Thursday, May 31, 2012

Soaring In The Sun


Sitting in the cockpit of a Blue Angels jet. I was a bit more excited than Henry.
We visited the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola while on the coast last week. It was pretty cool and a must see. It is also free, which is a plus.

A girl is always crazy about a dark and fake Marine, you know. Hee hee!

Henry in the cockpit of an army plane. I pray this is the only time I see him in one of these. I hope God calls him to do something way less risky!

Henry had a big time looking at all the planes and helicopters. It was a fun outing and one I think we will do again.


video
 We are easily amused, as you will see in this short video.
Abby

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Big Guy

See the kid on the right? That would be the 14 year old boy that lives in outhouse. (Hollye brought to my attention that I had typed outhouse instead of our house. That's funny! We're city folks now, we don't even have an outhouse!) However, he isn't here this week.

This week he's in Ft. Smith at the grandparents house. It's his second week away since school got out. Next week will be the third week away, he'll be at camp.

It's strange without him home. I'm having to drive everywhere, and my schedule is pretty much my own. When he's home I am riding in the front seat while he drives to mow lawns. This is his second year to have a lawn mowing business. This year he's in business with two friends and they're making some good money. I'm a bit jealous.

In a month he'll be going to Dallas with the youth group. They're going to a Rangers game and Six Flags, doesn't that sound like fun?! Well, it sounds hot, but fun. Three days, two nights and he's paying his own way! Oh yes!! Sadly, he won't pay my way, so i'll be home doing laundry and cleaning toilets.

Samuel is growing up to be, as my grandmother loved to say, a fine Christian young man. He makes mistakes, afterall he is 14. But he has a kind heart and sweet spirit. I'm blessed to be his mom.

Julie

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Heart Speaks

video

From out of the mouth the heart speaks. If that is the case then my Henry forever has a praise song on his heart because he is singing them or requesting to hear them all the time. We are taking advantage of it like crazy, as you can imagine. He is a sponge right now and knowing he wants to listen to his Praise Baby CD's or my praise CD's or Daddy's K-Love station is a warm fuzzy to the soul. He doesn't sing the words right but he is precious in how he tries his hardest to belt it out. He calls his Praise Baby CD's "Halleluia". He will get in his carseat and say "Mama, I want Halleluia" or he will say "Mama, I want Blessing and Donder" or he will tell his daddy, "I want roar lion". If you are up on contemporary Christian music...decode that! Ha. It is so fun watching him learn about the love of  Christ.

Abby

A list. Sorry

***We came home to find Daniel sick. His stomach hurts, that's it. After 5 days of it, I think we'll head to
       the dr and see what's up.

***Samuel is going to Dallas this weekend for a youth trip. They'll go to Six Flags, and a Rangers game. To
      say I'm envious is an understatement. Not being a staff wife really stinks sometimes!

***I was so proud of the Hogs baseball team. I would have loved to have been there for those last games.

***I'm thinking of making a bucket list. My reason for not making one is I can't decide if the list should be
      things I want to do even if I know I won't ever be able to, or is the list things I should be able to do? I
      need a definition of bucket list.

***I love twitter. It keeps me laughing and is just better than facebook. I still love facebook though.

***The crepe myrtles in our yard are blooming. They are so pretty.

***Looking for a house in our price range isn't quite like what is depicted in House Hunters. I think it's a
      shock to the kids! And a little bit to me too.

***Have I mentioned we're planting a church and I'm so excited???

***That's all I have today. Sorry.

Julie

A Few Pics of Anna

 I was going through Anna's camera the other night and came across a few gems. She got a camera for her birthday and it is her favorite thing. Still, after a month!
She is all about a self-portrait. she starts the timer on the camera and goes and gets in place!
 And then sometimes she just holds the camera at arms length! She cracks me up. She had also taken a picture of each of her dresses hanging on a hanger. She has a lot of dresses, and they took up a lot of memory space on her memory card!
This was from the week all of the boys were gone. We went to Little Rock to see a Traveler's game. It was a fun night with just the three of us.

Anna is such a fun girl and has a great sense of humor. She is embracing life and living it to the fullest. I'm so thankful for her!

Julie

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beach Baby

 We are home from our trip to Orange Beach, Alabama. We had a fun and relaxing time. Henry loved the water and we loved watching him enjoy all the fun the coast had to offer.

