Monday, September 29, 2008

Just thinking....

So many times we long to do BIG things for God.....when in reality if we are doing what we should do every day, minute by minute, we ARE doing the best and biggest thing we could do for God. Choosing to die daily to self is not easy. I want my way! I just do. But I know my way is NOT best and usually makes a mess (a big one). If we are going to live for Christ we must learn to die to what we want and surrender to God's way.

Surrender. Sacrifice. These are not popular words in our society today. Our culture tells you to do what is best for you. Be selfish!(to quote the movie "The Women".) It's all about you! Surrender is for weaklings and Sacrifice???? What is that???? For the most part, most of us truly have no idea of what it is to sacrifice. God is always teaching us a lesson and dealing with sin areas in our lives. Right now He has been dealing with my unwillingness to surrender to His plan regarding some circumstances in my life. This has actually been a lifetime struggle, only now am I realizing that the root issue is that I don't want to accept what God has given me....whatever the circumstance may be! It's not what I want. It does not feel good or is not as convienent as I would like. I dream of so much more. I desire so much more. I want to have fun and be happy. I don't want to struggle and face heartache. I don't want to die to myself and say that it truly does not matter how people treat me, if I am popular or not, rejected or accepted by peers, worn out to exhaustion or fully rested, red or black in my checkbook, time for recreation or full time on duty with children, homeschool and housework, if my houes is clean or a total mess, my calendar is full or empty, my husband is working or home early to help with dinner, I feel overwhelmed or in total control....these things do not determine my happiness nor do they define who I am. I am a Child of God and He is crazy about me. The circumstances he allows into my life are there for a reason. To help me become the woman He created me to be. To help me learn to lay down my life and my desires and accept HIS will and provision, which is better than anything I could do myself. I have found myself so focused on the future and where I want to be that I have not been thankful for where I am now and all that God has done for me NOW. Oh, I have been so wrong and this is a struggle in my life. I realize it now and want to allow God to change me through His Holy learn to accept what He gives as His best. To take joy in where He has me and the lovely way He fills my life with good things. Thankful that He allows tough circumstances to come into my life to expose sin areas I have been blind to, that He loves me enough to not leave me the way I am.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My 37th Birthday

I had a great 37th birthday. Mom took us out on Thursday night (Sept 11th) to the Log Cabin. Was wonderful! Can't wait to go back. It's out in the country near a dirt road. It's truly a little log cabin, but the food there is fabulous. Mom and I split a steak that could have fed my entire family! I highly recommend this place, but plan on a wait if there is more than 2 in your group. The wait was part of the fun for us. My boys loved playing with the 6 dogs that lived on the land surrounding the restaurant. On Friday (my birthday) Carmen Pearce was the biggest blessing. She showed up that morning, as I was washing dishes from breakfast, with coffee and a muffin from Atlanta Bread. I was just so sweet and just what I needed:) A friend with coffee! We ate lunch with my dad at the Hotdog Shop in Headland and then visited with Mom at her house for a bit. Later that night Carmen came over and kept the boys for Chuck to take me out to dinner. What a friend! I think friends make birthdays so much fun. I have been blessed with great friends who just make life fun. I am so thankful for those of you who just know what to do when I need it....for all the times you have sent cards or showed up with meals or given me chocolate. You are all great and a blessing to my life.
Another birthday treat was getting to eat Sushi with my lifelong friend Natalie and go to the movies with her to see The Women. We don't see each other much (except for the past 2 weeks..which has been so much fun) but we always pick up right where we left off. We have shared so much of lifes up and downs together.....from grade school through high school on to college and now where we married and homeschooling 3 boys and her having survived Crohns, her mother's death and a divorce.
Family and Friends are a blessing and I don't want to take either for granted. Chuck was wonderful my birthday weekend. I had places to be that I didn't feel like being...yet he encouraged me...and did all the housework and looked after our children..and sent me out to play with my friends a few times....that was a wonderful and refreshing gift and I am thankful for him. I really could not have done what all I needed to do over the weekend without him. He helped me keep from falling apart. He was a blessing....what a gift to remember and celebrate.
My brother, Trey, was in Memphis having his kidney stones blasted on my birthday. We talked and he was doing good. His wife, Carmen, had picked him up from the hospital and they were on their way home. Bless his heart....I hate I could not have been up there with him.
So much to be thankful for....another year....and precious people to share my life with. Thank you God for pouring out your lavish love on me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Destin with Family

We took of on a spontaneous trip to visit some family we love dearly....Tom, Colette, Stephanie and Wes. They were celebrating Tom and Colette's 27th wedding anniversary and Steph and Wes's first. Chuck had the honor of performing their wedding ceremony last August. The kids swam and played on the beach. I wished I had a picture of the sea slug Tolar found.

