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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously, Lord?

You know exactly what kind of day you are in for when the last thing daddy says to mommy as he escapes out the door is, "Honey, I pity you!" EXACTLY, I was doomed from the start!  Wednesdays are our busy days, Bible Study and then playgroup. We love both and it's my decision to do them both on the same day, but Wednesday works best for most of the mommies in our group, so there ya go! The chaos ensued, and oh, just because it's naptime now, doesn't mean it's over. Oh no, it usually gets worse around suppertime.
     First, I chose my battle very carefully, Taylor, you can not wear shorts, it is too cold. No it's not too cold, I want to be a football player. You can be a football player in that shirt, but we have to find pants that will match. Twenty minutes and 3 pair of pants later...we're both pleased.
     On to the quiet one now, gotta dress a moving target-the chase is on. Gotcha, now to comb out of your hair all that applesauce that your daddy thought you could feed yourself. Maybe we'll just skip socks for today! Takes 10 minutes to corale them both into the car and shoe them. And we're off! I turn up the music to drown out the questions...oh the questions, they never stop!
     As much talking that goes on in our Bible Study group, you'd be surprised to know it's quieter than my car and house! All's good at church til we get back to the car, a shove from one starts the dominoes. The little one wanted one of the 3 trains the older one had in a bucket. The older one was having none of it, shoved the little one. Just can't have that-I took the bucket away---then came the meltdown/tantrum that some of you ladies witnessed--thanks for the help by the way-LOL! So glad our circus could entertain you today!  After a spanking, short timeout on the step rails of the car and a reciting of Ephesians 6:1, we were on the road again-to the mall-GERONIMO!
     Lunch itself was a battle, I am completely worn out by now and it's only 11:45. I couldn't wait to get to the playground, I can sit and the boys will play with their friends! WooHoo...Errr..Not So Much! Taylor's friends Cael and Colby were there...perfect tackling buddies-yep tackling. We have 3 rules at the playground- No Hitting, No Tackling and Be Nice. But he was having fun and honestly, I was just too tired to chase him around.  Andrew, now he was plumb wore out and kept running away from the playground so I never actually got to sit much at all.
     Then to B &BW for soap, don't even get me started on that one. We make it to the car, but not before a certain someone stood up in the back of the stroller toppling the whole thing over sending a sippy cup across the parking lot! Forget the cup-GET IN THE CAR. Seriously, Lord? Really?
     Don't pity me, I do this to myself. I could choose to stay home and avoid the madness, but I'd go absolutely nuts! I'm not a home-body like Jim. I am very task oriented, gotta always be doing something.
     We are out of toilet paper at home. Completely out, can't wait for daddy, gotta get it ourselves, I'm thinking-great, can't get much worse! If I strap them both into the cart it'll be smooth sailing. Right! As Taylor is tearing off bananas and trying to eat them on the cake aisle a sweet and well-intentioned elderly couple stop by our cart and say, "You are right in the middle of the very best part!" Like I said, well-intentioned! They didn't see any other aisles! By the time we make it to the car all the frozen bags of vegetables have holes in them, a banana is missing and I can just feel the veins running down my shins, Lord help me!
     Last stop, the bank, harmless right! Yah, that's what I thought too! As I'm taking care of business with the lady behind the window,  Taylor is dangling the wires from the DVD player out of his window trying to lasso the vaccuum tube next to us!!!!!!!!!  And the teller actually thinks he needs a dum-dum sucker! Here it comes-OH MY WORD and it's only 2:30 in the afternoon.
     I know, he's only 3, and a boy, but can I be selfish for a minute? I'm only 28-, a girl, and I feel like I'm 60, need some support hose and a pack of Depends! Seriously, Lord? Again, don't pity me-I choose to stay home with my precious boys. I am exactly where He wants me at this very moment. Some days are more chaotic than others, but  I'd rather have this life and all its madness any day than only getting a few hours a day with these little guys. It's a blessing I get to do what I do and I take great joy in it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5 Month Old Toenails...

There are just some things as new parents that Jim and I had to learn on our own. Like, you have to cut your baby's toenails, preferrably before they are 5 months old! We were given lots of books and parenting advice out the wazoo, but never, ever were we told we needed to cut his toenails. Who knew? I mean, we knew to cover him quickly when his weewee was exposed, to put a hat on in the cold, no peanut butter for the first year. What to Expect the First Year never mentions toenails!!!! It was a cool day and we had taken a stroll down on the National Mall in D.C. and for some reason I had Taylor's socks off and realized his toenails were so long they were curling down over his toes! Can you picture it! OH MY WORD. I couldn't find a way quick enough to blame this on Jim-but I mean, after all, he is supposed to be the leader of this family! J/K. You try clipping 5 month old toenails on a 5 month old-it isn't easy! So all you mamas and poppsies out there who are withholding advice from new parents for fear of information overload, just remember, sometimes the most basic principles of grooming a baby are lost in all the wash! (Picture of Taylor in December 06- 5 Months Old!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Potty Training tip #46 - bowl fresheners

