Friday, December 31, 2010

And the winner is...

I tried and tried to figure out how I was going to "announce" this.. considering all of you are my dear friends, I want all of you to know that you are amazing and motherhood + anything is challenging, so what you have accomplished in keeping cleaner homes is terrific and no doubt God glorifying!
The catch that got the winner the winner was this quote "My husband said that he feels more respected and he has praised me all month for my hard work"...that ladies and gentlemen is a beautiful thing! Not to mention I want you to hear the little trials she has experienced and still accomplished much
"This month has thrown several snags our way, but none-the-less I've tried (and given myself grace per your instructions.) Here's what has happened: the hot water heater element went out which affected dish washing, clothes washing, and tub scrubbing; the vacuum spent 2 weeks in the shop - $80 later, the carpet was saved; the washing machine - oh, the washing machine! - has begun pouring gallons of water out of the back...not sure how long this has been going on, but we haven't gotten it fixed yet. "

I will include one and one only before and after pic that i felt was most indicative..or not..i have tried for 20 minutes to get it to work and my hubs is sleeping and i will not wake him for such a trivial question...

CONGRATULATIONS my dear E...and all the other 5 contestants!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

THE END

Ladies and gentlemen its the FINAL day for the CLEANING competition. Please take all your 'after' pictures and have them submitted via email by tomorrow noonish (Wow that sounds so official! Just trying to make it fair and even..)
I am so excited for all of you competitors and i am trying to figure out a way to treat you all!
I pray your holidays were BLESSED and I wish a new year full of clean houses to all of you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

WINTER

it is not my favorite...
Brennan has coined this phrase and it is now a classic at our house..He says its about food, naptime, blankets, underwear...
Well winter is not my favorite. However, it does increase my heart rate because i RUN everywhere i go. Ben and I had a sitter this afternoon for a brief 2 1/2 hours while we did some Christmas shopping. I think we are now finished. But Ben got a hoot out of my little legs scooting swiftly as we bustled from shop to shop..
The only things i like about winter are wool socks, leggings and FIRES!!!!!
I don't like dry skin, sickness..well we won't make that long list..but i am very aware that winter can be someones favorite season..so tell me..why do you like winter?? Maybe it will help me like it too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

B-R-E-A-K

Okay stay at home moms....this is for you whether veteran, first timers or somewhere in the middle...WHEN and HOW do you build in breaks for yourself?
I am aware and convicted by the high calling of motherhood. It is all about SELFLESSNESS and SACRIFICE and nonstop SERVING! 
I also know we are human and weak and must depend on Christ's strength and Holy Spirit power to get through each day..but what do you do for rest for your SOUL? Not just time in the Word or at church but otherwise?
I remember talking to my friend last year and she had an almost 3 year old and had not had one night "off" since she was born...no sitter, no one else putting her to bed...Part do me feels that can be unhealthy..a child getting so expectant of the same and unfamiliar with other adults they can trust. 
I am blessed to have had my mom give us some awesome breaks this year (like an 8 day vacation without kids!) and they go to mothers day out 2 days a week, however i am working at an elementary school with someone else's kids on those days...and i come home to an occasionally  overwhelming amount of house work that did not get done that day...
I tend to lean towards legalism in the area of work..house work or whatever..so word of warning to you aspiring cleaning schedulists..it can get out of hand...but also just the day in and out of keeping house and home sound with 2 little ones...
So although i am sure some of you are laughing at the thought of a break, just like me..what can we do about it??????

Friday, December 3, 2010

Family Update..FUN FACTS

There are just some neat things happening at our house that i thought i would share..

1. We have hardly bought any new furniture for our house since we've been married..God has graciously supplied very nice furniture for us through family though. We have never complained and are very thankful for what we have.
Ben decided to try for some bartering with a recent client who sells furniture. His office was pretty bare..we were looking for a small sofa or something along those lines..long story short.Ben decided to take our current sofa and try it in his office. He liked it..AND he ordered new furniture for our living room!! may i just say that it is the MOST beautiful sofa ever!!!!! Oh and Ben also painted our den..something we have wanted to do since we moved in THREE years ago..its looks great..a little darker than either of us thought but...
Pictures coming soon i promise, but my camera is still broken and its my dinky camera phone or Ben's big daddy camera..so...

2. Ben has a friend from high school that happens to be our dentist, who happens to love photography (& does it as a hobby), who happens to have his pilots liscence. Last night he called Ben to see if he wanted to fly to South Carolina and have breakfast..so they did. They left from our little Athens airport at 8:45 with all of us waving them off like it was a party! He got home at 1:30..HOW COOL IS THAT??! We both agree..next stop is Tallassee Alabama..no more 6 hour trips with two babies! Stay tuned to his blog for pics!

3.  During our Thanksgiving vacation Ben's dad called asking if we were interested in a Yukon that his cousin was selling..he said he was going to offer him a GREAT price..if he took it we could turn around and buy it or he would sell it and make a profit..he does this stuff a lot..He brought it back after the holiday and we checked it out from A-Z. 
Let me BACK UP and say that Ben and i have been praying for a while about the fact that one more child would put us over the edge in the vehicle world..its already tight with 2 carseats, 2 diaper bags, 2 suitcases, not to mention a stroller or a couple of Christmas presents..or imagine a trip to the beach!
So when we thought through all of this we felt like it was God supplying a need for us..and we bought it..well we are in the process of making payments. 
Its a 2001, its white..leather seating..seats 8 comfortably..its funny the specific things that i prayed for about a new vehicle were: newer than 2000, leather seats, able to fit 3 or more carseats (twins run in the family..both sides..)

