and took that step out.  I now have my acceptance of Christ and my baptism in the right order!!  :)  No one would have ever known that I was being disobedient to something God was leading me to do.  But God would have known and that disobedience was already creating distance between us.  I didn't want anything standing between me and my relationship with God.  
    I wonder how many Christians are "arguing" with God about something they know He is telling them to do.  Sometimes it doesn't always make sense, but God can see the bigger picture.  I chose to trust Him and be obedient. 
     Just for fun, I posted pictures of me from both times I got baptized.  I have no plans to add anymore pictures to this collection.  Ha! My salvation and baptism are officially squared away! 

This is my grandmother, Margery M. Eley, pictured with me here.  She was a huge part of my childhood, but passed away when I was eight years old.  That makes me realize the impact a person can have on a person during those first years.

My childhood pastor, Dr. David Blase.  He actually just retired from my childhood church after 25 years of service.

This is me and Dave Hughey, the associate pastor at my present church home.  I got to know him very well the past two summers as we served together in Peru.  He is an awesome man of God and is very special to me.

Can you tell I was scared to death??!!!!  I look so serious and sad.......I think I did smile a little bit right before he baptized me.
     Want to guess what His sermon was about that night?  He preached from Matthew 5:13 about Christians being the salt of the earth.  I was amazed, because that is the scripture that God led me to when I restarted my blog awhile back!  Our God is amazing and He works in very cool ways.  I have no doubt that one of the reasons God led Dave to preach from that text was for my benefit.  My God wanted to assure me that He was pleased with my obedience and that He still has a plan for my life.  I am so excited to see what is next!  I know that He desires for me to keep taking steps toward Him and "passing the salt" along the way!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Go Bryant!

Last night we went to the Salt Bowl football game where the two rivals, Bryant and Benton played each other.  I have no idea why it is called the Salt Bowl, but it is always held at War Memorial Stadium instead of at the hometown stadiums.  Our towns are located right beside each other, so they are huge rivals.  Tons of people come out to support their home team, so it is a big deal and so much fun!!  Before the game they had a huge tail-gate party where local businesses gave away tons of free stuff, including hot dogs, cokes, etc. 

My babies showing their Bryant spirit!

The fam with Ned Perme, Channel 7 Meteorologist

Sophie, Victoria, and Carson with Buzz.  Victoria came home from school one day saying that she knew a secret.  Her teacher had told her who was in the Buzz costume this year.  Actually it is a "Buzzette" this year.  I could tell you the secret, but then what fun would that be!!!!  :)

The kids almost got to be on TV live, but I guess they ran out of time, because they never came back to them live.

The reporter felt bad for getting them excited and then not delivering, so he let them hold his mic!

Tori trying out the mic!  Maybe we have the next Diane Sawyer on our hands!

Tori with her friend, Emma, and her lil' sis, Eden
This is Emma and Tori at the Salt Bowl last year.  Amazing how fast they grow up!

This is Carson's teacher, Mrs. Tanya.  He can't wait to finally start school this next Wednesday!

Tori and me

How cute is Maggie with those Shirley Temple ringlets?!!  Her mom, Natalie,  and dad, Jeremy, went to college with Robert and me.  Natalie grew up in Bryant and they live here again now.
Tori with her friend, Torin

Torin liked the stickers on Tori's face and wanted a pair.

Torin and Tori......lovin' how they both are missing some teeth!
We had a great night and the fact that Bryant WON made it even better!!  Go Bryant!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Torin and Tori

I can't resist posting this picture, because it is so darn cute!  This little boy was in Tori's class last year and is in her class again this year.  His name is Torin.  Isn't that cute????!!!  Torin and Tori..........they said that last year they always got confused about which one their teacher was talking to.  :)  Tori had mentioned maybe wanting to be Victoria this year and when we heard that Torin was in her class again, she decided for sure.  Hopefully that makes it a little less confusing for their teacher, but to their friends they are still Torin and Tori!! Right now they are just friends, but I think they would make the cutest couple some day......a LONG time from now!!!  Not only is he cute, but he is the sweetest little boy.  I think this picture will be precious someday.....maybe in a senior video!!  This was them at the end of school last year on a field trip to the family farm. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Baby Shower

     This past Sunday I helped host a baby shower for a good friend who grew up in my hometown and now lives near me.  I say it that way, because growing up we didn't know each other very well, but have become good friends since.  She is one of the sweetest people that I know.  She and her husband have had quite a faith journey in growing their sweet family and I know that so many people have prayed for them over the past few years.  They are blessed to have a little girl who is 3 years old and then they will be adding a little boy to their family the end of this month.  I can't wait!  I am so excited for them! 

This is the food table;  I did not get a picture of the drink table

This is Kacey, her mom, her mother-in-law, and her daughter, Ava Jayne
Kacey is so special to me.  Like so many of us women, she longed to not only be a wife, but to also be a mother.  Several weeks before their first daughter, Maddie, was to be born, she passed away.  I have no idea the heartbreak that Kacey and her husband went through.  By that point, Kacey's heart had made that transition from not just a women, but a mom.   Unfortunately she did not have her sweet baby to take home and hold.  We lived in different states at the time, but nonetheless my heart broke for them.  I can remember holding my son so tight in my arms (who was only a few months old then) and weeping for them.  Sometimes things seem unfair and unexplainable.  Then they later were blessed by delivering a healthy baby girl named Ava, who is beautiful and precious!  Each of Kacey's pregnancies have had its difficulties, which is why I am so excited to see this healthy little man!

     Kacey, you have handled the trials along this journey with grace, never doubting God's goodness and His love for you.  That is such an amazing testimony to the people around you.  You have been given a gift of compassion and understanding for women who are experiencing heartbreak due to pregnancy issues.
I am so glad that you are brave enough to use that gift to help other people.......and by the way, you are a great mom!!