Have you seen those commercials for the Scrubbing Bubbles-Toilet Cleaning Gel? While visiting a friend's house recently, I was amazed at how good those things made her bathroom smell. So when our budget allowed, I got me some! Don't know how well they clean, but they sure do entertain Taylor while he is on and- off the potty! As with all little boys, when teaching them to keep their weewee pointed toward the water, an object always helps! Oh yah...he wants to shoot the little green cleaning thing! And you ask, what do you mean, entertains him while he is off the potty? Well...our Sunday afternoon nap was interrupted by Taylor needing to go potty- so we sent him into our bathroom. He's big enough to go on his own and if he goes poopy, he usually calls us, telling us he is finished. We kept hearing him in there, sounded like a plunger...we don't own a plunger..hmmm...what in the world is that sound... I run into the bathroom to find a 3 year old bare bum sticking up in the air. His other end was completely down in the potty! He's talking, it's all echoey and muddled...Taylor, what in the world are you doing? He pops up, Hey mommy, maybe I'm just smelling the air freshener! OH MY WORD. Pertinent lesson I never thought I'd have to teach my child-We don't put our head down into the toilet! Why not mommy? Because it's just gross-go ask your daddy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mother of the Year-not quite

It happened. The thing every parent dreads and prays never happens. We let Andrew wander off in a crowded area. It was the classic I thought you had him scenario. All fingers aside, Andrew wasn't with either of us. Panic mode on the inside. Hold back the tears, keep it together on the outside. Then the horrible thoughts flood your mind-What kind of mama are you? You are supposed to be watching him. He is a precious gift-how irresponsible. You are off in your own little world, once again, not paying attention to the the moving world around you. How can you be so selfish to think about yourself in a time like this. Then you pray those prayers you thought you'd never have to pray- Oh Lord, You know exactly where he is, keep him safe. Please bring him back to us. Do I listen to the announcer to call for the parents of an adorable little boy who was found, do I scream out to everyone, HAS ANYONE SEEN A LITTLE BOY, THIS TALL? What was he wearing? Keep those tears back, don't lose it now. Where is he? And again, I owe my life to Martha Ann! She found him! Thank You Lord!!! He wasn't far away, but in a crowd that size, for a 1 year old, it was miles! We regrouped, I had to break the tension. So I raised my hand and shamefully accepted my award for the Mother of the Year Award!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Successes, Failures & Hope-a little bit of it all

     Somedays you feel successful as a mom and wife, other days you feel like a complete failure. It's all relative, what success is. To me, if I've loved on my kids all day and given them the attention they deserve,  and so fervently desire, then I feel I was a successful mommy that day. If my husband has to get the bread and peanut butter out of the pantry after supper, I feel like a failure, I'm supposed to feed the man! Failure is when I have spent more time on the tasks of being wife and mommy than fulfilling the actual duty. It's a fine balance that I'm not sure I will ever achieve, but by golly, I'm gonna try!
     Often, naptime comes and I ask myself, whoa, did I even say one positive thing to Taylor today? Did I work with Andrew on his words? Is there something Jim has been asking me to do that has slipped my mind? I think it's important to evaluate yourself, assess the need for change, the need to hug your kids more, look for areas of improvement!
     Other days, like today, I was able to start my day off the right way-Praising the Giver of Life before my feet even hit the ground! Not that being able to do this means you will have a successful day, I can testify to that, but it definitely puts you in the right mindset, you've made contact with the Father. Made Him your first priority. That is key!

     I knew today was successful when both my boys were so tired they made absolutely no fuss when they went down for their naps. Whew! I haven't had a shower, just sat down since...7:30ish, still have my glasses on and the living room looks like the storm that is brewing out west has already come and gone! But, I sit in amazement, Taylor got some t.v. time-the only time he will actually sit still and give his voice a rest, so it's important for him and me! Andrew got his morning nap, both boys got some much needed Vitamin D outside, there were veggies at lunch and best of all...there weren't any spankings today! When I couldn't play one more round of soccer with Taylor I decided they'd probably like a bath...and I could sit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     So it's 3:30, my precious darlings are napping, are squeaky clean, supper for 2 families is warming on the stove and not a single dirty dish needs to be washed! Now I consider that a successful day. Come tomorrow, when I have company coming, grocery shopping and extra cooking to do, well, that might just be another story! Praise the Lord for His mercies that are new each day!
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “ The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “ Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3:22-24 NKJV


