My Baby Behind the Wheel

Monday, July 28, 2014

Oh. My. Gracious. When did this happen? Apparently, I was too busy doing laundry to realize it was time for my baby to get his driver’s permit. Okay. He is my oldest. And he is not a baby. Technically. But he was my first baby. He was the one who gave me the coveted title of “Mommy.” Therefore, he will always be my baby. And so will his brothers and sister.

Today, I took him to the DMV to get his learner’s permit. We giggled and talked. I tutored him on the way. I griped on the way home because they wanted more documentation than I had that he was indeed my child. And legally allowed to be in the United States. And we sang songs on the way back. And I tutored him some more.

And what do you know? The kid passed his test. I have to be honest. I wasn’t sure if he was going to. His studying the drivers handbook has lacked a bit of commitment. I did catch him reading it on his phone in church one Sunday. I’m not proud, but hey, at least he did look at it without my hounding him.

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He chose to have pancakes at IHOP as his celebratory dinner. I am really happy for him. And I will leave this post on a positive note and leave off the part where I had 72 little heart attacks on the way home while he was driving. Pray for me, will ya?




Vacation Wrap-Up

Friday, July 25, 2014

What a week. We have played hard. We have rested. We have eaten plenty. And we have played hard again.

We swam almost every day. We rented a boat and spent a day on Table Rock Lake swimming and tubing. Can I just say how much fun tubing is? And how sore I am after doing it? I think it is because my crazy driver, aka husband, tries very hard to toss me off. Or give me whip-lash. But Anabelle and I held on for dear life.

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Here is a picture of a calmer moment on the tube. Reality was more air between the tube and the water, and our bottoms and feet flying off the tube.

I did get a great action shot of Justin and Seth though.


We can’t forget a picture of Cooper and Dad tubing too. Cooper experienced mixed feelings about tubing. He was a bit bi-polar on it sometimes. It was what one might call love-hate thing. He loved it or he hated it, but nothing in between. This was obviously at one end of the spectrum.


Yep. The lake was a big hit with the kids. In addition to celebrating my birthday, we celebrated Princess Anabelle’s 8th birthday while we were here. I can’t believe my baby is eight years old. I know it is cliché, but I really do want to freeze time.

We took the kids to Dixie Stampede as part of Anabelle’s celebration. They all loved it, and said that was their favorite part of the week. We did our annual go-cart visit and custard after. The kids absolutely love the go-cart tracks. And of course, they hit the water bumper boats too.


We swam at the condo more times than I can count. We played miniature golf and ping pong. We ate and snacked and gorged ourselves on a waffle buffet one morning. We made our annual trip to our favorite pizza place in the Branson area called Hook and Ladder. (Seriously, you will be hard pressed to find a better crust outside of Italy. You MUST go eat there.)

So the moral of all this vacation talk and making you look at all my vacation pictures….actually, I showed incredible restrain including so FEW pictures. I have more. So. Many. More. Anyway….the moral.

This is why we didn’t purchase a bigger home this time. This is why we haven’t bought my husband a new vehicle, one that turns left without coaxing and huge muscles. This is why my wardrobe looks so pathetic. This. Those faces. These memories.

In one of my favorite books by Mark Batterson, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, he says, “Accumulate experiences not possessions.” There are so many more experiences we want our children to accumulate. But this vacation, and each year we visit the condo, they are accumulating memories. Precious family memories. They are not possessions gathering dust or falling apart or having to be moved to a new house. They are invaluable family memories.

When I am wanting to go purchase a thing, whatever it may be, I need to pause for a moment to ask myself, “Will this take away from an opportunity to make a memory? To accumulate an experience?” Because if my dollars are limited, I want to choose wisely where I use them. We have not always chosen wisely. And we have learned. We are still learning.

We can chalk this vacation up to a win, though. We accumulated awesome family experiences.

Now we will go home and wash all the clothes from these memories. Oh well. It was worth it. Happy sigh.




Blessed & Blissful Birthday

Monday, July 21, 2014

We are enjoying our week in Branson this week. We arrived Friday night. Just in time for my 44th birthday on Saturday. I must say, it was the perfect timing for my birthday.

The week leading up to leaving on Friday was hectic at best. In fact, there were times I was sure my hair was on fire. I met myself going taking two boys to football camps twice a day. And carpooling. And – the craziest part – preparing and participating in my first radio interview. That part is still a little surreal. And way, way…wwaaaaayyyyyy exciting.

We have a time share in Branson we purchased in 1996. It is like that great aunt Matilda you just can’t rid yourself of and try to pretend you don’t have. The maintenance fees have increased times four since we bought it. So in efforts to not be bitter at our poor buying decision many moons ago, we come enjoy it for seven days every summer. And to be fair, we really do enjoy it.

