Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's a Girl!

pregnancy week by week

As many of you know, my husband wanted to wait until delivery to find out the sex of the baby, but I didn't. A week or so ago, he asked the youth Bible study he leads to do a radical act of service for someone in their family. His radical act of service for me was going to be to get up early and bring me back an egg and cheese biscuit from Hardees but that didn't work out. So his radical act of service ended up being that we could find out the sex together at the ultrasound. (I was already going to find out and "try" to keep it a secret.)

Emmie is thrilled that she is going to have a little sister. Although she wasn't surprised when we told her. She looked at me like "I know it's a girl, I've been telling you that all along."

So thank you Brian! I am thankful to be married to you and sharing our lives together. Happy 9th Anniversary!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Morning at Home

Emmie with her new Belle dress AND her new cooking apron (and I guess you can see all the new "jewelry"!

Calvin enjoying his new cars!

Coleman is thrilled with his new cars as well!

Everyone in their matching Christmas p.j.'s.

It's been a fun morning. Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Tour

A little late, but better than never. Check out BooMama's site for other tours.

Advent: Love


Today as we celebrate love in the advent of Christ, consider the words to the song, O Come All Ye Faithful. O come let us adore Him. Joyful and triumphant, let us adore Him. The call is to the faithful to come and adore Christ. The call is to the faithful to regard Christ as more precious than all the world. To consider Christ alone as worthy of all praise, devotion, honor, and glory. The call is to remember that the Lord and Creator of all that we see condescended to this earth and was born in the flesh.

But why do we do this? Why do we come to adore him? Why do we love him? The beloved disciple answers these questions for us in 1 John 4:19 – We love because He first loved us. God loved us and so we are able to love.

Our concept of love has become so corrupt in our day and we are very far removed from a biblical definition of the love of God. So many would say that because God is love, he tolerates our mistakes and shortcomings. So many preach a gospel that describes God’s love as being centered on mankind. But the God of scripture is love because He gives to us that which is the most precious in all the universe, Himself. He gave His son. Why did He give His only Son? Because God, who is love, hates sin. He hates sin because sin belittles His love and wars against it. It is because God is love that He hates sin. He sent His son to die the death that we deserved because of our sin. He demonstrates His love in this - that while we were still in sin, Christ died for us.

Do not think this Christmas that God’s love is centered on you and your life. Instead look away from yourself and see the love of God in the manger and on the cross. Do not think that God’s love is so easily defined. Instead, let us know the love of Christ, it’s height and depth and breadth and width. And to know the love of God we must see the baby laid in the manger and we must see the man on the cross with our guilt upon His shoulders.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Advent: Joy


This week we celebrate the Joy of the advent of Christ. We know of the joy of the angels, the joy of the shepherds, the joy of Simeon and Anna at the temple, and the joy of the wise men who started their long journey to find the King of the Jews and offer their gifts to Him. But there is another account of great joy in the Christmas story that is often just skimmed over. In the text of Luke 2, we are told of Mary’s visit with her cousin, Elizabeth. In verse 44 Elizabeth says to Mary, “Behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaved for JOY!” Even the unborn were given the joy of God at the advent of Christ.

What about us? Do you know the joy of Christ? What if there were no gifts? What if there were no blessings? What if all your family and friends were gone? What if your very life were fading away? Would the coming of Christ bring you joy?

To see what that looks like you need only look as far as Mary, the mother of Christ. She was the lowest of the low in her society. A teenage Hebrew girl who lived in utter poverty. Her only hope of survival was based on her position in her family as a girl betrothed to be married. And then, before the consummation of her marriage with Joseph, she becomes pregnant. Every blessing, every gift, her position in the family, even her very life could be taken away from her. In the midst of this desperate circumstance we hear the words of Mary and see exactly what true Joy really is. In Luke 2 starting in verse 46: And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.’

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Advent: Peace


The angels proclaimed to the shepherds who were keeping watch over their flock by night, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” God’s glorious angels and Bethlehem’s meek shepherds both proclaimed the coming of Christ. It was proclaimed that Jesus’ advent was to the glory of God and to the peace of those with whom God is pleased.

Many will say we do not live in peace. War is ravaging nations. Political squabbles are ripping apart governments. Immorality is destroying lives and families. In the middle of all of this we celebrate the advent of Christ and the peace that was brought to those with whom God is pleased. I’m reminded of the last stanza of the old hymn that says:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” The peace of Christ transcends circumstance. The peace of Christ removes fear. The peace of Christ is not like the peace that is found on this earth. The peace of Christ is everlasting.

As we celebrate the advent or coming of Christ this week, do you know the peace of Christ? Do you know what Paul means when he writes in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This peace that we have with God here on earth and that the angels announced to the shepherds is just a foretaste of the peace that Christ will bring when he comes again. Then he will remove his people from this sinful and corrupt world and we will know a peace that we never imagined possible. Let’s sing of the coming of our long expected Jesus again, but this time not looking back to the incarnation of Christ. Let’s look forward with great expectation to the peace that will be made complete at his second coming.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Advent: Hope

I have been trying to get my husband to start a blog because he has a great deal of wisdom in how and what he communicates. But for now, he’s going to ‘guest’ blog here. This week I am going to post the advent devotions that he has written for our church. I hope they help you focus on the birth of Christ and what that means for God’s people.


Today is our first week in the celebration of advent. This week we light the first advent candle to celebrate the hope that we have in the coming of Christ. The word advent means arrival or coming. For centuries the prophets foretold the coming of one who would rule and reign over God’s people and rescue them from the oppression of this sinful world and redeem them from their sins. God, in speaking judgment upon the serpent in the Garden of Eden, spoke of Eve’s offspring. God further clarified to the serpent that He was talking about a person, a man. He says to the serpent, “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Nearly 7 centuries before the birth of Christ, Jeremiah spoke of the hope to come in the Shepherd King who would be in the line of David. He says, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’” In between these divine revelations and even after the return of the exiles, glimpses of hope are given through God’s word as recorded in the prophets and wisdom writings and history books of the Old Testament. For centuries the nation of Israel suffered at the hands of pagan nations, immoral and idolatrous kings, false prophets, and in the midst of all these sufferings, God gave glorious glimpses of the hope to come in the person of Christ.

One of those glorious glimpses is found in the book written by the prophet Isaiah. Let us all stand together and read from chapter 9 of Isaiah.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined…For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.Isaiah 9:2, 6-7

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Busy Weekend

On Saturday we spent the morning together riding the Christmas train at our local mall.

Emmie and I went to the Nutcracker together on Saturday afternoon. This is the second year we have done this. I am hoping to make it an annual Christmas tradition.

All of the older girl cousins on my husband's side of the family went to the nutracker together. Thanks Granny!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Baby Update

pregnancy calendar

We're almost 17 weeks now. We had a check-up this week and everything looks good so far. I am feeling alot less tired now. The only problem right now is my back so we'll have to see how the old back holds up. My next appointment is the ultrasound. Brian still wants to wait to find out what it is and I still don't want to wait. I am thinking about finding out and trying to keep it a secret. Think I can keep it a secret?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

God's Sovereignty

From Stepping Heavenward by E. Prentiss:

“Do you always submit to God’s will thus?”

