Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Gift in Song

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I love to lie in bed in the mornings. Most mornings Stephen wakes up before me and then tries to wake me up by talking to me, tickling me, or just irritating me until I open my eyes and look at him. It is our routine. This morning he woke me up by telling me he bought me something. My interest was peaked, so I opened my eyes to see what my gift was. These days in the Beavers household gifts aren't always something that can be held in your hand. Most of the time the gifts are downloads. This was the case today. A download of this Jamie Grace song. He thought he was downloading a song by another artist that I like but instead it was Jamie Grace. I don't know Jamie Grace but this song was the free itunes download yesterday. And it is really good. Its a love song to Jesus, what more could you ask for?! My favorite part is when, I think its Toby Mac, says the word Lub for love. I. Lub. It. Have a good day ya'll and download the song. Its a good springtime tune. I give it a 9.5! Julie

Monday, March 28, 2011

12 or 39




I looked back on the blogity blog to see if I had referred to Samuel's 12th year and my 39th year and I couldn't find anything so I'm going to talk about it now.




I know he's 13 and I'm not 39 anymore, but I was thinking about the theory I had and am still wondering about it.




Last year was difficult! I mean really difficult!!! I kept saying that being a 12 year old boy must be tough, because Samuel & I were having some trouble. And then after praying about it, I began to think that maybe 39 was tough and that was what made 12 seem bad. You know, he was reflecting my attitude. (Isn't being a parent grand?!)




I was worried about age 13. I figured that once he became a teenager it would only get worse. I would become increasingly uncool and weird.




But months passed, I was no longer 39 and he was 13 and I noticed that life was pretty good. We were getting along better. Things were running smoother at home.




My question is still unanswered. I don't know if it was 39 or 12 that was the tough age. They're both stepping off points for "BIG" birthdays, maybe it was a combination of the two of us reaching the end of our youth. HA!!


Maybe it was 39, and I was somehow grieving my 30's (yeah, I don't much think so!). Or maybe it was 12.




And you know what that got me to thinking?


Yes, in two years I will have TWO 12 YEAR OLDS!!!!! AAAAHHHH!!!


I'll let you know what the toughest age is then!




Julie


Happy 4th Blogiversary To Us!

4 years ago today Life With My Sister started with this post. It is hard to believe it has been 4 years already...wow! Thank you for following our fun little life together. We had a fun 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year and look forward to an incredible 4th year! In celebration of our 4 years, please go and "follow us" on the sidebar of our blog and tell someone about us and encourage them to "follow us". We would love to have more readers to share life with. Life With My Sister is such a fun outlet for us, and we hope it is a fun outlet for you also. Here's to another year with the Sisters!!!!
Happy 4th Blogiversary!

Julie & Abby

Friday, March 25, 2011

Food Friday

I am loving the 99 cent strawberries in our local grocery stores these past few weeks and look forward to more of it in the coming weeks. Whoo hoo! I have frozen several bags of them for the summer months. I went to Bald Knob this week to visit Lindsey (she is doing really well, by the way. Thanks for your prayers!) and drove through the Bulldog and asked if they had their famous strawberry shortcakes yet and they said not until this next Monday...I nodded and said I would be back! They aren't as good as they used to be at the Bulldog, but they are still pretty good. If you are ever around Searcy in the Spring, you should drive to Bald Knob for a strawberry shortcake, I know I will be driving over that way again pretty soon!

Fish tacos are one of my new favs. We had fish Friday at our house last week and made fish tacos. Granted, it was just Henry and me home on Friday night and he chose to throw a fit and eat nothing but chicken nuggets, but I enjoyed them alot! I used tilapia, fresh lime juice, all sorts of spices that I just got in my cabinet and used without keeping track, avacado and salsa. Yummy-o! Randall is a fan of these so I am anxious to try them again real soon while he is home for a few days between planting locations. It made a good bit of leftovers, which we love at our house!