Back to School

We are starting week 4 of our 3rd year of homeschooling. Trace is in 2nd grade this year. Tolar is almost halfway through with 4th grade.....yes, and it's week 4, so we will be moving on up to 5th grade in the next month. That child scares me. He's smarter than his mother:) No comments on that, please. We have gotten off to great start and I am so thankful. Homeschooling has it's challenges, but overall I am greatly blessed to have this privilage. I do want to run away somedays. Don't we all. But even if I did, I am sure I would not be gone for long. These days are treasures. These boys will be grown too soon and I will have LOTS of good memories of our times together. Let's just hope I still have a mind to remember all these memories....because often I feel like I have lost mine. Maybe I have :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Trace's 7th Birthday

Trace turned 7 years old Monday. We spent the day doing whatever he wanted to do. Most of it was spent playing MarioKart on wii. We did have lunch with Chuck and Maz at Pizza Hut. In the afternoon Maz and us went to visit Papa James and Cindy. Later in the day I picked up Coleman, David and Devan to come over for dinner. We then headed to Adventureland for fun and games. Thankfully, Grant and Chellse showed up to help keep track of all the boys.It was one of the best birthdays ever. I so enjoyed spending time with my new 7 year old.

Trace's Quote for the Day

Trace explaining things to Turner: "Turner, first Tolar came out of Mommy's tummy. Then I came out of Mommy's tummy and then You came out of Mommy's tummy. And Daddy was there, so that make him our Daddy."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Istanbul, Turkey WE ARE HERE!!! WHOO HOO

Our group on our first night here.
What we walked through to get to dinner

Chuck going through security for us to get into CHURCH today.

Finally we have slowed down long enough for me to update you on our trip. I am totally in love with this city already. It is more beautiful than I imagined. OH! and the food is fabulous. It is much more healthy than we eat in the States. The cooks do not use canned veggies...and their produce is not sprayed with harmful pesticides. It is amazing and I could eat myself sick. We have done TONS of walking today and my feet hurt. We came back to our hotel for a quick rest before heading out to dinner. I can't wait:) I am including some pictures of our LONG trip here and our first night and day in the city. I will try to update some more throughout the week. We are having so much fun. I love you all.
Finally, I get this posted...a month later. We are home now, of course. Istanbul was amazing. I am blown away by God. He constantly amazes me. Life in a relationship with Christ is full of adventure and wonder. He wants to us to go and tell others about the Hope we have in Him....if we are just willing and available He will send us. Yes, you have to overcome fears and trust Him. Just be willing to GO......and see what He does in your own life. I am so thankful that God provided in everyway for Chuck and I to take this trip together. Really, that a stay at home, homeschooling mom of three boys would have the opportunities God has given me to GO.....I truly stand in awe at the way He loves me. He gives me the desires of my heart. I don't deserve His goodness, yet He pours out his love and blessings. More than anything I want to follow Him WHEREVER He leads me, doing WHATEVER He calls me to do. I don't want to miss a thing.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

From the mouth of Trace

Trace and I were looking at some pictures of the hotel we will be staying in while in Turkey. He said, "I did not know Turkey was that fashionable". He's enjoyed looking at the pictures online and talking about the history of Istanbul. I think it helps him feel better about his mom going "halfway around the world".

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Lots and lots of pictures! Here a couple from the boys playing in the water in Destin when we were at Dad's a couple of weeks ago.

Trace lost his front tooth last week and is now snaggletoothed:) Too cute! We were already in bed and the two big boys came running into our room celebrating. So out came the camera to catch the moment.

