Tonight Vickie and I hosted our YWMs (Young Women's Ministries) at Vickie's house. I have had on my mind for a few months to ask Paula Ackerman to speak. Paula is such a sweet, humble, wonderful Christian lady who I really think a lot of (btw you can visit her blog-see link to Cupcake Betty on the side). I could tell as soon as she started that what she had to say was meant for our group of young women. She spoke about finding what it is you are passionate about and using it to glorify God. She pointed out and it is so true that so many times we get caught up in the hustle of life, that we don't take time to pursue those things that make us truly happy and fulfilled. She spoke about David and what a passion he had for life. God did not create us to be burdened down, but rather to be full of joy and happiness. I know I get caught up in work, my boys, and many other things and I often don't take time to even think about the things I am passionate about. But, Paula pointed out to us how easy it is to pursue those passions and use them for the Lord. For example, she loves photography (which is how we met) and she always offers to come to the home of new mothers in her church and do a session for free. She spends this time ministering to the family as well. What a great idea! I never thought about using simple things like that as a ministry. I try to make things too complicated and then I give up usually. So, this week, I am going to make it my mission to prayerfully seek the things I am passionate about and work to fulfill them in my life and in my work for the Lord. I know this is an unusual post but I was so inspired by Paula tonight. We have so much to be thankful for and we can never thank God enough. So, I encourage you to find your passion and let's see where it takes us...
This week Daniel and I had a mission...to rescreen our back porch. Most of you know we are trying to sell our house and the boys have wreaked havoc on the screen porch. We had heard a lot about screen tight and how wonderful it was so we thought there wouldn't be much to redoing the porch. Well, when Daniel got all of the screen off, it was obvious (at least to me) that we had to paint. So, we removed thousands of staples, cleaned the porch, and started painting. This simple project turned into a week long event at our house. Daniel rescreened the porch and it looks great...and yes the screen tight system is awesome. Although it was hard work and the painting still isn't finished...we had a great time working together. We often get so caught up in other things that we don't spend enough time together and working on the porch gave us lots of quality time together. I am including some pictures of the porch in progress and I will update with the finished project when it is done. Now, hopefully some buyer will come along and fall in love with the house and I am sure it will be all because of the porch :)
Daniel working hard...
While we worked on the porch Peyton played in the sprinkler...with the umbrella cause heaven forbid he get wet!
And Wilson manned the phones for us...such a helper!!
Today I had the privilege to witness one of God's most amazing miracles-the miracle of birth. Tanya, Craig, and Olivia Grace welcomed Carter into the world today and invited me to be a part of it. Tanya and I have been into photography for a while and have taken some classes together. We joke and say we are going to be photographers when we grow up:) We have spent hours oohing and aaghing over lots of pictures, but particularly birth photography. So, when Tanya found out she was expecting, she asked me if I would come into the delivery room and be the "birth photographer." I didn't really think she was serious and kind of brushed it off. But, as the day got closer, she mentioned it again. I think she and I both were a little nervous but I was very honored and willingly agreed to do it. I will have to say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life (aside from the birth of my own children of course :) I believe I was more nervous today than when I gave birth. I knew this was a one shot deal and I didn't want to disappoint Tanya. When it was "time," Becky, Craig, and I assumed our posts in the room and Carter arrived rather quickly, much to Tanya's delight. We got some great pictures of those first moments of life. Carter is beautiful and I am dying to show him off, but I will let his Moma be the first to share his picture with the world. I am so thankful that my family has Tanya, Craig, Olivia Grace, and now Carter in our lives. They are so special to us. Thank you Tanya and Craig for letting me share in this special time in your life.
Daniel and I had big plans for getting lots accomplished around the house today. He had a dentist appointment to get a tooth removed around lunchtime and we debated whether or not I would go with him. So, the boys and I decided we would go and do some errands while he was at the dentist. Well...good thing! I was in Wal-Mart and Daniel called apparently to tell me to come and get him. He had been heavily sedated and if his number hadn't appeared on my cell phone I would have had no idea it was him. As I was trying to check out, he calls again and sounded very much like a drunk. I rushed to go get him and I was shocked to see him still very out of it when I got there. He began to tell me that they fussed about me the whole time I was gone. Apparently, someone was supposed to stay with him but we didn't even know all this was going to take place so it is a good thing I was even in the same town. I was trying my best to just get out of there before he said something really embarrassing. We had dropped Daddy's trailer at Tanya's house and were going to get it and pick up a couch for Momma. After seeing Daniel's current state, I began to panic that we, now being me, weren't going to be able to hook to the trailer. See, the urgent thing is Tanya is due any day so I could just imagine her needing to go to the hospital and our trailer blocking the way. So, we go to her house and I am going to attempt to get the trailer hooked back to the car. I told Daniel to sit in the car and not play with the gas or anything (remember this is the husband-not the boys). Well, he stumbles out of the car and before I know it he has manhandled the trailer and moved it with his hands (it is very big) onto the car. I told him come tomorrow he will realize he has hurt something. After much stumbling and slurring I guided him back to the car. All the while, Tanya is watching us out of the window about to go into labor laughing at the scene taking place in her driveway. Daniel told me many things that he doesn't remember and I just hope he didn't traumatize the poor boys too badly! He kept ranting about how his tooth was going to cost him half a million dollars amongst other things. I know it is not nearly as comical reading it but Tanya can vouch for what a time I had on my hands. This day made me really thankful for the fact that Daniel isn't a drunk because I know I couldn't handle him! There was a very sweet ending to our day. We moved Peyton's bedroom last night and he was laying in the bed and called Daniel in there. He asked Daniel if he wanted him to pray for his mouth to feel better. By this point, thank goodness Daniel's anesthesia had worn off and he was in his right mind :) Peyton said, "Dear Jesus, Please help Daddy's mouth feel better. I know it is a lot to ask. Thank you Jesus." Precious. Maybe our prayers are moving a little past now I lay me...At least our crazy day had a wonderful ending!
