Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Out With The Old In With The New

The boys have been working on taking down our old fence.    It is really in need of repair.     We are pretty sure it was put in when the house was built which was a long time ago. 

A few years ago, we entertained the idea of just putting up another fence like the one you see here; however, we are going with something that gives us a little more privacy.    We have new neighbors in the house you see.    She is fond of drinking coffee, mowing the lawn, reading books, etc... in little to no clothing.    It has become quite an issue.     The boys have quit going outside because they never know what they are going to be "exposed " to.     One day Big Guy went out and set up his archery equipment to get some practice in and immediately took it all down and came inside because of the display next door.

We are saving our fence wood for Dr. Wifey.   She is going to reuse it to make birdhouses out of.   She is crafty and talented like that!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Head Slap

Why did I forget to take pics of my sweet boys before or after church on Easter Sunday?   I guess it was because we had house guests and I have to be there early to sing for choir, but STILL!   My guys looked so handsome.

I do have these pics that were taken at my sister's house during our Easter lunch that afternoon.     They are handsome no matter what they are wearing.

And this pic of our family after Easter lunch.   Yes, Big Guy is officially taller than I am.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cade Brigade

Many of you who read my blog know that Big Guy's best friend is fighting Stage 4 cancer.     He was diagnosed last June.      If you want to know more about his story and his battle you can visit his Caring Bridge site.

Each year our church holds a 5K race called Race For His Glory.   This year the proceeds from the 5K went directly to help Cade and his family.  

Here are some of our kids hanging out at the golf carts they had decorated for Cade.    His parents brought Cade right at the start of the race so he could ride along the 5K route waving and encouraging racers.     Talk about amazing!      So many people haven't seen Cade in a long time and a lot haven't seen him since he got diagnosed.    

Speaking of racers... there were over 500 people who raced in this 5K.    Pretty amazing.    The streets around our church were congested with people running, laughing and talking.     What a way to spend the day before Easter!    I love that second picture hubs took of the crowd because it shows our church steeple in the background.

They named those golf carts the "Cade Brigade", but if you want to meet the REAL Cade Brigade you are seeing them in these pics below.    They are the teen boys who play xBox online with Cade.   They are the ones who give Cade the fun and normalcy he needs in the midst of chemotherapy, radiation and side effects from medicine.     They are the ones who don't ask "How are you feeling?", but ask "Dude, how do you get to the next level in this game?" or "Did you see that?"     They are the ones that Cade talks to when he won't talk to his own mom.    Sometimes sharing things that he SHOULD tell his Mom.     They are his friends.    

When I see these pics below I laugh because I know that they probably aren't talking about anything to do with the race.    They are probably talking some video game strategy.     My son is in that picture and I know before he left that morning he was playing a new game and his one track mind was probably talking non stop about that!

Big Guy picked a friend to be his race buddy.    He is a high school student who plays base in our worship services.     They enjoyed just talking and making their way around the 5K track.    

I appreciate my sweet hubs taking pics for me.    There isn't much that would have prevented me from being at this 5K supporting our friends.    However, I was with my family remembering the life of my uncle which is where my friends would have wanted me to be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Abstain From the Appearance of Evil

Making decisions for your kids is pretty tough.    Being sure of those decisions and sticking with them is really tough.    Now that we have entered the teen years we have found more and more antagonism regarding some of our decisions for our boys.   

as he thinketh, so he is” (Prov. 23:7) was one of the first verses that I started teaching the boys when they were little.    Our concept motto was "garbage in... garbage out"!      As silly as it sounds, our first "garbage in... garbage out" decision came over a toddler television show where the child was whiny and sometimes disrespectful to his parents.    We limited their television time so I didn't want them watching that plus I didn't want my boys to start mocking that behavior.

It didn't take long to discover that this "garbage in... garbage out" motto was going to be a life long battle.    When the boys entered public school, they were offered movies to watch that we would never allow.    Soon the Harry Potter book rage began.      We sat down and explained to our boys why we would not allow them to read these books.

There are so many verses in the Bible regarding all the things which are part of the Harry Potter books that it didn't take long to explain to them.    Those who practice witchcraft (sorcery) will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:20-21)    and  “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…”-Deuteronomy 18:9-12a   

Now, of course, we have advanced to video games.     Big Guy is a teen and developed a love of video games.    We have been training him to read the reviews so he can be active in picking his games.     Recently he came to me with a video game review.     Among the review statements were the facts that characters danced around a stripper pole, grotesque violence, explicit horror and mutilation.     He couldn't believe it only received a "M" rating.   Even more he couldn't believe his friends that were allowed to play it!   

Like I said, we have received so much antagonism for our stance.    People say "it's only a game!" or "I am just so glad my child will read they can read anything they want."   

