Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Fave People


Can you stand the cuteness in this picture?! Yesterday Anna and I were in Rogers at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. I am the team leader for the Ministers' Wives Network and our annual luncheon was yesterday. The luncheon is one of my favorite days of the year. I get to spend it with women who "get" me! We have one common bond and it is so fun to get together with them.
This is our team. These girls are creative, fun, and they put up with me. Which is a huge deal, trust me! Our luncheon is more of a conference, it lasts from 9:30-3:30. This year we had Kathy Litton as our keynote speaker, and Judy Martin and her daughter Kelly Stamps (of Kellys's Korner blog) spoke about being a preachers kid, and the mother of one. It was a really great day! I'm so ready to begin planning for next year!

And could I look more like my mother in these pictures? Love ya Mom!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pumpkins, Races and Sweet Faces


Last weekend Henry and I headed for some fun in the Fort with friends and Marmie. Luke and Henry had fun playing in the pumpkins and Melissa and I had fun watching them. They are a handsome handful.


When did this child get big enough to wear boots and a belt?! He is growing up so fast and I love it and mourn it at the same time! He is hilarious and truly my child though. His poor daddy deserves a medal for putting up with us!


We always have fun in the fall doing harvest related activities.  I count it all joy to make special memories like these with Henry. I hope his love for all things "holidays" will mimic mine. I am trying my hardest to make it take! ha.


Spending a few days with the beautiful creation and her baby boy was medicine for my soul. Seeing her twice in 6 weeks could create a habit...a good one. This is my soulmate and forever best girl for life. I seriously could not imagine 1 day without her being a text, call or FB msg away. She gets me and where I am in life. I can txt her 1 word or just one line and she knows where I am at emotionally, spiritually, physically. Never have to explain, wonder or question this one. She is one of the best gifts God saw fit to give me as a little girl. I will praise him forever for it too.


Because we are a pair, we did the Color Vibe 5k together. She asked me back in August to come home and do it with her. We had great fun. It was colder than all get out but it was fun to get colored up and walk through the shadiest areas of our hometown together.

 
Our buddy Trish also joined us with a few of her friends. We had so much fun being goofy and taking these pre race pics at packet pick up the night before. I love a silver friend so much. I appreciate the gold ones greatly, yet the silver ones are just medicine for the soul.
 

Mama and Henry waved us in at the finish. Henry loved all the colors.


One of the highlights of my trip was seeing this blast from the past. Erica and I grew up in the same neighborhood, church and school. She was two grades behind me but it never mattered. We were partners in lots of crime. We met up with our kids and my Mama at the nursery/pumpkin patch close to our old stomping grounds. It was so much fun to see we are just the same, just older!


The best part of the visit was loving on this sweet thing...my Mama! Henry had so much fun playing and loving on his Marmie. She told him stories and he rubbed the jewels on her blouse. It was a fun-filled weekend with lots of my favorite people.

Abby

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Honestly

I don't know about you but I'm tired. I don't know where my sit-at-home, do nothing days went. I can't seem to get a chance to stay home these last few weeks. I'm glad I enjoyed the days I didn't have to wear makeup, because I've been putting it on first thing every morning lately. I mean, no one wants to see this face without makeup on it. Remember what they said about the barn needing to be painted, well barn meet paint!

Ok, let's be serious for a moment. I need to be honest. Do you mind? 

Being a parent is hard. And it's ugly. And it's not fun. I know I've given advice that goes something like "the days are long but the years are fast." I know exactly what that means, I was the mother of 3, 3 yrs and under. And now I have a 16 yr old and two 12 yr olds. The years go fast. But, oh man the days. They are slow. And hard, and ugly, and not fun. 

The decisions that we made when the kids were babies, like whether we let them cry it out, taking the pacifier away, potty training (or in my case, the lack of), and the like are tough. They are key decisions that make an impact on their childhood and your parenting. 

But just wait til 16 happens. Now I get to make decisions about grounding, dating, and driving. And can I just tell you that the eye roll and the mumbling under the breath is so much worse than the mad cries of a baby? 

Now, I do love the teenage years. The laughs we have together are really great. The days are just slow. Very slow. 

I would love to end this with an encouraging word but all I have is Count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds. James 1:2 . Which if you think about it, seems a lot like its rough now, but things will be good in the end. And isn't that what we know? Well, God's got this. We're going to be ok. 

(Bedtime has been moved up to 7:00 though)! Just kidding, but I wish i wasn't.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sweet 16 Sam



Move out of the way, Samuel Charles is on the road! This cute little toe headed boy who made me an aunt is 16. I love this boy with a love that cannot be explained. I toted this little thing around by myself all the time and got the "oh, look she is a teen mom" stare from people sometimes. That was before being a "teen mom" was more accepted than it is now. I loved every stare and had fun with it when I had the chance. I have always been a little crazy. In fact if you ask this teenage boy about his Aunt Abby he will say, "She is SO crazy!".
He was my little man who has grown into a real big man. I sometimes see this little rubber toe Ked cutie when I look at him now. Watching him play in my little turquoise car will be forever etched in my heart. Now he drives on his own in the family van. I know that same little grin will be behind the wheel and the same sweet, innocent heart of his will be sitting there also. Samuel is such a blessing. I am so God gave us him 16 years ago today. Happy Birthday, Sambo!

Aunt Abby

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mr. Personality


This child does not lack in personality. If you know him at all, you know he is a hoot. A handful, yet a hoot. This day he decided to go to school as a train conductor. I purchase these things for him to wear, so it is my fault, really. He then wanted his photo taken on the porch. I have trained him well! He went into school going "choo choo" and making all the teachers smile. He is rotten, just rotten! That is just a tshirt with that stuff screen printed on it. I got it from Gymboree last winter on their clearance rack. He had the hat in his "make believe" bucket.

