Monday, April 30, 2012

Update on Daddy

Daddy's pneumonia is improving, yet now his heart is out of rhythm. This was most likely caused by the stress on his lungs. They have been treating it with medication but it is not helping. They are going to have to shock it back into rhythm. His spirits are good. He is pretty weak and tired. Please continue to pray for Bob. Our daddy is a special man and loved by his girls a whole, whole bunch.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Now It's Daddy's Turn

 Please pray for our little Daddy. He is now in the hospital with double pneumonia.Julie and I have to laugh to keep from crying. We are so ready to see May on the calendar. April has been a month of all months! Our Daddy is full of life and quite the character. I trust that his spunk will help him get well soon.

 He lives in the Memphis area and is in good hands with his wife, our Aunt Babs and our cousin Hollye (who is a nurse) watching over him. My wonderful friend/ Byhalia neighbor is also the case management director at his hospital and she is watching him for me. We are so blessed to have such great friends and family to love us and our parents at times like these, when we again, don't live in the same town and not able to see to them like we desire. Please lift Bob up in your prayers if you will. He is a pretty sick little Daddy right now.

Abby

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Full Heart



This past weekend we headed to northeast Arkansas. We've been there twice in the last couple of months and we enjoy getting to see Abby, Randall and Henry. I think now Henry realizes he isn't going anywhere with me and is beginning to like me. Finally!! Poor thing doesn't know that in a couple of months he gets to stay with me for a week. After that he'll dislike me again. But that's ok, a week with Henry will be worth it.


We made the trip so that Stephen could preach at First Baptist Church in Leachville and share the vision of Delta Baptist Church. FBC Leachville is going to be one of our supporters and we couldn't be happier! Leachville was our first church to serve in, ( I use the term us lightly. He got paid, I just spent it) We have great memories of our years there. Our first married friends are there, we brought three of our children home there, and Stephen and I figured out how to be married there. Oh, the memories.

Not all of the memories are good. Some are bad. We hurt some feelings, and our feelings were hurt also. But when I walked in the church Sunday and saw the people that had meant so much to our family for so many years my heart was full. Full.

I've written a couple of times about how I feel about going to my home church in Ft. Smith. Oh, how I love to see the faces of all the people that were so important to my spiritual development. Looking in the faces and hugging the necks of the people in Leachville that loved Stephen and I through our humble beginnings of married life, married friends, church ministry and adulthood, well I just don't know what to say. My heart is full again just thinking about them.

I pray that each of you reading this have had a church where you have been shown Christ's love or you are in one now. If you aren't, please find a Bible believing, Bible preaching, loving, missional church in your area. You will be so very glad you did. If you need help finding one please let me know and I will do my best to help you find one in your area. Either leave a comment here or email me at cooljules143@hotmail.com.

Julie

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Joy Boy


 This little fella is moving to the preschool hall at his school next week. I find myself in complete disbelief. He has gotten so big, so quick. Yet, he is still my sweet baby who likes me to rock and sing to him at night. I plan to rock him until he is a grown man, if he will still fit in my lap.
video

I think this is why he is moving up much sooner than expected. He loves to tell us his shapes, colors, numbers and sing all of his songs.The video is super dark because my den is super dark. You can still see the shapes and hear his sweet little voice though.

 I love his zest for life. he is non-stop, all day. Mama says he comes by that honest...I am afraid she is right on the money! I love this photo above. He has learned how to lower his picnic table umbrella and he was showing out for Anna and Daniel in our backyard. I can hear the laughter when I look at this photo and it makes my mama and aunt heart happy.

I have learned to let some stuff go for this short season in life. Keeping everything organized in the house is one of those things. I still keep it tidy, but it is not organized(and there is dried apple juice on my kitchen floor most of the time too. Beware if you walk barefoot in there!) Henry has a toy cabinet under our stairs and I just turn the light off and shut the door every night. I don't even look in there anymore...I can't do it! ha. He has fun and that is all that matters right now. It is so fun to watch him play in there, so it is worth the mess.

 Henry is becoming such a helper. He isn't always help though, poor thing. He can be more of a distraction than help. We don't let him know that, of course. His Daddy was planting an apple tree out back and he decided to drive his truck out and help him.

