Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our Disney trip

We had a WONDERFUL trip to Disney World! And as I traveled home, wearily, on an airplane with our children I plainly said that I was eager to get back to my daily, predictable life. Nonetheless, our trip gave us more incredible memories than I could have imagined. For starters, our very busy little girl behaved beautifully. A couple of slow dinners proved to be more than she could bare, but other than that she was a happy camper. She even took naps in her stroller, a first for her! Our boys had an absolute ball and have been pretending all day to be back at Disney. They have "designed" a new roller coaster and been back to each theme park in their imaginations. We are so thankful to my in-laws for giving us the opportunity to see Disney with all the perks! Here are the highlights (sorry, it was hard to narrow them down):
Our first stop: Downtown Disney. The Lego store could be its own theme park as far as my boys are concerned. A must-see for little boys!We stayed at the Polynesian resort. The Ohana Restaurant has incredible food and the entertainment is a blast! Here is Daddy dancing with our girl.
Our first day at Magic Kingdom. This theme park is the kids' favorite!
My kids were not as excited to meet the characters as I expected. But of all the characters, Buzz was the coolest. Our favorite restaurant by far was the Rainforest Cafe. The inside is just like eating in a rainforest, with a rainbow, waterfall, trees and lightning. The food is yummy, too.
Lydie bug may not have recognized Cinderella, but I sure did! Eating breakfast in Cinderella's castle was a dream come true for me! I felt like a little girl again. I think I dresseed up as Cinderella at least 3 Halloweens as a little girl. What fun!
We were given the Dream Fast Pass on our third day. No lines, no time restraints. Wow!
Epcot. My FAVORITE! It's a homeschooling mom's dream. Here are the boys pretending to be in China. Love it.Mickey's Not-So-Scary-Halloween party. Lydie decided to imitate the "toddler smile" this week. You know the one...eyes tightly shut, square smile, chin up. So many of her pictures capture this expression. Our girl cracks me up! Trick...


Jaybird REALLY loved MGM. He aspires to be a movie director, so he was in hog-heaven. Toot loved the Star Wars area the most. Here he is poised and ready for action.

Our day at Animal Kingdom was the only really HOT day. Poor Toot is burning up (but still having fun)!Good-bye Disney! And good-bye to daily play dates with our cousins. Let's go again some day soon!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Vacation, here we come!

After 7 years of Mommyhood, tomorrow we are finally going to Disney World. My in-laws promised us this trip almost a year ago. My boys have been counting the days for months. We will spend 7 days there, and my man's sweet parents have spared no expense. We are very blessed. These are the costumes for the Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party. I splurged. These + 7 suitcases, 3 carry-on bags, car seats and two strollers, and we are ready to go! I am on my last leg, as my husband has been away for 7 days! Shopping, planning and packing for a trip like this without him around has been challenging, at best. But I am almost done. And he will be home tonight, with less than 12 hours to spare before we have to be at the airport. Whew!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My handsome son is growing up. He was in "dressy uniform" for chapel today. His music teacher is focusing on the "art of worship". He is singing "Forever" and "Everlasting". It is one of the greatest joys in my life to sit in the audience and watch him worship from afar. Oh, how he loves Jesus!
The verses from today's chapel:

Psalm 90:1-2, 1 Timothy 1:17
"Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." "Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible. the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A fall tradition

Last week my man read my blog several posts ago and said, "I never said you shouldn't post pictures of the children. You just need to be careful." Oh! I guess I misunderstood. In that case...

