Monday, June 25, 2012

Daybook

Outside my window...sunny, hot, hot, hot

I am thinking...about the pool!

I am thankful for...a breeze

From the learning rooms...it's summer, nothing is going on in there

From the kitchen...it's find what you can night. It's too hot to cook.

I am wearing...a swimsuit

I am creating...a tan, except on the underside of my arms, they won't tan.

I am going...to take a nap when I get home

I am hearing...kids splashing, squealing and having a good time

Around the house...not much is going on, just the basics.

One of my favorite things...the pool

A few plans for the rest of the week...a trip to see my mom. I can't wait to see her face and to see her walk on her own.

Julie

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let Me Be Singing When The Evening Comes

My friend Emily captured this photo of our boys splashing their feet in the pool the other night. A fun and simple night swimming as the sun set. Each simple little thing is a blessing, like swimming with a friend on a week night. I tell myself on a daily basis to not forget who gives us these little blessings and to not take them forgranted. The smiles, laughter, "Watch this, Mama" moments and the crocodile tears because it is time to go home and go to bed, are all gifts from above.

I adore this Matt Redman song. I think my vehicle must come off the ground when it plays on the radio. Henry and I sing it at the top of our lungs. What a delight to sing praises with my baby boy as we go about our daily routine. Planting a song in his heart early!



Turn up your volume and get ready to belt it out. How do people do life without Jesus??!!

Abby

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Big Easy

Stephen and I have been in New Orleans this week for the Southern Baptist Convention. We've gotten to hear Charles Billingsley sing many times. He is my very favorite right now. He is the soundtrack of my van. I have friends that feel the same way about him and we texted back and forth most of the time.
I had a picture of Fred Luter but for some reason I can't get it to load. (I'm so inept!) Anyway, Fred Luter is the first black man to serve as president of the convention. It was a historic vote, I cried. It was quite a moment! 11 years ago I stalked him in the bookstore at the convention and asked him to come to Augusta, AR and do a revival at our little church. He said yes, and came the next year. He is an incredible preacher and a great man. It was our honorto have him in our home.

We ate some really great food. These are the beignets from Cafe du Monde. They were good, the atmosphere was better. We had such a great time shopping in the French Market and just spending time together. I enjoy being with Stephen so much. I love him with my every breath.

We ate some really great food. We went to bed with our stomachs full although one night we had McDonalds. But we were full. HA!
It was a great week, but we are so excited to see the kids and all be together again.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daddy Day


I got to spend Father's Day with my daddy. It is rare that I am with him on his special day. I was so glad he and Connie came to stay the night with us and visit for a bit. It is never dull with Daddy in the house, that is for sure!


Julie and I had the kids make Daddy this canvas back in the winter during one of our visits. He really liked it. I got him the Bob shirt and Bob ice cube tray. Daddy's name is Bob, in case you didn't know. He LOVED the gifts, as you can only imagine. I am sure the t-shirt has already made its debut in Desoto County.


Henry loves his Grandaddy. Those two get so wild and worn out when they are together. it is funny. Daddy always told us Mr. Whisker stories when we were little. It was a made up voice and story line. I loved Mr. Whisker stories before bed when I was little. Henry now also loves Mr. Whiskers and begs for the stories all the time. Oh me...


There is a never a dull moment with Daddy around. I love him for teaching me how to laugh. Julie and I can both be so comical and silly. We can thank our sweet daddy for it. Humor is a survival mechanism and a gift. I am so glad we are richly blessed with it. Julie and I would not be sisters without this silly and sweet man. I am so thankful he made us a family and most importantly, that he helped teach us about Jesus.