This is the view I enjoy every morning as I have my coffee and read my Bible. It is my favorite part of the day.

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If it weren’t for the kids, my man and I could sit on this screened in deck all day long. It is so peaceful and relaxing.

But to start my day with love, my man cooks my favorite breakfast. It is just like my grandma made me every day before school growing up. And for some reason, I can’t make them. I’m a good cook. My family even says I am a great cook. But for the life of me, I tear it up every time I attempt to cook one. I think the point is you aren’t supposed to make them for yourself. Anyway, I digress.


Yes. The perfectly delectable egg-in-the-hole. Yes, the name is not too original, but the combination is a small slice of heaven and home. And anyone familiar with this heavenly concoction knows the little circle toast is the best part. I always save it for last. My kids eat it first. So this little savory goodness was a happy birthday present from my husband to start my day.

We spent a great family day messing around with the kids, and I will spare you the details. But it was a great day of memories. Again, my man at the stove made us chicken quesadillas for dinner and we enjoyed our birthday tradition. Every birthday meal, the rest of the family has to go around the table saying one thing you love about the birthday person, and one funny memory. So I savored every morsel of love and laughter that came from my children and husband. I love it when we laugh around a dinner table. LOVE it.

Then, somehow, they surprised me with a birthday cake. I cried. Not a lot. I made a respectable attempt at holding back the tears. But I was touched by their secrecy and deception. Not to mention very impressed at their ninja-like skills of sneaking a cake into the condo.

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This was a perfect birthday. Happy birthday to me. I am blessed and feeling blissful.






Take Action, Do, Now

Thursday, July 3, 2014

God gently showed me I have fallen into a very poor way of thinking. Isn’t it funny how we can slowly create a bad habit or way of thinking and not even realize it until it is pointed out to us?

My daily Bible reading plan has lead me into Ecclesiastes. I’ll admit it is not my go-to book in the Bible usually. But the past few days have been very enlightening and I have actually enjoyed reading through it. Yes, I know. Someone, somewhere in the universe will frown upon me admitting I don’t enjoy reading EVERY book in the Bible. But, let’s be honest, some books are more enjoyable and easier to understand than others.

So anyway, I came across Ecclesiastes 11:4. As I read it over and over again and then read the commentary, I knew God was speaking to me.

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Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap. ~ Ecclesiastes 11:4


I’ve always battled being a procrastinator, and it takes every bit of self-discipline to get going on a task sometimes. I’m okay once I start, but it is the starting part that I put off.

However, lately, I have been putting off some important things, not because of my usual procrastinating tendency, but delaying any action with excuse after excuse.

It is a little hard to explain but the result of this mindset has created some self-inflicted stress. I have felt overwhelmed and as if I have been just wondering through my days wondering where the time has gone. Wishing I was accomplishing more. Wishing I was seeing some positive results – even though I had yet to start.

This scripture convicted me. And I know it was of God because it convicted me. Not condemn me.

Solomon tells us through this passage that there will NEVER be perfect conditions to take action. There will always be some reason – some excuse – as to why we need to wait until later. The problem is “later” never comes. Yes, there are times God tells us to wait. But more often than not, that isn’t the case.

We cannot sit around waiting for the right moment. The ideal situation. The best circumstances. Because life ALWAYS happens. We have all experienced it. As Solomon referenced, if we wait for what we believe to be the most opportune time to plant, the time when the wind won’t carry off some of our seeds, we will never get a seed in the ground.

It is true that the wind may blow away some of your seeds. In fact, you can probably bet on it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still reap a great harvest, even when planting in less than perfect weather. Stop playing it safe. Be willing to take a few risks.

Take action in what you are wanting to do, what God is calling you to. Stop thinking about it, mulling it over and over in your mind and waiting for the perfect window of opportunity. Do it. Because thinking about something does NOT bring God glory. Doing it gives you a great story to share. And that brings God glory.

You are never going to be LESS busy. Or have LESS responsibility. Or have MORE money. Or have MORE time. Or MORE energy. Life just doesn’t work that way. Don’t settle for less than God’s best because you are waiting for the right time – the perfect circumstance – to start on your next task. Your next accomplishment.

Without starting you will never see results – never reap a harvest. Stop watching the wind and start sowing.

I’m very thankful God has put me back on track. He is so good.

Question: What are you waiting to do? Go back to college? Change careers? Train for a marathon? Host a Bible study? Invite your neighbors to church?




I Remember I Have a Blog

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

When I go any length of time without posting a new blog, I will receive a text from my husband while he is at work. It always says the same thing, “Remember that blog you used to have?”