     We are scheduled to begin our Bible study on Fear next week. I am sort of eager to dive head first into this study and sort of scared to at the same time! I know God tells us many times that we are not to be afraid, for He is with us. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 
     If you know me, you know I am not a worrier, but I do have a great, great fear of worms, centipedes, and millipedes, etc.--something about their legs just creep me out. It's something I've been told I really need to work on trusting God about. In our first house together, Jim & I had a slight centipede problem. It was a new house and for some reason, these creatures loved our living room. One night as I was sitting on the couch watching T.V., a giant monster of a centipede came crawling out of nowhere! I ran for Jim. In my fear, what I was waking him up for was lost and he thought there was an intruder. I mean, I did burst into the room and jump into the middle of the bed screaming about a giant in the living room. He went half stumbling, half running. He returned with this look of diappointment on his face...Are you serious Candise, I thought there was someone breaking into our house, you woke me up for that. Tears in my eyes, I sadly nod. He admitted the size and look of the monster was intimidating, but that it wasn't shooting flames and it wasn't about to eat me...GET OVER IT! I know in facing this fear and handing it over to God will lead me to have to come face to face with the little uglies, but it needs to be done. Taylor has noticed my fear. He's so cute about it though. If we see one, he is very quick to stomp it, makes him feel like my little super hero.
     Then there's another fear that plagues me deep within. The fear of losing my family. If you are familiar with my story, then you know I am very acquainted with death. I was adopted by my grandparents when I was Andrew's age and we spent a lot of time visiting the funeral home after the deaths of my parents' friends. When I was 12 my mom, the grandmother who adopted me, passed away from cancer. In 2001, my biological mom, who was a sister to me, went to be with the Lord due to heart failure. The following year my stepsister's heart stopped as well. Add in the older aunts and uncles and great grandparents and well, I guess you could say I am used to it. I think I am very well equipped to deal with death and illness. So my fear lies in the possiblity of losing one of my children or my precious husband. If I am awake when Jim leaves to go running in the mornings, I lay there praying for him the entire time. I pray God will put a light around him so that motorists will see him on the road. I pray that his heart is strong and that he has had enough electrolytes for that morning. When he leaves for work, going all of 5 miles, I am praying that the drivers on the road are careful. I constantly ask God to bring Jim back to me safe and breathing. Then there's the pit
in my stomach that brings me to my knees. Losing a child. Worse would be losing a child and having regrets. I know that there is a chance that one of my children will leave their earthly flesh behind before me, but I pray it doesn't happen that way. A friend who recently lost a son told Jim-- have no regrets. Do it all. Enjoy those boys. Love them like crazy--you never know when the day might be your last. At night I am constantly checking on Andrew, making sure he's still breathing. I don't have a problem telling Taylor the harsh realities of not holding my hand in the parking lot. Some would even say, and I think I might even rationalize it too, that this is a healthy fear. But I believe God wants us to trust Him with our cares, fears and worries, the little ones and the big ones. The NKJV of 2 Timothy 1:7  says For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 
     I guess you could say I am eager to start this study to see what else God says about fear. What other fears am I clinging to. In what areas and ways does God want me to trust Him more? The study was written by Mrs. Kay Martin, who has a Certificate and an Advanced Certificate in Women's Ministry from NOBTS and, who, among many, many other things, teaches a ladies Sunday school class at our church and leads numerous studies for women. She has a weekly blog of devotionals that she shares at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Blessed Lemonade