He wants to be just like Randall, already. It happens so fast, I tell ya. Notice the sunglasses on these two. Randall ordered him a child's version of his Costa Del Mar sunglasses and gave him a Cablz cord so they could be all twinkie like this spring/summer. Henry is smitten with his glasses and he is pretty darn cute in them too.I love the hands on Daddy that Randall is. He does it all and never complains. It is a joy to parent this little fella alongside him.

Look at his long legs?! I took him to the doctor last week for double ear infections and he measured 3 feet 2 inches. He is 2 feet from being eye to eye with me. That day will come sooner than I realize I think.

Abby

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Birthday Boys


David and Daniel are 11 today!

I have been reliving 11 years ago all day today. So much so that I realized the shoes I wore today were the same ones I wore 11 years ago. Time for new shoes!

11 years ago was a hectic day full of dropping off, picking up, shopping and waiting and giving birth. I remember seeing their faces for the first time. Little bodies, 5lb 4oz, and 5lb 6oz, that were so cute, sweet and healthy. They were a month early and had no problems. We were in the hospital less than 48 hours. Such sweet faces, such sweet cries.

I remember the doctor didn't send me to recovery ( I had a c-section) because I had company that wanted to visit with me. It was strange I thought, but I loved having people to come see me and love on my little family. My little family that had just grown by 2 in the span of 4 minutes!

These two boys make me smile, laugh and thank the Lord daily. Their personalities are so much the same and so much different. They look so much alike and they look so different. The same but different. I wouldn't have it any other way. They fill my heart with joy.
Julie

Friday, April 20, 2012

Anna is 8!!

This little girl is 8 years old today!

She is such a princess. I remember when she was born Abby wrote on the blog that Anna added a softness to our home. And she has. She is sweet, spirited, girly, and a tomboy rolled up into one beautiful package.

The boys think she is spoiled, Stephen and I laugh and tell them girls are supposed to be spoiled and then we look at each other and smile, both knowing that what they are saying is so very true.

She is an absolute blessing. She is motivated, loves to help, enjoys school, reads all the time, acts like shes 13, and is loving and kind.

God blessed us with a real treasure eight years ago this morning. I will be forever grateful for His gift.

Julie

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Fishy Celebration

This past weekend we went fishing to begin our April birthday celebrations. If you are new around here, Anna will be 8 on the 20th and David and Daniel will be 11 on the 24th. We celebrate birthdays for days!!!

Samuel was at a D-Now weekend, so Stephen and I took Daniel, David and Anna to Heber Springs to trout fish. I have never been fishing before. I actually got my first fishing license right before we headed out of town. I wasn't real excited about going, but the kids could hardly wait!

Daniel caught the first fish and Anna soon followed. By the end of the day the 5 of us had caught 23 rainbow trout. I was so excited. Everyone got their limit but me, but I didn't mind. The kids had such a great time.


Our feet were covered in mud, many of us had fallen down because of it but it didn't dampen our spirits one bit. We had a great time! Now to celebrate with cake, ice cream and presents for the rest of the month!

Julie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Morning By Morning New Mercies I See

Isn't she lovely?! Here she is at home in her recliner. God loves this woman, that is for sure...and so do we. Our mama is now back in her place recovering by herself, with visits each day from loving family and sweet friends who live near by. Praise Jesus for this smile on my mama's beautiful face. She did it!!
She has had a rough month but the bad is over and only good is to come from here. Her strength is better with each passing day due to her determination to get well and do for herself. We never anticipated her to be at home without help at this point. What a praise this is. Mama told me she is doing so well because she is loved. She needed to be reminded how precious she is to so many, and that has been accomplished through this for sure.
I spent the weekend getting her comfortable and secure at home. It was fun to spend quiet, quality time with my mama. I worked hard, rested well and loved watching her prove to herself she could do this on her own. I am the one who pushes her to go the extra step and I think for once in my life it was appreciated this weekend - ha! Seriously, it was rewarding to be there to encourage her, push her and love on her. What a blessing to call that strong woman my mama!
I weeded her flower bed, swept her porch, painted her toenails, cleaned her house, etc...she kicked me out to go shopping so she could take a nap because watching me was wearing her out!
This sweet boy has had a month. He has either been with me solo, his daddy solo or his Nana (Jules and I owe our in laws a hug for stepping up this month and loving our kiddos without reservation). Henry has rarely been with us together as a family. He is a bit needy now as you can imagine. He sure is a loved little guy.
I have a precious friend in Lisa. She took this photo of him for me last Wednesday night. She wanted to make sure I got rest so she took him from school that day, took him on a picnic and then to Awanas. I fought her on it and she would not take "no" for an answer. I felt bad, but knew I had to let her do it. She is the preschool director at church and one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Knowing people like Lisa were loving on my baby when Randall was off planting corn all over the delta and I was trying to cope with my sick mama 4 hours away and do life here at the same time was so uplifting to my fragile mama heart.
Photos through text kept me afloat this past month. Photos like this from Randall when he was single parenting Henry while I was with mama always made me smile. That man of mine is such a fun and attentive daddy. He literally drove down the highway from the in laws with Henry's Cars 4-wheeler on the big 4-wheeler trailer all strapped down like the real deal. Memories were made through this crazy time, memories we will store in our hearts forever. Some we will want to forget and some that we will want to cherish and laugh about for years to come. What a mighty God we serve, who loves us and gets us through the yucky times with joy and a little spring in our step.
Abby