I must include my sweet baby daddy in this Father's Day post. He asked for "peace". He always asks for peace at gift giving time. This time Henry and I made him a peace canvas with a verse from Psalms for him to hang upstairs in his office. Henry also filled out a questionnaire about his daddy. It was the cutest thing. Randall is such a wonderful daddy. He is hands on, never complains about his duties and loves our child like crazy. Randall never lets anything come before Henry. It is sweet to watch him soak up every moment with his son. I learn alot from watching him. It makes me a better mama, and I am so thankful God is allowing us to parent alongside each other. What a joy.
We had a fun Father's Day together killing mosquitoes, worshiping together and playing hard. It doesn't get much better than that, folks.

Abby

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Friendly Struggle


As much as I try to act like the events of November 13th haven't adversely affected me, they have. I tend to want to put a smiley face and pretty bow on the bad things. God is good, but that doesn't mean that we don't have hard times, and we don't feel bad and have our feelings hurt. God knows that we are human, He knows that we hurt.

He knows that I have cried and that I miss my friends. I don't have to tell people about it, He knows. But sometimes I think we need to share our struggles. This is one of those times.

For many years I have been identified and defined as the "preacher's wife". Because we've lived in small towns a lot of people knew who I was long before I knew who they were. I didn't have to introduce myself, it seemed that people wanted to know me and be my friend. I thought I was liked for who I was.

I've realized over the last few months that that probably wasn't the way things really were. People probably liked me and were my "friend" because I was the "preacher's wife". It never occured to me that that was the case.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not the best friend a girl could have. I know that. But I am nice and friendly. But making friends at 41 is hard. Especially when people don't fully understand what we're doing (planting a church), and I can't commit  to teaching, or helping at church.

I have some good friends here, new friends. Friends that will be friends even if I move.  But I'm so used to being sought out, I took it for granted. I sought people out to be my friends, I still do, it's just different now. I still have friends from our previous place of service, so don't think I'm friendless. I'm not sharing this for pity, I'm sharing it just to share and vent! Life is good, we're happy and doing well. Just thought you might like to know that we all struggle. Might as well share it!

Julie

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day to Stephen and Daddy

Happy Father's Day to Stephen!!!

I got the idea for this card from pinterest. It was a bit expensive with all of the candy but so worth it. The kids thought it was a great idea and were so excited about it. They loved buying the candy. Stephen loved it! I mean really loved it.

Stephen is a great father and a great man. He has been such an example to the kids of what a christian man should look like. He is a loving disciplinarian, caring father, and excellent husband. And being a good husband is at the heart of being a great father.

I'm fortunate that God put us together and even more fortunate that He gave us these four children.

Happy Father's Day!!!

Julie
Happy Father's Day to my daddy. He chose me to be his daughter and my life was made better because of it. Thank you for the sacrifices you made for me and for loving me when you didn't have to. I love you so much!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My Morning

In preparation for an upcoming trip I took the van for an oil change yesterday. This was the second time I've done this since we moved here and I trust the mechanics at this place.

I dropped the kids off at VBS, ran thru the McDonald's drive thru and went to the mechanic. And that's where I stayed for the next 2.5 hours!

I sat in the waiting room, read my Kindle and was a happy girl. And then...the mechanic came and asked me to follow him into the garage. I made sure he understood that whatever he showed me I wouldn't understand. I was right. Turns out I needed two new tires, I told him I couldn't make that decision. I called Stephen and he said to get them. Crisis averted, things are going good. I return to my reading.

Then the mechanic, let's call him Joel (since that's his name), comes to me again. I have a feeling of dread wash over me. Joel told me one of the other tires had a screw in it and needed to be patched. I agreed and sent him on his way.

Then the owner of the shop comes out. I know this can only be bad. He told me I needed brake pads and I cried. He patted my shoulder and said everything was going to be ok. I called Stephen again and he said to get them. The owner came back to the waiting room and sat with me and talked to me for quite some time. I told him all about Delta Baptist. I'm pretty sure he wished he hadn't come in!

So, my $35 dollar trip to get the oil changed became a $400+ trip. And I haven't even looked at my new tires. So, how was your day?

Julie

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Amazing Wonders

 We are having  VBS this week at our church. I heart VBS so much! I have great memories of VBS as a child and then helping as a young adult. Now that I am a mama, I love taking Henry to VBS and passing along the fun memories and great life lessons from such a fun week celebrating Jesus.

