Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tonight's the Night!

Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks I want to remind you that tonight is the night for Duck Dynasty!!!! Our family can't wait! Brian has been showing me some of the countdown videos on Facebook and they have been awesome! I have no doubt that Willie, Jace and Uncle Si will not let me down!

I totally understand many of you have more pressing life issues than deciding if you'll watch Duck Dunasty tonight but let me tell you if you need some laughter in life this show is certain to make you happy, happy, happy! It's solid family entertainment and tonight we will be tuned in and ready!

This weekend is a special weekend for the youth of our church so I'm asking all prayer warriors to get on their knees and lift up our weekend! Brian and I along with 6 or 7 other couples will get little sleep, lots of caffeine and untold blessings by being a part of a weekend focused on pointing our youth towards a deeper relationship with God. Our verse this weekend is Hebrews 12:1 -

"Abandon every weight and sin...and run the race before you"

So as we encourage our youth to abandon all that weighs them down and seek Christ I'm hoping you'll pray the message is effective, the fun is beyond exciting but most of all that God moves in a way only He can!

And before I go let me say two more things:

1) I'm "writing" this on my phone so I have no idea about how it will turn out and I just wanted to make that disclaimer! I'm trying to use my time wisely while Kamdyn finishes her therapy! It was this or TJ Maxx and this cost no money which my husband will appreciate.

2) This is Kamdyn and I last night in our glasses. Lots of people think we look alike so what do y'all think?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Goings On and Happenings...

For some crazy reason, known only to me, I thought tonight was the night that I would be reunited with Duck Dynasty! I have planned my day around what I would be doing tonight at 9:00. It is now 8:36 and I have just realized the only Duck Dynasty on tonight will be reruns!!

I can't take it!

Here I had myself all prepared to sit back with family and enjoy not one but two new episodes of our favorite show and it is not to be. Now, I am forced to wait another week but I guess the anticipation will be worth it!

Well, I wanted to let you all know how our Valentine's went. Brian had flowers waiting for me the night before Valentine's, so he really did surprise me!

It is so hard to believe I have known Brian half of my life. I am not sure if that means we are getting old or not, but I do know I am so thankful for him and all he does for me and the kids!

Brendan wanted to send Ellie flowers for Valentine's. He is the most picky boy you will ever meet and he had high expectations of $20 worth of flowers! While he was disappointed in what that looked like, she was very thankful...

He saved $5 on the delivery fee and went picked them up himself. The funny thing was he also brought her back some lunch! I guess he thought that was a better way to spend the money. He left them both sitting on the counter in the office and she was so surprised by what he had done. It is no secret that Brendan is tight fisted with his money so that made her appreciate them all the more!

I've shared their funny pictures with you before, but on Valentine's this is what they sent me to say "Happy Valentine's Day!" -

I just can't help but laugh at them!! I saw a much more normal picture of them on Instagram that night, but this is who they really are.

Kamdyn is finishing her second week of physical therapy and we are starting to see a big change in her knee. I am SO thankful!! She can't wait to get her catcher gear on for softball season so I am hopeful that after two more weeks of therapy she will be good to go!

Koby is just Koby...cracking jokes and making us all laugh! He is the center of any group of people and is already trying to figure out how he is going to do everything he wants to do this summer. His weeks are filling up so if you want on his calendar you better get him to pencil you in. He can't wait for the mission trip and is already making plans for another youth leadership camp he wants to go to. Brian reminded him he might also think about a JOB to have some money for all of these things. If you know Koby you know that isn't even a blip on his radar!! We can't help but love the person God created him to be!

Well, that's all of the goings on and happenings around here. I can't believe this month is almost over!! Spring Break is getting closer and closer and so is Duck Dynasty!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Remembering Beth

I had planned to write about our Valentine's or how excited we are about Duck Dynasty coming back or even about what the kids have been up to. However, tonight I wanted to take a minute to remember my friend Beth.

My job at school is to talk to new families and give them tours of our school. I deal with young families alot, telling them about the advantages of a small Christian school. In the fall of 2008, just days before the school year started, I met a young mother of two boys looking for a spot in our K4 program. They were a military family, which I usually connect with instantly, and the boys were just precious!