“In great things I do …What grieves me is that I am constantly forgetting to recognize God’s hand in the little, everyday trials of life, and instead of receiving them as from Him, find fault with the instruments by which He sends them.”

I am thankful that God is sovereign – in anything and everything. May I remember to see His sovereignty in not just the big things, but in the everyday things as well.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Shopping Tip

Yesterday I noticed an email in my husband's inbox. I saw he had emailed himself a link from work. When I clicked on the link, it took me to a picture of a George Foreman grill/griddle combo. I immediately recognized what this was - hopefully he hadn't ordered it for me yet.

When he got home from work, I asked him about it and I was right. He had thought about that as a Christmas gift for me but he hadn't gone through with it - yet. Whew! I asked him where he got that idea and he told me about a website they were discussing at work. At this site you can look under personality types for gift ideas. I am thankful that he picked me as a "supermom" but not so thankful that they recommended the grill/griddle combo. Don't get me wrong, we use our griddle pretty often, but as a Christmas gift from my husband? I'll pass.

We decided to go back to how we normally do it. I give him a carefully selected (and detailed) list, (like on aisle 13 at Target) - and he can independently choose from that! (Or I told him to ask my friend Kim. Don't let me down Kim!)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What Once Was Lost

My camera has been found! The weekend it went ‘missing’ my parents were in town for a visit. My Dad has 2 cameras (one for personal use and one for church use). Both of his cameras look similar to mine. I thought he might have mistakenly taken mine home with him. But my parents looked through all of their stuff and couldn’t find it. So I just chalked it up to pregnancy brain and restricted myself from handling expensive items.

This past weekend I even got out on black Friday to get a good deal on a camera, but they were all sold out. (Hey – I wasn’t getting up at 3 am, even for a camera). I tried to buy one online Monday and couldn’t because it was out of stock. My Mom called Monday night to let me know they found my camera stuffed in between the back seats in their truck. I refrain from using those 4 words – (you know what I mean, right?) I am just thankful they found it and that I didn’t have to get another one.

We had a great Thanksgiving and I hope to post some pics when my camera arrives in the mail.

Monday, November 20, 2006


We are enjoying some much needed vacation time with family down in South Gerogia. I have been keeping up with all of the blog-reading while down here and have read a great deal about everyone's holiday traditions. This Thanksgiving my mother actually tried (unintentionally) to alter the Thanksgiving menu. She mentioned an already-prepared dressing, a soufle, and an orange coconut cake. What? It didn't take me too long to set her straight and remind her that Thanksgiving dinner isn't something you mess with! Remember the good ole cornbread dressing I was craving? Well, it's back on the menu - along with broccoli casserole, squash casserole, carrot casserole and real desserts (you know, ones with some chocolate)!

Speaking of traditions ... we started a new one last year for Advent. We ordered The Advent Book as a devotional book. It is great for toddlers and preschoolers. You read it together each night as a family, adding a door each night. The review really helps children remember the story. Order it now and you can probably get it before the beginning of December.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


We have been in the midst of sickness here this week. Two of my babies have had coughing, fever and snot. Mommies, you know how it goes: they sneeze and you have to grab whatever is available ... Everyone is improving though. Although I hate to see them not feel good, I DO enjoy all of the extra holding and cuddling time I get. This afternoon I was able to read over one of Piper's sermons and I want to share it with you.

Is our obedience known to all? Here is an excerpt from a sermon by John Piper:

That’s what we saw last week. Now in verse 19, Paul commends the Romans for their obedience and mentions this as a reason why they need to be vigilant over error and why he is so happy about them. He says, “For your obedience is known to all.” In other words, if false teachers get the upper hand among you, then all the more reproach will come to the name of Christ because your obedience is know everywhere. The greater your reputation for obedience, the more damage can be done if you get sucked into false teaching. So be vigilant “for your obedience is know to all.” You have a great responsibility.

And, he says, I want you to know that your obedience brings me great joy. Verse 19: “Your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you.” Paul had not founded this church. He had never been there. He was simply joyful over the reputation of a church that walked in obedience to Jesus. When you rejoice in churches, is it because they are big or have good music or because they are obedient to the radical demands of Jesus?

Go here to read the rest of the article…

Friday, November 10, 2006

Blessing My Husband

*Update below

I read Leslie’s post today about the Discipline of Marriage. I took her challenge to bless my husband in some way. Thinking of a way to bless him has been harder than I thought. I even emailed him at work to see what I could do to bless him today. I’m sure he laughed out loud when he read that. I haven’t been too on top of that lately!

I haven’t heard back yet. But I have a couple of ideas in mind. His parents ate out last night and got steak sub sandwiches. He mentioned how much he loves those because they use real New York strips. So, we may run out before he gets home and have that waiting for him for supper.

I’ll let you know how it goes or if I have to go to plan B (which I haven't thought of yet)!

Update: Well, Brian emailed me and told me that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so I knew I was on the right track. We ended up with Chinese though. Yummy! Tomorrow we are off to see the Wiggles in concert! The kids are excited. Thanks to my great MIL who is letting us use her camera for pics and videos. I'll try to post some later!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

To Build a Church

This past year we have been a part of a church plant. This plant started with the desire to be a church that treasures the teaching of God’s Word. There are not many churches in our area that actually live out this conviction in practice. Of course, every church ‘says’ that it reveres God’s Word, but how many actually practice that truth?

Many churches today make the mistake of comparing a church to a company or a business, thinking with the CEO mentality. In The Deliberate Church Dever teaches that ‘a church is not a Fortune 500 company … a healthy church is unlike any organization that man has ever devised, because man didn’t devise it. It only makes sense, then, for us to revisit God’s Word to figure out exactly what He want us to be building.”

God wants us to ‘build’ a church that teaches the Word, reveres the Word, and lives it – no matter the cost. Many people today are saying that we have to make the message attractive – that we have to do certain things to bring people in – but in reality that compromises the Message. “God’s Word has always been His chosen instrument to create, convict, convert, and conform His people … Preaching the content and intent of God’s Word is what unleashes the power of God on the people of God, because God’s power for building His people is in His Word.” (The Deliberate Church)

We don’t have to change the message or make it more relevant to people. We need to go back to the Bible to see how He wants us to build up His body. “God’s Word builds His church. So preaching His Gospel is primary.” (The Deliberate Church) May we be faithful to protect the preaching ministry of our church!

Friday, November 03, 2006


The holidays are coming so quickly this year! In 2 weeks we will head down to Georgia to spend the entire week with my parents and my younger brother and family. It should be a great time of relaxation while we spend time getting hair cuts, playing golf, shopping and of course, eating. I am already craving Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, broccoli casserole, carrot casserole (kind of like sweet potato casserole), and homemade cornbread dressing. Now all of you out there that think Stove Top is dressing, you need to eat some of my Mom’s cornbread dressing. That’s real dressing – it is sooo good. Once you try it, you’ll never go back. I’ll try to get a copy of her recipe and post it soon.

Baby update: This weekend we have completed 12 weeks! I am starting to feel less “yucky” although I am still tired, but that could just be from having 3 other children. But I am finally catching up on some house-cleaning that has been neglected the last few weeks. My bathroom is hoping that I get to it very soon! (So is my sweet husband).