     (Try playing the video at the bottom of the post while reading)
     We wrapped up our "One In a Million" Bible study by Priscilla Shirer today. Something sparked my thoughts to tell you about 3 very special friends that God has used to inspire, encourage and spur me on in my walk with Him. I don't think they'll mind if I camp out on their front porches for a few moments to tell you how special they are to me.
     We'll start with my high school friend Martha Ann. We met in 8th grade, a year after my mom had passed away and my dad moved us to Florence, MS. Martha is hilarious. I think one of the things I liked about her is that she had strict parents like mine, but she was still able to be cool! We played basketball, softball and ran cross country and track together. No matter who was involved or what they were doing, Martha was the one who always got caught. Maybe that's why she is the way she is today! Our friendship really took root when we went off to Hinds together...the local community college, that is. She was there for me when I broke up with my boyfriend and I thought my world was crashing down around me. She cried with me and comforted me and even gave me a special teddy bear that I slept with until I married Jim! Then she was there when Christ came to live in my heart, she witnessed the change and the journey that soon embarked. She too was changed. I began to see a new Martha. Her relationships, desires and her motives seemed to changed. I'd have to say, this was probably my first Christian friendship. She's been the first to know of all 3 positive pregnancy tests, within minutes, after Jim of course. She's who I call when I'm down. When I need a friend. I've gotten to watch her and her husband grow into an incredibly fun Christian couple who seeks to go deeper with God and to take Him at His word. It has truly been amazing being her friend!
     Then, there's Mary Martha I'm not kidding, that was her real maiden name!!! Gotta love her just for that! God knew when I got to The W I'd need another Martha! She was my Big in the Lockhearts and we sparked a friendship the very first time we met. She had just returned from summer missions in Alaska and I had just come home from summer missions in the Philippines. MM, as I like to call her, has her own very incredible story. I've watched her come through some deep valleys and rough wildernesses but never without her ever-beautiful smiling face full of joy and grace that could only come from knowing that God had ordained this exact path she was traveling. We were to go to China one summer to share the Truths of the Father, but it was the summer of SARS and were re-directed to Thailand. I think I almost died that summer and MM saved my life, or something like that. I had a 105 temp and she knew that was a bad thing for an adult! I had the flu, bronchitis, sinusitus and whatever else that was lost in translation. I had to stay a night or two in a Thai hospital...can we say SCARY! She never left my side! MM has a way of bringing joy to every situation, a way of seeing the true Light in all things. She knows how to handle situations in a way that is both graceful and comical at the same time. She is definitely the life of the party. After The W, MM went off to seminary in Texas, got married and then lived in * ****...remember Corrie Ten Boom telling about the fleas and thanking God for them...just think modern day MM living in * **** with ****! In the midst of her very g**** living circumstances, she still encouraged me with the Word! Her world could crumble around her, but she is still going to see God's divine will and purpose and praise Him for it! I call on her for every kind of advice you can think of, and she is never scared to put me in my place and tell me the Truth! That's my MM!
     And last but certainly not least there is Kate. My sweet dear Kate. She's a ballerina and embodies all the grace and poise that title brings. She moved to Rome, Italy, this past August. I miss her immensely. I met Kate during our short stay in D.C. One thing we both agree on is that God ordained and intended our friendship from the beginning. We met at church and our family started attending a small group Bible study at her house each week.  Kate and her son Reid and Taylor and me began walking together at least 2 times a week...sometimes for hours. We just couldn't get enough of each other! We could talk for hours!!! It was the Lord's perfect timing. I needed the advice, motivation and zeal she had and she needed the experiences from my past that would soon help her through some really tough times. She is cool, calm and collective. In so many ways her marriage encouraged romance and spontanity! She never complained the entire trip to and from Myrtle Beach, when Taylor had the roto virus and threw up the entire week! She went through my entire pregnancy with Andrew with me, only to find out we would move back to MS four weeks before his arrival. It was harder leaving her and her sweet family behind than anything. She came for Taylor's 2nd birthday and I wasn't able to tell her about Carrie Ann before she left for Rome. CA has postponed our 5 year anniversary trip to visit them until next Fall, but we will get to catch up soon, very soon!
     I love the Rascal Flatts' song, Bless The Broken Road. I am reminded of these sweet, blessed friends everytime I hear it!
     Different people, different souls, different seasons, all sisters in Christ! Encourage that special sister of yours today. Let her know how much she has meant to you. She might not know how God has used her in your life.

Re-Wired, Continued!!

Jim just sat here laughing through my Re-Wired post-said he couldn't make it through it. Said I was a very creative, versatile writer. What's that mean? You (Candise) are a good story-teller. Me (Jim), I'm good with telling the facts. HaHa...not sure if that is a compliment or not. We went on to check on the boys, make sure they are tucked in well. We return to the kitchen where I find the dessert still sitting on the stove and more dirty dishes on the counter. I mentioned, this stuff is still out? He laughed...said he didn't know if I had had any...Did you not notice me sitting beside you eating cake and drinking a glass of milk, notice the knife in the cake...or even that the cake was out...Well, I thought you just got it out for me. And you just thought these dishes with leftover cake on them were from who? Did you not just read my blog...get anything from it? Thank goodness he chuckled. Still, nothing, walked into the bedroom and said, I'm so glad you left this pile of clothes on my side of the bed. Well, I was hoping you'd notice them and fold them for me...Need a blimp hun? I Think he played this I'm a guy card on purpose, just to get my goat. I've seriously got my work cut out for me!

