Thursday, July 25, 2013

TEN.....and life :)

I have so many blog posts in my head, but there is no time these days I tell time!

My girlies and projects keep me on my toes. I'll admit, there are times I feel like I need to slam the breaks....right now, I am currently tapping them...

July is our "poor month"...a friend and I were talking at church this past Sunday and we both mentioned that everyone has a poor month, and for's July! Obviously, we are very blessed and I'm not complaining by any means, but it's funny that the cashier and I got on that subject over my groceries tonight as she was's one of those; how many meals can I stretch out of these ingredients ;) or better known as.... Ramen Noodle month...College days are here again ;)

We have three girls that celebrate birthdays two weeks apart between the beginning of July through the beginning of August. Our two oldest are currently both 13 yrs old until August 9....cray-cray huh?!?!

Car tags are due in July AND remember, we have an unwanted/wanted (does that even make since) bathroom remodel.....

I can't wait until that is done! I hope that the next time I visit you here, I will be accompanied by the finished results!

 This little chick celebrated the BIG 10 this past week.... and we celebrated in the MOST fun way, because after is her middle name!

Ask Elizabeth where her favorite place in Dothan is and she will say here.....

So why not party there, right??

 Have you seen their Fairy Gardens in the Green House???

They are soooooooooo amazing.....

so we snatched her two besties...

 to create their very own.....

Sarah instructed them as they designed their garden, and she is AWESOME!

I mean...does this just not make you want to go there and make one!!!

It was a blast, even the part where our homemade ice cream cookie cake that big sisters piped and decorated fell completely apart and melted on the drive over (no seriously it was quite the event...and it is what it is folks!)... Daddy saved the day with a cookie cake from Sam's Club! Thanks Sam's Club for saving the Cake and even putting her name on it in such a rush! Thanks Dothan Nurseries for a fabulous time, you guys ROCK!

Speaking of Nurseries......

hope to be back with pics of this one....finishing the details :)

SOOOOOO happy it's Friday tomorrow! Happy Weekend, peeps!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ramblings of a Mama....

Good Monday Morning peeps!

I had intentions of meeting you here before now, but as I've said happens and I just don't make it some times.

I am sitting back and enjoying a cup of joe out of my favorite mug, from my favorite store, that reminds me of my favorite friend.

There is just something about a lazy summertime morning. Two cups of coffee is a must. I am usually an early riser. My alarm goes off at 4:22am every morning, for my "me time". If you don't take a "me time" I highly encourage it. Mine just happens to be at the crack of dawn with a fabulous group of peeps here. I love them, but I turned off that beep this morning and took advantage of snoozing another two hours. Every now and then my sanity depends on a few more hours of sleep.

Last week, the big girls headed to camp here.... They absolutely LOVE it. Earlier in the year, our girls shared with us that they would like to skip this camp this year and would like us to put the $ aside for our adoption. A couple months later, we had a couple come up to us and tell us that our girls were going to camp this year, and not to worry, that it was taken care of. It was truly a humbling experience. They were so moved by their sacrifice, that they wanted to bless them. And blessed them they did....and us as well.

Our girls LOVE this camp, and after the week there, traded their camp items they had purchased earlier in the week, to receive all sermons on a USB drive so they could listen to them again.....and they did.....right when they got home. As a parent, you understand, that it's moments like these that make your heart sing.

Our girls are moving into a new stage of life. I know I haven't blogged on "parenting" issues in awhile. Mainly because I have been debating on what to share and what not to share. The common teenage drama isn't so common to the ones going through it at the time..... remember that. Don't we all feel like we're the only ones going through something when we are in the midst of a trial. We feel like we're all alone and it's "just me" that feels like this.

I won't lie, I have been terrified through the years, that our girls would grow up to hate me. And I've heard it a million times..... "if they hate you, it's because you are doing something right". REALLY though! I really, would love to use that as a crutch sometimes, but I will honestly say, I would never want a time our children hate us.

For those of you with babies, let me say, child rearing IS the hardest thing I have EVER done. There are times I literally look at Tim after a trying day and say, "what the H*** are we thinking adopting! This is EXHAUSTING!" (just being real folks, so you wouldn't dare ever think I am this saint of a woman that is ready to become the Woman that lives in the Shoe and hasn't had a few night sweats and heart palpitations  over thinking about what's to come!) And for the ones with Adult children.... PRAY FOR ME! You know what I'm talking about and you will know how to pray.

And to NOT be misunderstood.....Of course parenting is extremely rewarding, and parenting is also one of the biggest blessings EVVVAAA. I love my girlies big time, I know you know that. 

some advise: Rest when you can, pray hard, listen to wisdom, eat well, exercise regularly, seek the Lord always, and surround yourself NOW with people you want your children to be around and who are going to go through life WITH you. And for heaven's sake, make sure you are in a church that is feeding you spiritually, you don't have time to waste. You have a battle to fight and you can't fight it strongly if you're starving!  And let it be your prayer that you LOVE THEM WELL. I fail miserably at this so many many times. Of course I would go through anything for them, and love them deeply and to the bottom of my soul, BUT do they know that. Do they FEEL that.

 Have you found your child's individually love language???

A few years ago I was so moved at that thought that they receive love so differently. And sure enough, each one does receive it SOOOOO differently, and then to make things more complicated, it's often differently then the way you receive love. How YOU feel loved is not always the way THEY feel loved. When I read that or heard that somewhere, it rocked my world. And it is so very true.