NOW may i take a second to say that i know that there is NO WAY that ANY of this could happen without a GOOD God who knows us and loves us and works things out just to bless us sometimes. He knows our needs better than we do, he knows our needs before we even ask..I am aware that He is Giver of the good and the bad and that He also knows when or if i need trials in my life too. Those may come tomorrow..and if they do His grace is sufficient..but for now i am just thinking how much he loves us..and of his undeserving riches he has blessed us with.WHY after all the ingratitude and selfishness that i can have in my heart??!!
Also i want to send out this disclaimer to all you anxious mommies..NO ONE can explain how we have lived for 7 years under the blessings we have financially. Sure last year was by far the most strenuous, but God is taught us so much through it..and is still teaching us..From the days of pre-marriage counseling we discussed how we both desired that i stay home with children when they came at least until they started school. In fact we saved each penny of my paychecks all 5 years i taught so that we never got dependant on a 2nd salary..to teach us to live with the future in mind..
When Knox came, because of bad insurance that nest egg was wiped out...between that & Ben starting 2 new businesses. 
BUT God has faithfully supplied for us through various means. We have tried to handle each financial decision with integrity and debt free. We have never missed a bill. Our outflow on paper is often higher than our income..BUT God is faithful. No math can explain it..The only way any of this is possible is b/c of His riches. 
If you walked in our home you would have no clue our annual salary..You would most likely be sorely mistaken! 
All we know is that somehow, someway..we've made it. And we believe that someway is God's faithful provision!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cleaning Supplies

I am responding to my dear friend Elizabeth Mahan's blog..she is in the running for this declutter-bug contest and lives in Mobile Al. She and I got to be friends my last year at the University of Mobile (where she worked until having her new baby-Carson). We had a ton of mutual friends and she is such a bubbly-bright spot to all who know her!!! 
On her blog she has been chronicling her days on the cleaning schedule and had a few questions. I wanted to respond here just in case it might benefit any of you! Read her blog here and then the response below:
floors:hardwood-Murphy's oil/bathrooms-Mr. Clean lemon antibacterial dishes:Cascade-dishwasher/ handwash-dawn walls-hmmm...diluted colored-Mr. Clean/white-Clorox spray tubs/sinks: Scrubbing Bubbles or Soft scrub spray toilets-Mr. Clean same as above I LOVE clorox wipes they are my serve all in a crunch Clothes-tide and OXY clean for stains (that stuff does miracles) dusting-pledge so there it is..not to mention paper towels and windex. i use a scrub brush with a handle to do dishes that have dried food. i don't like brilo pads or SOS pads, but srub buds work wonders on baked stains for pots or pans.. And i can't clean without a couple of old toothbrushes..and old mismatched socks to dust with!!!!!!!
HAPPY CLEANING EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

EXTENSION & added $

I want to commend all the contestants!! You guys have shown great enthusiasm..
Also to know how many are actually competing...I need everyones' before pictures.. I have only recieved 2 contestants pics..
I am sure you took them, but you have been SOOSO busy cleaning and caring for your family..not to mention that its Thanksgiving week!
As long as I have all contestant before pics in by Tuesday November 30 you can compete. I will extend the time until December 30 as i did not truly take into consideration the holiday..Also after speaking with Ben, he recommended that we UP the reward to $50 credit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SO how is that for some major motivation???!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1 Peter 3:4

I want to briefly share what God has been working on in me for a while now in hopes that it will also encourage you.
4"...but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.5For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening."

That bolded phrase has been ETCHED into my mind..
I used to not think of "frightening" as what i do now..i thought it meant more..i don't know...scary?..but i am learning that it looks like this:
I am afraid that when Ben's best friend & his wife & 3 kids show up at dinnertime to spend the night as they travel down to family for the holidays that my kids won't sleep..that i won't sleep..that getting them to bed will be a nightmare...
I am afraid that when its time to put Brennan to bed he is going to pitch a fit..about EVERYTHING..
I am afraid that if I don't let Knox cry it out at 6 am he will think that is an acceptable wake up time..
I am afraid to let him cry it out for fear he will wake Brennan & he will be a grouch because of it..
Do you see what i mean?? FEAR doesn't have to be about drowning & such..i can display fear in the everyday tasks of motherhood.
So I have this convo with myself (say for scenario #1..) Do you know Ben loves the _______'s? Yes.
Do you know that it serves him to be around ______? Do you know that he will be encouraged by you serving this family when he knows it inconviences you? Does the bible say to be considerate and hospitable..to open your home and care for others? WHOM are you most concerned about in this situation..yourself?? Hmmm. Okay. Do you trust GOD? That he knows your life & schedule and that unexpected guest 2 days before my whole family comes up for Thanksgiving is GOOD for me? That He uses experiences like this to refine me & reveal selfishness..To teach me that He is worthy of trust and better than whatever it is i think i would be missing...
DO WHAT IS GOOD.
DO NOT FEAR ANYTHING THAT IS FRIGHTENING...

Happy Thanksgiving

Most of us will not have time to be reading blogs after today. I just want to say way to go ladies!! You guys have readily accepted the challenge! I want to share one breif thought with you. once i heard a pastor talk about how Christ wants FULL ACCESS into our lives. He used the allegory of our heart being a house/home. He said Jesus wants to go in THAT room. That room you don't let other people in, that room you place your 'secret projects' in..He wants you to show Him all of it..or else how will He clean it??
That analogy has always bee with me. That pastor said, if you have a room in your house that you don't let people see, i dare to say that it is the same in your heart. That further convicted me and is one of if not the primary reason that I have worked hard since the beginning of our marriage to have a home free of hidden rooms or messes.. plus I know it REALLY serves my husband-the neat-o machine that he can be...:)
This is not meant to be a sermon, i just wanted you share it with you as food for thought. Happy homes sweet friends of mine!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So...how'd it go?

I hope to encourage all of you in this post as well as answer some questions.
1. YES..my boys follow and participate in each of my cleaning activities.
Mopping Monday:sweeping-they love it--actually fight over who gets the "tiny" sweeper. I use a dustpan with a small broom attached to sweep up piles. And really love my dust vac! Brennan is old enough to help with the mopping, but i do have to do the 'wet' part while Knox is asleep or he will fall..Brennan comes 'behind' me and dries the floor. We just put an old rag on a swiffer and he dries the floors..(very inefficently might i add-mainly just where he walks..)
Tidy Tuesday-somedays it feels useless-REALLY! As soon as i get all things picked up it seems there are more out-but i just wait- if its a toy..we do that part after super (with the timer-see previous post). Brennan has recently become helpful in this area.
Washing Wednesday-they push or pull their own baskets to the laundry room-thinking it great fun & Brennan brags about how strong he is. While i fold, Knox puts away the washcloths bc they are in the bottom drawer in the bathroom. Brennan puts away his underwear & socks. I put away the rest or it is no longer folded..
Thorough Thursday-we all don the rubber gloves..they are both so young that they put their hands in their mouths without thinking..so if i have cleanser out that is what they play with..the rubber gloves..and old toothbrushes..to "scrub" with.
Frugal Friday-i let brennan go through the papers and use his starter scissors to "cut" while i am cutting coupons..they love grocery store day..Brennan always asks me when we get in the car "Do you have your list?" if you know me well-that is truly a helpful question..and a very responsible 2 yr old..