Ephesians 6:12 says "we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."     

Let me make this clear.    Every parent has to make decisions for their own children.     I am not saying that the decisions I have made for my boys are the ones that you should make for your children.   Not. at. all.  

What I am saying is that sometimes when I am reading the Bible and his explicit commands regarding how to live our life as Christians and how to train up our children, how must He feel about the garbage we are allowing in to our children's lives? 

The older the boys get the more they are exposed to the world around them and more we are aware of the Bible's command to "Avoid every kind of evil."  1 Thessalonians 5:22

Being a parent is not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Our Week In Review

In my life this week...
I'm ready for our summer! Is it here yet?   Of course, our calendar is already filling up with VBS, camps, and things that the boys want to do.   

In our homeschool this week...
Little Guy only has one more week of his Anatomy and Physiology class.    I can't believe we are winding down our school year.    

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
Busy week with baseball, shooting sports, archery, church and school!   

My favorite thing this week was...
So maybe this wasn't my favorite thing, but it definitely was the funniest thing.     I went for my yearly "squish" test (ladies know what I am talking about).     The technician came in and said, "I want you to change.    If you are wearing deodorant, please remove it."   IF?  IF?   This is Mississippi.  What woman wouldn't be wearing deodorant?   

What's working/not working for us...
Our nighttime schedule is crazy right now.    We haven't been home at night for weeks.     Baseball games and practice, shooting sports practice, my working, church, etc.... I am ready for some of this to settle down.   

With all the rain recently, the baseball league is rescheduling our games.   The day they have decided to reschedule them for?   Sunday.    We told our coach that we don't allow our boys to play sports or participate in outside activities on Sundays.     We wrote a letter to the commissioner and asked him to reconsider, but he said that all other days of the week were already booked.     We asked him if they had ever putting makeup games into the schedule since rain is always going to be a factory with spring ball.     He never answered that question.     

When Little Guy went to his ball game, one of the guys on his team yelled at him for not coming to the Sunday game.    He told him that he should tell his parents that baseball is most important.     Little Guy said, "It is not most important."     

Most everyone knows the Scripture, "Honor the Sabbath Day and keep it holy." but we have also tried to teach our boys that there are so many other Scriptures that teach us about honoring the Sabbath.   I love this one in Isaiah.

"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight and the LORD’s holy day honorable...then you will find joy in the LORD." Isaiah 58:13
Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
This is the time of year to start thinking about curriculum for next year.    I sat down with Big Guy the other day to ask him if he has put any thought into what foreign language he might want to study in high school.    He immediately answered German.    Out of all the languages that was not the one I expected to hear so I asked him "why?".     He said, "If I learned German then I could understand what all those military guys were saying on my video games."     The rationale of boys!  

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

My pics come from Little Guy's baseball game.     Because of his 4H competition, the Natchez Trace Bicycle Race and then rain, this was his first baseball game.   He was very excited about playing and the coach had been asking if he would be willing to play catcher.    That is his favorite position to play!

I hope you can see Coach's hair above.   He let the boys spray paint his hair orange for winning the game.   We have a fun coach this season!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Birthday Cake Tradition

My boys make me cakes every year for my birthday.    It is my favorite tradition.    They ban me from the kitchen.    I love listening to them bake, create and then announce it is time to come see.     I love my precious boys.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Natchez Trace Century Ride

Hubs and Little Guy rode in the Natchez Trace Century Ride last Saturday.    When they went out to load their bikes at 6:30 in the morning it was already 60 degrees.     That is quite a warm start to race day!   

Since Big Guy had to be at church at 7:30 to meet his mission team to leave to go paint a local high school and I had our final choir rehearsal for our worship experience, neither of us could go to the start line to cheer them off.   We were kind of bummed.     

Thankfully, hubs took a few pics so we could see how it was going.     This is the best pic ever...

Hubs and Little Guy rode 30 miles for this race.     This is Little Guy's personal best.    So proud of him!   

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Big Guy's Father Son Weekend

Hubs and Big Guy recently went on their annual Father/Son weekend.      I am so blessed to have a husband which makes it a priority to take our boys away one weekend a year to spend with our boys.    It is a time for them to bond and a time for hubs to share with them about the important issues that they will face.  

One of the things that hubs challenges the boys to do in the weekend is to budget.    It is something that he strives to do every day, but it is something that is part of their weekend.   He sets a spending limit for their weekend and then they squeeze as much fun out of the weekend as possible.      

When Groupon had a weekend offer for a cabin at Jellystone Park they snatched that right up.     Look at the view from their front porch.    