Monday, October 19, 2009


     I'm just not buying it anymore! The "I'm a guy, I'm wired that way" card. It'll stop with my I'm not the first mom/wife to cry this! You may totally disagree with me and have some scientific or spiritual explanation, but I don't. I just have a logical explanation-laziness. I'm not harping on Jim or any recent event, just a general observation.
     Too many times we let our guys get away with things, like overlooking the pile of clothes needing to be folded or the icky stack of dirty dishes or not responding to a third request to do something just because he's a guy, he's wired that way. There is really no excuse. I think it's just inbred in them that this is acceptable because their mom's said that it's just the way he's wired. Bahumbug! I NEVER get a pass to be moody just because I'm a girl. Just because I have raging hormones doesn't give me permission to make everyone walk on eggshells. I'm not saying I don't, just saying, it's not even acceptable for me to play the-I have PMS card.
     I've talked to Jim about this, wondering why is it so hard for him to "read my mind" or to understand my feelings...He is just like all guys and says, "just not wired that way." But when it all came down to it, he said it's comfortable that way, it's laziness. It's taken me 4 and a half years to see that I can't change what's already done, but I think I can stop the cycle with my boys! I keep reminding myself that they are going to be some lovely girl's husbands someday. I want those girls to see all that my little men can be-sensitive to her feelings, aware of obvious chores, and most definitely still woo her off aching feet when she's 60 pounds pregnant and ankles the size of grapefruits! Ask me in 20 years if my plan is working!
And please, by all means, let me know what you think...agree, disagree?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Perfect Waste of Time

It's been a very, very long weekend. And as I promised God, I will sit down now. It's 7:26 p.m. on Sunday evening and both boys are fed, bathed and snug as bugs in their beds. We have completely unpacked. Unpacking takes much longer now that I have to unpack for three! But, being that almost all of our clothes were dirty, they all went in the hamper!! EASY!
 Jim and I look at each other, and let out long sighs, let's go watch some t.v.!!! Jim would beg to differ with me, but I don't think anything on television is useful for our minds. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 Jim would like to believe that ESPN and the news are right, true, lovely?
However, we both agree that the television is definitely a mind clearing device. We can sit, stare and think about absolutely nothing! It's a perfect waste of our time when we don't abuse it. We don't watch anything until our boys are in the bed, except sports and news, occasionally. We are strict with ourselves in guarding our hearts and minds, so we usually TiVo our favorite detective and spy shows and just stare aimlessly, allowing our minds a rest.
See you tomorrow, refreshed, bushy-eyed and ready to do the wife & mommy thing all over again!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Drama Queen

The world is coming to an end!!! Well, not really, but I'm allowed to be a little dramatic, right? So I've realized my pregnancy condition has worsened...apparently I'm really supposed to get off my feet! I found myself sobbing to God in the shower to just help me feel better. I thought, Father, I just need to get through this weekend, then I'll sit down, I promise. You know you've made those promises before too, don't hate. Then I remembered, Tebow plays at State next weekend...Okay, maybe next weekend too God!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Legacy Left Behind by the Class of '99

Some of you are probably tired of me talking about it, but this weekend is my graduating class from Florence High School's 10 Year Reunion!!! We've been planning it since March, but I've been thinking about it for 9 years. So what, I'm a girl! I wish I had written down somewhere what I thought it would be like so I could LOL! It's been fun getting to reconnect with old classmates through the planning. Now we are (or at least should be) a lot more mature and at different stages in life. I'm looking forward to catching up with some classmates with whom I finally have some things in common!

One thing I'm really looking forward to most is finally letting my classmatess get to know the real ME. Back then who knew who they really were? I sure didn't.  I knew who and what I wanted to be, but was far from it. I was as fake as could be. People thought I was a Christian, but I really wasn't. I desperately wanted to be though. My junior year I thought I was a Believer, then my senior year, I thought I could believe myself into being a Christian, but that only left emptiness and hopelessness and worst of all...fear. I saw true Believers exuding joy that I knew only came from the Holy Spirit and I wanted that. I was a hypocrite. My pride was sending me to hell. Life at home was awful and I was in a pointless relationship that was all about infatuation, but I didn't want people to see that. It would be embarrassing. I had a youth minister and a youth worker who saw through the charade, and they looked after me. I don't think anyone was more happy than them, when I finally did do business with God in my heart and stopped doing it with my head.

It was a hard journey after that, in the wilderness being humbled, tested, humbled and shaped, but I emerged to find that I didn't care any longer what people thought of what I looked like or whether or not I was a dork. I have learned to be me, the one God has made, from the inside out. His opinion is the only one that counts. "But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

My hopes for this reunion aren't only for me, there are other classmates who have changed, and grown, who have renewed their relationships with Christ and are growing by leaps and bounds in the Spirit. I want people to see that. To get to know them now. I want people to see the joy we exude and to desire a true relationship with the REAL JOY GIVER!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Voice of an Angel!

