Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Unwrap-able Christmas Gifts

Un wrap able gift #1: time with my family at my parents. Also ( #2) My mom and dad kept the boys while Ben and I took our first date since Knox was born. We went to Amsterdams in Auburn & then to see Blind Side! What an AWESOME present!!!
#3: A visit from some of my favorite people in the world- The Brown family. They are some of the most influential people in my life and i will always consider them family. Here is Jacy and Janie. I remember when both of them were born...i feel like I'm getting older.However the check out guy @ Walmart today (who was like 65) said that i didn' t look a day over 18. Thank you Mr. Walmart scanner man!!!
Here is Julie holding my baby Knox! Wow we dreamed of these days together!
And the famous Roger Brown!  A VERY special man in my life. Helped me learn to eat peanut butter, pop tarts, watch the Braves and drive a truck! (not all at the same time!)

MORE ON UNWRAP ABLE presents to come....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

link to family photos

Photos of the holidays
Ben did such a great job capturing our Christmas on camera. Please visit his site (above link) to see how we enjoyed the holidays. My camera battery was left on teh charger in Alabama so i wasn't able to update my blog with pictures yet. My parents are visiting tomorrow so i will try to get some up this week!
Hope all of you enjoyed your Christmas. I was wondering..what is your favorite family holiday food? I mean in addition to the traditional ham or turkey with all the trimmings?? Ben's fam always has quiche, 'nuts and bolts' and cheese straws. My family always has my moms famous garlic cheese ball, graham cracker roll, chocolate peanut butter balls and almond bark cookies. My best friend's mom always has gingerbread men and hot spice cider. I can still taste the combo!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Illness and medicine

DIDN'T BEN DO A GREAT GREAT JOB ON OUR NEW HEADER??!! Those are all pictures he took in our most recent shoot..
Poor Brennan's "I don't feel good face"

All our medicine!!!!!
Lots of tv time till daddy gets home this is how i have survived my sinus infection while Brennan has endured his double ear infection.

This is not how i would choose to spend the days between Thanksgiving & Christmas. I would much rather be baking and listening to Christmas carols and settling down with hot cocoa and the reruns of timeless Christmas shows at night. 
BUT...instead i have been wiping noses and giving medicines.  I have truly been in survival mode day in and day out. I have a severe sinus infection, Brennan has a double ear infection & Knox has the croop. We have enough medicine here to start an apothecary! When Ben asked if i had a good day yesterday i simply responded "no one went hungry"...
So for Christmas all I want it for us to be healthy again and out of survival mode!!
May you and yours enjoy the holidays!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Have you ever wanted to be happy? Done things to make yourself happy? Been motivated by happiness? Have you tried endlessly to make yourself happy? Do people describe you as 'happy'? Do you describe yourself as 'happy'? How about God-do you think of Him as 'happy'?

Of course we ALL want to be happy, we all try to be happy, we make choices based on what will make us happy, we want to be described as happy, we wish we were always happy and, God- well, we wish He was always happy too.  But we are told by some that His happiness is based on our obedience and if we don't obey, in essence He is not happy.. 