Sunday, November 21, 2010

De-clutter-bug Contest


Okay. I have seen a lot of bloggers have contests on their blogs..this is my first..I have a cleaning schedule. My husband laughs at my alliterations and tells me that is why is was a great 2nd grade teacher..

I have talked with several friends lately who have asked how I keep my house "so clean". The answer is BY GOD'S GRACE each day, and a cleaning schedule has really helped. Sooooo I know it can be overwhelming to think about getting started and wanted to offer some motivation..

Here is the schedule:
MOPPING MONDAY
TIDY TUESDAY
WASHING WEDNESDAY
THOROUGH THURSDAY
FRUGAL FRIDAY
SOMETIMES SATURDAY
SATISFIED SUNDAY

Mopping Monday-sweep and mop all floors.
(we have hardwood-this would include vacuuming if you have carpet)
Tidy Tuesday-take a clothes basket (or 2) and go through the house picking up any item that does not belong in the room it is currently in and place it where it goes.
Washing Wednesday-wash all clothes. (whites, colors, kids) dry. fold. put away.
Thorough Thursday-clean bathrooms-showers, toilets, sink..dust (& vacuum furniture if you have indoor pets)
Frugal Friday-make menu for the week, clip or print coupons, make grocery list, grocery shop
Sometimes Saturday-there may be something during the week that you didn't get done or completed-do it today.
Satisfied Sunday-find your satisfaction in God and rest from your busy life. Don't do house work today
**everyday tasks include-loading unloading dishwasher,
And for those of us who have toddlers that eat in a highchair:
sweeping floors, & timer-time [quick set your oven timer for 5 minutes and the whole family picks up as many toys as possible & puts them away before it goes off-we do it before bathtime each night]

Now before you panic-give yourself grace. This will be new to some of you. You have 4 weeks-4. And if you are wondering how this is possible-i don't have a lot of "down time". I don't watch tv during the day, i usually don't even blog or fb during the day, i dont go shopping, do a lot of outings, BUT i DO work 8 hours a week at Ingleside Elementary and plan lessons for the 2 days i am there. I work 10:30-2:30 and the boys are at Mother's Day out 10-3. We have play dates and park days and library days occasionally too.

Here are the contest rules:
1. Take a picture of your house now. Room by room. (yes even THAT room)
2. Spend 4 FULL weeks on the schedule
3. Take pictures of each room after using the schedule for 4 consecutive weeks
4. Ask your husband (& children if they are old enough) what they think of the new cleaning schedule
5. Send pictures and family's comments to joybaldwinfinch@yahoo.com
Winners will be announced December 22.

AND NOW....for the prize...dantadanta..
a $25 dollar credit for Ben Finch photography!!!! Visit his blog or website and choose from a fine art piece, a family photo shoot package or more..
PLUS..you will have a CLEAN home for the holidays. Whether you travel and come home to a clean home or if you have family coming to you!
GOOD LUCK and may the best house win!!!


SHOUT OUT

Here are 2 new links that might be encouraging to you..its a husband and wife..The husband is doing a series on raising boys "shaping their masculine identity" and the wife is constantly giving words of wisdom like her latest post "contentment in our homes"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are you Weary ?

Shall I take from Your hand Your blessings
Yet not welcome any pain
Shall I thank You for days of sunshine
Yet grumble in days of rain
Shall I love You in times of plenty
Then leave You in days of drought
Shall I trust when I reap a harvest
But when winter winds blow, then doubt

Oh let Your will be done in me
In Your love I will abide
Oh I long for nothing else as long
As You are glorified

Are You good only when I prosper
And true only when I’m filled
Are You King only when I’m carefree
And God only when I’m well
You are good when I’m poor and needy
You are true when I’m parched and dry
You still reign in the deepest valley
You’re still God in the darkest night
"As Long as You Are Glorified" from the Come Weary Saints album.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Love thy neighbor...

It has been a bit of a joke that Ben and I live in a retirement community. We LOVE it though..Meet our neighbors:
1. Next door-Mrs. Judy & Mr. Phil-Judy a retired pediatric nurse (who could ask for more?!) She loves our boys and has a bag full of toys that they know just where to find everytime we pop in for  a visit. She came over at 1 am to stay with Brennan when i thought i was in labor with Knox. She has an apple tree in her front yard that we 'rob' every year to make everything apple-y. Her husband watched Brennan play in their dirt while i got supper started last week when Ben was out of town..these are just a few of the glorious things they have done..
2. Chuck and Kay-now gone to be with Jesus, Mrs. Kay had a basket of matchbox cars that her 10 granchildren had collected over the years that she let our boys play with. She talked like a real Southerner-no R's.....she loved Jesus and talked about Him to most everyone..also a HUGE Tennessee fan! She once told me as i was sporting my Aubrun sweats.."now honay..thats the wrong orange.."
3. Mrs. Norwood..80+, living alone...widowed and could 'talk you blind' as they say. ( and that's coming from me!) She fell last year in the yard and Ben and I took her to the ER. God gave me uncharacteristic-like bravery and i applied pressure to her wound while trying to keep Brennan off of her and Knox was in the sling.. she has made both of our boys knit blankets and the most precious quilt with "now i lay me down to sleep". She has also knit me some cozy house shoes and raves about my taco soup..she fell again the other day and i had to tell her friend who was over how to contact her son..am on a mission to make her dinner at least 3 times a week.
4. Mrs. Jack..not afraid to state her opinion, in fact her first words to me were "now i'm not tryin to tell you what to do, but those nandinas shouldn't be above knee high" to which i replied looking aimlessly at our bushes.."which ones are nandinas?"  We have talked about God. I have shared the gospel. She says its the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for her..not too sure where her heart stands with all of it...she was widowed when her son was 7. He takes care of her now..never married..that boy has patience and love for her that is rare..
5. Mr and Ms. Partane-Mr P is a neat-o-holic a retired car sales man he will be out detailing his car 4-5 days after you saw him detailing his car..his bushes, monkey grass and RV are spotless and always in place..his son that is Ben's age passed away this morning..diagnosed with cancer only 3-4 months ago..been in ICU..came home Saturday and i talked to him..said he thought he was going to die..i wanted to ask if he was ready for that and share Jesus, but teh ambulance men were there and he hadn't even got off the stretcher..i thought i would wait till today...hmm
6. Blake and Carry-engaged couple..not living together..she just is over a lot  helping him make decor decisions. I got to see a sneakpeak of her wedding gown choices the other day..they've had us over to watch a movie after the kids were asleep-a mini-date night..(don't worry Mrs. Judy was over to listen out for the babies..)
Then there are 2 vacant houses across from each other..i could give you the run down of the whole circle..but i don't really KNOW them..just the cars they drive and who frequently visits..maybe their music preferences bc they drive with the windows down when its pleasant out..HA! Yes the joys of being a stay at home mom...we know all our neighbors..and they know us..probably a little too well..:):)
BTW the school that i am at for 8 hours a week is so close that i don't loose internet signal between my house and the school..pretty cool huh???!
So welcome to Guile Street friends...now you know more about my little world..

