Monday, December 15, 2008

In a Manger He Lay

Several nights ago as we were decorating for Christmas, the children had a wonderful time putting out all of our nativity sets.  Each year they enjoy playing with them which has been a great hands on tool for them learning the Christmas story.  

This year, Benjamin and Catherine even worked together to build a stable.  As Benjamin nailed the roof on and realized one side hung over further than the other, he begged Brian to pull out the saw so he could trim it down.  I reminded him they didn't have saws way back then, that his stable looked great just the way it was.  Not for Benjamin, my child who has to have things perfectly equal.  He quickly replied that today we do have saws, and he wanted to make it just right!

A few days later as Mary Scott was playing with her Little People Nativity set, she had baby Jesus in one hand (better known according to her as baby Anna) and a wise man in the other (her friend, Isabelle).  I asked her what the wise man was bringing to Jesus in the jar he was holding (keep in mind I've been reviewing gold, frankincense & myrrh nearly daily with her), and she quickly replied, "oatmeal!"

And just a couple days ago as Benjamin was playing with his double barreled, suction cup bullet gun he bought at Target with one of his birthday gift cards, I found him shooting the wise men in the very same nativity set.  At first thought I was appalled, but then began to laugh.  Of course any little boy would find a little wise man sitting on the table the perfect "target", right?

I'm sure these are just the start of many memorable tales to remember in regard to Christmas this year.  I'll keep you posted...

A Birthday party for Benjamin

We had fun celebrating with Benjamin last weekend.  We invited several friends over for an afternoon of football, just what Benjamin desired for his birthday party.  In all, there were 8 boys who split up into 2 teams...ACC against SEC (imagine that!).  Brian was the referee, yellow flag and all.  The boys had a great time playing football, from the moment they arrived until the party was over.  I had snacks and an ice cream cake - not a single snack or piece of cake was eaten by one of the boys.  All they wanted was to play football!  And that's exactly what they did.  Fun was had by all. 
Our firstborn, a son, came to us on November 29th, 1999.  Forever our lives were changed in such a wonderful, powerful way.  The amazing love that overwhelmed my heart as I held our precious Benjamin for the first time - I can't even describe it.  

It's hard for me to believe Benjamin just celebrated his 9th birthday.  Where have the years gone? It seems it was just yesterday he was learning to walk as Brian and I clapped for joy in amazement of his accomplishment.  Then when he was 4 he asked Jesus into his heart, and I wept tears of joy to the Lord thanking Him for answering our prayers for Benjamin's salvation.  And now we're clapping and cheering for him as he goes for a goal in soccer, dribbles down the court in basketball, swings with all his might at a baseball or runs for a touchdown in flag football.  Indeed, the years have gone by so quickly.

Benjamin is a wonderful son - passionate, full of energy, fast thinker, natural leader, bright, great reader, good athlete, determined.  I celebrate the 9 years he and I have grown together, me as a mother, him a son, brother, friend.  I pray the Lord will cause his heart to be tender to HIS ways and full of compassion for others, all the days of his life.

Benjamin, I am so proud of you and the young man you are becoming.  I love the way you embrace life with every ounce of  your being.  The Lord loves a heart passionate for HIM.  I am excited to see how HE will use you in mighty ways to accomplish much for HIS kingdom.  I LOVE YOU, BUDDY!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Anna Rolled Over

For the books:  Anna rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time on Thursday, December 4th (5 months and 1 week old).  She has done it several times since and gets this sweet little smile like she is so proud of herself.  Unfortunately she also has her first ear infection (not a first I'm excited to mention).  She's been on antibiotics since Monday so I'm hoping she'll be back to chipper within the next day or so and will start sleeping better at night once her ears aren't hurting.

Mary Scott Said Farewell to Her "Pappy"

This one is worth documenting... Mary Scott has been passy free since Tuesday, November 25th.  Originally, the plan had been to take away "pappy" the day after Mary Scott's third birthday (January 26th).  Benjamin and Catherine both said good-bye to theirs at that time so we planned to follow suit.  But Mary Scott had gotten really bad eczema on her face, especially around her mouth, so we told her she had to give her mouth a break from "pappy" so her face could heal.  Amazingly, she was very willing.  So after 3 days of healing and her asking only a few times for it, Brian and I decided we shouldn't allow her to have it anymore.  I told him I felt like we needed to be honest with her and let her know she wouldn't be getting it back.  We laughed at the thought of her being 5 and us still saying, "Your mouth is still healing so you can't have pappy."  We gently informed her that she had done great without her passy so she was clearly a big girl who didn't need it any more.  And we asked her if she would like to give them to baby Anna.  Lo and behold, she said she would.  Then to top it all off, when we arrived home from our Thanksgiving travels, she found her bag and began digging through it.  I asked her what she was doing and she responded, "I'm getting out my pappies so I can give them to Anna."  I was astonished.  She has since allowed Anna to suck them and not once has she tried to put it back in her own mouth.  AMAZING!