Of course, I remember. It is ALWAYS on my mind. But the past couple of weeks have been a blur. And I would love to say it is all easing up. That I have found extra time to get back on track. But not so much. The list is still longer than normal. However, I do recognize this is a season and it will pass.

I WILL be blogging again but likely not consistent for a while. I hope you will check back every once in a while though. Don’t give up on new posts…they will eventually appear. {smile}

Photo by Priscilla Burleson. Copyright of Priscilla Photography. Used by permission.

Photo by Priscilla Burleson. Copyright of Priscilla Photography. Used by permission.

In the meantime, enjoy the beginnings of your summer. Squeeze every second of fun, adventure and blessings out of it that you can.

Thank you for continuing to stop by.





Crack Me Ups

Friday, May 23, 2014



This isn’t going to end well. Hope your weekend is without crazy ideas. Or at least no harmful ones.
Have a great weekend. Remember to thank a veteran for his service and sacrifice. Be a blessing!




Inspire Me Monday

Monday, May 19, 2014



There is just no short cut to building good character or strong faith.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” ~ Psalm 62:5




Crack Me Ups

Friday, May 16, 2014



Awww, poor doggie. Paddle, little fella, paddle.
(No animals were harmed or injured in the making of this funny.)

Have a fabulous weekend. Be blessed!




Happy Birthday, Seth

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Today is a special day because it is one of my children’s birthday. Eleven years ago today, I was working at an oil and gas company part time. I went in that day and did payroll and the taxes. Because of the traumatic birth of my first son, I was no longer allowed to go into labor with contractions as it could be detrimental to me and the baby.

A sleepy but perfect baby. I used to wonder what angels looked like. Now I know.

A sleepy but perfect baby. I used to wonder what angels looked like. Now I know.

We had a C-section scheduled for this baby, but it was still two weeks away. But I had a feeling early that morning that we were not going to make another two weeks. I finished payroll and other miscellaneous tasks and left to go pick up Justin from Mother’s Day Out at the church. He was three and a half and just an absolute joy. And he was about to become the best big brother anyone could ever pray for. Once home, I vacuumed the house and packed an overnight bag. I just knew we would be having company soon. Call it mother’s intuition.

When JW came home from work, I told him we needed to go to the hospital. Contractions were still coming, painful but slow. By 7pm I was settled in and uncomfortable, hooked up to monitors with cords all over me. My doctor – who was a fabulous doctor – was not happy about me having a baby three weeks before his due date. He had a plan to take him, and it was still two weeks away.

By 10pm, I was insistent it was time. I don’t think he was too happy with me, but he conceded. And in the eleven o’clock hour, we welcomed Seth into the world with a big yelp. He was over seven pounds and a perfect, bouncing, baby boy. We were all amazed at his red hair because neither one of us have red hair. Now it is his signature trade mark. He is proud.

I caught a two brothers wrestling in the floor after lunch. They still wrestle in the floor after lunch. Or dinner. Or just because.

I caught a two brothers wrestling in the floor after lunch. They still wrestle in the floor after lunch. Or dinner. Or just because.

What a joyous night! I had two beautiful children now and my cup definitely overfloweth. There is so much more to say about Seth that I will save for another day. There is likely more to say about him than our other children even.

They have all had their challenges and brought us joy and love, but Seth challenges me and makes me learn even when I don’t want to. He makes me strive to be a better parent, more so than the others. There is no comfort zone with Seth, and because of that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is a gift directly from God in a way that has little to do with parenting and much to do with being a child of God.

He changes all the time, just like all children. But for today, he is a lover of all animals, huge fan of Pokémon and WWE, hard worker when HE chooses to be, television junkie, YouTube addict, player of Minecraft, scholar of science and astronomy, pizza and cheeseburger guru, popcorn eater extraordinaire, friend to strangers, a broken heart for the poor, homeless and hungry, and introvert and an extrovert, a believer that his dad is a superhero and blind belief his mother is perfect, a closet nerd and an athlete wannabe, a hilariously animated story-teller, and a superior conversationalist. Above all, he is a purely compassionate heart.

I did mention he is both a gentleman and a scholar, didn't I?

I did mention he is both a gentleman and a scholar, didn’t I?

It is my prayer daily that he someday realizes how special and unique God made him. Because He truly did.

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Happy birthday, Setharoni. You are more loved than you can possibly know. We are so proud of you.

Love your family, Dad, Mom, Justin, Cooper and Anabelle

Inspire Me Monday

Monday, May 12, 2014



Remember that often times, a person’s rejection is God’s protection. You don’t know what or who God is protecting you from when a door is closed. But you can count on the fact that when He closes a door, it is because He has something better for you.
You can trust His love for you.





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