Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Little Piece of Heaven.....

Today was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day! Easter is my favorite holiday. This day being the day our Savior defeated the grave. I am so thankful that He is Risen!! The tomb is empty. This day for that reason is by far the most important reason to celebrate Easter. But there is also another reason I love this holiday so much.... The memories I have from childhood.

Every Easter, cousins and friends would come to church, everyone dressed in their finest: lace, gloves, bonnets, button up shirts (big deal for my brother back then). I can see us sitting in church, squirming in our seats, trying not to get in trouble but we knew when church was over, it was time to hunt eggs. It wasn't just about the hunt but being with your favorite cousins and friends that you only see once in a while. Granny would always stay for just a little bit to watch us hunt and then she would walk down to the house to get Easter lunch ready for the whole family.

Going to Granny and Grandpa's house is something I'll never forget, especially on this day. I can still see Granny standing out on the porch to see if the egg hunt was over, waiting for us all to slowly make our way to the house. Once everyone left the church and we made it down to Granny and Grandpa's, the feast was on. Big shade trees in the front yard, perfect to sit under while we ate our lunch. I can hear everyone talking and laughing having a blessed day. And of course, we (the kids) were fast eaters because what a better thing to do than to hunt eggs, again.

I'm trying to type without crying but the tears somehow keep making their way to my eyes. Even today, when it was just me alone, I sat and cried thinking of how I just wish I could of had an Easter Sunday with Granny and Grandpa and my boys. The boys would have loved them. Malachi was 2 the last time he saw Granny. I think of all the things they would have done with them like they did with me and my brother.

I was sitting there remembering our Sundays together and then I began thinking of the Easter Sunday they are spending up in Heaven. Grandpa walking without a limp, no cancer, and ears that can hear perfectly. Granny with a good heart and good legs to walk on. As I looked outside, the sun shining so bright and beautiful, the weather feeling amazing, I felt like there was a little piece of heaven with me here today. I felt like Granny and Grandpa were here and it was Easter Sunday like I remember. Because this morning in church, you could hear the downpour of the rain and I was expecting a dreary Sunday afternoon. In some ways, I think God just wanted us to have another Easter Sunday like we did when I was a kid. I wasn't with blood family but with amazing friends that have became our family. Everyone came over, we ate, the kids hunted eggs, and we just sat around laughing and talking just like we did under those shade trees.

Things aren't always the way we hope for them to be, sometimes they are far from the picture we imagined. But it's days like today that I believe God knows that sometimes we just need to go back home even if it's just with a reminder like a bright sunny Easter day.

Happy Easter!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

That's My Husband!

Nearly every single blog I have written has something to do with the two boys. Malachi did this...Lawson did that....and rarely do I mention the man I call husband. And to my defense, isn't that what most blogs are about?  Your (Our) life with your (our) kids, their accomplishments, the funny things they do. When we mention our significant other it's usually because of a special occasion. It's either their birthday or an anniversary. So today, with no special occasion on our plate, I'm writing about my husband, my best friend.