One thing I miss most about getting to ride in the car alone, is the chance to turn the Praise & Worship music all the way up and belt out to the Lord! I highly recommend doing this at night as you could become a distraction to other drivers!
God speaks to people in many ways. One way He always reaches my heart is through music. I take advantage of my childrens' ages and still turn it up, just not as loud. They need to see mama praising the Lord, right. Bad thing is, they have an askewed idea of what it means to be "in tune." I personally think I do sound like Natalie Grant in the shower! But there's just something about Chris Tomlin's "I Will Rise."
You can't not turn it up and belt out....
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
Then that Chorus:
And I will rise
when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise I will rise
Oh MY Word, by now I am trying to keep both hands on the wheel and out of the air, when that third verse just gets you:
There's a day that's drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
WHEW!!!! Praise the Lord...then I have to restart it and listen to it and do it all over again!

Be Still

I love the evenings when everyone is in bed and the house is quiet and I can hear myself think, better yet, I can hear God speak. This is my time to be alone with my Father, to get deeply entrenched in His Word. The only time I get to sit and cry to Him, to feel His arms around me. Draw near to God and He will come near to you. -James 4:8

It's been one of "those" days when a good cry on His shoulder is all I need. Nothing needs to be said by either side, just a simple, "Father." Be still and know that I am God.-Psalm 46:10

Last week was an amazing week of growing closer as a family, spending quality time together. Jim and I were able to just love on our boys without distractions or schedules. Then this week began and it was back to the grind. I've been planning for our 10-year high school reunion that is this weekend and it actually has all fallen into place, but I stress about it, because I want everyone to have a good time.

So normal life activities, the added stress of a big weekend ahead and then a call from the doctor about a worsened pregnancy issue that has risen and I slump into the couch and wish I had the evening, right then, at that moment, to crawl up into God's arms. If I don't slow down and get off my feet I will be put on bed rest. I looked at Taylor, he came over to me and saw the tears on my face and said, "Mommy, I'm your friend, I'll help you feel better, friends help friends." Water works!

I remember the week I had Andrew, I felt like it was a week of Taylor's life that I missed. Jim's parents and sister were here, so he was well entertained and taken care of, but he's my son, my responsibility, my love. I kept thinking, Taylor wants to go to the park so bad this week, can I still do that? The fact is, I can, and I want to, it just depends on how much pain and irrepairable damage am I willing to endure to do so.

I kept asking God, if I can't play with them, then who can and oh my goodness, will you just heal me so I can get up! Are you serious Lord, if I tell Jim this he will say I shouldn't go to the reunion. Do I make much ado about nothing and ignore it and bear the pain? Lord, what do you want me to do??????

So I sat there, throwing myself a little pity party, sobbing over having to sit still! Imagine that!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Come on People...

Have you heard of Redbox? I think it is the next great phenomena since sliced bread! If you are already confused, Redbox is a dvd vending machine, they are located at different retail establishments throughout different cities. The were all over NoVA and when we moved here, I sent tons of emails to Redbox until we got about 4 in the Tupelo area!! WooHoo!!! They cost $1 per day and you can reserve them online at home and pick them up at the kiosk, or just rent them at the kiosk itself. Anyway, Jim and I LOVE renting Redbox videos, so as you can imagine, I stand in line a lot and have the opportunity to watch peoples' body languages. One very common, and gross, trait a lot of people I stand in line behind is to prop themselves up on the machine like they have a lame leg. One day last week while waiting for a friend in the Walgreen's parking lot at Barnes Crossing, my point was made. Check these pictures out:
Okay, this guy must have really had a tough day. At one point he had both arms on the top of the machine, propping himself up.
Whatever happend to "Lean on Me, and I'll be your friend." Even with his chica with him, this guy, whose shorts by the way were hanging so low, I wanted to go and pull them up for him, he felt the need to prop himself up against the machine as well.
In my 20 minutes sitting in the parking lot, I witnessed 3 people patronize this machine and all 3 of them did the same thing.
I think we have found just one more place that could possibly be as nasty as the bathroom door handle!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

FUNdy Undies!!!

I guess it began when I was in college and I had to pay to do laundry. I thought that buying enough underwear to last me 2-3 weeks would decrease the amount of times I had to do laundry...and save money! So, when Vicky has her Pinks on sale 7 for $25, I go for it. You might think that's pricey, but you must obviously not own a pair. I have been a Vicky addict for more than 10 years and I stand behind them half for their extraordinary quality, and the other half for their awesome cuteness! I have gotten cheap from time to time and gotten the 5 packs of No Boundary prints from Walmart, but they all have scraggly elastic hanging out and can sometimes cause the unwanted...saggy bottom :( AND there are a few of those bargain buys from Walmart that have received very bad reviews from my man too, and with all the distractions in this world today, I need every edge I can get to keep his eyes on ME!