 I will share more snapshots of our fun trip in the coming days. I wanted to go ahead and share the photos my photographer friend took of Henry on the beach. I love having a friend with a camera who lives at the beach. Score!

It was close to bed time and Henry had been playing out in the sun and water all day. He was tired. He was not his happy self but still a cutie to me.

I hope you are gearing up for a restful and fun Memorial Day weekend. I know we are!

Abby

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anna's Turn

After quite a few sleepovers for the boys, tonight is Anna's turn.

Audrey is a sweet friend to Anna, they've been friends for a few years. Both are shy but coming out of their shells. I just texted mom and told her that having a girl sleepover is much louder than having boys over. The girls squeal, laugh, and oh my word! they talk, talk, talk!!

Soon after Audrey got to our house the yard sprinklers came on. We've never looked so redneck before! The kids were running and squealing through the sprinklers, I'm sure our upscale neighbors were shocked and embarrassed for us! The girls came in soaked and decided to change into their pajamas. At 4:45.

I'm not sure what's on the agenda for the rest of the night, but hopefully sleep will come soon!

Julie

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Random Goodness

Read about it here:
http://nwahomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=332132

This is so sad. I went to school with him. He was such a nice boy. A good student. He was in the choir and the band. He had a lot of friends. I was one of them. He appeared to have come from a good home. He was just recently  singing in the choir at my home church. I have photos in my school scrapbooks with him in them. Surreal.
Schizophrenia is a terrible thing. He was struck with it in his mid 20's. That is when it usually hits a person. I am sure there is better terminology to use, but it seems like a blow to me. I hate this so much. What an injustice to young woman and helpless baby. What an injustice to James to have to suffer with such a horrible disease. All around it is a bad deal that leaves a knot in my stomach. I will not be as quick to judge from now on when I hear of things on the news. You never know the full story. You never know the demons a person is waking up with each day. God have mercy on this family.


video

On a brighter note, these are in bloom today at my house. I had the camera on video mode so it is a mini-mini video, instead of a photo. Always comical at my house, I tell ya. God is so good to create such pretty things and Randall is a gem to plant them in my flowerbeds. Everything has grown much bigger this year, finally! The simple things, I tell ya. 

 Henry has a few more school days left in his toddler class at school. He ADORES this class. He wakes up talking about Ms. Andrea most mornings. He will miss her so much, and so will I. It has been such a fun class for him. I think he and I will both cry that whole first week. If I even mention his new teacher's name he freezes up and says, "No, Mama!". Oh, boy...this is gonna be an interesting transition. When did my baby get big enough to go to the preschool class?!


If you know this blog well, or know me well, you know this pretty blonde headed beauty is my bestest friend in the whole wide world. This next week her hubs will be serving on a mission team with my home church in Tajikistan. Please pray for his safety in his travels and that he can find rest in the midst of it all. Please pray that his team will show Christ's love to those who need it most, and pray for Melissa and the boys to not worry too much about him and have a fun time at home.


 And we are now headed to put our toes in the sand for a few days. Bring on the sun, sand and so much fun with my boys!

Abby


Friday, May 18, 2012

A supper time prayer

I feel weird posting this, but it was so sweet and I'm afraid if I don't write it down I'll forget it.

I picked up David and Daniel from Stephen's parents at lunch today. They were at Wings To Go waiting on Anna and me. When I got out of the van here they come running to hug me. Oh, the sweetness of those boys. Yesterday was a slow news day in Ft. Smith and a newspaper photographer was driving around and saw David and Daniel playing mini golf. Their picture was in todays paper. Oh, the cuteness.
Samuel came home right at suppertime tonight. We were all so glad to see his face. We thanked the family that took him and brought him inside and shut the door! We were all home together again. God is good!
Anna wanted to pray before supper and this is what she said..." Thank you God for bringing my brothers home. Thank you for my family being together again."
Is that the sweetest thing or what? My kids get on my nerves just like yours get on yours, but I want to remember this night, it's been a special one.

Julie

And Then There Was One

Anna has been our only child this week. Samuel is in Florida on his friend's family vacation and Daniel and David are in Ft. Smith at the grandparents.

We've known about Samuel's trip for months but D & D decided Monday that they would like to go home with Stephen's parents. I said yes, his parents said yes, they packed their clothes and were gone before we could change our minds.