Here's my girl discovering fall at the local pumpkin patch.
And her brother coming in for a hug.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Smelling the roses

Tonight I received these from my man.
He is out of town for seven days and I have family here with me. He left on Friday. I began memorizing Psalm 105 this summer. Verse 3 says, "Tell of all His wonderful acts. Glory in His name." As I have mentioned before, God has worked miraculously in my marriage. My husband is a pretty awesome guy, but still I give God all the glory for our relationship. As I have shared before, a couple of years ago before Lydie bug was a sparkle in our eyes, our marriage was hurting, deeply. Looking back, it was the most desperate, painful time in my life. But I would take that pain again and again for what I have now.Truly. By God's grace and mercy, we turned to Him. (James 4:8) We felt like we were walking with Him before, but this time of falling face down on our knees was pivotal. I realized that through the previous trials in our marriage (moving, renovating, medical problems with our child, etc.) my true refuge was my husband. I would dig my claws in deep and depend on him for my emotional well-being. But the rubber hit the road when I couldn't do that any more. (See his one and only comment on my blog under "My cycle of loneliness" from September 26th. )My faith was tested and I was forced to cling to Jesus. For the first time in my marriage I did not trust my husband, he couldn't save me.

What a wonderful, excrutiating place to be. That is where my relationship with Jesus and my husband changed forever. The Lord performed what seems like miracles in my life. By looking away from my husband and towards Christ my marriage was restored, redeemed, and better than I ever could have imagined. Now I am in a place in my marriage where I feel the freedom to really support my husband in his hopes and ministries. I am not always trying to reel him in like a fish, but I am excited to see God use him away from home. And the amazing reality is that this support and respect has lead him to discover exactly how to love me. I can only give credit to the Holy Spirit for giving us new hearts that are so much more compatible and passionate than ever before. I adore my husband. I can honestly say that I think he is the most incredible man on the planet. I know God will accomplish great things for Himself through this humble, generous man of God. And I just can't believe that I get to walk through life with this guy. Wow, God is so gracious.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Today was boy swap again with my friends. My sweet friend, Dawn, has Toot all morning. The baby has been asleep for a while. The house is quiet and peaceful. So I decided to have some craft time. Here's what I made:

As the Mama of two boys and then a girl, I couldn't just dress her in overalls. I had to embellish them just a little. If you have spent six years with plain, old denim, you understand. I haven't sewn the green polka-dotted ribbon on yet. Is it too much?
These are some finds from "thrifing" yesterday. Thanks, Maryanne, for telling me about the new thrift store next to the Goodwill.

I found this little treasure for $5. I want to put it in my bathroom once I paint in there. Maybe having this little piece of art will inspire me to paint.

A little vase for $1. Green and yellow are my favorite colors, so I snagged it.

Have a beautiful day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Your legacy

"Once you see the face of God, the world is forever transformed into His features" ~Peter Kreeft

Yesterday a precious man from our church went to be with Jesus. His name was Larry, father of two young boys, Christian, servant-leader, husband, and victim to Lou Gehrig's disease. After a five year battle, he received ultimate healing in heaven. Although his family is grieving and we are with them, I am really looking forward to the reception after his funeral entitled, "Celebration of Life". As I have been thinking about Larry's life, for some reason I have also been thinking about my Nana, Lydia's namesake. Since Lydia was born, I think of her more and more. I think of Larry's and my Nana's legacy of embracing life. They were servants, loved, hard workers, good friends.

I have been thinking a lot about the short time we have to serve God in our earthly bodies. I want to take every breath for His glory. I want to bask in His love, praying and meditating on His Word throughout the quick moments of each day. I want to live creatively, which enables me to worship Him in my own unique way. I want to speak and show my love for my family and friends each day, not holding back. I want believers and non-believers to be welcomed in our home, and for us to receive the great blessing of their presence. I want to worship without holding back. I want to be used by God to draw people to the gospel. And the wonderful thing is, that each of my "wants" are attainable through the work of the Spirit! It's encouraging to think about what we want from this life. What do you want?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

He picked ME

Toot's latest masterpiece: A Berry Tree

After a couple of weeks of observing unusual whining and disobeying from Toot, I asked my husband to pray and watch his behavior closely. A couple of days later we both agreed that Toot has finally realized he is in the middle. No longer the baby and never to be the oldest, he is feeling misplaced. We began to review what we know of our little guy, mainly that his love language is quality time, that is quality time one-on-one. So we decided to have "date nights" with our boys. Every Tuesday is date night. Last week Jaybird got the first opportunity to be alone with a parent, a rare treat now that we have three little ones. He and his Daddy chose to go hit golf balls at a driving range and a miniture golf course. They followed up with a McDonald's milkshake. It was a big hit!