They both love to fish so they woke up early the first morning there to do just that.    Big Guy caught quite a few big ones.    They cleaned and cooked up these fish for supper along with hush puppies and other yummies.     As you can see, Little Guy is not the only chef in our family!

They also enjoyed a little putt putt, frisbee golf, playing games and just sitting on the front porch talking.

Both my hubs and Big Guy came back so relaxed and talking about the fun they had that Little Guy can't wait for his Father Son weekend.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Time With Our Beauties

If we get a chance to spend a few days with my sweet nieces, we jump!    My sister was away on a business trip which means my parents had the girls by themselves for several days.   Also, my Dad was fighting an injury to his leg so that meant keeping up with two year olds was quite a challenge.     The boys and I decided to go over and hopefully help my parents out by playing with the twins.

We had the best time playing with them.    The girls wanted to do anything the boys were doing.   When Little Guy was doing his school work, they both wanted to sit at the table with him doing their own school work.    When Big Guy was on the computer, they both wanted to sit in his lap and "do it too".    

We love spending time with our sweet little beauties.    My sweet boys make great big "brother" cousins.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Terri Blackstock spoke at our Ladies Night Out Thursday night.   She ended the night by reading this poem by Russell Kelfer.    I loved it so much I thought I would share it with you.

Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said,
“Child you must wait.”
“Wait? You say, wait!” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!”
“Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?”
“By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.”
“My future and all to which I can relate”
“Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?”
“I’m needing a ‘Yes,’ a go-ahead sign,”
“Or even a ‘No’ to which I can resign.”
“And Lord, You promised that if we believe”
“We need but to ask, and we shall receive.”
“And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:”
“’I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!’”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting…for what?”
He seemed then, to kneel
And His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.”
“All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want-
But you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power I give to the faint;”
“You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me;
When darkness and silence were all you could see.”
“You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.”
“The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.”
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.”
"So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Our Week In Review

In my life this week...
This week has gone by so quickly.    It started off with my boys spoiling me rotten for my birthday.    They gave me sweet cards and let me go eat sushi for lunch.     Sushi isn't in their vocabulary so that was truly an act of love for them.   

In our homeschool this week...
We have been on a snatch and grab schedule this week.    We snatch some time in random spots and grab some school work to do.       Little Guy has been studying the integumentary system in his anatomy and physiology class.    After his online lecture he asked me if I was albino since I sunburned so easily.    I thought that was pretty funny.    

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
We took a trip home to Vicksburg on Tuesday and Wednesday.  My sister was gone on a business trip which means my parents had the twins by themselves for three full days.    That takes a lot of energy.   So we went over to help play and entertain.    

My favorite thing this week was...
Again it is a tie...
1.   Wednesday we had our next to last choir rehearsal for the Victory worship service this Sunday morning.     I can't begin to express what a time of worship this was.    It was amazing.    I love the fact that all of our choir rehearsals are times of worship, but this one was overwhelmingly so.   I can't wait for this Sunday morning's service.
2.  I went to see Terri Black speak last night at our church.    I love her books so much.     She is such a good writer and I was pleased to find out she speaks as well as she writes.      Her most recent book series is based on something that happened in her life with her own daughter, Michelle.     If you haven't read her latest book, Vicious Cycle.   Check it out!

What's working/not working for us...
The total lack of groceries right now.     I seriously have to take care of that problem today.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
It feels like we still have so much school work left to do before the end of this school year.   I am debating whether to "cram" or just keep working into the summer.    We usually try to do summer bridge work anyway so what is the difference with just continuing on with our regular curriculum?

Random photo, quote or thought...

 My Big Guy... Just sitting quietly in the cool morning air.
Right after this photo he looked up at me and said, "I love you, Mom."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

4H Invitational Competition

Last Saturday was a gorgeous day for the boys first 4H invitational shooting competition.     The competition was held at the FBI shooting range which is a huge deal.    We are the only organization outside of law enforcement who has ever used their shooting range.       It is a beautiful place.      It was a huge turnout because 178 shooters from 8 counties showed up to participate.    They said it was their biggest turnout for this event.

Both boys competed in three separate events throughout the day.     Big Guy's first event was the .22 rifle.     I was amazed at his steady hand.   You shoot three separate rounds:  one lying flat, one kneeling and one standing.

All those hours of practice really showed.     Big Guy was grace under pressure and it showed, because he won first place.

Little Guy and his best friend, J, both competed in 5 meter and 10 meter air pistol.      I sat behind the line with my binoculars watching as they shot their rounds.     Little Guy hit the black on every one of his shots!    He wound up winning the 10 meter air pistol round because of his sharp shooting.