Last Thursday Turner was sick. The big boys were at Summer Spectacular and Turner found a LIZARD in my bedroom!!!!! A REAL one....and it was ON my BED. I was not about to catch the thing. Tolar and Trace were not home so I just did not go in there until they got home and found the thing. It was in a fake tree in our room hiding out. Thankfully the boys got it and released it outside! Both the lizard and I were happy:) How do these things happen, anyway?

Early Friday morning the stomach bug hit big time with Turner. Chuck and I got about 2 hours of solid sleep. The poor little guy was vomiting every 15 minutes for a couple of hours and then about every 30 minutes to an hour for a few more hours. It was a night! I was supposed to be heading out to Deeper Still (ladies conf.) in Atlanta at 8am. WELL>>>>> I had to get up and head to Wal Mart since Chuck would not be able to go with sickness in the I was leaving Tolar started vomiting! Got the groceries bought (lots of gatorade, ginger ale and pops as we call them). Then took Turner to the doctor and got some meds...enough for the entire family if needed. Finally, everything calmed down and was stable enough that Jana and I were able to pull out around lunch. We ended up meeting the group at Phillips Arena with plenty of time to spare. 19,000 ladies gathered to hear Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur and Beth Moore. It was a wonderful weekend. Jana and I needed a video camera to document our adventures. God was so good to us. We made the trip with no complications and ended up getting where we needed to be...with NO MAP. Praise God! Part of that included a 45 minute adventure of us trying to find our hotel in Buckhead. We decided to walk from Lenox Mall to the hotel. The hard part of that is that you cannot just cross over hwy you have to travel around your elbow to get to your thumb. We needed exercise and were not upset at all about our walk. It was a beautiful afternoon and thankfully still daylight. Finally, we ended up at the hotel and On The Boarder for some good mexican food. (I will say it was not so good at 2:30am!) I found myself up and walking the hall at 3:30 trying to find a coke to settle my stomach. I had to get on the eleveator and go down a floor to find a machine that worked. Thankfully, the coke helped. On Sunday we headed home (to my sweet husband who was holding down the fort in the midst of vomit and diarrhea). What a man! Yes, his wife did come home refreshed and challenged in her relationship with Christ. We will find at times that is will cost something of others for us to be where God calls us to be.

Turner went for his first visit with Dr Clay Wright (our dentist and friend). He sat there and took it all very seriously! Finally, it was his turn!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Time

It's summer time and we are on the move. I guess having three boys and being blessed to be home with them is something to not take for granted. They are a handful most days...but I have the best job in the world. Oh and the things Ihear...
Just now Trace and Josh (the neighbor) are playing baseball on Wii. Trace says, "That's my dad up to bat." Josh says, "That's your dad?" "Yes", Trace replies, "He has girl glasses on." That is just funny to me... sounds like Chuck needs to work on his mii:)
Saturday we took the boys swimming at the home of an older couple in our church. Tolar wanted to go head first down the slide into the pool. Well, Mom here had to be the example...and go first. Afterwards Tolar told me I was INSPIRING:) Just hope the Sanders were not looking out the window as I lay sprawled out on top of that slide. Not to mention that Chuck did not think there was enough water flowing and hooked the swim noodle up so it would spray additional water on the slide and mom could make it down.
Still pluggin along with my running. Finally making about 25-30 minutes on the treadmill. I am amazed that I can easliy do 20 minutes and really even enjoy it. Just DON'T put me outside and I'm okay. Saturday morning I went to the gym and was all by I tried out some of those weigh machines. I am going to try to start adding a little strenght training each week. Right now I am still happy if I make it to the gym three times a week. But every littel bit helps, right?
I don't think I ever wrote about our beach trip recently. WHEW. Three boys. Three days at the beach. Late nights. Early mornings. Lots of hours in the pool. One Parent! Really it was fun, but I was tired. Our first night at Dad's they stayed in the pool FIVE hours. I am so glad they love the beach as much as I do. It's my favorite place to escape. It was fun to get to see Dad, too. He was working an antique show so he was really busy, but we got to hang out at night and eat dinner by the pool.
We left Chuck at home. He had Steve over Thrusday and Friday night to play Tiger Woods Golf on Wii. Then Saturday he played the Robert Trent Jones trail with 3 Chris, Tommy and Eric. After golf, Chris came home with him and they played Golf on Wii until the kids and I got home late that afternoon. THEN on Sunday night I got up after midnight and Chuck was NOT in the bed. I found him in the family room PLAYING TIGER WOODS GOLF on the Wii!!!!! He enjoyed his time with friends and getting play golf. It was a good Father's Day for him. Now, DON'T ask him about the ACTUAL day of Father's Day. He had a TIRED, Hormonal Wife who had just returned from 3 days of nonstop activity with the boys.....I will let you just imagine how pleasant I was;) Sleep (without a 3 yr old on top of me) did improve my disposition. Atleast Chuck had a few days of fun. He deserves more...he's a great guy.
I leave Friday for Deeper Still in Atlanta...and Chuck will have the boys all weekend. Pray for him. He is such a wonderful dad....he puts me to shame, really.
We leave for our trip to Central Asia in three weeks. I am so thankful that God is giving Chuck and I the opportunity to do GO together. I do want my kiddos to be safe and happy while we are gone....but I have to keep my eyes on Jesus and trust all the details to Him...He is BIG ENOUGH.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Just wondering if I am the only one suffering from Facebook addiction? Based on the number of notifications I receive weekly, probably not. Okay, and you just gotta love the flair application. I love getting flair and sending it. But probably my most favorite thing is the video feature. How neat to send a friend a video and then get one back. I love it. Unfortunately, though, lots of things around here are not getting dinner cooked or the laundry put up.