As I see her in her panties, no passy in her mouth and her vocabulary and conversations growing by the day, I'm reminded of how quickly my precious Mary Scott is growing up into a beautiful little girl still full of life and laughter.


The Yellow Jackets proved victorious over the Bulldogs in their battle the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  It had been several years since GT had beaten UGA in their annual rival game.  It was a fun game to watch.  Although Brian was recovering from a stomach virus which kept him up most of Friday night (graciously passed from Benjamin who was sick Thanksgiving day), he mustered up the energy to cheer on his alma-mater.  We had a great time watching the game with my cousin, Jana, and her husband, Shamus.  Shamus also graduated from GT so it was exciting to have another fan in the room.  Usually  Brian has to battle a bunch of UGA fans the whole time being his brother, Mark, and sister, Katie Beth, both graduated from Georgia.  To top it all off, most of my family graduated from UGA.  And let's just say Georgia fans can be a little over the top (lol).  But it was the year for the Jackets.  Final score... 45 to 42.  A great game and great fellowship... great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

The Day after Thanksgiving 2008

We hit the road by mid-morning the day after Thanksgiving not to go hang with the crazy shoppers but to go visit my Grandma (Dad's mom).  It was another chance to visit with family and thankfully get to see my dad and Tonia.  We had a nice day catching up on the latest happenings of our individual lives.  Unfortunately we don't get to see one another often so there's always a lot of catching up to do.  Grandma had had surgery a few days before so a lot of the day we all gathered in her bedroom so she could be comfortable.  It proved to be a nice quiet place to talk.  And of course we did some eating.  It seems when it comes to my family, some of our best memories happened as we gathered around the table at meal time.  


My mind is overwhelmed at the thought of counting the things in my life for which I'm thankful.  Sometimes I find myself asking the Lord... "why have you blessed me so?"  Then my mind is quickly filled with thoughts from Him, especially the simple yet complex truth that HE LOVES ME.  And that alone causes the Lord to desire good for me.  Sometimes I think we find it easy to praise God and feel blessed as long as no challenges or hardships are staring us in the face.  Yet I'm realizing that I'm blessed, richly blessed, in spite of these challenges.  Food to eat, a home in which to sleep and stay warm, safety, 4 beautiful and healthy children, an amazing husband, clothes on my back, precious friends, a loving family and the list goes on... all of these are things for which I'm very grateful.  Yet, my richest blessing is that my Lord sent his only son, Jesus, that I, upon believing on him and his truth, may have life forever.  Yes these things on this earth for which I'm truly thankful will one day pass a way.  But this eternal life that I have through the provision of my heavenly father, for that is my richest blessing and the thing for which I'm most thankful.  And I pray that not a single day goes by that I don't praise my precious Lord for the salvation He provided for me... and for you if you choose.

We travelled down to my hometown of Millen for Thanksgiving this year.  We stayed at Nanny's (my mom's mother) as the remodeling is not quite finished on my mom's house.  My brother, Casey, and sister-in-law, Sarah, and their two youngest boys were there, too.  We enjoyed reuniting with our family and enjoyed a great big Thanksgiving meal for lunch.  The day started early for Brian, Benjamin and Casey as they went deer hunting.  Although Benjamin has only been hunting a couple times, he loves it and gets so excited about the chance to go.  He got to go twice Thanksgiving day, deer hunting in the morning and dove hunting in the afternoon.  I appreciated my brother taking him and appreciated Brian going with them, too.  Brian's never been a hunter but is sweet to go with Benjamin since it's something he enjoys.  I think for Benjamin it is the fact you get to take a gun.  He has this amazing infatuation with guns.  Although not while hunting, he got the chance to shoot a rifle while we were there, and it was surely the high light of his day.  It's that boy thing rising up in him... the way God wired him.  So I'm really glad he had the opportunity.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Last Thursday, we travelled to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech vs. Miami football game.  Benjamin has wanted to go to a game for quite sometime, and Brian and I thought it would be a perfect treat for his upcoming 9th birthday (November 29th).  So off to Atlanta we went!