My new love! I found these at my local grocery store last week when I was craving something sinful, but not too sinful. I saved the wrapper because I liked them so much and showed it to Randall incase the Easter Bunny needed a little hint for my basket....I REALLY like these, just sayin!

My little Foodie is always busy in the kitchen. He has his own pull out drawer full of all my plasticware. He has his favorites that he always pulls out and that red lid on the floor is his top pick. I love that child, messes and all!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Motherhood

Motherhood. Where is the manuel for it?

There are days I think I have things figured out. That with God's help, I am doing ok as a mom. The kids get along with each other, I don't have to repeat myself all day. No one is crying, its a good day. I'm rocking motherhood!

Then there are days I think that I have dreamed the previous days of being a mom because I have no idea how to be a mother. The kids are fighting, I have no food for breakfast, I'm tired, and I haven't even gotten out of bed yet.

Oh, how I live for the in-between days. The days when my kids fuss, I yell, we forgive, we eat together, and end our day sitting in the living room watching tv as a family.

It isn't a perfect day, but its a good day. A good family day. And that reminds me that there are bad days and good days in the motherhood journey.

In the end, I'm so glad to be the mom of four precious treasures. Good days or bad days, they are days God gave to us to live for Him, to encourage others and give Him glory. If I'm doing those things then my day as a mother has been good. If I didn't do those things then I will ask forgiveness of my forgiving God and try again the next day(Lord willing).

Motherhood is a journey. One that must be prayed over daily. Its an important job, a hard job but one that God is willing to help us with!!!!

Julie

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Trike-A-Thon

Henry participated in his first trike-a-thon this week at his little school. It was a fundraiser for St. Jude, which is near and dear to my heart. I was an intern there for 2 summers and then worked in the leukemia clinic for a while after college. So, I am always up for helping continue Danny Thomas' mission and watching my sweet son have some fun!

It was THE cutest thing to watch all the toddlers explore each others riding toys. One of the boys brought his lawn mower and it was just like Henry's mower. So, Henry took it and mowed the majority of the time. It was super cute to watch.

One of Henry's little friend's had a cool Buzz car that everyone took for a spin. Henry took his cool John Deere 4 wheeler his Nana and Papa got him for his first Christmas. He shared it with a few of his little friends too. I love how they all shared...so sweet.


Henry had so much fun showing out for his Daddy and me at his school. He did the robot and danced for everyone. He is such a happy little ham. We had fun watching him and are reminded how blessed we are to have a healthy, happy little tike!

Abby

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Family & a Feeling of Home

I finally got to see my Uncle Kelly! We haven't seen each other in 15 years! That is just entirely too long. When I would visit my Grandmother as a teenager I would give him great grief. Not intentionally, but just being a teenage girl with my drama. Apparently 20-something men just don't appreciate it so much!! We got to eat lunch together last Wednesday and we laughed and told stories and laughed some more. It was so great getting to see him again. Family is so important and I realized it even more when I spent time with Kelly.
Stephen and I were in Gatlinburg, TN for most of last week at a conference held by Johnny Hunt, (he and his wife are the couple second from the left.) We think Johnny Hunt is a great man of God. Well, not just us but a great many people believe that. He held a conference just to encourage pastors and their wives. It was great!!
Stephen and I don't normally meet new friends at these types of things, but this week we were fortunate enough to meet three other couples. We sat down for dinner on the first night of the conference and three other couples came and sat down. Two of the men knew each other from 20 years ago, but other than that we were strangers. But when we left Friday afternoon we were friends. I loved it!!
And let me give a plug to east Tennessee. I love that place. I lived there for my first couple of years, so it isn't like I have fond memories of the place, but I feel at home when I go there. I texted mom and said, "there's just something about it here, I'm home." And she understands! It is just a great place to visit. If you get a chance to visit, do it. You'll be glad you did!!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Mama's Boy

Henry is so excited it is Spring!!
Lots of wagon rides and stroller rides to the park are in our near future.

I love my backwards ballcap wearing cutie.

The TV trance

The coolest rider in town!