So Much To Tell

If only I could get around to updating more often. Then again, no one but Colette probably reads this thing anyway...but since she did ask for an we go:) Turner is potty trained completely. It only took the little guy two days. So no more diapers. I was nice to go to Wal Mart and not have to buy those things. With our baby now being three...and so funny and cute...I keep thinking....we need another one. (Don't tell Chuck, that would confirm to him that I am indeed off my rocker) Trace had just turned three when we found out we were expecting Turner (it was a shock and I was NOT prepared at all...but now so grateful that God gives us what we need and not what we want:) Here are some pictures of our Walmart trip to buy new underwear.

We spent time with Grandaddy at the farm last week. The boys love going to Grandaddy's farm. Uncle Spence and Grandaddy are working on a big pond (8 acres) and a little catfish pond. We have been able to watch some of the progress and it's been fun. The farm is such a beautiful place and we can't wait to go fishing up there.

We also went up to Aunt Sue's to swim on Friday and took Maz (my mother) with us. That, too, is a beautiful place....and it's for sale if anyone is looking.

Okay, I have added so many pictures to this post. I have a few other things to put down, but will do it in a new post. It finally rained here today. How wonderful. We sat around all afternoon eating popcorn and watching Stars Wars. It's been quiet and we have no where to go tonight. YEAH:) Later this week we will head down to spend a couple of nights with my dad on Okaloosa Island. I am sure I will have some news from that trip and probably a hundred more pictures.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Titantic

Today, while we were at Barnes and Nobles, Trace found a book on The Titantic. He read through chapter 3 in the store and asked if I would buy it for him so he could finish it. It was cheap so I said YES. Before we met his dad for lunch he had finished the book. During lunch Chuck and his 2 co-workers asked Trace to give a book report on The Titantic and this is what he had to say, "Well, it's first trip was actually it's last!" Well, that about sums it up, doesn't it?

Oh, another funny! While we were at lunch today this elderly woman stopped Chuck and asked, "Aren't you Chuck Norris?" I'm still laughing about that one.

We are on day 3 with Turner's potty training. No wet pants yesterday afternoon through today. YEAH!!!! Will keep you posted on our progress (I know you are so interested).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Best Mother's Day Gift Ever

Yeah for Chuck! He gave me the best gift for Mother's Day this year.......he sent me to be fitted for a bra! Girls, are you tired of tugging and pinching ....overall, the thing just not fitting? Well, for the first time in my life....I own a comfortable bra. It's life changing.....and wonderful. I encourage everyone to visit Pam at Dillards and get fitted. Thank you Chuck for sending me....I would have NEVER done that on my own.

Last T ball game for Trace

Last night was Trace's last t ball game. It makes me sad....he's so cute...and growing up. Oma and Opa were there....Maz, too.....Allyson and I enjoyed our boys playing on the same team this year. That was a treat!