The questions above are all that I have had in the past.  And i have marveled and rejoiced that 'yes' is my answer! But then i asked myself why could i answer yes? Have i just had that good of a life? Some may argue that is why, but i want to propose otherwise:
1. Happiness is circumstantial. (I was taught this, by my parents-as proof for the difference between joy & happiness. B/c of my name being Joy, I often felt like being called something else and told my parents so- to which they replied with this lesson).
If everything is going my way- i am happy. If not- i am sad. But joy exists even when things aren't going my way.  It is the gift of God to see things as He sees them. 
2.  God is good.  I am not saying that just knowing God is what is good, or that when God does what I like that He is good, or when I am healthy, clean, safe and content-He is good. NO. Always. No matter how I or anyone else feels, no matter the condition of the economy, no matter the condition of any circumstance- He IS good. He does what is best. I don't have to agree with Him or think that what He chose is best. But I must believe it for me to be truly happy. 
3. God gave us the desire to be happy. Every person who has ever lived or will ever live desires to be happy. Consider these quotes:
"We hold these truths to be self–evident,That all men are created equal,That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"-These words were written by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
"Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible."  ~St. Augustine
He gave us this desire so that we would eternally be on a quest for Himself. For the only true way we can be happy is in HIM. The old hymn says "trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey". I have found that if i truly believe God is good and that He genuinely wants me to be happy and i do obey Him that i have a deeper more meaningful happiness than anything i could muster up alone. [i.e. It may not seem like it would make you happy to discipline your child when they disobey-for it doesn't make then happy when you discipline them and if they are unhappy then to a degree aren't you unhappy? However, God says "Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. And "The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights."( Prov  3:12 and 13:24. )And when i see the fruit of disciplining my child i am happy.] God knows what makes up truly happy. More than we do and through circumstances we may not enjoy at all times, but that its end is happiness. For life will be FULL of times of 'unhappiness' but we await an eternal happiness in Him in heaven forever and ever. What greater happiness is there than Him? "whom have I in heaven but you And earth has nothing I desire besides you." Psalm 73:25.
4.  God is happy. He does what pleases Himself.(Psalm 135:6/115:3)  There is nothing that 
happens that he does not allow, foresee and plan for the good of Himself and His people 
(Romans 8:28). So why couldn't i trust and rest fully knowing this? What could be told to me 
to make me any happier? He is in charge. Not some unhappy, bent on destruction-God. He 
works for my good. He is good. He is happy. So should i be.
I think most of my life i unknowingly thought of God as happy. Now, i consciously tell myself 
that. God is happy. He is good. So this (whatever it may be) is for my good and so i should be 
So friends, how is your level of happiness and what is it based on?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Brother Of Mine

©  samira
Brother of mine
I know sometimes I whine
But deep down I really find you somewhat divine
You are smarter than you think.
Smarter than me – in some ways
Like you know how to walk and wink.

Brother of mine
I could not love you more
I could be no prouder
No matter what occurs.
No matter what is said or done
I loved you from the start.
No matter the age 
You’ll always be in my heart.


This past week we took a mini vacation to Gatlinburg. Ben's mom sells time shares and the unit she works in currently is the new Wilderness Resort in Gatlinburg. It is located right on the Little Pigeon River and has an indoor water park. It is top notch and was quite an experience. It did snow on Saturday and we got a shot of the boys before my arms gave out and the cold set in..

There were two enormous water slides, a surf machine, two kiddie pool/activity areas, an oversized hot tub, a lazy river, and a wave pool..here is the big kiddie play area..
All that fun and where is my son???... He discovered his shadow! He would walk backwards and forwards and bend down and try to touch it.He finally waved at it and then patted his chest and said mine! Ha..that is my child! Its the small things..
And here is my talented, athletic, oh so hot hubby surfing the waves!
Woo Hoo!! 
Check out the resort by clicking here. It was PERFECT for a young family week of fun-summer in the winter! It was very warm and the water was heated. Families with kids 4 & up would probably enjoy it most though..

Friday, December 4, 2009

Big Brother Little Brother

I am so thrilled that Brennan has begun to enjoy Knox. The last couple of days have been precious to watch. I managed to get a few moments on camera and thought i would share:
Here is Brennan crawling to read to Knoxie.
He would open a book, close it and then say "the end"..it was PRECIOUS!! However in one book he did say hop hop when there was a bunny, so maybe he knows more than i think..And yes..he has on a necklace, his "melmo" underwear, socks-no pants and a shirt that he was wearing for the 2nd day in a row!

So here is the story. I got out the Bumbo the other day to see if Knox was ready for it and Brennan found the new special seat quiet exciting. Today i put Knox in it while i was doing some stuff and Brennan came to me with his sad face and said "knox". Like he was tattling on him for being in the chair. I went to him and said 'you don't want Knox to sit in the Bumbo?' he looked confused..'you don' t want Knox to sit in the special chair?' 'huh,' he says, (his version of uh huh) 'you want a special chair?" i say. Yes he says!! So i take him to his room to his little chair that he rarely sits in and explain: 'This chair is too big for Knox, its too small for mommy and daddy, but its JUST right for you! (feeling a little like Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears..) I tell him its the chair mommy and daddy bought for him when Knox was born so that he would know he was special. That he is the ONLY one in our family who can sit in this chair right now and that makes it special. 'Its Brennan's special chair' i say. Then i asked him if he wanted to sit in it and BOY was he excited! Then, sweet thing...he pushed it over to the office where Knox was, right beside him and sat down. Like "hmph, my special chair, Knox special chair.." Don't you LOVE IT!?!