You should have seen Anna's face! She was glowing. We asked her if she wanted to go and she said NO! She was so excited about a week by herself.

She is a stay at home kind of girl, so our days were spent at home for the most part, we got active when Stephen came home. We went to a Traveler's game, played golf and shopped a bit in Little Rock. We've had fun.

I have enjoyed her so much. You know I spend a great amount of time with my children but having one at a time has been fun. I always felt like I was missing something or that one of the boys would be coming in the room though. I have also had to cook for three, that's been a bit weird.

All my boys come home today, it's going to be great to all be together again. Although I don't think Anna is all that excited.

Julie

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Walking In Memphis

 Saturday morning we set out to take Henry to the Fire Museum of Memphis.  He loves a fire truck just about as much as he loves chicken nuggets and red suckers. It is the best thing ever, really. The fire truck outside of the museum just so happened to be named after a man named Henry. Perfect.

 "Fire!" Henry played and played in the fire trucks. He had a little coat and hat to wear while at the museum. We were there during a birthday party. Once that group cleared out and headed back to the party room we had it all to ourselves. It was the best.
I wish we lived there so we could have our 3rd birthday party at the museum. I just can't ask our little friends to drive an hour with gas so high, pay for parking downtown, walk 2 blocks to the museum, and bring a present. I doubt anyone would come. Randall said he wouldn't come if he was invited. He cracks me up.

 All in all, it was a hit! Henry still talks about the fire trucks. He woke up Sunday morning and the first thing out of his mouth was "I drive a fire truck, Daddy!"

 After the fire museum we walked down to Huey's to eat and then planned to take Henry on his first trolley ride and head back to the truck and go home. He kept saying "I ride choo choo". He loved it and yelled "all aboard" when it stopped at the lights. He was not happy when it was time to get off.

 After we got to the truck Randall decided to not head back home just yet. He drove around for a bit and let Henry nap.When Henry woke up we ended up at the Children's Museum. I am not a huge fan of it and I think Randall is finally convinced it is over-priced. They have less this spring than they did last spring. Henry had fun though. Henry LOVES Kroger. The mini Kroger was the best part of his little visit. He also loaded boxes on a FedEx plane, danced in the dance room and sat in a fire truck (go figure).

 After eating dinner at the Rendezvous, we took Henry to his first baseball game. He said over and over "I want baseball." I think he thought they were going to give him a baseball. Poor, spoiled thing!

Henry scored a Redbird shirt in the gift shop and had to put it on over his shortall. He may have been the cutest redbird at Autozone Park.

We had a full and fun day in the Bluff City. I hated not seeing my "people" while we were there but we were on a mission to cram as many activities in one outing with a 2 year old that was humanly possible. I believe we achieved our goal. He was asleep before we got to Mound City!
It reminded me so much of Samuel at this age. Falling asleep on the drive out of Memphis, headed back to nea after he did a little "root, root, root, root for da Redbirds" with Rocky at Autozone Park. He always added an extra "root". Preciousness.

Abby

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day

What a fun day Mother's Day is! A day to celebrate, honor and love on moms. I don't ever remember doing Mother's Day good enough for my mom when I was growing up. Even as a young adult I didn't do it well.

Abby is the best gift giver and celebrator. She does it up right. Her cards arrive on time, she gives the best gifts and just does a great job of honoring mom. Mom knows it, I know it and Abby knows it. It's just the way it is in our family. No hard feelings, just honest.



This year is a different year for me on this Mother's Day. For a few weeks this spring things got pretty stressful when it came to my mom, as you know. I  never thought she was going to die (apparently Abby and I the only ones!) I just knew it was going to take some time to get her better but I had all the faith that she was going to walk right out of that hospital ( I forgot you have to be pushed out in a wheelchair!)

Those three weeks in the hospital were a learning time for me. My mom has always been healthy, she is the person I can count on to talk to, cry with, complain to, gripe with, gossip with ( I know, I know), and be loved by. The first two of those weeks she wasn't in the best condition to do those things. she really didn't even want people to talk in her room the first week. It was weird not having mom as she's supposed to be. And the second week, when she was sedated, couldn't talk and seemed unhappy, it was just awful. I remember writing my thoughts down one night and all I wrote was " I just want to hear her voice".