Beth and I talked about motherhood and she was so excited to see how Caleb, her oldest one, would grow and learn. Later that fall Beth got sick. Her husband Paul came in with her to meet with our elementary principal and myself and together they explained that Beth had cancer and how that would impact their life.

This past Sunday morning, Beth met her Savior.

Beth and Paul fought the good fight and kept the faith from the beginning. They truly lived out James 1:2, keeping a positive outlook and an encouraging spirit. I always enjoyed speaking to her in the pick up line or visiting her at the house. Anytime Paul posted on her Caring Bridge site - asking for prayers or relating the latest bloodwork or treatment plan- I would get a blessing because he never failed to give God any glory for good news or to offer praise to the One who was seeing them through when there were valleys.

Both of the boys are in our school now - Caleb is in the third grade and Eli is in kindergarten. Sunday afternoon, each one told me in their own way what had happened to their mom. It left me heartbroken yet peaceful because I know Beth gave motherhood all she had. She tried to be up on all the homework, class parties, field trips and events! And on my way home from visiting the family, I felt so convicted of the blessings God has poured out on me.

I am completely undeserving!

As I visited with her mom I encouraged her that through this illness they were able to spend more time together than many mothers and daughters that I know. Mrs. Becky spent most weeks with Beth and Paul, helping out with the boys and the house stuff. She told me how grateful she was for every one of those minutes. I take my own mother and father for granted, thinking they are invincible and will always be there. When I remember Beth, I will always remember to appreciate my parents and any time I have with them because the older I get the more I realize how much they love me.

As I talked with the boys Sunday I saw Beth's smile in Caleb and her twinkle in Eli's eyes. They played on the trampoline and showed me their race care Wii game and I caught myself thinking how I take little moments like that with my own children for granted. When I remember Beth, I will always remember to soak up every minute of being a mother. I will not say "not now" or "ask me later" or "I'm too busy". I'll be at every game, listening intently to any conversation we have and open to any time I can spend with them because I realize they are only ours for a little while.

And then I talked to Paul. In his eyes was grief but on his lips was praise for a Savior who would continue to see him through without the love of his life. I had no words of encouragement for him because I can't imagine life without the other half of me. When I remember Beth, I'll always remember that love is an action and a choice. I'll remember for better or worse could be much worse. I'll remember that love hurts when you give completely. I'll remember that the greatest thing is love.

Paul quoted hymns in many of his posts on Caring Bridge and I appreciated reading those old lyrics. There is victory in Jesus and we all need to have a sweet hour of prayer! Last week Paul wrote, "the darkest hour means dawn is just in sight". For Beth, joy came Sunday morning when she entered heaven's gates to sit at the feet of our King.

I will always remember Beth! I will be forever grateful that God allowed our path to cross at the counter of a small Christian school one summer morning. Please keep her family in your prayers as they walk through next few days of sorrow.

Great is Thy faithfulness,
Great is Thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see,
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's Raining, It's Pouring....

In our little part of the country, we are in our third day of rain!!! I have been grateful for the rain, I truly have. It's just that if it continues to fall Brian is finally going to have to get that boat the boys have been wanting because we won't be able to move around town in our cars!

This much rain tends to make work and school no fun. I would much prefer to be curled up on my couch in sweatpants reading a good book when the cold rain falls outside. Yet, God continues to send it down and I am reminded that He always knows what we need.

We are adapting to being at home more, and it has been a great thing for our family. The boys have started back up their yard business, partnering with some friends from church. It is funny to see which one of the four thinks they are the boss! Kamdyn has started physical therapy on her knee and even endured another shot of steroids in it yesterday. She is one tough little girl! She is patiently waiting to get into softball practice and has been content to just practice her batting for now.

I subscribe to Proverbs 31 Ministries and receive their daily devotion. I wanted to share the link for today's devotion because I thought it might be so relevant to some of you...


Recently I have been reminded that we have to be intentional about our relationship with God. I can look back over my life and see times when "life" crowded out the Giver of Life. I am not proud of those times and I realize that for God to increase in my life, I must decrease. I have to pour out my selfish desires and welcome the rain of His love and mercy and grace.