We discovered Brian's best friend from college, Ben Dismukes, and his family were planning to go, as well, so we connected with them out by the student center on GT's campus a couple hours before the game.  We had an awesome time visiting and watching all of our children play.  Before the afternoon was done, we were even joined by another friend, Josh Kite, and his family.  It was neat watching Brian get so excited to be back on "his old stomping grounds."  At one point, the Rambling Wreck (an old Model T painted with GT colors for any who don't know) came driving through and the children touched it.  They said they were never going to wash their hands again.

Before we headed down to the stadium, Katie Beth came to take Mary Scott and Anna to her house.  Mary Scott was so excited to have the chance to go and play at Aunt Katie Beth's.  She was so cute the day before when I told where she would be going... she said, "I like Aunt Katie Beth.  She's nice."  On our trip down, if she asked once, she asked 50 times where we were going.  (Thank you KB for giving us the chance to hang out with our older two kids.)

We walked with the band from the student center down to the stadium.  Our children and Ben's kids were so excited.  The boys were marching right along behind the band shouting all the way!  Too bad we didn't have seats next to one another, so upon reaching the gates to enter the stadium, we said our goodbyes to the Dismukes and headed to find our gate.  And thus began our climb to almost the top where we finally got to our seats.

Just a few minutes into the game, I got a call from Katie Beth that Anna wasn't too happy.  After getting off the phone, I prayed she would settle down because I wasn't quite sure what to do in the case she continued to cry.  Praise the Lord!  I talked to Katie Beth a little while later and Anna was quiet and happy and then later went to sleep.  

We had an awesome time cheering on our Yellow Jackets as they whipped the Miami Hurricanes.  Catherine was so cute.  At one point she said, "Mommy, I don't like watching football on t. v., but it sure is fun at the real game."  And Benjamin was yelling for his team just as loud as he could and putting his "GO Jackets" poster in every Miami fan's face he came in contact with.   It was so much fun every time Tech scored, we'd jump up and high five one another.  I hope we'll have the chance to enjoy many more games together as it truly was a great time for our family.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Every now and again, I get a few pictures that I really like.  I don't know what it is about these other than the fact that they capture Anna's sweet face.  If you haven't noticed lately, I'm in love with my children.  They each add so much to my life.  I am thankful beyond measure for both Brian and them.  And eternally grateful to my Lord who has poured out his blessings on me.


Brian is an amazing father.  One of my greatest pleasures is watching him with our children.  It is so evident that he desires to be a father well pleasing to the Lord - and I believe the Lord is well pleased with him.  The last few mornings before taking Benjamin and Catherine to school, he has been  reading a passage from the Bible and then reviewing a memory verse with them.  They have been working on Philippians 1:6.  This morning, I came downstairs to find the three of them holding hands praying.  It just blessed my spirit.  He is adored by his children and his girls, oh how they love their daddy!  I am a richly blessed wife and mother and count it an honor to be Brian's friend, wife, soul mate - so blessed to get to do life with him.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Oh my goodness... where are the month's going?  Just yesterday, I had this precious little baby cradled in my arms... touching, tasting, seeing life in the world as we know it for the very first time.  And now, Anna is 4 1/2 months old with all these cute little rolls and weighs over 16 pounds. Somehow, I had to try and capture the sweetness of her healthy little body, hence all of the "naked shots."  I simply couldn't resist.  She is a delight to our family, a sweet reminder of God's perfect plan.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A sweet friend of mine and I recently engaged in conversation regarding the way we spend our days as "stay at home moms."  It's a funny label, really, considering that at times I long to have a simple quiet day at home.  Although it was always my dream to be at home with my children, and I count it a blessing to be living out that dream... I sometimes in the day to day find myself feeling isolated and even quite discouraged - definitely one of Satan's tactics.   After our conversation, my friend sent me the link to an article written a few years back about this very topic.  Upon reading it, I felt my spirit leap in response to the great calling God has on my life as a mother.  I hope you will take the time to read it, and my prayer is that your heart would be encouraged about your calling as a mother whether you are currently at home full-time, are entertaining the idea of transitioning to an "at home position," or frankly can't imagine ever surrendering your current position in the work force to be what the world calls a "stay at home mom."  You may read the article at 