Little Guy got mad at me for having a favorite event, but I really do love the archery most of all.     There is so much skill involved and you can see the results immediately.      Big Guy is lucky that he trains with such an incredible instructor.     The gentlemen who trains him once was in the Olympics in archery.    

Big Guy was just a few points off winning first place in this event.     Right before he went to participate his sighter fell off and it took him the first round to get it reset.    If he hadn't had to do that we feel like he would have had the points to win.     If he keeps practicing between now and state, who knows?

State competition is on April 30th.      Can't wait to cheer my boys on!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Fight of Our Lives

Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War Against Radical Islam

By William Bennett with Seth Leibsohn
Published by Thomas Nelson

Want to know the dirty little secret in the war on terror? Some of us have already surrendered.

Since the dreadful events of 9/11, America has waged an international war on terrorism. But are we prepared to win, or are we practicing surrender? We have foiled dozens of terrorist attacks since then. But while the Fort Dix terrorists were stopped, an Islamist terrorist at Fort Hood unleashed hell on American servicemen. Despite Maj. Nidal Hasan’s shouting “Allahu Akbar” as he pulled the trigger, the official Pentagon report refused to mention Islam or use the word Muslim. And said the army chief of staff, “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that's worse.” As William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn show, for lack of clarity, conviction, and determination, America is on the verge of declaring preemptive cultural surrender in the war on terror. The Fight of Our Lives will reinvigorate the discussion and embolden those who wish to win the war on terror.

Book Review

Tolerance and complacency have become two of America's greatest enemies.      It is time for us to wake up and take an honest look at what is going on around us.    The Fight Of Our Lives take an honest look that will not make you feel wide eyed and overwhelmed, but will take your breath away in a "how did we get here" kind of way.     Much like a house, this country's has been slowly sliding off its foundation for many years.     You don't notice it at first, but then you begin to notice the cracks forming.

Bennett works from the crack that formed at the Fort Hood shooting in 2009.    Were there many before this?   Yes.  However, Bennett chose this as his "fissure" in our society's fight.    He chose this event because it was a Muslim psychiatrist that opened fire on our soldiers.    We also chose to openly ignore and cover up his statements regarding his views on Islam.    

Bennett says we have crossed a dangerous line in this country.   I agree.    We have moved way past tolerance of our "enemy" and have moved to inviting them into our homes.    We are trying to get acquainted and make them feel comfortable.      As Americans we need to look at what we are doing.    Would those who seek to destroy us do the same things we are?      Would they allow us to come in and take over our businesses, teach in our schools, serve in our military, work with our children, set up in our prison systems?   I think we all know the answer to that!

One of my favorite quotes from the book is from Professor Benard Lewis, ""It is dangerous to exaggerate and is equally dangerous to ignore and neglect... most Muslims are not fundamentalists, and most fundamentalists are not terrorists... but most present-day terrorist are Muslims and proudly identify themselves as such."

It is time we open our eyes to what is going on around us before it swallows us up along with the country we hold dear.

Disclaimer:  As part of BookSneeze, I did receive this book for free.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.



Friday, April 1, 2011

Our Week In Review

In my life this week...
I can sum it up in one word:  sick.      My body rebelled against me in a major way Monday night and I wasn't able to get up out of the bed all day Tuesday.     Fibromyalgia rarely gets me down that bad, but it sucker punched me pretty good.    I have big plans to make a trip to the grocery store today, but that is if I still have energy after taking a shower.  

In our homeschool this week...
We have been on Spring Break this week.   Thank goodness!    Of course, I have felt major guilty about not providing much fun for the guys.     However, when I was apologizing to them they both said, "We have been having fun playing Minecraft!"    Minecraft is an online building game.    With my being sick they have been able to play non-stop for days which is their idea of FUN! 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
We have a big weekend!   The boys have their first 4H shooting competition tomorrow.    Ignoring the fact we have to be there at 7:30, I can't wait to see the boys compete.      Also, our sweet friend, Daniel is coming home from Alabama to visit.   He is going to school and we are "homesick" to see him.     So, I have GOT to continue to feel better.  

My favorite thing this week was...
It is a tie...
1.    We got to spend all day Monday with my sweet twin  nieces.    Love, love, loved that!    Every time I am with them it reminds me of my own boys at that age.  
2.    I am so grateful for the kind, generous hearts that my boys have.     While I have been sick, my hubs has been out of town traveling.     My boys have not only completely taken care of themselves, but they have taken care of me.    On Tuesday when I couldn't even get out of bed, they constantly came in to ask if they could get me anything.     I love them for how sweet they are to me.

What's working/not working for us...
The total lack of groceries right now.     I seriously have to take care of that problem today.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
Back to the routine next week.    Part of me is ready to get this year finished and part of me is ready for summer!

Random photo, quote or thought...