I recently read this article online. It was floating around facebook. I usually don't click on all those links and read them. I never know if it is worth my time or a possible virus on my computer....

I am so glad I read it. It was so encouraging. I will put the link here.....

but will also copy and paste below for all of you who are like me and are "iffy" about clicking links. Trust me, it will be worth your read. The one phrase that sticks out and gives me chills every time I read it is this ... "But it doesn’t matter so much what we mean, it matters what she hears."  

I'll close with it, and hopefully will be back soon with something else that I read recently that touch my heart and spoke to my soul.

Have a great week, peeps!

one thing your daughter doesn’t need you to say

In the middle of a radio interview I did last week, the host decided to take calls from listeners. This happens during longer live interviews – the host greets the caller and then hands the reins of the conversation over to me. Might I pause here to point out how this practice evokes equal amounts of panic and excitement into my bones.
I panic because I have absolutely no way to prepare for what a caller might say. This isn’t a problem in normal conversation but on the radio it gets a little tricky. Because after exactly 15 seconds of listening I will be expected to have some kind of “expert” answer which stands in direct opposition to both my personality and the natural way I believe a conversation is suppose to work.
I gag. Still, I realize this is the nature of interviews like this and I accept it as part of the process while I work desperately to avoid ever trying to sound like Dr. Phil by refusing to say statements like “How’s that workin’ for ya?” and “Do you wanna be right or do you wanna be happy?”
Still, there is also something exciting about having people call in. It’s true, there is no way to prepare for what someone might say, but that’s kind of the fun part. There is no way to prepare for what someone might say!
In a way, this takes the pressure off and frees me up to be myself.
So last week when the host opened it up to callers, I got that familiar ache in my knees I always get when I am anxious and also excited. One of the first callers was a girl, a junior in high school.
After two minutes of listening to her story, it was obvious she was a good girl – dedicated student, obedient daughter, sweet disposition, high anxiety, unrealistic expectations of herself. Her main concern was being a Christian in high school and wanting to be a good example for her friends.
But it was hard, she said, to always be a consistent one.
Then the host turned it over to me.
I made a few observations, told a story about how I could relate – I don’t think anything I said added much to the conversation in that moment, which was fine. This is the downfall of handing over the reins of conversation to an INFJ on a live call – I can usually assess the situation fairly accurately but it takes a lot of time for my observations to reach my mouth.
I tend to just want to ask a question or say, “Hmm, that’s so interesting!”
Which is decidedly not interesting on the radio.
Lucky for me, this particular radio host was deeply invested in the conversation and responded to her in an appropriate way – he told her the worst thing she could do is to try to have it all together in front of her friends.
Instead of trying so hard to be an example, just be honest. “If you struggle,” he said, “say so. If you hurt someone, apologize. Then they really will get to know you and they won’t have reason to call you a hypocrite.”
Brav. O.
When the interview was over, I sat in my room and thought for a few more minutes about the conversation. I kept rolling her words around in my head: “I want to be an example to my friends, but sometimes it’s so hard to be a good one.”
The more I thought about her struggle, the more frustrated I got. I paced my room, made my bed with the excess energy. I thought about what the host said to her and began to think how I would put his response in my own words.
Here’s what I came up with: She isn’t supposed to be an example. Her friends don’t need an example, they need a friend. A real one. An honest one. A touchable one. They  need a friend who doesn’t think she’s better than everyone, but one who knows she isn’t. They need a friend who knows she needs Jesus.
So what about being a leader and setting the example? Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that what parents and youth leaders tell students all the time?
The more I think about it, the more I believe this well-meaning statement is not only a manipulative way to try to control our daughters’ behavior, but can also be dangerous to their spiritual health. When we tell her to be an example, we may as well just hand her a mask right there – Here. Hide behind this. Don’t let them see you struggle.
I know that’s not what we mean. I know. But it doesn’t matter so much what we mean, it matters what she hears.
And when she hears adults tell her to be an example, she thinks that means she can never mess up, can never have problems, can never just be a teenager with struggles like everyone else.
She might then mature into a woman who believes being a Christian means having it all together, saying all the “right” things, staying a few steps above everyone else.
She may become a person people look up to, but she will never be someone they can relate to.
She may be successful at managing her behavior, but she will always struggle to manage people’s opinions.
She may have a great reputation, but her character will be clouded with bitterness and anger.
She may be a good church-goer, but she will not know how to be a good friend.
This may keep her out of trouble, but it will suffocate her soul.
But what about holiness?!  I can hear the protests now. Don’t we want her to be a light in a dark place?
Yes. But telling her to be an example won’t let her shine, it will just cause her to shrink.
She already is a light in a dark place, but here is the part most of us forget when we’re telling our teenagers to be an example:
Her light comes from Jesus, not from her awesome behavior.
Do you believe Christ himself has taken up residence within her? Do you trust him with her life – her decisions, her emotions, her relationships? Do you truly believe he goes with her wherever she goes?
If so, then instead of telling her to be an example, how about encouraging her to be herself?
When she is hurt, she can deeply feel it. When she messes up, she can own it. When she hurts someone, she can apologize. When she has doubts, she can voice them. And when she is joyful, it will be from a real place inside her, not a manufactured mask she puts on for show.
If you have a daughter graduating in a few weeks, don’t be afraid. As she packs her bags for her summer trip or her college dorm, encourage her to leave the mask behind.
Believe Christ is in her. Believe she already has everything she needs. And for the love, don’t tell her to be an example. Free her up to be herself – a girl who has the living Christ living inside her.

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