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mommyhood

Its. tough.
I want you all to know that being a mom is the hardest thing i have ever done. I want you to know that i love love love what i do and would never change anything for a second, no matter how i complain. yes, 15 months apart is hard, but it has come for my better-ment. There is a period of about 12 months of their little lives that i didn't do much of anything but be mommy all day everyday. Conversations -impossible. Finished sentence-what's that? Flat out giggling, a feeling of actual restfulness, knowing i ate a meal, exercise, adult time...things that where but a blur of a memory and hope for the future.
But i have learned so much about my God, myself, my family. Ben and I have applied the 'cleave' part of Genesis. We have learned to depend on God & each other. The lessons of life that i can't even put into words from this time are priceless-a gift if you will.
I watch others sometimes and even wish this on them secretly for the joy that comes from the trial, but boy...!
So i have gotten the question a lot seemingly of late, "So are you guys done?" The answer is no.
We knew we wanted to have more than two from the beginning, but there have been times (& they are many!) where we thought..hmm..maybe two kids is plenty!! If our 'pocketbook' had a vote I'm pretty sure what it would be, if my inlaws (or my own fam??) had a vote, theirs would probably be the same. BUT as Ben and I have discussed it ALLLLLL the reasons not to have more children are selfish:
1. more time for ourselves
2. more money
3. more vacations
4. more opportunities (people stop inviting you to do things once you hit +4!)
5. more food :) this is for anyone who has seen our boys scarf down pounds of food!

Seriously. MORE. did you catch that? More of this world. But what of the next? Do i want more of Jesus, more heaven? Is my mind truly of things above? Do i want more of all the good that i have seen from God's hand through this hard time?

From the world's measurements more children is not logical. But what of faith and logic? Never a good pair i presume.
SOOOooo, I have FAITH that God is going to
1. provide time needed to maintain relationships
2. provide financially more than i could ask or imagine
3. provide rest
4. provide opportunities others wouldnt' have w/ less kiddos
5. provide enough food

I rest on His Word:
He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever and imprint it on His mind. Psalm 111: 5

Saturday, November 6, 2010

dont want you to be my joy

'This is a semi-new saying Brennan has begun to say pretty regularly. He will say "don't want you to be my joy..want you to be my mommy." I'm not sure the origin of his thought..if he has heard people call be by the name "Joy" and he is referring to my name..But, being the overanalytical, psycological thinker that i am..i have taken it as a lesson to my soul.
I AM NOT TO BE HIS JOY. GOD IS.
I think as a mom, especially fulltime stay at home momos..we have a temptation to be the one our children look to to bring them joy, love, all the things that only God can really give. I have been convicted many times of my control issues with our children, especially Brennan. I believe one of the main reasons God gave us Knox so quickly was to break me of many sinful tendencies as a mom. I realized how much I like to be in charge and make sure that "my will is done on earth as God's will is in heave" hahaha (stole that from the speaker this weekend..) God began revealing that sin in my heart not long before Knox was born and i am learning to trust God not myself with our children. For if i trust GOD always does what is for my good then who better to trust?!
I recently began to really think about how our childrens' lives are (and will be) different from those around them. I remember how odd my family seemed growing up not allowed to watch very much tv, homeschooled for a couple of years, no 2 piece swimsuits. We didn' t have curfew because my parents knew where we were EVERY MOMENT of everyday and most of the time that included them. When i had a sleepover, my friends were part of family devotionals at night..There are things about that that are hard & hard to understand as a teen or tweener.
Discipline, family dyanmics/relationships (mom-dad, dad-son, brother-brother etc.) finances, possessions, oportunities..all of this will look different from the world for our children. What are we to say? I read this in Deuteronomy 6 and it REALLY encouraged me. Maybe it will do the same for you:
... It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you15for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—
..."When your son asks you in time to come, 'What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the LORD our God has commanded you?' 21then you shall say to your son, 'We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand...And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God,for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day."

Which goes right along with our children's first memory verse, Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3"that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land."

I am to teach my son to find his joy in God, in obeying God..I am to teach him to enjoy GOD and all His wonderfulness! Children naturally are drawn to God's creation, just take a walk with any 2 year old. They see things you don't..! Am i marveling with them in this or just brushin off their excitement abou God's creation which reflects HIM?!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

bedtime

Speaking of..its that time for me and if i am even still very long i will fall asleep-on any given day at any given moment of quietness and stillness which is rare!
However, this post is not about my bedtime but yours or rather your children's.. For all you momos out there:
1. what time do your kids go to bed?
2. do they take a nap (or more than one)?
3. at what point did they stop taking naps completely?
4. did they/do they fight you at nap or bedtime?
5. what do you do about it (spank etc)?
6. how did you know it was time to stop naps?
7. if they miss a nap are they irritable?
8. are they semi- mostly pleasant before nap?
9. is it worth the fight for nap if they go to bed earlier (i.e. more time for you to rest or spend w. hubs)
10. what is  your bedtime routine?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

the highlight of my year so far

May I preface this with saying there is no amount of time or words to say what Ish and Amber mean to us (and will continue to as time goes by). Ish is Ben's college roomate, bff, work partner and some thought more..haha..Amber lived across the hall from me my freshman year of college. Ben graduated my freshman year and left me (his main girl) and Ish (his main boy) behind..8 LOOOONNNG hours away. We mourned together. Seriously. That is what it was like, we would sit around talking about him and how great he was...(and is). About a year ago i got a message from Amber asking what i knew about a guy named Ismael Pruitt that had requested to be here fb friend. She saw that he was friends with Ben and I and wanted to know more. Meanwhile Ish calls me and Ben wanting to know more about Amber and just how he missed her in college..the rest is history. Their wedding was a blast from the past as our UM worlds collided. It was such a gift to be around some people we love so much that we know love us!