 Our theme is Amazing Wonders. We are celebrating the wonders of the world and traveling by airplane. Henry's teachers are precious. They made each child their own airplane. This is Henry sitting in his. He cries at night when he leave VBS and begs to go back and see "Thonas and Carrot" (his teachers, Tonya and Karen). Last year he cried all during VBS and this year he cries for VBS. What a difference a year makes!

This is my baby looking all red barron like. I like to take all the preschoolers photos and make frames to put them in on the last night. This year we had them lay down and act like they were flying in the air. This is Henry soaring for Jesus!
 I have preschool crafts again this year. I just love it. Renea and I worked together last year and teamed up again this year. It is a hoot. I know the children must think Ms. Abby is a nut case, but we have fun times making our little projects. I picked terrible crafts this year. I am so disappointed in Guildcraft. Do not order from them, if you are planning your VBS crafts. If you do, have low expectations. Mine were too high. Last year I only ordered a few things so I didn't have the problems I have this year. Next year I am going to have to do my own thing and not rely on the kits. Renea and I are adding to each project as we go along and it is working and making us laugh. I just love to laugh at church. It is the best!
 
If you do not have VBS at your church, you should find a church that does and send your kiddos. If you do have VBS at your church, be sure to volunteer. It is such a blessing. The experiences the children have at Vacation Bible School are tremendous and stay with them forever. I  am so thankful for my church and what all they do to help children know Jesus. Can you tell how much "Carrot" loves teaching my boy?! It melts my mama heart.

Abby

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DBC Update

Are you wondering what is going on with our church? Well wonder no more, I'm here with an update!

Delta Baptist Church is now funded by one church and two organizations. We have one church that is voting Wednesday night to fund us. These churches and org's have committed to support us financially and prayerfully, some with mission teams for three years. We are so thankful and excited about the support of these people. The best thing about it is that we didn't ask for the money from the churches. They heard about our vision, shared it and wanted to be part of it. God is so good.

We had a mission team come in two Saturdays in May and do survey work. They walked, knocked on doors and found out if the people were interested in what we are doing. And people are!!! Yes, we're a bit excited!!!

There are two other mission teams coming this summer for sure, and hopefully a couple more will be able to come and help out. The work these people do is priceless and so important to our work. We are hoping to be able to begin having Bible study's in July. I don't know how many times I've said that sentence but changed the name of the month, but I'm praying that the previous sentence is the correct one!

We are still living in our friends home. There have been quite a few people come to see it in the last couple of months. Our friends are anxious to sell it, we are anxious to find our house. God is in control and we are resting in His time and providence.

Stephen is still working at Wings To Go (he calls it the official chicken wing of Delta Baptist Church!). I would love for him not to have to work there. He enjoys the people but there is so much work to be done and it just can't get done with him working everyday. Please don't get me wrong. We are so grateful for this job and the people that answered our prayers in making it happen.

God has been and still is at work all around us. Please keep us in your prayers!

If you want to pray for us please pray for people to respond to us, for them to want to know Jesus. Pray that our housing situation works out in such a way that there are no hic-ups when it is time to move.

Julie

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Fort and Fun


Randall Wayne built this for Henry. It is the biggest, best swing set ever! He even put astra turf in his house.  It will be called Fort Henry. I got this shot of Henry as he went up the steps for the first time. We are so excited to have it in our backyard. We need to find the swings for it and he will be finished. He also put up the chain link fence in the backyard...all within a week...and he went to Minnesota for 4 days this past week. The man is a machine and I love him.
These are my blonde buddies, Sarah and Emily. I go to church with Emily (A State shirt) and she is great friends with Sarah (white shirt). Sarah and I send our children to the same daycare so our boys are friends. Small world. Anyway, we have been having fun getting to know each other this spring/summer. They make me laugh and I love to laugh.