I can remember way back when, when I would pray for the husband I wanted, the one thing I always added was: Lord, please let him like sports. I played basketball all my life and I loved it. So naturally, I wanted to share something like that with my husband. I thought of how we would watch sports together, play them in the yard with our kids, be the sports crazy parents, etc. Well, be careful what you pray for. My husband is a sport lovin' FREAK! He can tell you about players and games that happened in years that he shouldn't remember because he was so little. He doesn't care that he can't understand the announcers because they are speaking Spanish. He will still watch the soccer game. I got what I ask for, right?? :)  And the day I married that sport's fanatic was the BEST day ever!!! (If only pinterest would have existed then.)
He just finished his 6th year of coaching basketball. He coaches Jr. High girls. When he first started, he was coaching 7th and 8th grade girls. He would randomly come home and ask "Why do girls laugh at everything? Why do they cry so much?" I would just laugh and say that's what middle school girls do. It seems that he has found his love in coaching. Not gonna lie, this past year was one of the hardest on us because of basketball. It requires a lot of time away from home.  And as much as I dread the time he is away, I support him 100%. He loves it so I like it. And I will be there as much as I can to cheer him on.  
 There is absolutely no other job that he takes more pride in than being a dad to his two sons. He simply defines an incredible dad. When he found out Malachi was a boy, I'm not sure there could have been a light that shined brighter than his face. And then a second boy, he was on fire! He loves having two boys that he can rough house with, play sports with, watch sports with, etc. And yes, these two little ones are going to be crazy sports people just like their father. Our oldest already names players and their numbers, along with who they play for.....Half of which I have no clue what he's talking about. Nick is very patient as a dad. He is a great example to them. I could never say enough about how good of a dad he is. He's top notch in my book.
Most of you know Nick as a laid back, kinda quiet, doesn't get too excited about much kind of guy. If only you could see him at home. He's quite the character I tell ya. Ski goggles and gloves in the middle of summer just because. Snuggie on backwards- first he was pretending to be on Project Runway, then all of a sudden he turned in to a Jedi. I can't imagine laughing with anyone else the way I do with him. It makes life more fun when you can spend it with someone who likes to have fun. He constantly has me laughing. 

Family. Family is very important to Nicky. This is him and his younger brother just doing what they do. No seriousness when picture is being taking. He loves his family with his whole heart and I love that about him. He and his brothers have these inside jokes that ARE NOT funny. Well, they are not funny at least to the outside world but to them, they are hilarious.

My husband is an amazing man. He's such a hard worker. Even when the job isn't his, he does it. He's the guy you want in your corner. I love this man and this blog certainly doesn't do justice to all the wonderful things I think and know about him. But I wanted to make it publicly known how great I think he is and to let him know how much I love him!!! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Break 2013- Chills and Thrills

Spring Break is quickly coming to an end. Technically, I guess it already has since the weekend would have happened anyway. Our original plans were to send the boys to Arkansas to spend the week with my parents and we were going to stay here, paint our bedroom, do laundry, shampoo the carpet....the list goes on. But, after all was said and done we decided we would go as well and spend some time with the fam. 

Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend a lot of time outside because it was so CHILLY! The temperature never got above 50. Boo. All well, we still had a good time spending the week together. My parents dog loves treeing squirrels, well anything really. He had this squirrel treed for 3 days, so we decided it was time to put an end to all the non-stop barking. That's right! Nick killed his first squirrel. It was quite entertaining especially for Buster (the dog). I may have been more excited than Nick was. :)  And of course, since Nick shot something, Malachi had to as well. My mom took him out and he shot a paper plate. He was so excited.

We came home Thursday night. We wanted to be in our own beds a few days before we had to go back to work. It's always sad leaving family, but it's so nice sleeping in my own bed. We had plans to go to the zoo Friday but I ended up having to take Lawson to the dr. Poor thing sounded like he had the flu and really hadn't slept in 4 nights. It ended up being a double ear infection, oddly enough. I guess I didn't realize you could have fever with just an ear infection. Since Lawson was acting fine we took the boys bowling Friday evening. Malachi had watched Tom and Jerry bowl and has wanted to go since then. He absolutely loved it. We probably should have put his name on the board twice so he could have a few more turns...patients were short. ;) 

Today, our sweet friends invited us to a crawfish boil. Neither Nick nor myself had ever tried crawfish. It was actually really good. Of course, Steve is just one of the best cooks ever. Crawfish, sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes, all accompanied by some delicious dessert. We had a great time visiting with wonderful friends and eating amazing food.

It was nice to just relax and not have any big plans to attend. The drive to Arkansas is always crappy but always worth it to see family. We also were able to go to one of my nephews pee wee basketball games. We've had a great break! Summer plans have been made for Florida. Now we just gotta knock these last 10 weeks of work out and summer break will be here!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Remember, It Starts at Home

From the time our boys were born - and before, of course, - we pray for them and over them. Malachi is old enough that he prays before bedtime instead of us having to lead him. One day soon, Lawson will also be able to pray without us leading him. From the time they were born, we have and still are teaching them the importance of being kind to everyone. No matter their economic status, color, the car they drive, the house they live in, etc....just be kind. From the time they were born we have tried and still are teaching them to respect those around them. It all Starts at Home.