Our friend Heather McElligot looking beautiful..miss you Mills! Come see us again soon!
And Brennan & Layla hit it off well as you can see..How couldn't they? Christina and I always have more than a little in common!! We stayed up til 1 am the first night of the wedding festivities livin like the old days..it was a true gift from GOD..that girl brings me massive happiness!!



The Bedsole Girls...(girls who lived in Bedsole dorm at University of Mobile)..Includeing my freshman roomy Judith...how great it was to see you and give you hugs! and meet Heidi!!
The Pruitt/Finch families!! Can you tell our kids were past tired?

My ever so handsome husband sporting a bowtie for the first time in his life...he will do anything for as best man for his ISH...aka his "first wife". I am so thankful that rooming with Ish helped prepare him for life with me..the affection, the neediness--haha, the minimalist-ness..
Thank you dear friends for letting us be such a sweet part of this weekend..It blessed us so so much and has been my most favorite, wonderful part of the year!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

tribute part 2

So today i am going to be telling you about some the most talented man i know. 
His name is Ben, he is my husband. 
He started playing soccer at 3. He was a athletic legend by 16 and was known as Boomer at Mcminn County High School were he was punter and set field goal records. He turned down the road to fame in college though he was offered numerous SEC scholarships..and went to University of Mobile on a soccer scholarship where he could be in the game longer.. (I claim that God did that so that we could meet.. :)
In college he was known by all as the most geniune, compassionate, on-fire-for-God guy they knew. He was leading worship at several on campus praise meetings, and although he was gifted then, God has grown him into an amazing, Spirit-led worship leader. He takes any believer in ear shot of his voice into the presence of God when he leads. He prepares the hearts of listeners..i would rather hear him lead worship than anyone else...even all those famous guys that i don' t know their names..BUT what is even crazier is that when he opens God's Word and speaks a prepared lesson, he is such  a great teacher too! He thinks differently than the average pastor..he is not cliche, he almost doesn't know normal (or maybe i know normal too well...i was at the Souther Baptist Convention EVERY year birth to 18!!!!) At first i didn't think that was a good thing about him, but now i see it has been refreshing to hear someone who is non-religious and 100% geniune. 
And i haven't even touched on his eye for the aesthetics..it is bewildering to me. When we first married i didn't think he should have an opinon about where to hang a picture-that was my job-but i began to see that he sees things differently- he is REALLY good at recognizing what looks well or balanced. When we are out together sometimes i am amazed at what he sees or will choose to take a picture of. He bring it home and it will be art..worthy to be sold in a museum..
And how he captures brides & weddings..i tell him all the time i wish he could have done our wedding photos...but i am glad and would rather that he be my groom!
So the ever talented-started-his-own-business Ben never ceases to amaze me at what he can do...i want to say that line from Sound of Music to him all the time but he doesn't know the movie..."my dear is there anything you can't do?!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tribute to my husband part 1

I am making this a 2 day event...there is that much to say!
Sooo, i was thinking of how many women i knew who complained about their husbands, and how out of the average couple, its usually the guy complimenting the girl...how she is such a good cook, or how good looking she is etc..but RARELY rarely, do a hear a lady brag about her man..
I have a theory of why..most women believe they work twice as hard as their husbands, that they are not appreciated, that "its about time he HELPED me".. I tend to struggle with those things too, BUT i want to take this time to do what i do not do often enough...
My husband is grand. If you have ever been a stay at home mom, you know the feeling of being 'trapped by these four walls', you know what its like to go to church on Sunday and that be the first time you have left your house for months, other than to go to the grocery store...
One of the first things that drew my attention and my heart to Ben was (& still is) his humility! Two years ago he stepped down from a predictable salary position at a church because he needed to get his heart mended with the Father's. He started his own business and although he had a fabulous office space downtown in a great location, he brought his work home to save us $500 a month because we had a 'surprise' baby Knox. He has spent the last two years building his businesses and is more familiar with my stay at home mom world than any dad i know. He knows more about nap scheduling than the NASDAQ and is happier to read God's word than the Harvard Business review or the New York Times. He is the GREATEST helper to me, although that is my biblical calling. I feel it a constant challenge to keep up with helping him near the same amount he helps me. A lot of days he comes in for lunch and watches Knox while i put Brennan down. He often helps straighten the house after the kiddos are in bed, or read a book or color a picture with them. He helps get them in their chairs for dinner and plays with them while i clean up the mess afterward. Almost every night without fail he bathes them both.
Any of this is done ontop of a full day of scheduling photo shoots, editing photos, making appointments, designing or editing websites, & all that comes with owning and operating your own business. His background is not the usual work environment of ringing phones, air conditioners humming, assistants chattering..NOPE its babies crying or the washing machine acting up..maybe some screaming or the smoke detector.. He doesn't get encouragement or promotions anywhere other than heaven, and boy are they deserved. He is absolutely laying up his treasures in heaven. He is patient and kind with me after a long day with the boys, he listens to me with concern, and prays for me.
He is amazingly talented and gifted in A MILLION different ways..more about that tomorrow. If you know my man and you are reading this..you are probably nodding your head. And if you have a hubs out there that you forgot why you love him, take a sec and jot it down for him...he needs to hear it. Trust me..because most likely he feels like he works hard at a job that you know nothing about, that he is not appreciated and that he would enjoy some help from you in the areas he needs it most...so ask him what that is..
I say all of this to tell you that i am not a good encourager. I am working on that. And to say that the reason i have found that i do not encourage him more is because my thoughts are spent on myself and how someone needs to encourage me..

Monday, September 27, 2010

LATE beach pictures...


Any of you who have little children and have driven over 3 hours to the beach with screaming kids and lugged all the junk out to the ocean and gone in and out 100 times for 2 opposing nap schedules know that a trip to the beach is no 'trip to the beach'. You come home wanting for a vacation!
Knox staying hydrated
Brennan digging..that is what he did the whole time he was there...
One quick attempt at a family photo..there was a fog on the lens..for some reason, probably sunscreen or water, or slobber...

