Friday, November 22, 2013

Things I've Heard or Said This Week

  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "Oh, I thought your head was chocolate."
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "You are free to go buy whatever you want."
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "Sams is where you can buy REALLY big boxes of stuff you don't REALLY need."(Olivia)
  • "I love to clean toilets. I want a cleaning toilet job."
  • "Stop standing on your brother."
  • "I'm not standing on him. I'm leaning on him with my foot!"
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "This bathroom smells like poop...or fish...or fish poop."
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "Basically, there's a dead ghost in here."
  • "What DIED in this bathroom?"
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "Oh yeah. A meal I'll actually eat a bite of!"
  • "I'm letting Mia do my chores. She likes them better than me."
  • "If I was Handy Manny, I'd marry that girl."
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • "When mom goes to the grocery store it's like heaven in the pantry."
  • "There has to be a dead fish in the drain!!!"
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
  • I think the rats and fish in the drains decided to come into our house, but they got stuck. And died."
  • "Stop putting your hands in the toilet."
In case you missed it, our bathroom has a smell, and Eli can't stop splashing in the toilet.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Remember Me?

I've not been blogging much lately. When something has to give this is at the top of the list. I hate it, because I love being able to write about our family, but there are days lately where I'm barely hanging on, so bloging isn't really on my radar. Ha!
We've had several great things going on lately. On the eve of her seventh birthday, KK asked Jesus to be her savior. We had been working through a great workbook with the kids in our family worship time about being a Christian. KK and Addi really started asking a lot of questions about salvation about half way through, so after we were finished Manly and I sat and talked with each of the girls individually to see if they were ready.
After talking with Addi we decided to have her wait until she understands things a little more, but KK was ready, so we prayed with her. She was so amazingly excited! It was so refreshing to see that sweet excitement over her salvation. She was also really excited about getting baptized. She's been talking about being baptized since she was 3 and Olivia got baptized. It was honestly like a dream come true for her. That was why we were sure to ask her lots of questions  to be positive she knew what she was doing. We were confident in her knowledge and that she was also feeling that tugging feeling in her heart. It's such a special moment when a child accepts Jesus.
The next day was KK's birthday! After breakfast in bed(she chose a Stoby's cinnamon roll) we all got ready and headed over to our local MOPS meeting where Manly and I had been asked to share. I have been watching a lot of 19 Kids and Counting, and I just love that when they go speak somewhere she has her kids share a song because music is really important to them. I had decided I wanted to include our kids in some way to our talk, and because we also love music I decided I'd have the kids sing. They loved being part! They were so darling and did such a good job being well behaved before hand and singing out loud and clear.
Daddy giving her breakfast in bed. She was already dressed, but wanted to eat in bed. Ha!
Thanks to one of my MOPS friends for snapping this pic and sending it to me. If any of you girls got it on video please send it to me. It was the singing Smittle's debut.
After MOPS I took KK to see a movie at the theatre. This is all she wanted for her birthday. Sweet girl LOVES food and movies! She had it all planed out. She wanted to get popcorn and a drink and go see "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2." Because it was a special day I even splurged and got her a deluxe movie theatre kids meal. This is a really big deal for me because I'd usually just pop my own popcorn and bring it in my purse! HAHA! She loved the movie! We drove through and got her a kids meal at McDonalds, which is another VERY special treat for our poor deprived kids. It's the little things...
When we got home Manly had to go to work for the rest of the evening, so after nap I took all the kids to Target for KK to do some birthday shopping. She bought herself some new movies she'd had an eye on. Afterwards I took all the kids by myself to Marketplace so that we could get some chocolate messes. This is KK's favorite dessert! She chose this over me making a cake. The kids were so well behaved, and I was really proud of them, so we stuck around and played checkers in the waiting area. While we were hanging out a really sweet family came through and we started chatting. It turned out that the mom was Cindy, Michelle Duggar's BFF from the show!! It was so cool! She was super nice.

SHE is a mess!
Yes, I switched her out for a smaller one since she got to have one to herself. I split the bigger one with the little kids.
My happy foodie, KK. Happy Seven Years!
We have had a ROUGH month with Manly's current schedule. He's rarely home because he's teaching two classes and also working a full-time load at the practice. I'm so thankful for work for him, but it's been tough for me and the kids. Last week he had a speaking engagement in Little Rock, so we went along and visited the new library there. I have to admit I wasn't much of a fan of the way the library is laid out, but the kids still had a great time. After reading for a while we went outside and I let them run around on the trails. It was a fun fieldtrip, and gave us a little more time with Manly. After he was finished speaking we ran over to Sams and had LOTS of pie samples. A fun day.
I'd love to have some of these letters that say something like love or family or something in my yard. These are out in front of the library. Eli was snoozing in the stroller. 
 The kids loved this "circle bridge." This is on one of the trails at the library. I think it's called the Hillary Clinton Library for those of you wondering...