I must go and get ready to greet the Pizza guy who is graciously bringing us supper tonight. Then my husband and I are doing another 24 marathon. We watched it for the first time this past season, which was season 5. So we have started to rent the previous seasons from the library. We are now on Season 2. But I have cheated some. The episodes are on-line so when I can’t stand to wait to find out what happens, I look online. My husband thinks I’m crazy but it doesn’t take anything away from my experience. That’s just how I am. I used to unwrap my Christmas gifts and rewrap them. I was still very excited on Christmas morning even though I knew what I was getting. That’s why I want to find out the sex of the baby in a few weeks. But I had told Brian we could wait if he wanted to (what was I thinking?) So, we’ll have to just save this conversation for another day.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Fridge Meme

Ok. I was actually tagged twice (by Amy and Leslie) to do this fridge meme. Now I still don't exactly know how you pronounce this word (meme) but I am going to do it anyway. I still haven't found my nice camera. I am thinking I need to face the fact that I probably lost it, althought I would rather blame my 4 year old. I found my old one but it's not as good. It has a couple of pixels, but there's no zoom and you can't tell how the picture looks until you download it. It takes regular batteries, of which we have none, so I took some from the remote. And as you can tell, the date stamp is wrong. Oh well.

So here goes ...

I didn't clean up the fridge, but like Leslie, I am SOOO glad the pics are supposed to show the outside and NOT the inside of the fridge. On the front of the fridge, I have my monthly calendar, family pics, magnets, and the graph we made in school which shows the number of girls/boys in our family.

On the side are more pics of friends and our trusty alphabet letters. We try to keep the magnets up high because Calvin likes to eat the magnet part off the back of the magnets. I guess that's why all the paper clips are sticking to him!

I tag Kim and Kelly!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Well, I have been looking for my camera to post some pictures of the last couple of weekends but I still haven’t found it. My parents came up from Georgia the weekend before last for a visit. I’ll try to post some pics when I find the camera.

I asked my 4-year old daughter if she had used Mommy’s camera and if she knew where it was (since she sometimes 'borrows' things like my car keys). She told me it was in the attic. Later she came and told me that the camera was outside in an airplane. So, she hasn’t been much help.

I sure hope it’s somewhere around here. Nothing is where it normally is since I have been feeling pretty “yucky” for the last few weeks. I hope to be able to catch up on housework soon – but at least Calvin likes to eat the crumbs off the kitchen floor! That sure has helped! But I think I may be taking a turn for the better. I think I am usually rid of the “yuckies” by 11 weeks (I will be 11 weeks this coming weekend) and then I am just plain tired.

My husband has been a trooper. He hasn’t complained when the choices for supper have been: frozen corn dogs or frozen pizza. He hasn’t complained when he had to get his clean clothes out of the huge pile on the chair in the corner of our room (at least they’re clean, right). And he hasn’t complained about “taking over” the house and kids when he gets home from work! I am a blessed woman. (But I am carrying HIS child, ya know!)

This past weekend the kids spent Friday night with Granny and PawPaw so we had the house to ourselves! We woke up (blissfully late) on Saturday and spent the day in Colonial Williamsburg. It was a fun and relaxing day. We missed our babies but enjoyed being able to spend some time alone together.

I hope I can post some pics soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I read this post today by Tim Challies about Halloween. It is an interesting article and has us thinking.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Reason Why Posts are Sporadic...

Eight and a half weeks along. Just trying to keep from feeling "yucky"! We are excited as we wait to meet this new little person sometime around the end of April! Emmie thought we were bringing it home from the Doctor today. Sorry little girl, only about 30 more weeks to wait!

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Busy Season

I know I have been 'out of touch' lately. Sorry about that. We all go through 'busy' seasons don't we? Here are some good reads for this busy season in your life.

Last week GirlTalk had some tips for the busy season in your life. Try to real all of them.

Leslie had a great post today about attitudes. Being a “Mom” is a full-time calling and is a worthy vocation! Sometime it is easy to forget that when so many other things are competing for our attention.

As always, I love John Piper’s weekly article. Last week, he reminded us not to compare ourselves to others. Read Piper’s "What Is That to You? You Follow Me!" and be freed from comparing yourself to someone else!

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Catching Up

I have finally started reading the book Leslie has been recommending: Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes. I have just started the book and already see areas in my life where God is (and will be ) working. I like to be disciplined but often fail in taking steps to discipline every area of my life. Hughes says “discipline is important for my spiritual life … it is the path by which the good news of Christ gives meaningful shape to all the days of my life.” First I must get rid of everything that impedes godliness and then I must direct my energy toward godliness. Godliness doesn’t just happen. I have to be intentional in this quest of being a godly wife and mother. I hope to blog about lessons learned in the coming days.

School has been going great around here. What is hard is learning to balance everything. We are keeping busy with school, home and church commitments. But most of the things we are involved with allow us to participate together as a family so that is special. And I just LOVE this time of year. I grew up in South Georgia where there were just 2 seasons: HOT and not-so-hot. So one of the things I truly love about Virginia is the weather and the fact that we actually experience all 4 seasons. I love the crispness that is in the air!

Last week, Coleman and Emmie started playing soccer with a homeschool group in town. So cute and fun!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Another Quiz

Here's a quiz I found through Leslie. It would thrill my children to know "Bob" lives in the house. Who are you?

What Veggie Tales character are you?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Blog Design Contest

Susie, over at Bluebird Blogs, is having a contest for a totally free, completely customized blog design from Bluebird Blogs. Check out her site - she does some incredible work! And she's from Georgia (my home state)!

Information on how to enter:
- Send an email with your name and blog address to
- Entries will be accepted from 7:00pm EST on Thursday 9/14/06 until 11:59pm EST on Friday 9/22/06.

*Bonus* - Mention this contest in a post on your blog and receive 5 extra entries into the drawing!

The winner will be announced at her blog on Saturday, September 23rd, 2006. Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Olive Green

I found this from Leslie. It's short and easy. I think it is pretty accurate in how it desribes me. What color green are you?

You Are Olive Green

You are the most real of all the green shades. You're always true to yourself.
For you, authenticity and honesty are very important... both in others and yourself.
You are grounded and secure. It takes a lot to shake you.
People see you as dependable, probably the most dependable person they know.

Monday, September 11, 2006

And The Winner Is ...

One of the activities we had this past weekend was a Walk-a-thon. My husband was working as a volunteer for the local Crisis Pregnancy Center walk-a-thon so I decided to participate in the walk Saturday morning. I loaded up our youngest in the jogging stroller and we took off with all of the other walkers. Now, I hadn’t gotten up to exercise in the early morning because Brian had to get to the park early so I wanted to make these few miles count as exercise.

Calvin and I had a pretty good speed going as the race, I mean, walk-a-thon, started. The more we walked, the more people we passed – and then this competitive spirit started rising up within me. So I turned it up a little more. Before I knew it, I had taken over the lead (although it was just a walk-a-thon and not a race, right?)! As I headed back, I saw that two women had obviously already turned around to head back without going the entire distance. (Can you cheat in a walk-a-thon?) Well, you know what I did next? I ran the rest of the way so that those older women wouldn’t beat me. I know – pitiful. But I’m just being honest.