So, armed with a coupon for a free pair of Pinks and $19 left on a gift card, I got 8 pair of undies for $8!!!! I am one of those who stand there and lay them out, decide what I like, what I want, what is most practical, what my man would LOVE! Maybe they are a little pricey when you crunch the numbers, but they are FUN, will last me 10 times longer than a cheaper brand and are a guarantee against a saggy bottom!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Vacation 2009

We had lots of ideas for our Fall vacation-the beach, OBX, Grandma & Grandpa's, the mountains, California. We settled on Tupelo, MS! What's better than the birthplace of Elvis, right! Both Jim and I have recently felt God telling us to slow down. Things are about to pick up even more and our two little boys will be big brothers before we know it. So our plan was to relax for 9 days. We cleared our schedules and made no commitments, except to enjoy our family and to have fun doing it!

The Lord kept our boys in the bed extra late every morning for us and we were able to spend extra time in His Word and together, quality time between Jim and me in the daylight is hard to come by, so we took every advantage to adore one another.

We wanted the boys to really feel like we were on vacation, so they got to do things that they would not normally get to do, eat breakfast on the couch, have waffles, pancakes and french toast all in the same week! They got special sweet treats and I baked some really yummy suppers! Taylor got to stay up late every night. Jim and I would make a daily trip to Redbox and were finally able to catch up on our movie list.

On Monday we went to the Memphis Zoo and Taylor absolutely loved eating lunch with the monkeys! It was freezing that day, but it was perfect because the zoo was almost empty. We would have like to have stayed longer, but Jim HAD to get back for the Vikings/Packers kickoff! (Go Brett)

On Wednesday we went to the Pumpkin Patch in Blue Mountain. (see previous post)
Thursday we went to Lowe's to pick out Mum's and to shop for screen doors. Then we went to Hobby Lobby for Taylor to pick out our scarecrow. Then home, to decorate for Fall!!! Do you notice the change in clothing from Monday...this week's temps were all over the place.

Another day we played at the mall and had Chick fil A for lunch-Taylor's favorite.
On Friday we had a pajama and pancakes day! We stayed in our pjs ALL day! I loved it!!! Friday night was date night, Parent's Night Out at church. Jim and I were really looking forward to getting some adult alone time together. We started out at Kyoto's. As we waited for our Hibachi table, we browsed the menu...maybe I am not really hungry for Japanese either...we left, went to Chili's and got Fajitas! I think I had 4 cokes! Then Jim took me shopping for a dress for my 1o year reunion.
We had big plans for Saturday and Sunday, head up to Florence, AL, early for a 1-miler for Jim and shopping for me, and then to a Pickwick cabin of a friend, but, Taylor woke up with a fever so the boys and I stayed home, Jim brought back a $100 reward for his race finish! Go Jim! Good thing we didn't go, it rained the entire time and Jim froze! When he got home just before lunch, I had some wild rice soup on the stove and fresh loaves of bread in the oven! Perfect day for soup! The boys loved it...we ate the entire pot of soup in one day!!!

Sunday morning was family devotion and know the ones, the homemade kind made with buttermilk, smothered in butter and syrup, that just melt in your mouth...yah, those! We couldn't believe that we pulled off a vacation at home and loved every single minute of it! I highly recommend this vacation to anyone!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

My Little Prodigy

You know how you always think, I wish people would just think like me! Well, maybe you don't, but I sometimes ignorantly do. One of the great things about having children is that you can train them to do just that! It's been 3 years in the making, but I think I have successfully brainwashed Taylor into thinking like me! Yah, scarey, I know. Case in point: You'd think the world is ending when Taylor sees Andrew playing with one of his toys. I am constantly using that as a ploy to get him to pick up his toys. "Taylor, let's put that on the counter so Andrew doesn't eat it, because if he does, you won't have it anymore, it'll be in his tummy." (The best one is telling him that if he doesn't hold my hand in the parking lot he might get sqooshed by a car and be flat as a pancake, he always responds: And someone will put syrup on me and eat me?) So last night my little prodigy made me so proud! As I was working in the kitchen, I watched Taylor bring a tube of chapstick over to the kitchen and place it on the counter. I remembered using this chapstick last night and leaving it on the coffee table. I didn't think about it at the time, just thinking Jim had asked him to bring it over, but no, he hadn't. That little rising star brought it over all on his own!! But, he had one of two motives: 1) He didn't want Andrew to get it OR 2) He was done using and mutilating it, as he so did, just before returning the lid! Yep, mutilated it and left it all wet and slobbery, but at least he put it on the counter and returned the lid, right?!?!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mud from the Pumpkin Patch

Okay, so maybe Jim & I are spoiled, but there is something to be said when your 3 year old asks you if you went to the wrong place when you drive away from the pumpkin patch! We did all the right stuff, asked around, googled, looked at pictures. What went wrong. There are 3 pumpkin patches that accomodate little kids in this area- Circle Y Equestrian (Corinth), Pumpkin Patch Farms (Blue Mtn.), and one in Fulton, but is only open for families on the weekend. The friends we polled couldn't decide which they liked better, Circle Y or Blue Mtn......

