Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Love Can Be Strong"

Love can be strong
Love can be weak
Love can be wrong
Or as strong as the current in a creek

Love is patient
Love is kind
Sometimes love can take over your mind

It can be used for great
Or used for bad
It can sometimes even make you SAD
Everyone needs love no matter who you are
Just look around it shouldn’t be far

"Love Can Be Strong"
by Little Guy

"God is Big"

God is big.
We are small.
Satan can dig.
We can fall.

God is great.
Satan is small.
For God you can wait.
For Satan you can look at a wall.

God can fix.
Satan only breaks.
God is tough as bricks.
Satan is tough as baby snakes.

God defeats.
Satan tries.
God always greets.
Satan watches people cry.

Now we know God is greater.
So we can tell Satan see you later.

"God is Big"
by Little Guy

(Little Guy told me he woke up about 2 in the morning last night.   He just couldn't sleep.   As he was laying in the bed thinking this poem just started forming so he got up and typed it out.   When I woke up this morning he had emailed it to me.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

God's Promises Are True

Last night there were pictures all over Facebook of the incredible rainbow in our area.    It was so bright and vivid and could be seen for miles and miles.    This picture was taken by my friend, Julie, who was on her way home with her little girl.   She said she was drawn to our church to take photos and didn't know why.   I do.    See, the last time a rainbow appeared over our church like this we were all gathering at the church to pray for our precious Cade.    He had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and was starting his first day of chemotherapy.    We all saw that rainbow and took it as a sign that God was there with us and knew that he was going to be with Cade.

Yesterday a rainbow appeared again on his last day of chemotherapy.    I know that I was completely overwhelmed by God's faithfulness.   The rainbow is a symbol of God's faithfulness and the fact that He will never break His promises.   What an amazing truth.     

Seeing Cade walk this cancer journey has made us aware of how many children face this terrible illness.  September is CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.

Please continue to pray for each and every child as well as their family that has been faced with this horrible disease. And remember 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer “today” and 7 children will have their life cut short by cancer. The sad thing is that less than 3% of federal funding goes to Pediatric Cancer.

Wake up, America. Save our children ! ! ! 
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 
Did you know:
  • Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the United States 
  • 11,000 young people are diagnosed with cancer every year. 
  • Each year about 2,300 children and teenagers die from cancer. 
  • Although cure rates are steadily increasing, 35% of children will die from a diagnosis of cancer. 
  • 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer everyday in the United States 
  • One in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer. 
  • The average high school has two students who are current or former cancer patients. 
  • Childhood cancers affect more potential patient-years of life than any other cancer. 
  • The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. 
  • At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented. 
  • Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. 
  • One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before the age of 20. 
  • Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Fall "To Do" List

1. Go on a hike on the Natchez Trace
2. Collect leaves, identify, sort and do leaf collections with the boys
3. Decorate the porch and mantles with fall decor
4. Go to the MS State Fair
5. Make caramel apples
6. Make apple cider
7. Go to a fall festival
8. Go to a pumpkin patch
9. Go to a Mississippi State football game
10. Carve Pumpkins
11. Roast pumpkin seeds
12.  Make s'mores
13.  Plant some mums
14.  Enjoy a fall picnic
15. Roast marshmallows over a fire
16.  Make homemade hot chocolate mix
17. Have college students from church over for supper and games
18.  Youth Fall Retreat
19.  See Courageous
20.  Go to Gatlinburg for Thanksgiving
21.  Spend time with our friends from Atlanta
22.  Watch a lot of SEC football (Roll Tide Roll)
23.  Vicksburg Fall Festival/Bricks and Spokes Bike Race
24.   Volunteering at Cafe Du Canton for Canton Flea Market
25.   Seeing Broadway version of "Beauty and the Beast" (this is on my wish list!)
26.   a Veteran's Day ceremony/parade
27.   Start using the fireplace as soon as it gets cold enough
28.   Enjoy the front porch again

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Operation Wingman

Hubs and I spent the weekend with 34 teens (including six of us adults) at Orange Beach.    Of course, there was the uninvited guest of Tropical Storm Lee, but we didn't let him get in our way too badly.    This week was sponsored by the Metamorphosis ministry which I volunteer with.     Metamorphosis is a support group for teens dealing with addictions whether chemical, physical, sexual, food, relational, or or psychological.    It provides them a safe place to receive support.