That's Mama's Boy!
Abby




Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Week in Pictures

Julie convinced me to download Skype this week so she and the kids could see us. I did and it pretty much ROCKS! Samuel and I have gotten a lot of face time, along with the other 3 little cuties. Henry loves it and goes "Ah-oh" the whole time, as though it has to be a mistake to see his cousins in real time on the computer! Samuel has his own Skype account. Is he really this old now?! I remember this little chubby faced boy like it was yesterday. Oh me.
Doesn't this picture crack you up? Well, maybe it doesn't, but I laughed outloud at the 11x13 I discovered this week in a photo box. We really did it up big in our denim, I tell ya!

The adorable little guy in the yellow suit had his 28th birthday this week. Man, we are getting so old! I am pretty confident Granny would be pretty proud of her adult great-grandchildren. The preparation for Spring always makes me think of our precious Granny.


This warmer weather is making me so ready to wear Spring dresses! I love this memory of Mawmaw buying us matching dresses at the Dollar General (because they were lined dresses and too cute for DG and she thought we had to have them right then!) and all three of us performing a gospel trio in Julie's living room. Still makes me almost wet my pants with laughter!

Scrapbooking this week while Randall has been off planting is great medicine for me. It reminds me of sweet cropping memories with my mama and sister. We took this at a fun crop a few months after I got married. Anna was not even in the womb yet...my, how things have changed!

And I had to end this post with this picture because I never get tired of it, as long as I live, I will NEVER get tired of this picture! When I look at this I am reminded of what a wonderful sister I have. She was a pre-teen dressed like a 3 year old. I would have never put the terry cloth romper on if I was her, and I can assure you I would have definitely not sported that sweet, happy smile she had on her face when Peepaw took this picture. Julie is a better person than me, that is for sure. My sister is truly the best and I love the fun reminders of how blessed I am to have her!



Abby

Friday, March 18, 2011

Food Friday

Who doesn't love a banana pudding?!
My Daddy came to visit me this past Sunday afternoon and I thought I would make the visit even sweeter and make a banana pudding. One of these days I am going to make it the old fashion way, but until then, Jell-O instant is my friend!

I will say adding cool whip to the pudding mixture makes a huge improvement in the quick method. I use lots of bananas, a whole box of wafers and I use one box of banana pudding flavored mix and one vanilla flavored pudding mix. I rarely have any left because everyone loves it!

Daddy and I chatted about our Sunday memory of banana pudding and I loved the trek down memory lane. He drove the little old ladies home on the bus after church when I was a little girl, and I would ride with him sometimes. I loved riding but I remember always being hungry and ready to go home and eat lunch...imagine that!


There was a sweet little lady on the bus who often had a banana pudding for Daddy.(We tried to remember her name and we couldn't. I feel so bad about that.) Anyway, we would get to her house and she would go in and get it out of the fridge and give it to Daddy. I would hold the glass bowl in my lap all the way home. I remember Daddy always being excited and it being really yummy!

My little foodie loves the kitchen. His little cruiser has been in the kitchen for a while now. He sometimes likes to get in it and sometimes he would rather not be bothered with it and just dig through the cabinets instead. He decided cruising was for him on this day and I laughed at how big he is in it. I think I will retire it to the attic soon. The sweet little foodie is growing way too fast!


Happy Food Friday!
Abby

P.S. Marie Stitsworth was the sweet little lady's name. Thanks, Mama! :)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Kisses

Happy St. Patty's Day from Henry Patton!

Don't worry, I kissed him! He is pretty kissable, that is for sure.

Can you believe this was my Irish cutie last year?! My, my how time flies. I remember he kept falling over on his side while trying to get his photo that morning, and he never changed his expression. Sweet thing was scared of his crazy mama! Poor baby is bound to have picture wounds from all the mishaps we have had for the camera's sake.
Well, Another fun St. Patty's Day kissing on my baby boy. His Daddy has never kissed the Irish cutie all dressed in his green. I have a feeling he will never see him in his green and get to kiss him on St. Patty's Day, and that is okay because he is off making the green for the Irish cutie and his Mama!!


