Friday, March 30, 2012

My Heart's Delight

"Daddy plant corn?" or "Marmie sick?" is all that I have heard in the past week out of this little precious love. My heart aches for him. His daddy is in the thick of planting all over the delta and his phone-a- friend( Marmie) is not able to communicate with him. He is so confused and has seen me cry way more than he should have. Julie told me to stop crying in front of him because he was going to be jacked up...so I have bucked up and kept dry eyes for the last few days. He has talked to Juju in place of Marmie this week and I think Juju has really liked that...I know Henry has! When he talks to his daddy every morning by phone he says "plant corn good daddy!"
This week has been a challenge to work and be mama without distraction. Playing outside with him after work has been therapeutic for me. I committed the cardinal sin and allowed him to sleep with me. I needed it and so did he. Sometimes we have to break the rules. I am back with Mama now and relieved to be by her side again.

It is almost like he is standing there thinking "Where am I going now?" and it makes me cry just a bit but the outfit and shoes make me smile through my tears. He is one sporty, loved little fella. He is with his Nana and Papa now and living it up. He loves being with them and I love that they take him for me at a moment's notice. I appreciate Nana taking off work to take care of him without reservation. I have the best mother-in-love.

I am back in Fort Smith trying to love my sweet mama back to health. Julie has been at the hospital this entire time. She is a saint. Thank you for your prayers and support through this. We will never forget the kindness and love shown to us.

Abby

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Strength For Today And Bright Hope For Tomorrow

Mama has a long road ahead of her. She is still in ICU and will be for a few more days. She is expected to be in the hospital for 3 weeks once she gets out of ICU. Your prayers of strength for all of us, especially mama, are very much felt and appreciated. Thank you for loving us enough to lift our family up often to our healer and merciful savior.



Great is thy faithfulness, O God my father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been, Thou for ever will be

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
Great is thy faithfulness




Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness, mercy and love

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
Great is thy faithfulness



Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside



Great is thy faithfulness
Great is thy faithfulness
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Update

I just wanted to drop in and give ya'll an update on mom. She had some complications develop from the surgery last Wednesday. As we were in the room with her yesterday we watched as her condition weakened and worsened. Her doctor was right on top of things all day. She went in for emergency surgery at 5 last night. It went well and she spent the night in ICU. I haven't seen her  this morning, but we haven't heard anything so we consider that a good thing.  Thank you for your prayers. Please continue.              Also please keep one of moms nurses in your prayers today. His name is Sam, his wife's name is Erica. They are delivering their 3rd son today and he will be born with spina bifida. I told Sam I would ask for prayer and I know that you will.   Julie

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Spring Break

Abby and I are both in Ft. Smith this week. It seems fitting to be together this week since it's spring break. Abby used to spend her spring breaKs with Stephen and me every year while she was in high school and a couple when she was in college. We had some fun and memorable times. We were laughing last night about listening to DCTalk's cd. The Mrs. Morgan monologue was our fave! Abby even quoted the whole thing last night! And it's been a good 16 years since that spring break! Memories are a funny thing, they last forever. Mom will be in the hospital for a few more days, I'm sure you can imagine her excitement! She is doing well, the recovery is just long. She's being a trooper though.  Abby and I are relying on the Lord and so thankful that our gag reflexes have calmed down. We are a family of gaggers and have found that God cares enough about us to help us out this weeK! Thank you for your prayers, please keep them up for the next couple of weeks. Julie

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ironic Blessing

Today our dear mama is having a portion of her colon removed. Julie and I have made the pilgrimage home to care for her. Before you read any further, please pray for our mama. Her name is Kathy and she is a jewel. Pray for her to have peace, the surgeon to have a steady hand and sharp mind, pray for her to have rest and a stress-free recovery.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. I find it an ironic blessing that all this came about this month. Mama had never had a colonoscopy and her doctor had been on her about it for a while. She finally scheduled one. She hated every minute of the prep and the waiting on the procedure proved to be a bear also. She had to wait for hours. We got updates from our Aunt J, who had taken her, and it went from comical to maddening, real quick!( My favorite part was when Aunt J told her she would take her anywhere she wanted to eat afterwards and she told Aunt J she just wanted to go home and eat scrambled eggs. I still laugh about that.)
After the procedure she was told they found a spot and that they removed as much as they could but a lot was left behind. It was located in a spot that was very hard to get to and would require surgery.