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lessons learned from the Hospital


This will be my last hospital post. I promise.

Lesson 1: Mom was freezing us out in her first room. We were dressing warm just to sit in her room with her. The first night I stayed the night, I was free-zing! A nurse came in, saw me shivering and brought me, get this, a heated blanket. I was warm the rest of the night. It blessed my soul (it really warmed my soul too) to have a heated blanket. If you have to stay the night at the hospital, ask for a heated blanket.

Lesson 2: The nurses have access to popsicles. They don't always tell the patient they can have them, and most patients, even with the strictest dietary concerns can. The best thing is patients family members can have them too. They also will give you a coke. This is great for those of you that can eat and drink in hospitals. I, however, didn't partake of free popsicles or cokes. I can't seem to eat or drink where sick people have been. I tried. I spent quite a few dollars on Sonic drinks before I realized that I won't drink in a room.

Lesson 3: Dress to impress. We decided to dress nicely for the hospital. I originally thought we would only be at the hospital for 3-4 days, so I took 3 outfits for the hospital and the rest of my clothes were t-shirts, shorts and jeans to wear around mom's house. Needless to say when day 3 became day 11 I was re-wearing all my clothes. But I will say this was the best decision we made. It seems like we were taken seriously, and as if we "had it together" by the hospital staff. And we talked to many different members of hospital staff. We were in no way delussioned into thinking we knew what was going on, or had it all together, but I think it was easier to be taken seriously when we dressed up. My baby sister brought me clothes when she came back into town so the last week I was not in repeat mode. I love that girl.

Lesson 4: The best bathrooms are in admitting. The admitting offices aren't open very much of the day and there aren't many sick people in that area. Therefore, these are the best bathrooms. I give credit to Aunt Janet for this one. Great tip!

Lesson 5: If you are on the 4th floor and can walk the stairs, do so. The elevators are slow and the exercise is good for you. If you are on the 5th floor take the elevator. I couldn't have made it to the 5th floor!

Lesson 6: This was a hard lesson for me to learn. The nurses really like it if you use the call light instead of bugging them at the nurses desk. The nurses' chief concern is the patient, not the patient's family. It is best for the patient to hit the call button if she needs something.

Ok, I'm through. No more hospital talk! My next post will be about birthday week!

Julie

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mom Update


Mom was discharged from the hospital last Friday afternoon. She is staying at Aunt Janet's house this week so that someone will be close by at night and so she won't be alone too awful much. She is glad to be there and Aunt Janet is glad to be taking care of her. She has friends coming to stay with her and keep her company throughout the day. I am so thankful for them.

Mom was in the hospital 16 days. The first 12 days were terribly tough, but the last 4 were pretty great. I went home for a couple of days while she was there because my kids were having their school testing and I needed to be there for a bit of support.

I am known to not like hospitals. I dislike them VERY much. I don't like the smell, the tools, the paper towels, the food, or the plastic cups. It is just too much for me to take. I am a gagger and I gag the most at hospitals.