Here is supper with 6 boys..we had spaghetti. Smart women keep it simple..
Here are the 5 ABSOLUTE messes, Brennan not included, due to his current act of being a mess...ha..
Here are the 4 cousins digging in the sand..yes and Knox eating it...he ate so much it actually came out in his diapers...
more fun..


The last day we were there we had a build-a-bear activity at the resort. Here are the boys hugging theirs..

There were bunk beds in the hall, here are the cousins wrestling on the, they made a tent..
..and had a pillow fight, supervised of course..


Monday, September 20, 2010

the latest

Okay, if you know me well you have probably discerned that this has been a difficult year. And it is in the fire that the dross is burned away-boy do i have some dross! Ha..
So as for our little family we have been on the rocks..this whole year. It has been wonderful at times & if i were to know Paul's floggings & shipwrecks i would probably say it has been close to easy a lot of the times. But i don't know Paul's floggings & shipwrecks, all i know is two children under 2 years old are VERY dependant on a mother. I work to teach them how to do things on their own, don't get me wrong, but there are just a lot of things a 1 &2 yr old can't do alone, so that keeps me more than on my toes..plus, if you have kept up with it..the stuff with Brennan was awful. Ben, at one point, said that it is like having a child with special needs (which strangely enough-we both thought God had prepared us for but were rudely awakened by our inadequacy in this area).
The latest is we are on the Feingold diet. And if i were 'on it' i would link to a site where you could find out more, but...im not & haven't been for a while..LOng story shorter, last dr visit we talked through a lot of things with a new doctor. This doctor is a member of a former church and has 2 children with the same food intolerance. Brennan is going 6 weeks on stage one of the diet which means no salicilytes, no artificial flavoring or coloring, no food dye (of course), and no preservatives BHT TBHQ and BHA. We have been watching closely and the dr said we would begin to see change immediately which we have..its like that old nursery rhyme. "when he is good he is very very good, but when he is bad-he is horrid"
If you read more about the diet you will see a lot of doctors put children who have been diagnosed ADHD on this diet-red dye and ADHD have been linked forever..but we were fortunate to have had not just behavioral side effects, but physical ones, or else we would have never found it..we would have just ""beat him half to death"" due to disciplines trying to overcome a physiological disorder..no doubt he has received more than a fair share of spankings.
I am not going to go through the 3 hour convo we had over all that our fam has expereinced-two babies so close, Ben's job change, struggle with call to ministry, no sense of biblical community b/c of church home being 45 minutes away, no real feeling of belonging anywhere, my own illness, Ben's moving his office home..even as i list it -it seems small-no one has died, no one has anything life threatening..
Its just been hard, but who hasn't had hard times? Through about 3 months of talking about it, we have decided that it my not make any sense to anyone, and there are many unanswered questions, but we feel that our time in Athens is up. We are looking to put our house on the market. Yes we are aware that now is not a good time to sell. We are aware that we most likely won't be able to have a house this nice again (at least not for a long time).
God knew almost 2 years ago when we began going to CCK that they would be offering this class for men who struggle with call to ministry-we didn't. God knew that the church would be planting churches and need men who felt that call to be trained. I am not saying Ben is going to finish this class and go back to ministry full time-it may give him confirmation in the opposite way, we don't know where we could be in a year. So although the thought is to move to k'ville, we are wondering if it would be wise to buy a home if its possible we are in it such a short time..but then again it could be longer...
So PLEASE pray for us. Our thoughts are -if God's plan is for us to move-our home will sell and He will provide a place for us to live. Things may not be ideal, we may even have to live in apartments or with others, but we are content knowing that there are somethings more important than comfort. Our family needs biblical community and encouragement. We need support. We believe God is moving us away from Athens.
Until this post, this is not public knowledge. We just spoke with family about it today. So please don't just chatter on to others about this. I am still working, Ben is still working, we have absolutely NO IDEA what kind of time frame God will have all of this on. It could be another year before we actually sell or phyisically move our belongings..Only our BIG GOD knows..

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I sat today digging through PILES of data for 1st and 2nd graders. I saw it over and over LOW in spelling, environmental awareness...i herd it from the special ed teachers as i talked with them...we need PARENTS who care....
Oh moms..most of you precious ones reading this are FABULOUS. Your little 3 and younger ones know more than a lot of kindergarteners. The call to be a good mom is only screaming at me as i work at this.
I have heard my mom preach more about motherhood than any other subject. I listen and watch her invest in young moms in her hometown. I saw her invest in a group of college girls who are now AMAZING mothers!! She not only trained my sis and i in the area of mother hood and wifehood, but countless others that she comes in contact with. She is truly a Priscilla, a Lois and Eunice...and i am so thankful. May i continue that legacy Mama..
And to you dear moms..i challenge you to talk about why you are such an intentional parent, to encourage your friends in this and to invest in someone younger than you who is not in this stage yet...to desire to be a godly wife who serves and loves her husband and a godly mother who sacrificially serves and loves her babies.
I am forever haunted by my friends statement to her own mother-mom-i never wanted 'all those nice things'-i wanted YOU...what are we giving our kids?
i will rend to lean on the side of life being about my kids too much instead of the more culturally common life being about me..But it is neither...its is about Christ and everything in my life should reflect that..