As I headed back to the park, images of everyone standing there cheering for me ran through my head. But when I arrived, the only people who noticed were my sweet husband and my 2 oldest children. But they were so excited that it didn’t matter that no one else noticed. I’m not an experienced runner so I know I’ll never win a real race – but I tell you, I am going to hold on to this walk-a-thon victory. I may even make myself a ribbon or something. But in the words of my dear husband, “too bad that nobody else knew they were racing you!” Yeah, too bad.

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Week of School

I haven’t posted much this week because we have been busy with our first week of school. It’s been fun and laidback so far. Now we’re just in Kindergarten and Preschool so we're easing into everything. Coleman and Emmie are so excited, although most of the excitement surrounds their new pencils!

We’re gearing up for a busy weekend. Our church is supporting the Crisis Pregnancy Center Walk (I’m participating in the walk) and we are starting AWANA on Sunday night. I hope all of you have a great weekend.

Check out Leslie’s site for some great stuff about contentment.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Good Morning Ernesto!

Ernesto has come this way. Thankfully so far it’s just been a great deal of rain. (Hurricane Isabelle came through in September 2003 and a tree fell through our house, but that’s another post.) This much rain and darkness makes for a fun, lazy day. Everyone slept in today – you have to when it’s so dark and there’s the unending pitter-patter of the rain. I even skipped my morning exercise. We all watched a video together on the couch cuddled under a blanket! I am thankful for these special times.

Tomorrow I am going on a trip to visit with some girlfriends from college. During college, God provided some loving Christian girls who became special friends. We said that we would get together every Labor Day after we graduated but the last time I was able to see everyone was a little over 4 years ago. You know how it goes being pregnant, nursing, being pregnant, nursing, etc!

I am excited about catching up with everyone, although I am also a little nervous. This is the first time for me to be away from all of my kids for more than a day. My husband is gracious to help provide times where I get out and about by myself, but I enjoy us spending time together as a family when we can. I especially love our weekends together. I feel like I might “miss out” on something while I am gone. So, while I will try to take advantage of this time, my heart will be missing by husband and precious babies! I hope to listen to some sermons on the trip (7 hours by myself one-way) and work on my scripture memory.

Brian does a wonderful job with the kids so I'm not worried about that. I’ve readied everything for him so it shouldn’t be too crazy, but I am wondering what kind of disaster zone I will walk into on Monday afternoon! :) I told him not to worry about “housekeeping” so…

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Catching Up

It has been a busy week around here. We begin our first week of homeschooling next week. I have worked on a “schedule” but it is a rather ‘loose’ one. I have found that life with 2 preschoolers and 1 toddler doesn’t always allow for a strict schedule – basically we’re more of a ‘routine’ family. That way I don’t feel as guilty when the schedule doesn’t work. I have our curriculum ready, our routine sketched out and we are looking forward to this adventure.

Also, check out this post by Leslie. I too want to be saturated with God’s Word. I want my children to see that love for the Scriptures and desire that for their own lives. I had been working on memorizing Romans 8 (mainly because I am competing with my husband – hey, God can use anything right?) but I had fallen behind on it. I am encouraged to continue it now, and for the right reasons.

In my continuing study of Romans, I read Mark Dever’s chapter on Romans in his book The Message of the New Testament. I was reminded this morning that having a justified faith results in a life that is changed! “It yields a life that hates sin and fights against it.” After a saving encounter with the Holy God, we should be different – different than the world. So many ‘Christian’s’ today are not different than the world – begging the question ‘is the converse of this statement also true?’ If there is no change, if there is no fruit, has one been truly justified?

I find that it is easy to hate sin – well, it’s easier to hate the sin of others while trying to excuse my own. Many times I try to justify my own sin. Well, I said that because you … Well, I’m sorry if you misunderstood me … But there is no excuse for my sin and I am thankful that my sin is covered by the blood of Christ. Living a life of justified faith means that I am to be different – that I am to reflect Christ and not the world. I am thankful that salvation is through faith alone by Christ alone, therefore it is all for His glory. But I pray that my spirit will detest the sin my own life and that I will be quick to fight against it!

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Life of Grace

Every now and then I check in on a blog of a Westminster Theological Seminary seminary professor who has melanoma cancer. (I can't remember how I came across this blog - you know how that goes!) I think the cancer has spread to his lungs and his brain. I read a post last week from his teenaged daughter and was moved to tears - almost the ugly cry. Her strength and faith in God's sovereignty is amazing. I copied her post here:

Hello all. I don’t know how other people are handling this situation with my dad, but I know that God has really blessed me with faith during this time, and I would love to share this faith with you.

Many people see death as an awful thing, and outside of Christ, it is the worst thing imaginable. However, my dad knows Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior. Frequently, people have come up to me and voiced their anger and frustration that “all of this” should be happening to “a good family like yours.” As much as I appreciate the reference to my loving family, I would like to strongly state: DON’T BE ANGRY WITH GOD ON OUR BEHALF. I think I speak for my whole family when I say that I know that God has a perfect plan, and that He is accomplishing His will with my dad’s cancer. And for my part, I feel like God is giving me a glimpse at that plan.

Throughout my dad’s cancer, so many people have been blessed by his faith through suffering, (myself included in that count). Jesus calls us all to serve Him with all our hearts, he just calls us each to serve Him in different ways. I believe that God is calling my dad to serve Him in the last part of his life by worshiping Him in the midst of suffering. God is using His dutiful servant to then bless everyone else. What greater calling is there than to serve the Lord your God in everything you do? And what greater honor is there than to die for your Lord in a way that will bless His flock?

I am deeply moved by everyone’s prayers for all of us during this trial. I appreciate the prayers for healing, but I would also encourage people to pray that God will complete His purpose with my dad, understanding that He is capable of healing, but that He may have something entirely different in store for my dad. The last thing I would want to see (or that I’m sure my dad would want to see) would be for people to be so caught in praying for healing, that if Jesus chooses to take my dad Home, that people will be bitter and angry with God. I feel that being angry with God on my dad’s behalf would be a disservice and dishonor to my dad, and his willingness to do his Lord’s bidding.

So take heart! Don’t fear death! As Christians, death is really the best gift you could ever receive! My dad will get to go Home to worship His maker, and my dad will feel no pain for all of eternity. He won’t be weighed down by the burdens and sins of this world and longer! Because Jesus died on the cross, death truly has lost its sting. So instead of being sad, please rejoice with me in our loving Father who is perfect, and who has a perfect plan for my earthly father.

With much love and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, your sister Eowyn

Here is some scripture that I’ve found very helpful during this time. It deals mostly with suffering, especially death, and the hope we have in Jesus Christ.

James 1:2-8

John 17:3

Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8

Psalm 84:1-4, 10-12

Isaiah 40

Romans 5:1-3 (esp. 3)

Romans 8:1-2

Romans 12:1-3 (esp. 3)

1 COR 15:50-58

Matthew 6:19-21 (I found this one to be special in that I think my dad really grasps and lives the concept of storing up his treasures in heaven.)

I hope that God might speak to some of your hearts through some of these verses as well, bringing comfort, peace, and hope.

You can check out the updates on his site here. Pray for this family and for people to continue to see God through this trial!