(On Soapbox)
I remember being told from several church members that I needed to visit the hospital and nursing homes more, that it would be "good" for me. Well, let me tell you that I spent several days at the hospital. I was there, smelling, seeing, touching, feeling. It did not do me any "good". Because I was there for my mom, I endured and did it with pleasure, want to, love and devotion. But I do not feel that I have a ministry to the sick and infirm. Oh my! I don't know how many times I repeated that sentence during those 16 days. Just as not all people are supposed to be teaching children in Awana clubs at church or Sunday School, I am not to be ministering to the patients in hospitals. Sure, I will visit. And I pray that people will stand up and be listeners in their church's Awana clubs. But not all of us are teachers and not all of us are ministers to the sick. (Off soapbox)

I prayed for God to take my weakness (gagging) and give me His strength. And He did. I am a testimony of what God can and will do. I stood beside my mom's ICU bed for many hours holding her hand, trying to comfort her confused spirit. I would lay my head on her shoulder that was draped with tubes carrying medicine and breath for her. I talked to her, cried on her, and prayed to God both silently and aloud. I never thought she wouldn't make it, I was just pained because the situation seemed to have no end. The doctor kept saying 2-3 days. he said it everyday for about 4 days, I finally stopped asking.
I went home for a day and a half and when I went back to the hospital she was in her own room. I rejoiced! Aunt Janet and Mamaw had stayed with her while I was gone. I know they loved being with her without a bunch of others all around!
I spent the days at the hospital with mom, made friends with the nursing staff, and did NOT conquer my disdain for eating in hospitals.

Abby was in Jonesboro on and off while mom was in the hospital, because HELLO, SHE HAS A JOB! I usually don't call her during the day, we just text. But during these trying days when I called, she always answered. I texted and she always texted back. It was nice to bounce ideas, happenings, and tears off of her.

There was one afternoon I came close to losing it with a nurse. I guess I had had enough of the hospital experience. Abby and I talked and made a game plan. We executed it nicely and things went well. It was a time that Abby and I got to be grown-ups. Prior to that, we let the doctors and nurses make all the decisions, as we should have. We realized through that experience that family is everything. Family trumps hurt feelings, unkind words, and unsaid apologies.
Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and things may not go as we liked but at the end of the day family should win. Always!

Thank you for your prayers and concern for mom and for the rest of us. We loved the Sonic cokes, snacks, gifts, and visits. It made our days go by so much faster and better. The Lord answered our prayers in His timing and what was best for Mom. We are so grateful.

Julie

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh, Yes It Does!

Henry Patton running into school this morning with his Razorback t-shirt on and ready to shout a little "Woo Pig Sooie" with all his little friends.



Abby

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter in Northwest Arkansas

The kids enjoy dyeing Easter Eggs every year. Since I am far from being OCD or a type A personality, the kids get to dye the eggs anyway they want. They can use every color for one egg or just one color. It doesn't matter to me. Their creativity gets to shine!
We were at Aunt Janet and Uncle Mike's house this Easter weekend and Aunt Janet was so sweet to let us use her kitchen to dye our 3 dozen eggs. And to let us use her refrigerator to store them in. her frig may never smell the same again!

I spent Easter morning with Mom at Aunt Janet's. The kids and Stephen went to church and then joined us for lunch. I missed being at church (It makes 2 years in a row. Last year Daniel was sick.) but enjoyed being with Mom for the last time for a while.
We had Whole Hog BBQ for lunch. It was Mom's choice, but it is our favorite BBQ restaurant. I made a cake and the kids had a couple of Easter egg hunts. We spent the rest of the day in front of the tv watching The Masters. I have been following Bubba Watson on Twitter and am so impressed with his witness and testimony. We were all pulling for him or Phil Mickelson to win. And Bubba won! Yay!!
We headed back around 7:00 Sunday night, it was a late night getting back home but spending the day with mom and my husband and kids was the best Easter ever!
Julie