Go kiss somebody that is Irish...or just pretend they are for the fun of it!
Abby


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pray For Lindsey

It is better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps. But if there is no one to help, tough!
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (the message)

Lindsey is a dear friend. She is the one who takes all the sweet pictures of little Henry, she has creativity that would make Martha Stewart faint, she is also the friend who shoots it straight and in turn, always makes me laugh. Her friendship is such a blessing to me.


This dear friend of mine is having surgery today on a benign tumor that is on her pituitary gland. The tumor is pressing on nerves in her brain that control her vision. You can read more about it on her blog.

I know she would appreciate your prayers for peace, the doctor's steady hand, a safe and successful surgery, and comfort in a fast recovery. Thank you for praying for my faithful friend. I love having Jesus as the bond of my closest friends. I cannot imagine not having the prayers of faithful friends while facing life's trials. Thank you for praying for my dear friend, Lindsey.

UPDATE: She had a successful surgery! Continue to pray for her recovery.

Abby

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A B'day shout-out & More

Today is our cousin Zachary's birthday! I can't remember the last time I called him Zachary. I don't think I ever have. Zach is 28 today. He has grown into a fine young man. He's driven, works hard, plays hard and loves hard. His wife is a sweetie and we are proud she is a member of the family. Happy Birthday Zach!!!

Stephen and I are headed out of town today. We're going to attend a pastor's retreat that Johnny Hunt leads. Oh, how I love that man! I can't wait to see him up close and personal. He is a man that loves the Lord.

Stephen's parents are taking care of the kids and I know they will have a great time together. Stephen and I are looking forward to a time of renewal both to each other and to the ministry. Don't all couples need that from time to time?!

Do you get time away with your spouse? With no kids?

Julie

Monday, March 14, 2011

Waiting

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

My cousin reminded me to read and claim these verses this past week. I had a pretty rough week and she knows my path and my heart well. I am studying Isaiah in BSF and it amazes me to see how other recent readings and people outside of BSF point me back to Isaiah. God is so real, relevant and alive. I love how he guides me. I don't always understand it or like where he leads me, but I do find such comfort in knowing He has a plan. A wonderful, master plan, a plan that is better than anything I could ever cook up on my own.

I don't know what you are waiting on, yet I do know that the waiting room of life can be challenging, regardless what you are waiting on. I am waiting also. Some days I want to beat the walls down and make my little buzzer go off or have my name called, and other days I am just most thankful for the walls, good reading material, and a comfy seat as I wait. Each day has its own challenges and blessings.

I want to encourage you to trust that the walls of your waiting room will open up and the ceiling will give way to limitless possibilities and blessings in His time. I am trusting in that, and I hope you will trust with me. He never said it would be easy, but He said we would never have to go at it alone and I rest in that promise!



P.S. Ginny is my favorite artist. I loved watching her live a few years back when we lived in north Mississippi. She came to a church there for a special concert. Randall took me to see her and I fell in love with her music even more after watching her. She is blind and plays the piano. What an impressive vessel for Jesus! These lyrics have ministered to me so many times over the past several years.

It makes me laugh that the only thing I left behind at my last job was this CD in my computer. Yes...got to laugh and hope someone else is listening and loving it. Doubting that though...just sayin!


Abby

Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Friday

The little foodie and I love an excuse to throw a party, so we had a little Mardis Gras celebration with a few of our friends.

Pizza and king cake were on the menu. We visited the Dollar Tree for a few decorations and we were ready to party!


I love that we all wore colors to match the occasion. Green, gold and purple. I also love our eyes, or lack of, in these masks. Having friends to laugh with, is the best.

The smile on my friend Sara's face is always contagious, mask or no mask.

A Mardis Gras party is not complete with out the king cake. I had never had a king cake and was most excited about trying one. I intended to make ours, but when I got to Kroger and saw how cute they were and how cheap they were in the bakery, I quickly put one in my buggy and disregarded making one.