A Birth Story

I read a blog a while ago that shared the birth story of their child on their birthday. So I decided to share the story of Emmie’s birth in honor of her birthday which was Saturday! About this time 4 years ago, I was pregnant with our second child, Emmie. During my first delivery, Coleman’s shoulder got stuck but they were able to help him out without any damage to his shoulder. He was a couple of weeks early and only weighed 6 lbs 12 oz. So the second time around my doctor was worried that the birth canal was a bit narrow and there was a chance that Emmie may get stuck as well. I was trying to decide if we should try it again or go for a C-section. But I didn’t have a chance to finish my research since Emmie decided to come even earlier than Coleman. On August 26, 2002, (at 36 weeks and 6 days), I woke up and had red urine (is that too graphic? Well, it is a birth story …) Thinking I was having another kidney stone (I seem to have kidney stones with every pregnancy but that is a different blog post), I called the Doctor and they told me to come in.

So, I loaded up 16-month old Coleman and Daddy met us at the hospital. They decided to monitor the baby while I was there. The nurse asked me if I could feel the contractions. I was like, contractions? What contractions? I was already at 3 cm and didn’t know. I was a little nervous since I hadn’t decided about what type of delivery to try that we went ahead and scheduled the C-section. Brian and I took Coleman home to stay with Granny and then we headed back up to the hospital. They prepped me for surgery and at 3:23 pm, little Emmie joined us in person! (I won’t go into graphic details about the C-section, because, frankly, I can’t stomach it! Ha! Seriously, I’m not good with those kind of things, I couldn’t even look at the incision for the longest time.) Little Emmie weighed only 6 lb 5 oz. so I probably could have delivered her the other way. (Later, I had a VBAC with the 3rd who weighed the same as Emmie and all went fine). But oh well. You live and learn. At least she was here safe and sound.

Coleman was thrilled with his new little sister, Emmie. And we are thrilled with her still. I can’t believe she is 4 years old already. She brings so much joy to our family – and questions – LOTS of questions. She is full of life and continually makes us laugh. She loves to play “Mommy” to her baby dolls and swing on her swing set. I pray for many more years together with her. Most of all, I pray for her heart to be tender towards God. I pray He will draw her to Himself and that we will be faithful to continually expose her to His Word! We love you Emmie-lou!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Happy Birthday

Another cake. Sorry I'm not writing much, but my hand is cramped from squeezing out all that icing! But at least it was fun to lick the bowl!

A new ride!

Princess Emmie

She loves to be a Mommy!

We're off to rest a little and then go enjoy the local county fair! Ya'll have a good weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Well, it's barely 11:30 and we're already on our 3rd outfit for Calvin, our 2 year old. We went outside this morning and he loves to play in the mud ... so we cleaned him up. And you need this back-story to understand the next part of the story. Lately I have been working with my older 2 (4 and 5 years) about not leaving their cups on the table so Calvin won't climb up there and dump them out. Let's just say they have had to clean up several messes lately. Well, a few minutes ago I heard, "Mommy, Calvin is at the table and he dumped out the water." Mommy says, "well, whose cup was it? They need to go get a towel." Coleman, the oldest, said, "Mommy, it was yours!." Ohhh! Ooops! In my defense ... well, I guess there really isn't a defense!

Here Is Love

This is one of my 'new' favorite 'old' hymns that we sang at church this past Sunday. The only link I could find where you can hear it is at The Cyber Hymnal. It sounds even better with the guitar (although I'm probably a little biased because I am married to an incredible guitar player). Matt Redman sings a version of it on the Passion: Hymns Ancient and Modern CD. Read the words and let them penetrate your heart!

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You Won't Hear This on Dr. Phil!

I have been studying Romans 9 the past few weeks. This week I have been listening and reading John Piper's sermons on Romans 9. I read this in one of his sermons this morning,

“Probably the deepest corruption that we have all inherited from the Fall – and it is especially and blatantly prevalent in the last 50 years – is that we believe and feel that happiness and health come from being praised, rather than from praising God. We think that psychological health comes from being made much of, rather than from being freed from that need to enjoy making much of God forever. That is why we were made, and that is where the greatest and deepest and longest joys are found – not in being made much of, but in forgetting ourselves in the joy of making much of God’s glory,…” (Read the entire sermon here.)

Of course, the world teaches the opposite - that happiness is making much of me. Now, don't get me wrong. Of course I like to be made much of - who doesn't? But that is not where true joy is. Isn't that why so many people are still searching for joy? Because they aren't finding it in relationships, money or success. As Christians, we can't rely on the "so-called wisdom" of the world. We have to go straight to the Scriptures for guidance and direction. Today I was challenged to forget about myself and to make much of God!

Monday, August 21, 2006

EASY Cola Chicken Recipe

What's with all the recipes? I don't know. Really - I'm not "all that" in the kitchen, I promise. But here is an easy recipe that can cook all by itself. I'm all for that.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup catsup
12 oz can diet soda

Put chicken in non-stick skillet or pan. Pour catsup and diet soda over top. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes. Uncover, turn up heat and continue to cook 'til sauce thickens & adheres to the chicken!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Oreo Ball Recipe

Here is a yummy dessert. Healthy? Ummm ... no. But good ... YES!

1 lb Oreo Cookies (3 sleeves)
8 oz cream cheese
1 lb milk chocolate
1/2 lb white chocolate

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. With a mixer, blend cookie powder and cream cheese until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese). Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate for 45 minutes.

Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper. In double boiler, melt milk chocolate. Dip balls and coat thoroughly. Place on wax-paper lined cookie sheet. In other boiler, melt white chocolate. Using fork, drizzle white chocolate over balls (you don't have to do the white chocolate part). Let cool in refrigerator. Store in airtight container, in refrigerator. Makes around 36 balls!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Unmet Expectations

Sometimes I have problems with my expectations. For instance, I expect that we are going to have a quick, uneventful WalMart run. (I know, shouldn’t I have learned by now?) But that never seems to happen. Or I expect my husband to be perfect (like me, right?) but he’s not. You get the picture. In life, one has to learn how to deal with unmet expectations. As a Christian, there is a deeper issue to consider. What do I set my hopes on? Do I set them on “things” of this world? Like the fence I would love to have in my back yard? Or financial security? Or another baby? Or being the perfect wife and mother?

Today I was reading Mark Devers The New Testament: Promises Kept. He says, “Many of our problems come from attaching our hopes to things that were not made to bear them … as the one who made us, [God] knows how we work best. He knows what we should hope for, and he has set those very things in the Bible so that we can fix our hopes upon them.”

I pray as I read this book and study the New Testament that I will hope for the things that God desires me to hope for. It’s not easy to put aside what I want, what I expect and what I desire. But isn’t that what the Christian life is about, daily dying to self? May I find new hopes in Him and His Word – hopes that will be met because the Bible is full of “Promises Made and Promises Kept.”

Monday, August 14, 2006


I originally started this blog mainly to keep out-of-town family and friends informed about the daily happenings of our lives. In the past few months, I have "met" some special new friends in this blog world - from places like Canada, California, and good ole Alabama! (Roll Tide! I went to college in Alabama.) I have also been able to catch up with some good friends from college and seminary days (see Kelly's blog added to my sidebar). And now, I have a local friend, Kim, who has also joined the blogworld. Welcome, Kim. I know I have learned a great deal about being a godly wife and mother from others all around the country (and some in the UK as well). I am thankful for my new "friends" and the insight I have gained from a peek into their lives!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Mother of the Year?