Saturday, August 28, 2010

our little family

Oh if only i had the energy and heart to tell you all that has been running through my mind!~ and OH aren't you glad i don't! 
As far back as i can remember i wanted to be a wife and mommy. I played this role from birth, first with baby dolls, then with barbies, then over and over in my head as i thought of any potential guy who might be the one-starting that in junior high. In high school i dated not. Most people thought it was because of my "very strict" parents...and to a degree..maybe it was...but God had set my heart apart even then-not to settle. My mom and i spent nights in my teenage years praying on our knees for my husband to be..i waited-i dated not. In college God began to turn my heart towards Him for that satisfaction, that longing fulfilled-showing me HE can be husband to that heart of mine. 
He gave me countless amazing women to be a part of their every day days. Watching them fold laundry, cook and counsel their little ones. Whether it was babysitting, vacationing with a family, or a short term nanny position, God was grooming me for THIS.
Even my degree...elementary childhood-i took human growth and development, childhood psychology, storytelling & puppetry...Really?! I spent 5 years in the classroom. I learned about public education at its worst and best. 
My mom was classic stay at home mom. Consistently investing, instilling wisdom, work ethic, respect. How many nights was she sure i would flee the flock?! Oh how i rebelled. How my heart spurned the things of God my family was all about at times. But truth be said, at the end of everyday i have always been thankful for the weirdos we were. I knew that my family was special.awesome.different. and somehow i knew that it made me that way too. 
This decision about taking a part time job has been hard. The latest with it is i told her i could not do this everyday. She is looking into me doing 2 days a week for 4 hours each day. The boys would be going to mothers day out those days if that is how it works out. That means me beign at home with them ALL DAY EVERY DAY 5 days week...allowing them (and me) a small break and time to remember there is a world out there beyond our own.  They both enjoy it at Trinity Tots. Its such a sweet environment. I pretty much know all the kids mamas in both their classes-either directly or indirectly. Their teachers are sweet as pie. Their cousins go there-so there is always that familiar face. They have a set schedule and curriculem. They have art, music, outside play snack and nap. They both sleep well there. It really seems to be a ministry to mothers and their children. It seems to be done right. I feel okay about them being there. It allows Ben to have 2 days where he can work free from a noisy background and where he can set up appointments with clients and i don't have to guard the doorbell at naptime...
So, you only though this was going to be short...Hmm. THIS life i am living is exactly what i have always dreamed of. I get to wake up and care for my husband and precious ones everyday. I may not "feel" this all the time, but i know that God's will is for my sanctification and it is happening and will continue as i trust God through each day. No matter what those days look like.
He is worthy of trust and is giving me the faith and contentment i need daily. I feel that this part time opportunity may be a way of teaching me to let go of control of my babies, a way to remind me of the lost world, a way to encourage and minister to other women in my community, a way to not build my children up as idols in my heart, to give me focus for the season i am in...and much more..but no matter..He is in control and He is guiding me..

Monday, August 23, 2010

A good read...

Ladies, if you have $10 BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if you have $20 Buy this one
Manly Dominion: In a Passive-Purple-Four-Ball World


Here is a quote from Womanly that i read today, beginning by quoting JOB 39:

"The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but they cannot compare with the pinions and feathers of the stork.

She lays her eggs on the ground and lets them warm in the sand,unmindful that a foot may crush them, that some wild animal may trample them.

She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,

for God did not endow her with wisdom, or give her a share of good sense. (v. 12-17)

"An ostrich says why should i be bothered with my young, i have more important things to do with my life". But notice a robin-watch her-she sits patiently on her nest until her young hatch and then after they hatch-if you dare get close to her nest, she will fly overhead, shrieking and flapping-her job is to protect and nurture her young. Tragically many modern mothers resemble not the robin, but the ostrich. They birth their children and instead of personally and tenderly nurturing their young treasures, they dump them off in places where they are vunerable to being trampled on by strangers...because they have more important things to do"...page 104


Just for fun i looked up "stork" on wikipedia being that it was refered to in this passage in job as a contrast to the ostrich and found this interesting note:
"Their nests are often very large and may be used for many years.Storks were once thought to be monogamous;they tend to be attached to nests as much as partners."...HA!!!!Seems the writer of JOB knew a good bit about the contrast of these 2 birdies!!!!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

the latest...

So after entereing the wonderful little elementary school on MOnday to get a tour of the teachers i would be working iwth i was exposed to and caught the stomach virus...i was up sick the entire night before my suposed first day of work. I went in on Thursday and poured out my heart to the principal, here is the jist of what i said:

As I laid in the bed today for hours, sick as could be; I walked through many stories in the Bible. I started with Noah. Everyone thought he was crazy, there had never even been rain come from the sky before and he is building a boat because God told him it was going to rain. In faith, he acted on what he believed and the rain certainly did come, his faith had saved him. Then there is Abraham-100 years old and he was going to have a son? But “...he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness..” (Galatians 3:6) He acted on what he believed and his faith proved worthy as Sarah did in fact bear a son at 90. God did what He promised. Then there is Moses-the Egyptians behind him the Red Sea in front. God said step into the sea-he acted on what he believed God wanted him to do, even though he didn’t know how God was going to do it. Mary, mother of Jesus, though what God said was to happen had never been done before she believed God. Even though it made no sense.


So it makes no sense for me not to take this opportunity offered to me. It is ‘right down my alley’. I love teaching reading, I have been admonished in that skill, it is a passion of mine. It’s great hours, right down the street. It seems perfect.

But there are other people who have been gifted in that same way, able to carefully instruct students reading, to increase phonemic awareness and other vital skills. But there is no one else that can be there for Brennan an Knox everyday, instructing not only early reading skills, but also their character. That is something lacking in the world. I have an irreplaceable role as their mother. No one else will know their hearts and be able to prepare them to face the world and change it like I can. I am not trying to boast, because it is hard to be here day in and out-sweat pants and Sesame Street as you said..but it is a huge part of their future.

It is just 15 hours a week. I have told myself over and over, it sounds crazy, even to me. What is the big deal? I keep asking myself. But I am sure so did every person mentioned above. I have been excited about this job, as has everyone in our family, but ultimately as this day closes everyone has supported a choice to decline. I have no idea how God is going to provide for our family in the way this job would, but I believe that It is the right thing to stay home those 15 hours a week..even though it makes no sense.


I was so encouraged by her response. She totally understood and even said that she was somewhat surprised that i took the position. Having goen back to work when hers were 2 & 3 she understood how i was feeling. She said to try it for 2 weeks and then make my decision.