Our pumpkin pie...see the back of a Libby's canned pumpkin for this yummy recipe

Toot had exactly seven days to count down until his date night. And he counted many, many times! Finally, Tuesday arrived. I assumed he would go with his Daddy and then I would take the boys out alone the next round. But he requested ME instead! His request could only be paralleled to the wonderful day 18 years ago in eighth grade when I was asked to my first dance. Oh, to be picked! So we had a date and we were both beaming all day!

We decided a trip to the train store and Moe's would suit Toot well. He has been a fan of trains for as long as I can remember, at least since his first birthday. He has had three train-themed parties. So today we spent one hour looking at electric train sets and playing with Thomas toys. He got to pick a new wooden train for his own collection. Then we ate a yummy lunch together. What a joy to just listen to this little pumpkin who is usually our quiet child. Here are my favorite things that Toot said today:

  • (As we pulled out of the neighborhood): "So, Mommy, I wasn't the very first one to come out of your tummy, was I?"
  • A couple of miles down the road: "I think we should buy a sleigh. Then we could just fly everywhere." (Why not an airplane?)
  • And then: "Do cars run on batteries?" "What kind of batteries, like toys?" "What do these batteries look like?" **When we got to a parking lot we got out of the car, opened the hood and looked at the engine and battery. That was fun!
  • And finally: "Mommy, you were a good date. How many days until we do this again?"

When we came home, we had our homeschool lessons. After some math and reading review, we read this book about pumpkins and made a pumpkin pie together. Every time I turned my back on Toot I felt a squeezing hug around the legs. And when he pulled up a chair beside me to cook I was the recipient of many kisses on my hands and cheeks. I think it is safe to say that his little love tank was running over. I cherish these days when my children wear their hearts are their sleeves. Life is so simple at this age. What a day!

Friday, October 05, 2007


As I have mentioned before, Jaybird's school is amazing. He is in a little first grade class of 8, but the curriculum is meticulously well-thought. It is crafted for every type of child. The teachers truly look at our little ones as image-bearers of God. They are treasured. More than that, the principal of the school is incredibly gifted. She loves little ones more than any person I have ever met. She greets my shy little boy every day with a high five. She knows he doesn't give hugs freely. She never forces, but always meets him right where he is. I love this woman, a sweet sister in Christ.
Every Thursday Jaybird comes home with the school newsletter. At the end is "The Principal's Place". I want to cut these out of the newsletter and make a journal just for them. Her words are so wise and loving, gently stirring my sinful heart. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter from yesterday. I hope it encourages you, or at least brings you hope later when you might need it!
"Take a moment to remember the four promises of forgiveness.
1. I will not dwell on this incident.
2. I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.
3. I will not talk to others about this incident.
4. I will not let this incident stand between us or hinder our personal relationship.
Then take a moment to remember something else: This is the way God forgives you! It's natural for us to read the four promised of forgiveness as another set of laws to which we're presently failing to live up; however, the gospel reminds us that they should be read first and foremost as God's commitment to us because of the sacrifice of His son... Remember that Romans 8:1 applies to you, not just other Christians. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!" When you accept this and apply it to your own life, prepare to be pleasantly surprised how much easier it will become to apply the four promises of forgiveness to others who have hurt you!"