She went to see a surgeon a few days later and he told her that her primary care doctor saved her life. He said that spots like the one she had are the ones that turn into cancer in a matter of time. The portion they removed during the colonoscopy came back cancer-free, and he has faith that the portion they remove today will also be cancer-free.

If you are over 40 and have family history of colon cancer, please schedule an appointment. If you are over 50, you need to make this part of your yearly routine. I cannot even fathom what I would do if my Mama had not had this test done and later found out that this preventive measure could have prevented an ugly battle with cancer or even death. What an ironic blessing!

We will keep you posted on her outcome. Thank you for keeping Kathy in your prayers the next few weeks. She will have a lengthy recovery and she doesn't take to well to people tending to her....so pray for Julie, she will be the nurse with the longest duty! Better her than me, to be honest. Mama will be asking me to go home after a few days. Laughter is truly the best medicine!


Abby

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bunny Buckets

I have to show off my latest Cricut fun. These are Easter buckets for some of my favorite kiddos. Julie giving me a Cricut for my birthday was the best thing ever. Working for a sign shop and getting the leftover vinyl is the icing. Having a friend who loaned me her Easter cartridge is the cake...she rocks! I hope the kiddos love the buckets as much as I loved making them.

Abby

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

Planting season has started for our little Daddy so this past weekend Henry and I flew solo. We loved the sunshine days and took advantage of the pollen-filled air. Henry ate his supper Friday night on his new picnic table. He was yelling "more mama!" because he was out of his beloved chicken nuggets.
Saturday was St. Patrick's Day so we had to pose in his Henry shamrock shirt, of course. This is my 3rd St Patty picture of him in this same spot. I was going to post all 3 pics together but they are on my old computer and I am too lazy to walk upstairs and get them off that one and put them on my laptop...just imagine or go back on the blog and look! Randall has never been at home on March 17th since Henry was born...I realized that Saturday and thought it was sort of funny. Planting season always starts at this time.
Saturday after we ran our errands we ventured back outside. I put a pair of flip flops on Henry. He had never had a flip flop on nor had anything between his toes. It was real interesting but he was determined to master it.
He took off pushing his trucks and tractors and seemed to adjust to his new footwear. When did he get this big?!
And then he crashed and burned! Elmo made it all better though. This was our first official skinned and bloody knee. He cried for just a minute and ran over for me to hold him but ran off as soon as I had a hold of him. I have a real little boy on my hands now and it makes me laugh and cry. Henry is such a sweet and hot mess! I know this spring and summer is going to provide many memorable moments.
It is the simple things that matter the most. I love easy, fun weekends like these, but we sure miss our little daddy when he is gone. Henry kept asking me, "Daddy plant corn?" and he would stand at the door and ask "Daddy coming?" It got sort of sad after a while. We are so glad he is on his way home tonight. I know a little boy who will be all smiles in the morning!
Abby

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Cute Boy

I just had to show you how cute my boy was at church today. He actually picked the hat out himself at the store and I bought the shirt to match. We compromised with the sweater vest with a cookie bribe, and had a cute little outfit. Julie says Henry is still my big, live baby doll...and that he is. I love dressing my Henry. I think it is safe to say dressing him is my hobby! poor little cutie - ha!

Abby

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March Madness-Our Style


For the last 7 or 8 years we have been filling out NCAA basketball brackets at our house. We started this now tradition when the twins were 2 or 3. We would say the name of the teams playing, and they would say the team they thought sounded the best. It was the most fun.

Samuel loves this time of year. He was born thinking about all things sports so he has always filled out his own bracket, and knows what he's doing!

After everyone fills out their brackets we hang them on the wall with tape. March isn't our best decorating month! We check our brackets faithfully on the weekends and crossoff our teams that have lost but we thought would win.

For the last couple of years we have entered our brackets online at cbssports.com and they keep track of our rankings. I don't know why we do that, it seems Samuel or Stephen win, David and I lose and Daniel and Anna come in in the middle.

Last night we were giving Anna the teams to pick from and she would pick based on whether she had been to the state the team represented. She picked Colorado because Samuel is going skiing there, she picked Davidson because " I love my brother David", and Long Beach State because "I love the beach". She had picked Notre Dame to win their first two games but then decided they had to lose because she didn't like that their name sounded like it could be a dome.

Do you fill out a basketball bracket??? Please say you do!