Last night (Sunday) Brennan was up all night throwing up..we are just waiting for Knox tonight... i will not be going in tomorrow and if all goes well (no one else gets sick) i will go back on Tuesday and serve the 2 weeks "notice". Finishing my last day on September 1st. I may continue to go down & assist some of the teachers when i am available. They have all been so thankful and appreciative of help from someone who understands.
This quote seems so fitting for my day..my life right now:
“God never place us in any position in which we can not grow. We may fancy that He does. We may fear we are so impeded by fretting, petty cares that we are gaining nothing; but when we are not sending any branches upward, we may be sending roots downward. Perhaps in the time of our humiliation, when everything seems a failure, we are making the best kind of progress.”
~Elizabeth Prentiss

Monday, August 16, 2010

the verdict

I don't have the emotional energy to re-hash all that has gone through my heart in the last 3 days. But i will say this-Ben has been great. He has prayed for me, encouraged me, and ultimaltely asked for God's guidance. As we read together last night he reminded me of the verse in 1 Thes 

4:3 "For this is the will of God-your sanctification"

When asking what God desires it is that simple and that complex...so i will no doubt be tried through and through with this and most likely so will he. We concluded that this will be a good time of bonding and time for him to invest in our boys. Time they need in their lives. He will be working the same hours just at different times. From 7-10am and 1-5 or 6pm. Still 7-8 hours. Plus many times after the boys are in bed at night while i am doing dishes he will piddle a little til i am done, so he is okay with work stuff.
I went today and met all the teachers. I knew all but 2 of them from different stuff like curriculum adoption teams etc.. They all (but 1) seemed thrilled that i would be working with their students. It took me 1 minute driving...ha! I will most likely be walking from now on..I start on Wednesday and will be there 10am til 1pm. I will be home to put both boys down for naps (if Brennan can hang on that long). I have set up a scheldule of activities for Ben to do with the boys if needed (like library, art, park,  etc..)
And THANK YOU dear friends for all your advice and prayers!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

we're back...AND

We are back home! 8 whole days away from home and our dear babies!!! It was great! Our boys had a blast! Knox IS walking everywhere now..at least i didn't miss his first steps! He did not know what to do when he saw me last night..We got in at 7:30ish. Brennan ran to the door saying mommy with a grin the size of Texas on his face. Knox had a flood of emotions cross his face, smile, laugh, cry hold out his arms, refuse, reach for his Nana..it was a little much for him, and right at bedtime. But he has called me Mama and Ben Daddy all day and had a wonderful time. Brennan got a bit confused last night with both of us and called us Nana and Papa, but what do you expect?
On Friday before we left Athens, i got a call from my former partner teacher Teresa who is now principal at Ingleside Elementary. She called right as my parents drove off with the boys, right as i was about to fall apart. She claimed to have a dream job offer for me. 3 hours a week, reading interventionist. Ingleside is 3-4 minutes WALKING distance from my house, I know a lot of the teachers there, i am not responsible for lesson plans, or a classroom. I will be working with low students in grades 2-3 in a small group, reteaching setting. It is doing what i LOVE doing in the schools.
Now for how my heart is handling all this: at first i was excited, seemed to good to be true. I had to tell her by Monday if i wanted to accept the job or not.  Ben was very encouraging towards me taking it. I called my parents and told them & asked them to pray about it. My dad said it seemed to be the 'best of both worlds'. Our dear friends Lillian and Ryan (whom you will hear much more of as the stories from this past week unfold), said that it seemed a way of God providing. I never got excited about it. I thought it good, don't get me wrong, but you know me and you know what me 'excited' looks like. Last night i fell apart on Ben asking for his guidance and assurance about this offer. I'm reading 'Womanly Dominion' right now and i am Tennessee's biggest advocate for stay at home motherhood. (My mom has Bama covered). I have no  desire to leave the full time home front. I love what i do. Is it hard? HECK YES!!!! But i wouldn't trade it for the world. I will wipe noses, bottoms, do laundry and cook till the day i die with joy and love and peace, mind the Lord doesn't stop giving me those things. I have only ever wanted to be here, doing this.
So...why leave? How many women in America have a total love for the home, undesirous of another occupation? Isn't that a gift from God? What would i be saying to Him or anyone else by taking this position? But does God not know our position right now-Ben's job allowing him to be with the boys the 3 hours i would be gone? Is this not an opportunity for their father to bond and invest in them? Isn't it just like a LONG lunch break for him?
All council has been for it. I have wrestled a bit with my 'duty'. I would still be primarily home. It is just 1/4 of my day...Still for some reason this is not an easy call..your thoughts?

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Little Messy

Having our sweet boys so close has been a challenge, it has been fun, it has been an adventure! Someone asked me the other day how i get anything done and the following pictures are an answer to that question (and don't worry this was a rare day when Knox took a late late nap).

Here is the result of Brennan's "cooking" the other day. He wanted to make soup like i was...
I read in a cookbook that your spices are to be thrown out and updated once a year..Well folks, i got a spice rack as a wedding gift and we are going on 7 years..Besides what recipe do you use regularly that calls for fennel and corriander? So here it is folks. Fennel and corriander soup de jour, compliments of Chef Brennan..

Its about right here that i realized he had gone to the potty and never asked for help getting his underwear back on..hmm...the half-naked chef.Sounds like a debut of a new show for TLC or the cooking network!

This was on a Saturday..Ben took the boys for a ride around our circle while i was cooking..check out the cheese on Knox face!!!!
Here is what they were doing while i was cleangin the breakfast dishes yesterday.
And the latest...tonight while i was cooking super and Brennan was 'helping' me, Knox was in the playroom playing with blocks, i went to stir the corn and came back to find this:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

6 Days & counting

Ben has a wedding that he was asked to do (photography) in the Florida Keys. The couple got the delux package, which come with a 2nd photographer. Being that i haven't undergone any major photography training, Ben has been using a good friend of ours , Lillian Prince, whom we met at church, to do photography with him. My two little men keep me so busy that i haven't been able to stop and become a "2nd shooter" for my hubs, (plus i have this overwhelming feeling that i do not have the radically talented eye for things that he does)...Lillian is very talented, but has two little people to care for all day everyday, so she is limited to how many weddings she can take on, so...
Lillian, her husband Ryan, Ben and me are going to Florida to do this wedding. Because it would be a little odd for Lil and Ben to go alone AND because Ryan and I are welcoming the thought of something that resembled a vacation we are all going! Now to add some more fun Ben's mom sales Time Shares. We called her to see if she had somewhere down there that might be a good deal..and hooray! We are staying at one of her resorts for a great deal! We have to rent a car because we are flying down there and are there for a week. The only ones available were a convertible or a grandma car (i can't remember the names of either)...so! You guessed it!
Now for the "kicker"...our babies are staying with their grandparents! Yep FOR 8 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOA!
I should send nerve pills and energy pills along with the boys luggage!..I am PRAYING they sleep, that Brennan is compliant, & that they like us when we return! (both our kids and my parents) :)
SO i am packing packing packing this week and i am part excited, part anxious...BUT
"Be ye anxious for NOTHING, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God..."Phil 4:6