Calvin, our 2 year old, just hasn’t felt good the past few days. Wednesday night his eye started running a little. I thought it was probably a cold or pink eye. I’m not one to run to the Dr first thing and yesterday it looked like it was clearing up, so I just kept him home. But by bedtime last night, both eyes were running and was very whiny. I called the nurse and she said I could give him a couple of things to help him feel better but to bring him in the next day to check his ears. After benadryl and motrin and cuddling, he had a pretty peaceful nights sleep – that means Mommy did too! So I decided to go ahead and taken him in to the Dr first thing this morning … and he has an ear infection! Poor baby. I felt so bad that I didn’t take him in yesterday. Guess I won’t win “Mother of the Year” yet. He’s so laid back, I had no idea. He hadn’t pulled on his ears or anything. So, now he’s on antibiotics and some eye drops. Eye drops for a 2 year old? They said to just wrap him in a sheet to put them in – yeah right – that won’t make him fight me. Actually, he’s my best patient and he did pretty well except for the fact that it took me about 5 drops to get 1 drop in – I hope that pharmacist put some extra drops in there!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Romans 9

Our Pastor has been preaching through the book of Romans since October of last year. It has been an incredible study – very refreshing to hear the Word preached boldly. When the Bible is preached expositionally, verse-by-verse, you can’t skip over the hard parts. We have been in Romans 9 the past few weeks. I missed church 2 weeks ago because I was out of town and this past Sunday I was taking care of the babies in the nursery. So I just caught up on what I missed the past 2 Sundays. Wow! Awesome stuff. Election. Predestination. Controversial topics that many pastors just avoid. But you can’t deny that election is in the Bible – in fact, it’s all throughout the Scriptures. For a long period in my life, I held to the belief that man chose God. There was “free will” to choose or reject God. How prideful – to think that salvation was dependent upon my choosing God! But isn’t that the root of all sin? Trying to put myself in God’s place? I am thankful that God has “reformed” my beliefs on this issue (as well as many others). God’s Word has clearly and consistently revealed that it is God who chooses and God who saves. Therefore, I have nothing to boast about and ALL the glory goes to Him for His saving work in my life. If you’re interested in some good sermons from the book of Romans, click here.

Busy and Tired

Sorry posting has been a little sporadic. I'm trying to get back in the groove from being out of town. I have also been reorganizing a few closets, getting ready to start homeschooling in a few weeks. And the past couple of nights, the youngest member of our family has had some trouble sleeping. I'm not sure if it's a tooth (ain't putting my finger in there again) or a cold. Last night I didn't know whether to give him some benadryl or tylenol so I opted for the benadryl so we could all get some sleep. I am one of those people who really needs sleep - act Christlike on less than 7 hours sleep? I don't think so. Anyway, we're getting it all back together and I hope to post something of substance in the next day or so!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Computer Issues

I seem to have a knack for having computer issues. My internet explorer often "freezes" up and I have to control, alt, delete to end the task. I'm not sure if it's the filter on my computer or if it's maybe something with blogger. I think it started sometime around when I entered the blogworld. Anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back In The Groove

We made it back safely from Georgia. I was worried it was going to be miserably hot down there but it was 'cooler' there than here in Richmond. Richmond was in the 100's while we were gone. Whew! It was a long and quick trip but it was great to visit with our cousins from Texas. We don't get to visit with them often and I love to see the children play together. I hate that we live so far apart so we try to get together whenever possible.

I added a couple of links to my sidebar. Amy and Leslie are some of my new 'blogfriends.' Check out their sites and be challenged by what God is teaching them.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Georgia and Boook Recommendations

Thanks to all who prayed for us last week. Brian finally made it home around midnight Friday night. We had a great day together as a family on Saturday. On Sunday, I brought the kids down to GA to visit some family from TX. It was a long trip but we made it. We are having a good time but I am looking forward to getting home and getting back into our routine. We will be heading home Thursday. We will be starting Kindergarten with our oldest this Fall. We are excited about Homeschooling and are looking forward to this new adventure.

Also, I have been getting some great book recommendations off some of your blogsites. I am trying to get some more. So, please post your favorite books for preschoolers and children. I would love to hear all of your ideas!

Friday, July 28, 2006


Brian called this afternoon because his flight was delayed. The kids will have to wait to see him in the morning. They were heartbroken but are looking forward to Daddy pancakes. He does them every Saturday and he goes all out - making Larry boy, Junior, Bob, etc. I only do circles - I know, boring.

We survived the week. Thank you for praying. It was tiring and my heart goes out to single mothers. How do they do it? Today, I was actually repeating "Grace, Lord. I need grace." My daughter finally asked me 'who is Grace?' Honey, Jesus is Grace and I am so thankful for that! I know alot of Moms do this all the time - especially those who have husbands in the armed forces. Let's remember to pray for these women, that they too would know God's Grace!

We will all spend the day together tomorrow and then on Sunday I am taking the kids to GA to visit my parents. The timing couldn't be worse, but we are going to visit with our cousins from Texas and we don't get to see them very often. It's easier for us to get down to GA than over to yonder Texas! I hope I don't melt from all of the hot, sticky humidity - you know - the kind that makes my hair all frizzy and curly?

Also, please don't think my house is always as picked-up as in my earlier pics. I just want you to think that I live that way! :) Just ask my husband and he'll tell you how it really is! We live clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy!

Rest of the Tour

Here's the rest of the pics from the Tour!

This is our playroom. We closed in the garage for some extra space. This is an old pic, right after we finished it. Definitely not this clean today. And we have a different couch in there now, the blue one is in the living room!

This is my little girls' room. I just finished painting my grandmother's bed for her. (Don't be mad Mom!) She LOVES it.

This is the boy room. Just finished painting thier beds too. (I know, I like to paint!)

My favorite spot - as long as it's not a million degrees outside!

Hope you enjoyed your tour! Come back again when you can stay longer!

Tour of Homes

Ok Leslie, you've talked me into it. I'll do this Tour of Homes thing. Although this is the last time I'm trying, I keep losing the post!

This is my living room.

Bookcase. Found it as a steal and painted it!

This is our breakfast area, rest of kitchen too messy! Check out the bench - got it cheap too and painted it - now we all fit at the table easier!

Kids bathroom.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tip of the Day

Several balloons tied together hide under the train table. Don't vaccuum them up!

Prayer - You Might Get What You Ask For...

We only have 1 more day after today. TOMORROW evening we go get Daddy from the airport. Hooray! The kids have been doing great, but it has been exhausting. I even took a short nap yesterday.

Last evening, I was supposed to call Brian around 8:30 pm, after the kids were in bed and after he returned from dinner with his boss (it’s a man, not a woman). He forgot the charger for his cell phone so I knew it would be harder for him to get in touch with me. So I tried around 8:30 – then 9:00 – then 9:30. Then I started to worry a little. I know Brian’s concept of time, well, actually, he has no concept of time. But it wasn’t like him to not be there. I have watched Dateline too many times and began to wonder what could have happened. Were they in a car accident? He had told me his room was on the end of the hall by the door where everyone entered the hallway – could someone have gotten into his room? Yeah, yeah. I know. Don’t watch 48 Hours Investigates. I tried again at 10:00. No answer. The people at the front desk were probably wondering ‘who is this popular person in Rm 135?’ I was starting to get a little perturbed as well. Even if his cell phone wasn’t working, he has the long-distance calling card and he could call collect! So I decided to talk to the people at the front desk. I spoke with Tameka – sweet girl. After I explained my dilemma and my concerns, she told me they aren’t supposed to do this, but that she would have the House Manager knock on the door and see if he was there. I didn’t hear back for a while but finally got back in touch with Tameka around 11:00 and she said he had just gotten there and was waiting for my call. (After I talked to Brian, he shared with me that Tameka has said, “Mr., please call your wife, I think she's worried and I was scared she was going to start crying on the phone!”)