The best part about these girls is that our husbands get along and have things in common. That is sometimes a miracle, you know. James and David are funny and down to earth. They are hands on daddy's too. I love a daddy that takes care of business.

Henry loved having his truck loaded down with Quinn, Lily and Eli. These kiddos play hard together.


I thought I would see if blonde was better. It isn't! I put my wig on my Mawmaw gave me for my blonde buddies. I made them laugh...alot. It was fun times and it has now appeared on Facebook.
We have joined the Elks Lodge so we can use their swimming pool. Great harassment has been directed towards me this past week since having our application accepted. Randall will become an Elk. I am sure you can imagine his excitement. Anyway, my blonde buddies think this may be a good Elks look for me. I am debating it. Oh, the laughter.

Abby

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Party In The Rock


If you are a follower of our blog, you know Paige. She is my precious friend from college. We worked together at Conway Regional Fitness Center, were in the same major and had lots of fun times laughing together. She played the piano and sang at our wedding, and she and I have experienced a lot of life together in the past decade. This girl, is a trooper and I am so glad she is my friend. She now lives in Little Rock her little girl Charlie Kate (CK).


Henry and Charlie Kate celebrate every birthday together. They love each other. It is so sweet. They are both so busy these days, it is hard to get a photo of them sitting still. CK is 6 months older than Henry. She turned 3 this past week. Hard to believe!

 Her party was in Little Rock at The Little Gym. We are dedicated to each other's babies to drive 2+ hours each year for these parties, I tell ya! I wouldn't have it any other way. Henry is no gymnast. He proved he is all boy in his smocked shortall and I think it made his daddy proud!


Henry decided to stick his finger in the candle flame and burn himself during the singing of "Happy Birthday To You". He was a bit impatient and wanted some cake! The cake was super cute and yum. A friend from college that now works with Paige made CK's cake last year and again this year. She is super talented, as you can see.

 Henry calls her "Chardie Cake" and I just love to hear him say it. She had a fun birthday party. Isn't she a cutie in that parachute?! Her grandmother was so nervous they were going to lift her off the ground. It was the funniest thing. I am so glad they didn't go airborne with her because I am not sure what Mrs. Barbara would have done! I love Paige's mom.

After the party we got our eat on at PF Chang's. I miss living in a big city and being able to eat good food whenever. We enjoyed our dinner but Henry still thinks those people forgot his french fries. He was troubled that the chicken nuggets (sweet and sour chicken without the sauce) came with no fries. I love that country child of mine! We have really got to refine him a bit.

Abby

Monday, June 4, 2012

Not to Brag

Today we sent Samuel to church camp. He drove off in a church van that had two other youth-age boys and six children in it. Samuel didn't look happy at all. At. All.

Before he left I reminded him to focus on Jesus this week and not girls. He gave me the "Ah, mom" that I expected but what kind of mother would I have been if I didn't say it?!

I got a text from one of the two adults in the van telling me what Samuel was up to in the van. Turns out he was sitting beside a foreign exchange student who doesn't have a relationship with Jesus. Samuel began to witness to him on the van ride. Can I tell you how much I love that child?

I don't know what will come of the seed that Samuel planted in that boys heart today. I pray he makes a decision this week to accept and live for Christ.

We parents never know what our children are learning and what they will become. Samuel has seen and heard about Stephen sharing the good news of Jesus to people, I know that has had a huge impact on his life and he in turn is going about his father's business.

I am loving watching him grow up.

Julie

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Keeping It Simple


As I get older I am realizing it is really the simple things that make me most happy. Like the 50 cent "Winne AND The Pooh" (I love how Henry adds an "and" in there) at our Walmart. It is the lamest ride EVER! It does nothing but move just a hair and plays muffled elevator music. It makes the baby boy feel like he has ridden in a "brown and red" airplane with "Winne AND The Pooh" and makes him giddy with excitement the whole ride home from Walmart. It is worth the 50 cents and the time for me to see him smile over something so simple.