You see, the first-ever pumpkin patch I ever went to was the year before last in Chantilly, VA, Cox Farms. Absolutely blew me away! tons and tons of animals all spread out, fresh kettle corn, potato sack slide built into hay stacks all over. Lemonade stands throughout, a huge and fun hayride through the fields which was littered with all our favorite cartoon characters. Fresh, warm apple fritters...need I say more? Jim says the pumpkin patches in the Midwest were even better than that. (pics from Cox Farms, Oct. 07)

So you can easily see why pulling up to someone's side yard, seeing the orange extention cord running from their back porch to the moon bounce could warrant a "OH MY WORD." To make things a little more backwoods, they didn't accept debit cards and not a single apple fritter or kernel of kettle corn to be found....Taylor asked if we could go to the popcorn one next! Poor little guy.

HOWEVER, we had a blast. For the first time, Taylor went right up to the sheep and began feeding them. He has NEVER done that before, EVER! He is a fraidy cat and is scared of a cat, but he thought the sheep were like his little sheep and just held his hand out...We were sooooo proud of him!

Andrew....he loved the water pump, yes, the water pump and the LLAMA, which was located right beside the chickens and ponies. He kept mimmicking one of the animals saying "Hack" over and over and giggling when he did it. He would tease the sheep by running up to the fence, enticing them to come over, then running away when they got close!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We are the Browns

We are the Browns, Jim, Candise, Taylor & Andrew. Our little sister, Carrie Ann Marie, should be here around February 10, 2010. We live in Tupelo, MS, and spend A LOT of our time outside.

Jim and I met at church in 2004 and married the following year. A year after that, Taylor arrived and rocked our world. When he was almost 2 months old, we moved to NoVA for Jim to cover national affairs in the Washington, D.C., office for his job. I especially loved my time there because I made some great friends. Jim's sister lived 15 minutes away from us and we always hung out with her family. Taylor and I also had special time together exploring the city and walking with our BFFs, Kate and Reid. We miss the D.C. area A LOT, but we know that Tupelo, MS, is exactly where God wants us to be raising our children at this time.

Jim is a runner, me, not so much. I don't mind driving the car beside him though, or standing, I mean sitting in the lawn chair in the driveway cheering him on when he runs by! Jim is one of the most knowledgable people I know, not to mention the nicest, most cordial, polite, modest, clean and honest guy you'll ever meet. He enjoys a good challenge and can tell you anything you want to know about sports, theology, government and his new venture-financial planning.
Taylor is our very exuberant 3 year old. He has my personality. Need I say more? We think he is incredibly smart. He also has one of the most forgiving spirits of anyone. He loves to play every sport that exists and is finally enjoying books. It's a tough time for Jim and I as parents right now because we walk the line of allowing him to be 3 and wanting him to be an obedient little boy. It's not easy and we pray everyday for the Lord to give us wisdom and strength to shephard him in the way he should go.

Andrew is our cuddle bug that melts your heart with one glance. His love language is touch and has Jim's personality-he is quiet. He is 15 months old and talks very little. If it needs to be said, he lets us know. He'd rather be playing with a truck or car all by himself than playing baseball--uh oh Jim! He loves to stroll in the stroller and only complains if he is hungry, sleepy or taking an unwanted pounding from his brother!
Me, I am a wife, and a mommy, still working out the kinks, I don't think it'll every be smooth. I love my family more than anything in this world. I really enjoy great Bible studies, and anything that encourages me to spend more time in His precious Word. I absolutely love cookbooks. I would rather sit down with a good cookbook, with pics of course, than a tabloid any day. I am in a cooking club that meets once a month. Besides learning new recipes and new ideas, the ladies in this group are just a few years ahead of me in parenting and marriage and are great role models and a wealth of knowledge for my spongey brain. And finally, I love arts and crafts. I enjoy painting and sewing. I'd rather make something than buy it new.
Well, that's us in a nutshell. Want to know more, just ask-I'm not a very quiet person! I hope you enjoy my blog, I know I will enjoy sharing with you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

To Blog or Not to Blog?

So I have pondered for the last few years whether or not to blog. I thought maybe I would do it because everyone else was doing it. It also seemed more reasonable then because we were living so far away. But now we are back home and I can't see why anyone would want to read what I have to write. I am pregnant, and can't sleep and am a touch anxious, so to calm my racing thoughts, I thought, what the heck, why not, BLOG!!!