Julie

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random Thoughts

1-Daniel thinks David can read his mind. I think this may be true.

2- Anna let Daniel pull her front tooth after 16 days of it hanging loose.

3-Samuel's voice has changed. I don't recognize him anymore.

4-I threw away a pair of Easter socks last night that I've had for two years. It seems by the holes in them that I wear them at other times other than Easter.

5- I took the boys to a local barber college to get haircuts. We were the only white people there. The students that were going to cut the boys hair had never used scissors before and couldn't understand why they should cut their hair wet. It was one of the funnest times we've had, they even told us to come back! We will!

6- If you were to get pregnant this week you could very well have your baby on 12/12/12. If you do will you please tell me?!

7- I finally got a bread starter from a friend. I really wanted a sourdough starter, but I got an Amish one and it is so good. It tastes like a cinnamon roll. I think once every 10 days might not be often enough for it.

8- My darling nephew, Henry, only likes me from a distance. When I hold him, he starts shaking and yelling for his parents. It's sad, I love that boy to pieces!

9- David doesn't wear his shoes inside the house. He always leaves them outside by the door. I don't know why he does this, no one else in the family does.

10- I'm not giving up anything for Lent. I don't feel guilty about it. Please don't tell me I should.

11- One of the bathrooms in our house has a jetted bathtub and also a rainfall showerhead. I love that bath/shower.

12- I really like the Antipasta salads at Little Cesar's Pizza. You should try one.

13- My new favorite warm drink is caramel hot chocolate. A packet of hot chocolate, hot water, and a capfull of caramel syrup. So.Good.

14- I love my husband.

Julie

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Observation Update

Remember this post?

Well, I told my friend Stepanie about the story Thursday afternoon while the kids and I were visiting with her and her kids. She laughed and thought it was funny. I mean, who wouldn't?

Her husband called and said he needed to run by some a church members home. And guess who the church member was. Yes, you guessed it, the McDonald's couple! Stephanie was so excited. She couldn't wait to tell them.

She texted me and asked if I minded if she printed the story out and showed it to them. She then texted and said it was too late she had already done it. I was eating during both texts!

She said they enjoyed the story, I'm a little nervous about seeing them. Ha!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Serving the Lord, What a Great Job!



It is a joy for our family to serve the Lord in full time ministry. We're joining up with Kelly today. She is linking up with ministry wives and as you know I am one. When Stephen and I were married I knew that he was going to be a music minister and I was just fine with that. I even looked forward to it. I was excited about serving in a local church and attending church so often that I would know all the words to all the hymns in the hymnal. Oh, my lofty goals!
After being a music/youth minister for eight years, Stephen knew that he was being called by the Lord to be a preacher. As much as I didn't want to be a preacher's wife, I knew he was also being called. God is so good to let both of us know His plans.
Now, we are in a different season. We are planting a church. We won't be serving in an established church with all that they offer, good and bad. We will be seeking people that don't have a relationship with the Lord, showing them His goodness and providing them the resources to have a relationship with Him.
We are very excited about this new adventure and calling on our lives. We want the city of Pine Bluff to worship together, no matter what color or nationality the person may be. We are quite aware that this isn't going to be easy. It's going to take time and effort.
We are seeking support, both prayer and financial in this effort to start a new church. We are excited about those that are partnering with us. Delta Baptist Church is ready to do some work!
One of my favorite areas of ministry is working with other minister wives in the state. These women are precious to me and are in my prayers. Serving on the Minister's Wives Network in the state is an honor. If you know a minister's wife send her a card, cook her a meal, hug her neck. Her job isn't easy, help her to love it. She is serving the Lord, and making her minister husband's life as easy as she can so that he can minister to you and your family.

Julie

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Singing Blessing and Honor...



I absolutely adore this song. My hands go up in my vehicle and I am really surprised the speakers have not blown up! I can't wait to buy the CD when it is released next week. Phillips, Craig and Dean is by far my favorite Christian group. Their pure sound makes my soul sing. Enjoy!
Abby

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Anna's Baptism


Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. --The Bible, Proverbs 22:6

If you missed it, Anna was saved two weeks ago. Sunday was the day she followed that decision with baptism. It was a great day!

This is her before the baptism. She was scared and embarrassed, I was a little worried.