I'm so thankful God healed her in a timely manner. I will not take her for granted anymore. I know so many of you have lost your mothers, I can imagine this is a sad and difficult day to get through. I will be praying for you today. Praying for comfort, great memroies, and a remembrance of the love you shared.

Happy Mother's Day!
Julie

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Few Pictures

These are a few pictures from our life the last few days. It has been pretty normal around here. We're finishing up the school year, so our days are pretty much our own now. It doesn't seem like we've been home very much, running errands, visiting friends. Just going places and doing things. Friday night Stephen and I found ourselves unexpectedly alone for the evening. We went out to eat, shopped a little bit and had so much fun together. If you are married please devote time to your spouse. If it means putting the kids to bed early, or getting up the nerve to ask a friend to babysit, do it! It's important!

 This is Daniel, the 11 year old. He was so proud to show off the two flies he killed with his hands. My mom said he either had quick hands or they were slow flies! Daniel's shirt says "I'm the evil twin", approiate for this event!
Saturday we went to a few garage sales and David found this helmet. I knew when I saw it that it would be coming home with us. I mean how could David pass up an airsoft helmet with camo burlap glued on it? Well, he just couldn't, he's 11 and loves all things military!
Last Thursday Stephen and I went to a business expo in town. It was held at the convention center and when we were leaving we noticed the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame. I didn't even know my town had such a museum. We went in and looked around, there are tons of famous people right here from Arkansas. This is Stephen standing in front of the Glen Campbell's gold record for Rhinestone Cowboy. Stephen loves that song and used to sing it as a child. The funny thing is that when I was 8, Daddy wanted to take me to see Star Wars but I couldn't go because I had to sing Rhinestone Cowboy at a talent show my neighbor and I were putting on for our neighbors on my front porch. The ticket price was a nickel, and people came!! I didn't even know Stephen then, but I'm pretty sure if he had heard me sing we wouldn't be married now! HA!

Julie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ah-Ha Moments

Life lessons are not always fun to learn but once they are learned they can be so gratifying. This week I have had the privilege of being gratified through some of those learned lessons. It brings such a humble smile to my heart...and my face!

If you read this much you know two years ago I faced a rough time with my career, yet one that left me refined as gold, only because of my loving comforter, sustainer and deliverer. God is so mighty in all his ways and that wound is now just a healthy, faint scar. It left enough of a mark to teach me to be true to myself and to trust only a small few. Wonderful lesson in the end, yet the road getting to this point was a trip, to say the least!
 Anywho, those who love me best kept telling me what goes around comes around as I healed from that episode, and I didn't believe them...until this week. It was just happenstance that I was where I was at that time and saw what I saw. I think it was a God thing...it gave me chills and a humble smile to view what I did. Sad times for this person, but you reap what you sow! It was an "ah-ha" moment for me. So glad I could witness the reaping....in Christian love, of course! :) Isn't it fun how God puts us in the right place at the right time?!


Busyness has been my stronghold lately. A  few weeks ago a dear friend told me that satan disguises himself in busyness. It hit me like a ton of bricks when she told me that. It was true. I was doing all good things, things with purpose and a good cause, but it was putting great stress on me, my child and my husband...and my time with Jesus. So I quickly gave it up to the Lord and chose VBS as my only volunteer activity for the summer. I am stoked about the freedom it has given me to play, love and focus on the things that matter most in my little world.


So, I was listening to one of my young mama friend's this week tell me how busy she is and I was able to pass my nugget of truth onto her and it felt so honest, true and humble to pour my testimony out to her. I loved seeing the light bulb go off in her head as I shared my heart. Another "Ah-ha" moment. Then my devotion last night even spoke on this very subject. I found myself smiling real big in the bed. Randall came in from the shower and said,"What are you smiling about?" and I said "Jesus!". I am so glad he loves me enough to put up with me...Randall and Jesus, that is!

Abby


Monday, May 7, 2012

Watch out Pine Bluff!

We have a new driver in the family!

Samuel turned 14 in October. In Arkansas you can get a learners permit and then you can drive as long as there is an adult licensed driver with you when you're 14. Samuel was is in no hurry to take his test. He would make comments like "I don't want to study for it". I wouldn't let him practice without taking the test and he seemed fine with that.

And then a friend got his permit, another one took the test and I guess he decided he didn't want to be left out. He studied this weekend, I took him yesterday afternoon and he passed his written test the first time! He was so excited. So was I!