My friend Brittni told me to pose with the cake and say I made it, but I cannot lie. I love that it came with the beads and the baby all ready to stick inside. A king cake just looks fun, doesn't it?!


We warmed ours up in the microwave. It tasted delish! It reminded me alot of a coffee cake. I know the recipe I read suggested making a monkey bread. I think that would have been really good also.

Even the little guys wore green and were ready to party. Henry loved having friends come over. They played hard! He and Camron had a disagreement over the beads in Henry's hands. Camron left our house with the wounds on his neck to prove it. I was a wee bit mortified, of course.
My friend Brittni's daughter Blaire, made our masks in her art class at school. I just love that child and thought her masks were way too cute!

Sara and her sweet little guys enjoying pizza and toys. Our little loves played so well together and had so much fun. Sara's youngest said our party was "the best party". I loved that!

Noah got the baby! He was so excited. We had a fun time. Food, fun and friends...you can't go wrong!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fever!

Sunday morning Anna woke up with a nasty cough and it went away.

Monday morning Anna woke up with a nasty cough and it went away.
And then she mentioned that she didn't feel good. But since I'm the mom of four kids and am with them quite a bit of the time, which means I hear them complain about the slightest of ills, I told her she would feel better soon.

We went to the boys ballgame, and they won! The first game they have won this season! Oh, we were so excited!!! They were excited, and I was pumped for the coaches. Neither of the guys coaching have kids on the team, or kids period. They are just young guys that offered their time. They deserved a win!

After the game Anna leaned against me and she was HOT! 100.5 hot!

Tuesday she continued to run a fever. Stephen told me to make an appointment for her, but thinking it was a cold I told him no.

Wednesday she continued to run a fever. Stephen told me to make an appointment for her, and I did.

And she has the flu.
THE FLU!
I have been silently congratulating myself that my kids haven't been sick all winter. Well, I guess I can stop that now.
Welcome flu. Welcome to my house. Please feel free to leave soon.

Julie

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Live and Let's Lent


I am a good ole Southern Baptist by birth and by choice. I have never participated in Lent, but have decided to do so this year. I am excited about the challenge and to see how the Lord sustains and blesses me through the next 46 days. I know it is all about the "giving up", but I also want to "give". So, I am limiting processed foods and I plan to read my Bible each day. I am guilty of eating too many packaged foods and not reading my Bible but a few times a week. In doing this I hope to see my waistline go down a size so I can wear my cute dresses again. I also hope to limit my social media time at night and read God's word in order to gain more insight on His will for my life. A win, win for all. This is the plan...I hope I can stick to it!

Randall is game for the food situation, but I think he is a bit worried sprouts and such may be on the menu. I have assured him he will survive and that I dislike a sprout unless it is a Brussels! Do notice I use the word "limit" because there is no way we could go cold turkey and function. I loved this post I found concerning the issue.

I hope to be logged off the computer by 7:00 each night. This will be a huge struggle, but worth it. I spend way too much time on the computer and neglect important things. I am starting to think this ole netbook it an idol and studying Isaiah at BSF has made me a bit nervous about having this plastic idol sitting in my lap so much!


Oh, I am also incorporating fish Friday.I loved fish Friday at Pete's Place growing up and fish is super healthy.

A pure heart, create in me, O God, Put a steadfast spirit within me.

So, are you participating in Lent?

Abby

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thowing in the Towel

Stephen came out of the bathroom last week holding out a bathtowel. It was an extra-large navy blue towel. He held it up, turned it around, he resembled Vanna if she had ever held up a towel on Wheel of Fortune.

And then the light hit the towel just right and I could see THROUGH the towel. Point made.

We've been married 17 1/2 years and have acquired 6 new towels since then. But we have also acquired 4 new people in that time. We are towel poor. And I hadn't even noticed.