 
He loves "volcano"...camo. He thinks we say "volcano" when we say "camo". We do not correct him because we love it too much. David & Daniel gave him all their hand me down camo stuff. He decided to break into some of it recently. It is all still way too big but he does not mind. He wore these coveralls for two days straight. We rolled them up and used a chip clip to tighten them up in the back. It made him happy.


This boy loves some sweets. I tell him he is his Meemaw's child. I know she giggles in heaven watching him beg for cookies, gummies, etc. He will grin and say "PLLLLEEEEEAZZZZ, Mama!". He comes by it honest. I love sweets too. Thankfully, he loves to run like Daddy and Mama. We are both training for a half marathon in early December right now so he sees and hears us talking about it. We have started to let him run drills in the front yard with us. He is a fast little runner. He is beginning to really like riding his bike also. I think activity is so important for our children because they do not get as much as they should. We are trying to make a better effort to get this big ole growing cutie a movin! I am so glad I get to be his Mama.
 
Abby

Monday, October 7, 2013

He's 16

I wanted to do something special for Samuel's 16th birthday. We weren't giving him a car or a great vacation, so whatever we did needed to be fabulous.


A few years ago (Samuel was 5 or 6) I attended a women's conference. One of the session speakers shared a story about her teenage son. He had rebelled and was coming back home, seeing that his faith and his family were true. His parents asked a few wise, Godly en to Coe and pray over him. They did, and the mom said their was a noted difference in him after that evening. I remember thinking that that's what I wanted to do for my boys for an important birthday or graduation. 

So here we are. Samuel's 16th birthday. I knew that we wouldn't be able to get all the men that we would want to pray or give advice to Samuel in one place at one time. So, we chose to ask a few Godly, wise men that Samuel respected to write letters to him. 

In the letter we told them about Samuel, what he liked, that he knew God wanted him to be in ministry, and that we wanted them to encourage Samuel. We know that the upcoming years are important decision making years for him. We asked that they give him a challenge of sorts, a prayer, words of wisdom. 

The men we asked ranged in age from late 20's to 80's. They were preachers, professionals, blue collar workers. Some were family, friends, but all were trusted men. Some have lived squeaky clean lives, some are convicted felons and have spent years in prison. But they all love the Lord and have committed their lives to Him. That is what was most important to us. Wise, true, Godly advice. 

I've read each letter and they are all wonderful, perfect, sincere, and kind. I've teared up at each one. It's neat to see how each man interpreted our letter. They are all so different in their subject matter, yet they all relate to him so well.

This has not just been a gift for Samuel, but also a gift for me. Not only do these letters challenge Samuel to grow to be a man that loves and serves the Lord, but they also speak of his family and the boy/man he is right now. 

I'm proud of Samuel and I can't wait to see what God has in store for him. I want his life to be long, full, and meaningful. I want him to find someone to love and spend his life with, I want him to live his life for the Lord. If that means moving to another country or staying here and working in a factory. But what's most important isn't what I want. It's what he wants for his life (and of course what God wants.) And even though he doesn't know right now, he does know that he wants to live a life pleasing to the Lord. 

I know you moms of adult children are telling me to slow down, don't get my hopes up. That these next few years might be pretty horrendous. Troubling and full of trials. Let me assure you I know for a fact Samuel is no angel. I know his mistakes, his weaknesses, I spend a lot of time with this boy and it isn't all kisses and hugs! I know that without many prayers he will struggle mightily. I also know that even though we are praying he might make bad choices, struggle, and go down the wrong path
anyway. But I would sure rather be doing what I can, than sitting by and doing nothing.

Please join us in praying for Samuel. And in three years we'll ask that you do the same for David and for Daniel, and by that time you'll really be needing to pray for me! 

Symphony, But not For Me

It's Sunday afternoon. And I'm home alone. Did you get that? Alone! 

Stephen took the kids to the symphony. Their excitement could be contained in a thimble. 

Stephen and I went to the Memphis Symphony a few times before we had Samuel, and I never enjoyed it. I enjoyed the dinner beforehand, and the getting dressed up but I didn't enjoy the actual Symphony. 

I hope they enjoy it more than I did, or at least appreciate it. 

The fact that Stephen only got five tickets when he could have gotten six, speaks volumes to me. First it says that he knows me and second, he knows I relish some time alone. Oh, how I love that man!
 I'm watching Friday Night Lights reruns that I recorded and loving this time! So I'll finish this for now and finish my time alone.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

This week

Here's a rundown of our week.
Monday. We did school, laundry, and Stephen and I went to dinner with a musician and his wife.

Tuesday. Oh what a day! I had forgotten to dry Samuel's school uniform, so her had to do that prior to school. He forgot his id, and had to get a new $4 one. We went grocery shopping, had Bible study with some friends. I forgot to put Samuel's ball pants in the dryer and had to do that at the last minute. Like he went with damp pants. We ended the day going to BSF.

Wednesday. We got to spend the day with this precious 3 yr old. Everyone got their hair cut, Anna and I got major short haircuts! We ended the day going to church.
Thursday. We went to the Fair. It was student and seniors day at the fair. The kids are old enough to walk around by themselves, it's daytime and it's just around the exhibits and animals, so it was fun for them. We then to the BCM (BSU) at SEARK to help serve lunch and finished the day at home.

It's been a busy week, I'm hoping tomorrow will be normal and we can just do school and regular stuff. 

What have you been up to this week?