Mia loves cherry pie like her momma.
My little tiny baby boy has had a terrible double ear infection for the last two and a half weeks. We are on round two of antibiotics. He's been so healthy until now, so I'm thankful for that, but these last few weeks have been TOUGH on us! He's also teething like a mad man, so he's been pretty cranky. I was able to soak up a few moments with just him this morning when I brought him into my bed to feed him his bottle and he went back to sleep. In stead of getting up and putting him in his bed I just laid there staring at him. I just wish I could stop him from growing up. It's going too fast. I can't stand him not being a baby!! He's still going to be MY baby no matter how big he gets!! Hoping he gets to feeling better soon!
Can you believe how big he is!?! BOOO!
My sweet boy getting to get down and dirty outside for the first time.
Turns out he thinks he's a squirrel. I fished about 15,000 acorns out of his mouth. Nasty!
Love this picture as it really captures the wonder in his face. He's always watching around him and trying to figure things out. He heard a sound above and watched as a plane flew over our house.
My favorite age is the second year. I mean, yes, these little dears try their best to be in control of every situation, they scream and fuss and pee on just about everything in site, but there is something so wonderful about learning new things each moment of the day.  My Mia is coming into her own around here lately. She's a total ham! She likes to make us laugh, loves her brothers, and is her momma's girl! She's completely potty trained herself in the last few weeks, and has been the easiest of all the kids aside from Addison. We've just got to get her screeching under control! That girl has a scream you could NOT imagine!!
Mia wearing her bib as a "Pharaoh hat." She came up with that on her own.
This girl is too smart for her own good, and full of so much JOY. So thankful to have her in our family.

The little peeps swinging. Mia will say, "I love my baby. I love I-say-uh too. I love you too. I love monkeys. I love my Wee-Uh(Olivia) too." She says this about 15 times a day.

So, we're making it. It's been, like I've said before, a rough year, but we're making it! Hang with me, I'll write when I can, and we'll live life together. Until then, I've got quizzes to grade, pizza pans to soak, and laundry to put away.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dirty South Boys

No one ever told me what having sons would do to my heart. I'm head over heals for these rowdy smiley heart melters, I tell you. Now I love my girls to pieces, but there is something special about a momma and her boys.
As if Brubbs wasn't already cute enough they had to go and put glasses on his sweet little face. I could sop him up with a biscuit. And don't even get me started on that little toothy grin my little red caboose throws my way. I just have a soft spot for these little men in training.
Tonight, while searching the house over for Mia's water bottle I had Brubbs check his suitcase because they had been stuffing things in there while they played. After several minutes of getting it opened I hear Brubbs say, "Nope. No water bottle in here. Just my sons and my guns, mom."
Oh the sweet sweet joys of being the mom of boys. May I never stop soaking every moment of their lives up. Now, where in the world is that water bottle anyway...

OH, and some of the reasons my heart is in a puddle. Look at these PERFECT pictures of our boys!
These were taken by my friend, Lindsey at Lindsey Faith Photography.
You can get her to take your pictures by contacting her here.
You can see more pics of our family by clicking here.
I am in LOVE with every. single. picture. she. took.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Songs and Groanings

I've always loved Romans 9:26. It says, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." There are so many days where I'm so exhausted and feel like giving up and I remember this verse and it comforts me. Some days I don't know WHAT to pray, but the Holy Spirit knows. He's taking care of me even when I don't know it. I love that. He knows what to ask for on my behalf and he does it.
Sometimes I'll step into a song that really gets my attention. Because I've been part of leading worship for the past (close to) 20 years now I've heard a LOT of music. Some of it doesn't need to be repeated, some of it is repeated umpteen million times in one song, and some of it, those rare few songs, you just can't get enough of. These songs, like the verse above, speak words that I often can't express.
I've mentioned here several times that this has probably been one of the toughest years of my life. There have been times when I think it just can't get much worse, then God will put me RIGHT at the edge. Honestly, it's felt like it's more like just OVER the edge. That's the point where I become less dependent on my fallen self and more dependent on Him.
It was in one of those moments when I found myself alone in the car listening to the radio. Now, that in itself is a miracle, because most of the time if I'm in the car it is NOT alone, and when I AM alone I usually don't listen to the radio. It's like a moment of silence before I return to my normal noisy day. But this day, I was alone and the radio was playing and I heard this song.

The first few lyrics caught my ear and had me holding on to each and every word. By the end I was a blubbering mess thinking that Matt Maher himself had snuck into my house and written that song while watching me live me life. There are days when I wake UP tired. I've found that every moment of my waking day I need the Lord. Without him, I fall apart, that's for SURE.

Fast forward a few months later to the time we took six kids to Disney World. You remember, right? Ehhh....Anway, on the trip there I was listening to my Jesus Culture station on Pandora and came across this song by Jenn Johnson. Everyone in the car was asleep except for me. I had a mini worship fest just listening to the opening lyrics.
 My number one cry out to the Lord in my every day life is that I'm so overwhelmed. I mean, it doesn't take a lot around here to get overwhelmed. I just love the flow of this song from crying out for help, to calling on the name of the Lord, to giving Him praise. We're going to sing it in church for the first time this week, and I'm so excited!
I'm so thankful that even in these current rough days of my life that the Lord finds ways to remind me He is still in control, He loves me, and I can look to Him. He is where my help comes from.