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter In Northeast Arkansas

The Easter bunny came to our house and left Henry all sorts of fun things. He was a happy boy to wake up and see this bucket sitting in the den with his name on it!
After a little play time we got dressed and headed to church to worship our risen Saviour. Henry loves going to his class. His teachers are Ms. Linda and Ms.Tracy. He talks about them all the time and asks, "I go Linda and Tracy's room?". This morning he was ready to go and see if they had Goldfish. He is a sucker for some food and learning about Jesus.
Our attempt at a self-family portrait this morning before church. Randall and I both look squatty sitting on this couch in jackets. We laughed at how we looked, but Henry looks cute and really he is all that matters anymore.
It is not Easter at our house without the rabbit cake. This year Henry was crazy about it. He is so aware now, it is funny. I had to hide it from him Saturday after I made it because he was on a mission to tear into that bunny!
Our Easter meal is always one of my favorite things. I love everything about Easter...Jesus, the bright colors, the bunny, getting dressed up, the eggs, ham, hashbrown casserole, coconut cake, family, etc. It makes my heart happy.
Being able to be home this year with my boys with Mama ill on the other side of the state made me feel blessed and guilty all at the same time. Julie and Mama insisted I stay home with my boys and do Easter and come back next weekend. Mama is doing great and has a ways to go in her recovery. Thank you for your prayers. They have gotten us through the darkest hours and are still getting us through the road to recovery. Julie will post more tomorrow about mama and her Easter. I have the best sister in the world, in case you didn't know this before now. She has amazed me these past few weeks. I want to be like her when I grow up :)
Easter with Nana and Papa is always a favorite. My in-laws are a treasure. I can count on them at any hour for anything. I don't think they will ever know how blessed I am to have them. Molly is like a mother, sister and friend to me. I am so glad she chose Ben and my Randall. I think I will thank Jesus for that when I meet him face to face.
Easter with these cuties has been a treat. Everyday is a treat with them though. Just like it is with Jesus...we celebrate his Resurrection on this special day, yet everyday is a celebration of his death, burial and Resurrection for those of us who call ourselves sons and daughters of Christ. What a wonderful God we serve and what blessings he has given us on this earth. Blessings none of us deserve. Thank you Jesus!
Abby

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Oh,The Bunny!

Our little bunny boy started Good Friday excited about going with mama and daddy to see the Easter Bunny at the mall. He was SO excited and proud to get dressed in his bunny sweater and go. Look at that grin on his sweet little face!
And then he saw the bunny. It was terror and horror and huge loud screams. I made him sit there anyway and get his photo taken. I had other mothers in line giving me looks of shame as their kids started to scream and cry in unison with Henry. It was truly a mother moment I will not forget. Randall and I walked away laughing. I am sure the other mothers did not find us amusing. It was like a comic strip moment.
Randall insisted we purchase the overpriced photo for a keepsake even though he captured it on his phone. It is so precious, really. Poor little bunny of mine.
He got his red sucker and bunny ears and became proud. He told all those we passed in the mall "I saw the Easter Bunny!" with a big proud smile. I am sure they heard him and knew the truth. We let him brag and have his moment...it was too cute.
We came home and dyed eggs. He loved telling me what colors he wanted. He was most unhappy with me for stopping to take this photo. He was fussing at me, as you can see. I have loved the Easter fun we have had this year. This is Henry's third Easter and a very memorable one for sure.
Abby

He Is Risen and He Is Lord!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

I know Easter is all about Jesus and his sacrifice, yet we also celebrate the bunny at our house. We knew the real meaning of Easter when we were growing up while celebrating the bunny, so we carry on that tradition with our little Henry. This is our third Easter with our little fella.Learning the rules of egg hunting has been difficult for our little guy. He wants to throw them and run away. It is quite comical to watch.
We took our little egg hunter to an egg hunt with some friends. He was unsure about the group hunt, but was willing to line up with the kiddos and take a stab at it.
Wearing the bucket on his head. What a little clown. He is my child and I love it.
And finally he realized the eggs had candy in them and he was off to the races! He now wants candy in the eggs we play with at home...but of course!
Our cookie lady, Amy shipped us these cookies for Henry's school Easter party. Aren't they adorable?! She really does a great job and we can always count on her to come up with something unique for us.
Henry enjoyed his sunrise Easter party at school. We were assigned plates and napkins. I loved that assignment! I found them at the Dollar Tree. I thought they were super cute.
Henry loves having parties. He gets so excited. He also loves having mama or daddy at his school. It is always fun to be part of his school day. We are so blessed to have him in a daycare that teaches him about Jesus and that he has teachers who love our boy like their very own.
Henry was dressed in his bunny sweater and all smiles about going to see the Easter Bunny.
And then he saw the bunny! He was not excited at all. He was scared speechless. He screamed and shut down. The mother behind us in line gave me the dirtiest look ever because I made him sit there anyway to get a photo. Oh well, it was a moment I wanted to remember, call me a bad mom, I can take it! lol. Henry was perfectly fine as soon as he got his sucker and bunny ears from the photo guy. He walked through the mall saying 'I saw Easter Bunny" with great pride. Oh me, what a funny little bunny we have!
Abby