I let him drive a couple of times yesterday and today he wants to drive even more. I will say he drives pretty good. And he's driving a mini-van, it's a lot bigger than what I learned to drive in. And a lot bigger than the motorcycle that he really wants to drive. Oh me!

Julie

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Strawberries


Saturday morning we picked strawberries. We literally got out of bed, threw on clothes and left the house by 7. Randall said it was not one of our finer outings and to not waste time getting ready...so we didn't. I was glad in the end because we were covered in dirt and mud. What fun it was though.

 Here are our berries. It was a family affair. We all picked some, some of us more than others, of course. I didn't think it looked like very many berries until it came time to clean and cap them. Oh my...I had no idea what I was in for. So, I got busy looking for recipes because something had to be done with all the fruit of my labor!

I made 4 pies. I had never made a strawberry pie before and had not eaten very many of them either, so this was a new venture. It took me a small forever because I had to quadruple the recipe for the glaze. I must say, the pies are near perfect and all wrapped up in the freezer for some sweet summer nights. Here is the recipe I used: http://www.southernplate.com/2009/04/fresh-strawberry-pie.html

So, the next recipe was strawberry freezer jam. I had never made jam, so this was also an adventure. It was super easy and I think it will be super yummy. Win! I love winning in the kitchen. Easy and good...it gets no better than that. Here is the recipe for this wonderful treat:
http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/freezer-strawberry-jam-31972

I also have berries capped in the freezer and another batch pureed and frozen for more jam. What fun we had and now I can say I have made fresh fruit pies and jam. I may be a country girl after all!

Abby

Friday, May 4, 2012

Update on Daddy



Daddy is back in the saddle and cruising through the drug store on his way home from the hospital. This was sent from Connie's (his wife) phone. It made me laugh. Daddy is always making me laugh though. So glad to have such a light-hearted, loving and healthy daddy. Thank you for praying for Bob this past week. He is so glad to be back home in his recliner, watching his westerns and sport shows. Poor Connie! lol. Seriously, we are blessed to have him on the mend and appreciate your prayers.

Abby

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wanna Dance...Done!

Posing for our professional pic. We couldn't have made a crazier pair!
Getting Jiggy with it

 
Making our rounds at the chamber's Business Expo

Cha-cha-cha!
About to hit the stage - Me, Libii and Barry
I realized I have not posted anything about Wanna Dance since my original post. My spring has been so wacky that I forgot to update you on this crazy experience.
We practiced like it was our job, we laughed until we cried or even peed, we moaned and groaned with and at each other, we bonded like crazy glue, we nixed the Lindi for a 32 count hop in place to keep Barry sane, we did some yoga and lots of toe stretches for Libbi, we saw more of each other than we ever intended, and we raised a good chunk of change for the Woman's Discovery Center.
 We danced twice for the community and had a ball doing it. I would post the dance on here but it is way too long...and embarrassing! It was loud, crazy and flashy. I am sure my Sunday School class prayed for me all the way home after coming to watch us.
Barry was the most forgiving and funniest partner ever and Libii was the most encouraging and spirited coach ever. I am blessed to call these two friends for life...but I am not sure I want to dance with them again. My dancing shoes are going on Ebay!

Abby

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What A Difference A Night Makes

Just ask Henry Patton!


That poor little love of mine is so allergic to mosquitoes it is sad. It took three days for his eye to go back to normal. He woke up that morning saying "My Eye" because he could not open it. It was quite a sight to see and warranted a trip to the doctor. All was well and Benedryl fixed it in due time. 
 
I love the above quote because it is so true. We sometimes think we are too small to make a difference but look how that little hungry bug made a huge difference in my sweet boy's life for 3 long days.

My sweet Sunday School friends, Shannon and Stacy
 It made me think about the Pregnancy Resource Center banquet last week. I serve on the executive board at the PRC and have a passion to save babies and help pregnant girls learn about Jesus' love for them and their unborn babies. Randall and I hosted a table and invited 3 couple friends to sit with us. They were all aware of  the Center but not active in supporting it or volunteering. Our simply asking them to come to the banquet resulted in donations from all 3 couples and a 1 of the girls is interested in volunteering her time. So, a simple "hey, can you come sit at our table?" resulted in big things for the kingdom and our community. I just love that! Think big, even if your efforts and resources seem small. God rewards it all. 

Abby