He finally answered the phone, and started off by saying he was sorry. He had been talking with his boss the entire time, at the restaurant and finally in the parking lot. I angrily relayed to Brian my frustration and fear. I had just looked up the local Livingston, NJ police department to call them and see if there had been any car accidents that evening. (I know, a little premature and dramatic – what can I say?)

I told him, “Well, he had better have gotten saved during that conversation or something for it to have taken so long.” Brian said, “well, actually I was able to share the gospel with him.” Oh. At that point, I felt about an inch tall. I apologized for being quick to anger and slow to understand. You see, I have been praying for a long time that Brian would have the opportunity to share the gospel with his boss. There was not an immediate decision but Brian was able to explain justification and what Christ did on the Cross. They were able to share openly and candidly. His boss was receptive and not cynical. My prayer is that God will continue this work in the life of Brian’s boss, and friend. It is God who saves and I am thankful that Brian was faithful to share the Gospel – and that his cell phone didn’t work and I couldn’t interrupt what God was doing! Thank You Lord for answering that prayer!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Passion and Purity

Today I was reading Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. I love to read and am trying to be intentional about reading more often. I was challenged today by these words: "It's not the wife's job to demand that her husband love her as Christ loved the Church. Her job is to submit in such a way (that is, gladly, voluntarily, wholeheartedly) as to make it easier for him to love her that way." Brian, I pray that I can make it easy for you. Look out! I may be a brand new woman by the time you get home!

What Is A Mom?

I read this article today through a link at MommyLife. How sad. It makes me thankful for my family and especially for my children! What do you think?

Another Day!

We made it another day! We played at home yesterday morning. After rest time, PawPaw came by so we could go get Daddy’s truck from the airport. The kids were able to have some ‘rough’ play-time with PawPaw! They really enjoyed that. I try to do a little with them – but it’s just not the same as Daddy. After everyone went to bed last night, I was able to catch up on some scrapbooking. The kids got their little gift from Daddy this morning – and now there are just 2 left! We’re counting down the days.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We Survived the First Day

We survived Day 1 with Daddy gone. We were actually pretty busy. We stayed home in the morning and then went to lunch with family that is in town from Maryland. We took them to one of the outdoor malls in Richmond for the afternoon. The children were able to ride the train around the mall and stick their hands in every fountain. I was exhausted from pushing the double stroller around all day. We ended the evening with a meal at Cheesecake Factory – thanks Granny! It was yummy! We ended up at home around 7:30 so the kids got a quick bath and went to bed exhausted. They all slept in this morning which was great! Now only 4 more days to go! My prayer is that I will be patient and loving as the days progress!

92% Dixie

I took this test today and found out that I am 92% Dixie. And no, General Lee is not my grandfather! The results aren't too surprising since I was born and raised in South Georgia. I now live in Virginia, which supposedly is a Southern state, but still very different from the Deep South. And I already hear the southern accent in my little girl when she says "yay-es" (yes). And she's cute as pie when she says it. What's wrong with being Southern? Thanks for the link to the test Jessica. Take the test to see what you are!

Monday, July 24, 2006

TGIF (at least it will be in 4 days)!

My husband is on his first (and hopefully last) 5-day business trip. He has never had to travel with work before now. He took a 1-night trip last month in preparation for this trip. So, we are in for an interesting week around here. Daddy is a very involved in the daily life of our home. He plays with the children while I finish supper and get it on the table. He spends time with them after dinner, does bath time and helps get them to bed. I am so thankful for how involved he is as a Daddy. I will miss him this week and the kids will too. He has left a little gift for me to give them each day. They are looking forward to that but they don’t understand the time-span of a week. I told them we are going to go to the airport on Friday to get him. They have informed me that they want to go to the airport tomorrow to get him. I said that we have to wait until Friday. “But Mommy, tomorrow IS Friday!” I wish it were!

In thinking about Brian being gone, I was reminded of a post I read last week. I have a feeling I will miss Brian because of how much a “help” he is to me. Now, I do think Dad’s should help when they can, especially when the children are small. I am thankful for how he “helps” me but I don’t need to demand that from him. My biblical role is to be a “helpmate” to him. My prayer is that I will focus on how I can serve my husband and “help” him. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that when everyone else in our home needs help with almost everything during the day. I want to be intentional about serving my husband in practical ways that encourage him in the ministries God has given him. So, Brian, get home soon so I can serve you! (Stop laughing, I’m serious!)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Baby Boy is 2!

Calvin turned 2 yesterday. We had his family birthday party today so he got a cupcake last night on his actual birthday. He loved his Larry balloon. He kept trying to kiss it and give it a hug. I did another Veggie Tale cake. I've enjoyed learning how to do special cakes for all of the birthdays in the family. I think he likes the cupcakes better. We are so thankful for this precious boy who brings so much joy to our lives! Happy Birthday Sugar Baby!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer Salsa Recipe

Now, I’m not Betty Crocker by any means. I didn’t even know how to cook when we got married. But in the last few years I have been working to increase my knowledge and performance in this area. Since we’ve been married, my husband has put on about 30 pounds so I guess I’m learning a little bit! Anyway, here is a great salsa recipe that I got a couple of years ago – try it out. Very refreshing in this heat!

2 cans of diced tomatoes (or fresh ones if you have those and the time)
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red (or yellow) pepper, chopped
*3 green onions, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, minced (or whatever you call it that you do to garlic cloves)
*3-4 jalapeno slices (I just keep a jar in the frig), cut up
*½ tsp cumin
*1-2 pinches cilantro, chopped (when I 1st got the recipe, I had not idea what cilantro was - it took me about 20 minutes to find it in the veggies at the store! Sad, I know.)
*1 tbsp brown sugar
(everything with the * - just make it more or less depending on the taste you like)

Blend it ever so slightly in the blender and enjoy with some tostito chips!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Still Going

OK. So the duct tape thing didn't work. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Gate

This morning I listened to a sermon by Paul Washer for the second time. I was challenged as I thought about “American Christianity”. Many Americans say they are Christians, but their lives don’t show it. I’m not being judgmental. After being saved by Christ, a Christian should be different. Holy living is not about legalism, it’s about the evidence of a saving encounter with Christ. I was reminded this morning that narrow is the gate, but the path is narrow as well. That means that we are going to be different than the world. Many people may look at us and think we’re crazy for some of the decisions we make on how we live, but that’s alright. I pray that we are different and that the decisions we make will honor Christ and not the world. Check out this sermon and be challenged!