 We have been doing a 6 week bible study titled, you guessed it, "It Starts at Home." It's been a wonderful series on things that should start at home. For instance, your child's knowledge of Jesus. Do you teach them at home about the love of Christ or do you wait for the church to do it because "that's their job?" We should be doing the teaching and letting the church reinforcing. If our kids see us live out the love of Christ in our home then, I believe they are far more apt to live out the love of Christ when they step out of their front door. It Starts at Home.

 Our kids, well at least this is true for my boys, pick up on every little action and word that Nick and I do and say. While driving the other day, me and the boys were stuck in traffic, and seriously though, people just wouldn't drive right. :) And from the back seat I hear from Malachi, Ugh!, these people are getting on my nerves. Let's go people! What was I gonna say when he had just heard me say it the day before and probably the day before that. One night, as we were laying in bed, Malachi had the hiccups and he could not go to sleep. He said, "Mommy, will you pray for my hiccups to go away?" Well, being the doubting Thomas I am sometimes, I thought to myself, praying is not gonna help those go away. But then it was almost like the Lord came down and got in my face, in a loving way of course, and said, "Haven't you been teaching him to pray and ask me to help him with whatever his needs are and I will?" So, I began to pray for his hiccups that God would just take them away and help him to go to sleep. I said amen and he never hiccuped again. Malachi believed Jesus would help because we had taught him from the time he could comprehend that Jesus can help in even the smallest of things. The next day he ran up to his daddy and said daddy, Jesus helped my hiccups. It Starts at Home.

 It frustrates me when I hear people constantly saying, well if they wouldn't have taken prayer out of school this wouldn't have happened. Guess what? No one took prayer away from your kids. Teach them to pray at home and to pray when they leave their front door. I would love for principals and and teachers to be able to pray out loud for our kids and over kids. But just because they can't do it out loud, doesn't mean it can't happen in silence. If we teach our kids at home, then chances are they will do it outside the home. Do your kids see you pray? I can remember very distinctly the old, ugly, green plastic (maybe not plastic but it sure wasn't leather) couch I had growing up. Every night before bed, I always saw my Momma knelt by the couch praying. I love that that is one of my most vivid memories growing up. I want our boys to see us pray.

 We obviously can't control every action and every spoken word that our kids do and say once they are out of our sight (sometimes even when they are in our sight). But I do believe that if we can start at home teaching them the important things, and there are clearly way more areas that I didn't talk about, I believe our kids will be more inclined to follow these teachings when we are not around. We're not perfect and we are certainly gonna fail. But by God's grace and mercy, we can raise men and women of God starting in our home.

 Here are a couple of family activities that we have done and others in the bible study shared. They are family activities and have great lessons behind them. If you try one of them, let me know how it went. How did your kid's respond?

 1. Supplies: tube of toothpaste for each kid participating and a plate or any space really for them to squeeze the tube out on, and a toothpick
 *Have each child squeeze all the toothpaste out as fast as they can. (every kid loves a good race)
 *When you notice all of the toothpaste almost all squeezed out, give them an incentive, like $5, $10, whatever you choose...
 * order to get that money, they have to get all of the toothpaste back in the tube with the toothpick (impossible)
 *Once they've tried for a bit teach them a lesson. When words leave our mouth, we can't take them back. Proverbs 18:21 21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
 James 3:9-12 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
 2. The trust game
 * Mom or dad be the catcher as the other explains what to do. So if dad is the catcher, mom you fall back in to his arms. (dad please catch her) ;) Dad, before they fall, tell them that they can trust you even though they can't see you.
 * Then let each of your kids take a turn. (we did this one with the boys, well Malachi at least)
 * Lesson: Even though we can't see God we can trust him because He says it in his word.
 Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.