She did it!I breathed a sigh of relief. I also cried a couple of tears. It was just so sweet. She was baptized in the same swim trunks that the boys were baptized in. Some people have christening gowns they pass down through generations, maybe we'll pass down these swim trunks!
Oh, this church doesn't have robes for anyone to wear when baptizing, or for the preacher to wear. So Stephen wears his hunting waders so he doesn't have to change clothes before he preaches. I know those of you that attend bigger churches might think its a little hokey, and it is, but I'm just so glad that these little churches are doing church the right way and baptizing people.
Julie

Monday, March 5, 2012

Oh, Henry!

I thought I would share some photos of Henry I have taken recently and failed to post. I seem to be so busy lately. I have over-extended myself with obligation this spring. I am participating in Wanna Dance, The Reebok Crossfit Games, and then all my regular stuff...I can't keep up. Randall has reminded me that this is not the season for me to be over-extended since he has to be (it is time to plant!). Oh me...what fun this should be for us!

Life with a two year old is so much fun... and exhausting. Most nights Randall and I are dead to the world by 9:00. We fight to stay awake until 10:00 but it is a struggle, I tell ya. Henry Patton wears us out. We get up before the chickens with Henry, then we work all day and when we get home we go in fast forward all evening. We try not to miss a beat with Henry. I hope to remember at least some of this later in life. I worry I will forget because it moves so fast!

Henry loves his Nana and Papa. They came to visit him after church last week. He woke up from his nap and they were in the den. He was so happy. Henry is starting to follow Papa everywhere instead of Nana and it is a super sore subject. ha! Henry is all boy and so is his Papa. My father-in-law is not a big kiss and hug kind of guy, but he is with Henry. I just adore it. Henry is making Papa into a softie!

Seeing this at the end of the day makes my heart glad. Henry is so wild these days, yet he is so sweet and gentle at the same time. His days in this bed are numbered I am afraid. I plan to cherish each night we have left in his crib. He is getting too big, too fast! Henry has to have that silky side of his blankie by his face all night and he rubs it between his fingers.

Because Henry is such a big boy these days he brought his little mama some flowers in from the yard. He had bent them all to pieces but they were still beautiful to me. His daddy helped him with the thought, of course. I just loved them. I was cooking supper and he came in to give them to me. Truth be told, He actually dropped them on the tile floor and ran back outside. It made me add a little smile to their meal!

Henry loves to help Randall with the mail each afternoon and the trash on Thursday's. One day there was no mail and Henry cried all the way up to the house. We have to stage stuff in the box now in case there is no mail! I love how Henry wants to be everywhere his daddy is. He stands outside of the shower most mornings with his sippy cup waiting for Randall to get out. He doesn't want to miss a beat. Sometimes I get a little selfish and want my baby back but I know it is the right thing and exactly how God designed it to be. These two will always be best buds. I love it.

Can you tell Henry loves his books?! He would rather play with his books than his toy box full of toys. His book corner has been his special place since he could sit up on his own. I hope he continues to enjoy learning and is a good student. Oh, my dear husband put down wood floors last Saturday. Don't they look nice? I love having a handyman around the house. He can literally do just about anything.

Oh, the places he'll go. I can't wait to start each new day with my precious son. A new adventure awaits us with each sunrise. What a joy it is to be his mother. I may be tired and stretched some days but I can always smile knowing God entrusted me to this little guy and for that, it is an honor to be tired and stretched!

Abby

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Think And Then Speak

I'm writing this days ahead of when you are reading it. I'm not even sure I'll even be posting this, actually.

Today I saw on facebook something that angered me so badly I had to take a deep breath, close my eyes and say a prayer. I texted Abby and asked her to pray also, and could hardly type the words correctly because of my anger.

I've done pretty well the past few weeks and really thought I was over the town we used to live in and the people we served. But this one comment threw me right over the edge.

Nothing was said directly, but what was implied hurt my feelings. It seems that some people tend to think that their opinions are always correct. That they aren't opinions but facts. I am quite insecure and never want to hurt anyones feelings. But, some people are just evil.

I don't know what kind of person you are. I don't know if you are meek and mild, or harsh and opinionated. But if you are the latter please think before you speak or post. If you are meaning to hurt someone's feelings please re-think your intentions. What you say hurts. I've had plenty of thoughts I could have typed these last few months but I have kept those to myself. Just because my feelings were hurt doesn't mean I should do that to someone else.

I don't mean this to be a sermon, just a lesson learned and shared.

Julie