Our Little Chipmunk

His crib is that way all around the entire bed. And yes, that rail is almost gone. I hope it lasts a little longer until we move him to his “big boy” bed! I have since put duct tape on some of the rails – hopefully that will deter him for a little while.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Matters of the Heart

Obedience. We desire this for our children. But why? Sometimes it’s easy to forget the ‘why’ of obedience. When I am out with our children, I can easily become prideful when others say ‘what well-behaved children you have.’ I have to remind myself about the heart of the matter. Outward obedience means nothing if there isn’t change in the heart. It is our prayer as parents that our children’s hearts will be changed and made sensitive to the Lord as we teach them to obey. We don’t want them to obey so that others can pat us on the back (although that is tempting at times). We desire for them to obey so that their lives will bring glory to Christ. We pray that their little hearts will understand that God gave them Mommy and Daddy as the authority in their lives. We pray they will see that obedience to God brings glory to Christ (that is a lesson for Mommy too). It’s easy to focus on the outward behavior and get consumed with that but I pray we will also focus on their hearts as well!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rest Time

It’s taken me a while to post since I am having trouble logging on to my start page with our filter. I know all of you reading this blog (all 3 of you) are waiting for me to update you on my life. So, here goes.

Last week, being the kind of wife that I am, I decided to help out my husband. We had gotten behind on the yard because of all the rain we had that week. I decided to run outside during naptime and mow the back and side yards so there wouldn’t be much to do when he got home. Our oldest (and most responsible) was playing with his trains in the playroom. I told him to step out on the deck if he needed me. Our middle girl was resting in her room and the baby (well, the ‘baby’ will be 2 in a couple of weeks, guess I should say ‘toddler’ now) was taking a nap. So, I was good to go.

Did I mention that it was 95 degrees outside and the humidity was around 200%? I decided to come inside after about 40 minutes so I wouldn't pass out on the ground from heat exhaustion. As I did, I saw the oven smoking and immediately remembered the cookies that I had put in there before I decided to cut the grass! Then my oldest comes in the kitchen crying. My first thought was that he had tried to rescue his beloved chocolate chip cookies from the smoking oven. As I look at his hands, they aren’t burned, but his thumbnail is black. He told me he had slammed it in his bedroom door. Poor thing. I tried to comfort him and then I got the charcoaled cookies out of the oven, which had turned to ash. Alright. What else can happen?

Well, I go to get the baby out of his crib for snack time, and he had started playing in his dirty diaper again. (See post below about The Process of Sanctification). Could all of this really happen in such a short period of time? I just have to laugh - what else can I do? I’m just thankful that the kitchen didn’t catch on fire!

Family Pictures

Family Pics! We took some family pictures this past weekend. The kids did great and we had alot of fun. If you need a good place to go, go to Portrait Innovations.

Friday, June 30, 2006


We have been without our computer for over a week now. Hopefully everything will be back to normal by this evening. This past week, I realized how computer-dependent we are! I went to print out my grocery list - but no computer. I went to check the weather - no computer. I went to pay bills - no computer. I wanted to turn on some music in the playroom - yep, you know the routine. We use the computer all the time in our home - for church, music, research, etc. I feel like I have been out of touch with everyone - but we’re almost back. As I was thinking about this today, my prayer has been that I will be as dependent on the Spirit as I am on the computer in my daily life. May my focus be continually drawn back to the Savior and the grace that He provides me to live each day for His glory.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Free Stuff!

Who likes free stuff? Go to Amy's blog and enter your name in the contest for a free book. And check out the rest of her site while you're there!

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Process of Sanctification - Dirty Diapers

(Disclaimer – subject matter may not be appropriate for those with a weak stomach!)

My third child is such a sweet little boy. So kind, tenderhearted, easy-going (I know, he sounds just like me, well, ok - maybe that's a stretch). He continually makes us laugh and loves to give us hugs and kisses. But this adorable little 23-month old has also thrown us for a loop. He often surprises us with his antics. I think I have this toddler/preschooler thing down and then he teaches me a lesson. He has no fear and loves to jump blindly off furniture. He began chewing on things (furniture, people, animals, his bed) during a teething episode and hasn’t stopped. Seriously, he gnaws on the trees outside! Bark is fiber, right?

I heard him wake up from nap last Friday and he was playing happily in his crib so I continued to finish a few chores before getting him out of his bed. As I walked toward the door, I smelled something funny. As I entered his room, I tried to control myself. I wanted to run out and pretend I didn’t see it (I could just leave him in the baby bed until Daddy got home right?), but I couldn’t as my older 2 preschoolers came running in the room. “Mommy! Oh no! Why did Calvin poop on his head?” I said, “I don’t know – I’m trying to figure that one out myself!”

Now, you have to know that dirty diapers and throw-up aren’t my favorite thing (I know, there’s not many people who would probably list it under their “favorites” but I have a particular aversion to it). Yet God is using all of this to sanctify me and teach me about selfless service (or so I keep telling myself). Back to the room - the particular substance in question was everywhere – even around his mouth. Now, I told you earlier that Calvin eats everything – and now I can truly say “everything!” My neighbor suggested that I call the nurse and make sure he was alright. I already know that if the baby eats money, you’re supposed to check the diapers to make sure it all comes out. But what do you check the diaper for in this situation? Well, the nurse said it was fine since it had come from his own body. Well, isn’t that good to know? So, I guess what I learned from this whole situation is that it’s fine for your children to eat their own ‘substance’, just not someone else’s. Thank you Calvin!

It’s important to remember in this journey of Mothering that God’s grace is sufficient for all things. I am thankful that I can serve these children and that God is using things like dirty diapers to help make me more like His Son.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Beatitudes

I just started a study on the The Beatitudes (Matthew 5). As a part of the study, I am listening to a sermon series by John Piper during my morning walks. This morning Piper preached on "the poor in spirit." He reminded me that the world teaches that "real joy and fulfillment in life are to be found in the pursuit of self-reliance, self-confidence, self-determination, and self-esteem ... [but] the Biblical answer to the paralysis of low self-esteem is not high self-esteem; it is sovereign grace." He used the example of God telling Moses to go to Pharoah to free the Israelites. Moses basically said he couldn't do it. God, in essence, told Moses to stop looking at himself and look to God. He didn't tell Moses "you can do it, you have it within you, etc." He told Moses that He would be with him and He would work through him. We as Christians should not be about promoting "self-esteem". We need to take our eyes off of ourselves and look to God. By grace, He is our Help and He is our Redeemer.

Monday, June 05, 2006

What's In A Name?

How do you choose a name for a blog? I asked my husband what he thought the name of my blog should be. It took him a while to answer me since he thought it was some sort of trick question that I already knew the answer to and he was hoping to answer it correctly! After careful consideration, he suggested “SolaJenn”. What a funny man! “Jenn Alone.” Now, that might describe how I act sometimes (rarely of course) but in reality I truly want to honor Christ with my life. Daily I am reminded that it is not all about me. Something about having 3 small children forces me to forget about myself and I am thankful for that. "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) That is my prayer - that more and more of Christ would be evident in my life. I decided to name this blog "Only By Grace" because that phrase seems to sum it up for me at this place in my life. I am a child of God – only by God's Grace. I am married to an incredible husband and have precious children – only by God's Grace. I am forgiven when I act like “Sola Jenn” – only by God's Grace. I want to be the wife and mother that God has called me to be – and that is only possible – by God's Grace!

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Beginning

This is it! I've started a blog. I'm not sure who will read it - probably just my husband. But this will be a place to share the stories of our family as we daily strive to live a life of Grace - in the midst of diapers, laundry, and more!