Monday, November 10, 2008


Well, Catherine hasn't declared she wants to be a dentist when she grows up.  But she was doing some in depth "dental work" on Benjamin's teeth Sunday afternoon with Mary Scott as her assistant.  They were so cute engrossed in play.  Actually, after finding out last week that she'll be moving to a more advanced team in gymnastics, Catherine declared she wants to compete in the Olympics one day - dream, baby, dream!  We ended Sunday afternoon with a little back yard football game... Brian and Catherine against Benjamin and me.  It was a blast!  Benjamin and I arose victorious, but best of all we had some great family fun.


We had a great time with Matthew and Elisabeth Hanrion and there precious girls Saturday night at their house.  Ever since having them join our home group, we've been looking forward to spending time with them and getting to know them better.  It was a really sweet time of fellowship even with all of our fragmented conversations.  Sometimes I just have to laugh at the number of times thoughts and conversations are interrupted and the number of times I often have to get up during a single meal.  As I laugh, I'm reminded of this season of life that I and many of my friends are in with having babies and young children.  And that still small voice reminds me to enjoy it, even with its interruptions, because these days truly will pass quickly although in the thick of it, I sometimes feel it will never end.  In fact, I still have lingering thoughts that I need to follow up with Elisabeth about, unfinished stories that can deepen our friendship.

After our delicious dinner of vegetable beef soup and rolls home-made by Elisabeth and a tossed salad that I brought, we spent the rest of the evening around a warm and cozy camp fire that Matthew, Brian and Benjamin built.  Matthew was so sweet to include Benjamin and even teach him some tricks of the trade in regard to wood chopping and fire building.  One of the highlights of the evening was the children rolling down the hill in their front yard again and again - chuckling all the way down.   And of course the s'mores and glow sticks made the night complete.  

Brian and I enjoyed so many things about the evening and were especially encouraged by the gentle Godly way that Matthew and Elisabeth parent their girls.  We hope to enjoy many more sweet times together.


This past Saturday, Benjamin finished up soccer for this season.  His team, the Panthers, finished the season by playing hard against the only team that had beaten them and ended this final game in a tie.  I'll be curious to see if Benjamin plays again next year.  He's begging that we'll allow him to play football.  Brian and I have got to spend time in prayer about that decision.  Football is a huge time commitment.  At any rate, whatever he's playing, I get so much enjoyment cheering him on and look forward to our next sport... basketball.


I never thought a 2 year old and a 4 month old could build a fort.  And I guess technically speaking they didn't really "build" a fort.  But Mary Scott managed to created a little space for Anna and her.  She was laughing each time she hid them under the blanket, and Anna was happy just to join in the fun.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Brian nor I are into celebrating all that October 31st represents.  It seems we struggle every year with exactly how to handle that day.  As Benjamin and Catherine are getting older, we explain to them why Halloween doesn't honor Christ, and they seem to clearly understand.  So then we always have to make the decision about trick or treating.  At this point, we've felt the freedom to allow them to dress up and visit homes in our neighborhood.  We have several older families/individuals who live around us that get so much pleasure from seeing the children and giving treats to them.  And it's fun to walk around the neighborhood with other families. Benjamin dressed up as a Georgia Tech football player - he was so handsome and tough.  Catherine was a beautiful gymnast - a future olympian, maybe.  She loved getting to put on make-up.  Mary Scott was the cutest fluffiest chicken ever.  And Anna was a cozy little calf.  They looked so cute and had so much fun.  We concluded the night by having hot chocolate and snacks at the Wilsons.