Repurposing is the new word for "using the same old crap you have in a new way!" This is what I did on my dining room table. It was looking so boring after Easter and I was at a loss on what to do. I wanted to make it look a little more "alive". Instead of buying anything I started going though my things and came up with this fun decor. The napkins came from Daddy and Connie one year for Christmas, the plates are my Fiestaware from our wedding, the napkin rings are from one of Randall's trips to South Africa, the tablecloths are from Julie one year for Christmas, the chargers were purchased on the clearance rack at Hobby Lobby by me some time ago and the vase and flowers were from my old kitchen decor before we redid that room back in the winter. It tells a story and it cost me nothing...Score!

 The $4 wreath on my backdoor makes me happy. I got the flip flops from "Dollar Treat" (What Henry calls the Dollar Tree). I got the idea and pinned it on Pinterest. I think it was repinned over 1200 times in 2 days. It was exciting times for a nerd pinner like myself. Even my friend Leslie was in awe watching it be repinned at rapid pace. Like I said, it is the simple things in life, people!

Who knew splashing water in a bird bath could evoke such happiness? Eli and Henry were soaking wet. It was clean water, in case you are grossed out. Don't be. When they got finished there was no water in that bird bath. I love the laughter and excitement that comes from simple times. Here is to a slow and simple summer in our neck of the woods!

Abby

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Preschool Confession

"Between you and me, buddy...I think I might like this preschool business after all!"

Hesitantly, Henry started in the preschool class at his school this week. It was a huge transition for him and us. He cried and fought the idea of it. He was a big toddler 2 fan. Thankfully, most all of his classmates from toddler 2 moved up with him.  It made the move so much easier. His new teachers are going to be fun and sweet. He has come home happy, tired and dirty from a hard day's play each day this week. We are blessed to have him in such a wonderful school and have him adjust so well. He knows he is loved, safe and spoiled rotten at his school. I know this also, and it makes leaving him there so much easier!  Preschool is a hard word to swallow for this mama. My baby is getting so big!

Abby

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beach Bums

We decided to go to the beach and 5 days later we were in route to the beach. You just never know about us, I tell ya!
We stopped in Saraland (Mobile) to stay the night on our way to Orange Beach. Henry had a ball getting reintroduced to the water after not swimming since Thanksgiving in our hotel in Longview.

He convinced his daddy to get in with him and they splashed until dark. It was fun to see him get excited about the water again. He loved it so much last summer and little did we know he would love it even more this summer. Henry may just be part fish!

We arrived at the Caribe in Orange Beach the next day and put our most precious cargo on the cart and headed up to get settled in our condo and head out to the water.

This was our view. It was beautiful and our condo was incredible.
Henry stepped out on the beach hesitantly but quickly remembered the fun he had last time.

Henry shoveled and splashed forever. When the waves got big from the boats soring by he would run and yell "mama. daddy!" It was a little much for him to handle. He is so stinkin cute.

Our resort had a banana boat shuttle that took us to and from the beach. Henry adored it. He has been begging to ride on a school bus for months. I lied to him and told him it was a school bus (it is yellow...give me a break!) and he was in heaven!

He went down that slide. He really did. I was shocked also. I was there to catch him...no fear. I then went down it 3 times. It was great fun.

We spent a lot of time on our resort's lazy river until Henry decided to give up halfway down it on the last day we were there. He just bailed out of the raft and since it was only 1 ft deep he decided to walk away. We were real proud parents...not.

My beach bum. There is never a dull moment with my 2.5 year old bundle of joy.

Henry loves to chant "Have a snack" and that is exactly what he was doing.

Our only family shot. We took a real low key trip this time. We never dressed up and we stayed in our condo, at the beach or in the pool most of the time. It was wonderful. I did get to eat gulf coast oysters...no worries. Randall even bought me 3 dozen to bring home. He knows a raw oyster is the ticket to my heart!

We plan to go back at the end of the summer and I can't wait to do it again.