Yesterday, Lisa, Vickie, Kristen, and I took the the children to Splash Island in Mt. Pleasant. I will have to say it was absolutely the best day ever at the water park. The day started off really cloudy so I guess not many people decided to go. There was a day camp there for part of the day and about 3 other families, other than that it was just us. I ALWAYS have my camera. But...you would know the one day that I could actually take pictures without my children getting lost in the sea of other children, would be the day my battery is dead and I can't seem to find the charger. Anyway, I remember when we first started going to the water park there when Peyton was little and the slides seemed so big. Now that he has gotten bigger, they seem much smaller. He goes all around the park by himself like a big boy. Wilson even got brave and would climb the little slide by himself. The children played so well together and everyone had a good time. We decided Monday is definitely the day to go to the water park. When we were laying in the bed last night I asked Peyton what his favorite part of the day was and he said "being with those children, you know my friends." Now if you can imagine a very heavy southern accent when he said it, you will know just how precious it was. He is right, thank goodness for good friends and good summertime fun!
We had a great time celebrating the Fourth of July with our friends and family Friday. Daniel had to work so the boys and I spent the day at Mr. Roger and Mrs. Debbie's place on the river with all of our family and lots of friends. The children had so much fun playing on the water slide and in the river.
Peyton had forgotten what that "big pond" was like since last year.
We enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, wings, and all kinds of other good stuff. Wilson liked the rocks in the flower bed.
He says forget the water I'm crawling under here to see what I can find to eat :) He apparently forgot about the ant bite he got when he did that last time!
Peyton loved the jet ski...but Wilson didn't feel the same.
Cousins share everything...even their pickles.
To end the day, Vickie and Randy took Peyton with them in the boat to see some fireworks. He enjoyed the fireworks but he really enjoys telling us over and over about Caleb falling in the water that was "10 deep." I think that outshined the whole firewords show! Everything has a number to Peyton and 10 seems to be the flavor of the day.
It is so awesome to stop and think about how blessed we are to be Americans and we were so fortunate to have great family and friends to spend the day with!
I thought since I am trying to use this page to preserve some memories for the boys, I would write them notes on their birthday. Yeah, I know I am a few days late with Peytons but here it goes anyway...
To My Dearest Peyton, I know if you were reading the title, the first thing you would say is, "Moma, I am not a baby." And I would tell you like I always do that you will ALWAYS be my baby. I cannot hardly believe you just turned four. It seems like yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital. Since the first time I laid eyes on you, I have been head over heels in love. Those big blue eyes just melt mine and your Daddy's heart. I never knew how just looking at someone and watching the little things they do could make me so happy. You have such a tender heart and you try very hard not to hurt people's feelings. I hope you always have that way about you. You have really grown up in the last few months. And, you are very proud to tell everyone who will listen that you are 4 now. Actually, you prefer to show them with your fingers. You also think that because you are four, you have to have four of everything, eat four of everything, etc. You are so funny! I am so proud of the way you have handled having a baby brother. I know it is not easy going from being the center of our universe to sharing it with someone else but you have handled it so well. Most of the time you love Wilson as much as we do. It makes my heart melt when you show me with your fingers who is "like this" and you include Wilson along with me, you, and Daddy without us even asking you too. Your unconditional love for him makes me love you even more. I could go on and on about all of the things that make me proud you are my son. But just remember Peyton, that as much as me and Daddy love you, Jesus loves you so much more and I am so glad he gave me you! I love you! Moma
My Daddy, who is 60, was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in November of 2009. He had his first stem cell transplant in April of 2010 and is currently facing his second stem cell transplant very soon. I plan to share his journey to victory!