So, Stephen told me to buy towels. Now we just don't go out and buy things willy-nilly around here. We do research. We check websites, blogs and consumer reports before we buy. We research washing machines, dryers, hair dryers, irons, coffee makers, and sheets. And we've never been disappointed. Consumer Reports has never done us wrong. So, I went to research bath towels. Consumer Reports has done no research on bath towels.

How can that be? How am I to know which towel is best? Which brand is going to stay thick and fluffy the longest? Which brand is more absorbent than the others? Which brand isn't going to tear apart after being stretched on the ends when I dry my back?

Can you relate to this towel dilemma? Please say you can! Which brand of bath towel do you recommend? HELP!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Planting Man

It is that time again...planting time! This was taken last year at the beginning of planting. So hard to believe it has been a year and that baby boy on that little tractor is so big now. Our little daddy rolls out this week with his guys to head south to plant his first few plots. He loves this time of year and after sitting at home all winter witnessing what all he does to prepare for this season, I am pretty excited too!

Randall works for a seed company based up north and he is responsible for planting all their research plots in the south (they call it the delta, but we know better). He has 12 plots this season, in 5 states. The closest one is a little over an hour from home.
Watching him prepare for the season makes me realize how flexible he really is. I have always thought he was a bit stiff (hee hee)...but the guy is actually Gumby! He is a scientist, accountant, engineer, negotiator, boss man, IT guru, coordinator, and quite the seed, chemical and weed specialist. He has a large job and earns every penny we make!
So, here's to a safe and dry week, equipment that does not break down and a crew that does not break down - ha!

Henry and I will be holding down the fort and trying not to spend all of our Big Daddy's hard earned money!
Abby

Saturday, March 5, 2011

15 Months Already?

Here we are with our first monthly photo. So hard to believe that was 15 months ago. That poor baby looked drunk off formula and was clearly a little uncomfortable in the neck area.

Here we are now with Mr. 15 months!
Henry Patton is full of life and has energy I only wish I could bottle up for myself. He mimics songs he hears and tries to repeat words we say. He is a dancing machine...always bopping in his car seat or bouncing on his feet. "Ah-oh" is heard at least 50 times a day for things that warrant an "ah-oh" and things that don't. I wish I knew his reasoning. Ha!
Henry runs full speed. He loves to ride on his little riding toys and push them around. Talking on his play cellphone is a popular activity (he sees us do it way too much!). Reading his little books brings him the most pleasure though. He loves running from side to side in his bed each morning. It is quite funny to watch. Henry is doing so much that I loose track of it all. I have written so much in his baby book that we will probably not be able to make sense of it all in the years to come!
Taking the monthly photo has come along way, baby!

Abby

Friday, March 4, 2011

Food Friday

Click on the picture and you can see the recipe a bit easier.
I made this last Sunday for lunch. It was a good Sunday comfort dish. We come home famished and this was easy to stick in the oven while we changed clothes, put our things away, etc. I put it together the night before and had it all ready to go. I know my mother always had lunch ready to heat on Sunday's, and my sister does the same with her family. Now that Henry is eating what we eat and cranky after church, it is necessary that I follow their example. We had salad and rolls with this dish. It was fattening, but good!


Oh, the beloved Tagalongs and Samoas have hit our home thanks to my friend Heather's little Girl Scout! I am proud to say I have not eaten any of them. I put them in the fridge in Randall's garage so they are out of sight, out of mind. I think he is proud to have them all to himself. I can't just eat one, so it is best I don't eat any!

Yummy stuff! We have been grilling portabella mushrooms lately and love them. I spritz a little olive oil on them and Randall does the grilling and then all 3 of us do the eating! We also grilled some asparagus last week and it was really yummy. I am ready to grill tomatoes and other yummy summer veggies!

The foodie was eating some tapioca pudding and chicken, with help from his daddy. Henry loves dinner time conversation. He very rarely stays quiet while eating. He loves to make mouth noses, sing, yell and laugh. Dinner time is loud at our house and I would not have it any other way!
Happy Food Friday!
Abby