Katie Beth arrived Thursday night for a short visit.  Brian, she and I had some deep political discussions Thursday night before heading off to bed.  And Friday was filled with school activities.  Katie Beth was so sweet to visit Benjamin and Catherine at school.  We had lunch with them and also joined them in their class rooms for some different happenings of the day.  I'm room mom for Benjamin's class and assistant room mom for Catherine's class so I needed to be there.  Star aunt that Katie Beth is... she patiently joined in.  I'm making every effort to introduce her to all the joys and jobs of motherhood.  She even got to clean Mary Scott up after she wet her pants while we were in Catherine's class.  The children were so sad for her to leave... and I think Katie Beth may have been a little bummed, too.  Although the visit was short, it was oh so sweet.  We love you Aunt Katie Beth!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I can hardly believe Anna is 4 months old already - where in the world does the time go?  I'm desperate to keep her a baby as long as possible.  Her pediatrician, Dr. Patel, said she looks great.  She weighed 15 pounds 13 pounces and was 26 inches long - 90% and above for both weight and height.  She's still just nursing with no plans at this point to start cereal for another couple of months.  She's getting better and better at steadying her hands as she reaches out for toys and such.  And she's so content, she's not yet rolling over so we'll be watching for that milestone in the weeks ahead.  Her sweet little coos are offering some new sounds which are music to my ears.  And finally last night, she graduated to her crib and slept well... went to bed between 7:30 and 8 pm after nursing then although she wasn't awake, I nursed her around 10:30 before I went to bed.  She cried out around 2:30 so Brian gave her her pacifier then we didn't hear from her again until 5:30 this morning when I nursed her and then she went back to sleep.  Hopefully she'll continue to make progress as Brian and I would welcome some long uninterrupted hours of sleep.  Until then, I'll just cherish each time I get the pleasure of cradling this precious baby girl in my arms!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yesterday, I was reminded of how precious the love is between brothers and sisters.  And it came at a time that Catherine needed to be reminded.  Just a couple days ago, she was looking at some pictures of Benjamin and her from several years ago.  The pictures were so sweet and in many of them, Benjamin was hugging her.  She said to me, "Look, Benjamin loved me back then."  It made my heart sad for her because in spite of how annoyed she and Benjamin both get with one another sometimes, I know without a doubt that they love one another so much.  I tried to explain to her that at the ripe age of almost nine, Benjamin is showing her love when he does silly things like running up and tackling her - his affection is just different right now.  So yesterday, when I looked into the family room and saw them dancing to Christmas music and laughing their heads off at one another, my heart felt so warm and thankful as I was reminded that indeed they do love one another in a precious way.

And while they were dancing, Mary Scott was in the other room with Anna changing her diaper all by herself.  Boy, it's always exciting at our house and so full of love!


I have to say in all honesty, I have been so anxious for Mary Scott to grasp this potty training thing.  Buying double the number of diapers is quite costly, not to mention her poopy diapers are about more than any of us can stand.  Brian told her recently it should be against the law to have such stinky diapers!  She's sat on the potty countless times and until Saturday, had never actually managed to make anything go into the potty, except toilet paper.  When we got home from Benjamin's soccer game, she said she needed to go to the potty, and low and behold, she pee peed!!!  I was jumping for joy.  She has continued to go, although not yet exclusively on the potty.  Sometimes she just tells me, "No, I want to go in my diaper."  I'm just so excited she's making progress.  Today, she and I were at TJ Maxx, and she told me she needed to go potty.  So, she's sitting there straining but no pee pee was coming out, so I told her we would try again later.  Then when I helped her down off the potty,  I realized she had poo pooed in the toilet.  I was shocked.  Isn't it funny the things we moms (and dads for that matter) find ourselves celebrating.  I'm so proud of her!  


We had a great visit with my mom (known to the kids as Meme) this past weekend.  She came up on Friday because Benjamin and Catherine were out of school.  She got to join us for Benjamin's soccer game early Saturday morning and then we took Catherine to do a gymnastics class (she really wanted her Meme and Daddy to see all that she's been mastering at the gym).  Saturday afternoon,  Mama made white chocolate suckers with the kids in the shape of pumpkins.  I enjoyed watching them as it brought back memories from my childhood when Mama used to make the same suckers for my friends and classmates.  She always liked to do special little things like that (thanks Mama).  Sunday morning we were off to church and then enjoyed a yummy lunch at Olive Garden.  Before Mama departed for home mid day Monday, we joined Benjamin and Catherine for lunch at school.  It seems our visits are way too seldom and go by so fast, but we enjoyed her visiting so much.


Last Thursday, we spent the afternoon in our front yard having fun with our sweet friends, the Wilsons.  Kim is great at arranging plants and flowers for mixed pots, and she kindly agreed to come and give me a hand.  While she and I were planting (actually, she did most of the work - thanks so much, Kim), Benjamin and Catherine, and Kim's boys, Austin and Ethan, had a great time carving pumpkins.  Mary Scott had fun simply playing outside, and Anna took a little nap in the nice fall air.  It was such a great way to spend an October afternoon.