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Swimming in delight

I have perceived that to be with those I like is enough,To stop in the company with the rest at evening is enough, To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough, To pass among them, or touch any one, Or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment what is this, then? I do no ask any more delight. I swim in it, as in a sea. -Walt Whitman
First tastes of fall

This day has been wonderfully exhausting. It started with a long conversation on the way to Jaybird's school regarding Santa and abortion. Yikes! My five year old asked me out of the blue, "Is that Santa man real?" After going through the entire life story of St. Nicolas and the origin of the tradition, Jaybird says, "Well, if St. Nick is in heaven, who delivers the presents?"
Later, Toot remarked on my new bumper sticker. It says, "Let them live!" in support of the human life amendment in our state of Georgia. (If you are a pro-life Georgian, please see and support the overturn of Roe vs. Wade!) Any way, I gently explained that some doctors are allowed to take tiny babies out of their mothers tummies. I kept hoping to stop with as little information as possible, but of course my Jaybird was interested in peeling every layer of the onion. I actually ended the conversation feeling very satisfied with the appropriate words that the Lord gave me to share with my innocent, little boys.

When are arrived at the school, we picked up four friends to spend the morning at our house. I have this marvelous arrangement with three friends from church. We trade kids every Thursday. One Thursday a month I have six little ones to care for. The other three Thursdays Toot is having fun with friends, and I have only the baby. The boys love it and the mommies do, too!

After lunch, homework, and a little Star Wars we were off for another playdate. More fun for the children and wonderful fellowship for me! My friend's house reminds me of Toot's art teacher's house. It is so beautiful, unique and warm that it is almost like walking through an art museum. It is always changing and becoming more and more beautiful. How inspiring!

My baby girl (on the right) bullying her little friend. Lord help us point this little sassy thing to you!

When we walked through the door at 5:45, I was so thankful for the pot of soup I had made earlier. I felt so exhausted and I was glad that we could just fall into our chairs and chat a while. Only, the boys reminded me that tonight was the night I had PROMISED apple pie! We have been reading this book and tonight was the big night! So...we made the pie. (Which lead to a trip to the store for milk...and diet coke and paper towels and orange juice.) A warm pie and cold glass of milk is a wonderful way to end a night. Especially when your little boys are beaming and full of conversation and energy. Now the house is quiet. A bath and a good book are calling my name! Good night!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Precious moments with Jaybird

-Today he got in the car after school and said, "Well, I'm okay with it, but still...I think I'm a hermit. " He looked so serious and matter-of-fact. I replied, "Now, why would you say that?" He said, "I get so nervous in front of the class when I have to talk. I wish I was alone. So, I guess I'm just a hermit." He was very relieved when I set him straight!

-Yesterday in the car he exclaimed, "Mom, I know what kind of birthday party I want!" Since I just planned three birthday parties and his birthday is in July, I admit I rolled my eyes when I heard the topic. Then he said, "I want a Jesus party! It will be so exciting! We can have a treasure hunt in the back yard and the kids will have to fight really hard to get to the end where they learn about Jesus. I might even just make it a Bible party. Our pool would be great to use to act out the flood."

Thank you, Lord, that you have stirred your Spirit in my little boy's heart. Thank you that you took a heart of stone and gave it Life. Thank you that a little 7 year old boy points me to you every day!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Could I brag on my boy, just for a minute?

My oldest son is in first grade. His first "project" is due tomorrow. He read My Father's Dragon at school and at home. His teacher asked us to complete a diorama and write a few sentences describing the funny lion scene from the book. (The lion tries to tame his mane by tying ribbons in his hair.) Not only did he do most of the diorama himself, but he thought of the sentences and spelled every word all by himself. (It says: "The lion is trying to tie bows. He doesn't notice my father walking away. My father is proud.") I wrote here about his struggles. Not bad handwriting, considering, and it's only the second month of first grade. I am so proud!
**I need to add a disclaimer and recognize that though I should brag about Jaybird's hard work, mostly I should recognize GOD'S FAITHFULNESS to answer our prayers and give him a heart and mind that wants to learn! His diagnosis as a toddler stated that he would always be weak in fine motor skills, and it does my heart good to see God prove even a diagnosis wrong and grow him in this area, as only He can. So may I never boast in anything, but HIS FAITHFULNESS AND LOVE for us!!