I love my iPhone as many of you know. One reason I enjoy it is because of the ability to take and send pictures, which our family regularly does. I have been meaning to share a few here on the blog and am just now getting the chance...

From time to time, Brendan and Ellie send me a picture while they are out. They sent this one several weeks ago when they were playing racket ball and it just made me laugh! If you know Brendan, you know he is typically above any kind of silly picture. This is one of the reasons I am thankful for Ellie because she brings out a less serious side of him. They may kill me for putting this picture of them on the blog...

Hunting season is over for us, but Brian and Kamdyn sent me this picture when they were out hunting one day. She loves to go hunting! Our kids have the greatest father, and I am so thankful he takes the time to make memories like this with them. She truly enjoys sitting in a deer stand with Brian!

This past weekend we worked at our local mission project and this is Koby and two of his best friends taking their break! These three have been together for nine years and they truly make me laugh!! They go to school together and have grown up in Sunday School and church together. I am thankful for the willingness they always have to serve and the ability to always have a good time. As you can see, mischief is never far away when they get together!

I hope you are dry and well wherever you are! I'm off to sit by the fire and finish my book while the rain continues to fall....

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The End of a Season...

Well, at our house we have ended two sports seasons this week! Like many of you, our home was full of food and friends as we tuned in to the Super Bowl.

Here is a picture of the kids and some of their friends gathered around our dining table! There was plenty of food and fun as we settled in for a game I thought might never end. I really had no team in this game and to be honest I was kind of out of the loop on the pregame coverage of all the stories about players and their families or careers. Who knew two brothers were coaching against each other? Anyways, we had a great time watching the game and we also had some great dessert.

A friend of mine found a neat Pintrest recipe for some King Cakes made out of cinnamon rolls. The kids LOVED them!!!

Brendan and Ellie shared one before they decided on getting their own!

So as the game wrapped up, the football season officially ended (although today is national signing day and I had no idea this was almost like a college football holiday!)

The boys also ended their basketball season this week, missing out on a trip to the playoffs. To say they were disappointed in an understatement! There is nothing like the high of a win and the low of loss, and for Brendan the low was really low. As time ticked off the clock, our team got the ball with 12 seconds to go and we were down by 3. Since we didn't call a time out, the kids were on their own and Brendan shot a three pointer from a place on the court that he hits from all the time. This shot was not to be and the ball went around the rim and off the far side and the clock hit 0.

As a mother, I hated what he felt knowing the season came down to that one shot. If there had been anything I could have done to make that shot fall through the basket I would have done it. What they don't tell you when they hand you that newborn baby boy is that so many lessons in life will come to him in moments just like this and there is nothing you can do about it but let him walk through them.

Sports is about so much more than just dribbling the ball or shooting the three. I want our kids to learn when you fall down, you have to get up. When your teammates need you, you need to be there. Commitment is being all in for your team not for yourself. Respect the effort others give. Always give 100% in everything every time. Above all, honor God with the talents He has given you.

My prayer is that Brendan uses that feeling from the end of the game to be motivation (as he already talks about making the playoffs next year). My hope is that the boys know sometimes the lesson in a loss is worth more than any trophy from a win. And with that, we close basketball season...until tomorrow when they find a pick up game at the base gym!

Real quick I have to tell you about two new food items our family has found....

Brian bought this gallon of Blue Bell because it was a new flavor and he thought the kids (and us) would enjoy it!! He was exactly right!!!!! You have to try this ice cream sometime!

We also tried something new at our Super Bowl get together and it may shock some of our family that we would even acknowledge we like this...

Yes, I am holding hummus. To be exact I am holding Athenos three roasted pepper hummus. I can't even believe I am telling you that we like this but we do!! We ate it with some pita chips and it was a really good snack food. All this time I thought this was just too weird of a food for us, but I am so glad we tried it!

And with that, I'll end this post. I am looking forward to less time on the road and more time at home cooking. I'll be getting back into my exercise routine, too. Hopefully, I'll do a better job of being more regular with the blog as well. And truth be told, basketball really isn't over!! March Madness will be here before you know it!