The goal for our weekend was to train a group of young Christian people to become "Wingmen".   A wingman is someone who commits to support and disciple a friend during a difficult and sometimes dangerous time of their life.    

One of the most amazing parts of the weekend was watching one of our Metamorphosis members come to Christ.      He has been a professing atheist, but through many years of love and acceptance through this ministry he accepted Jesus.     I still cry and get chill bumps when I think of him raising his arms and singing, "Our God is Greater" during our worship time Saturday night.

The official theme song for the weekend was David Crowder's "How He Loves".    It is an incredibly moving song.   The beginning lyrics say...

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Discovering The Perfect Ice Cream... Graeter's

Hubs' cousin told us that we could not leave town without trying Graeter's ice cream.     She lives in California and pays to have this ice cream shipped out to her.    She said it was that good.    

She talked about it so much that we decided that we had to try it.   

***cue angels singing***    She was not kidding.   This is seriously the best ice cream any of us have ever eaten.    I like ice cream, but it is not something that I love.    If we had a Grater's in town I am afraid I would become an ice cream addict.    

Our cousin told us that her favorite flavor was raspberry chocolate chip.    

I know what you are thinking when I say chocolate chip.   You are thinking those wimpy little chips like you bake into cookies.   Not in this ice cream.     They drizzle hot melted chocolate into the frozen ice cream while it is churning and it forms literal chocolate chunks and bars in the ice cream.     This is gooooood chocolate too.   

Big Guy got chocolate chip.    He was speechless while eating it. 

Now we know.   Now we understand.    We have already checked the Graeter's website to find where we can find Graeter's here in Mississippi.      I don't know what flavors they will have, but I will take them!

Homeschool Mom Journal - Week of 9/2

In my life this week... This has been a crazy week with us making the trip to Ohio and back home.   I have been washing, cleaning and repacking so my husband and I can leave to go to Orange Beach for the weekend.    I work with a support group at our church for teens who struggle with addiction.    We are having a retreat for them this weekend.   I am so excited about it.

In our homeschool this week... I am so excited that we decided to start school the first week of August.   It meant that I didn't feel stressed when we had to disrupt our schedule this week.  We still managed to get some schooling/carschooling done while traveling.     Of course, we will hit it hard next week.    We will be adding Big Guy's Latin class and Biology class.   Little Guy will be adding his Botany class.  With these additions, our curriculum should be complete.

Places we're going and people we're seeing...  While on the road we managed to see the Casey Jones house and railroad museum, Lagrange, Fort Pillow and the Creation Museum.    That is a lot of "field trip" time that we would have had.   

The boys are very excited about our close friends, Daniel and Meghan, coming to stay with them this weekend while we are gone to the beach.  Daniel and Meghan are two of our adopted college students and are like another son and daughter.   

My favorite thing this week was... Definitely spending time with our Ohio family.   

Things I'm working on...Reading.   My reading for the publishers has gotten a little behind with the start of school and all the stuff going on.   I am hoping to get caught up on some reading on the drive time this weekend.

I'm reading...Raising Godly Children in an Ungodly World.

I'm praying for...sooo much, but high on my priority list is our retreat and Cade and his last chemotherapy treatment.

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

My sweet birthday boy.     10 years old.   I can't believe it.    Full steam ahead and smiling all the way!   

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Little Guy

Despite the sad reason of our travel, there was one thing we didn't want to miss celebrating while we were on the road.    It was Little Guy's 10th birthday.      When we received the news we had to cancel his birthday party and plans.     He didn't complain because he knew that things happen, but we knew he was disappointed.

While looking for a hotel for us to stay at, I saw that there was a place called the Great Wolf Lodge near our family.    After checking their summer rates and negotiating a little I was able to get a room rate that was the same as if we had stayed at our regular hotel.    

What is special about the Great Wolf Lodge?    It is pretty impressive when you drive up....

And the lobby is very welcoming....

The rooms were pretty comfortable.   Hubs thought the bathroom was really tiny and we weren't thrilled about the vanity being out in the bedroom.    It meant whoever got up first to get ready woke up everyone else in the room.  

We just got a normal family suite (like the one above), but they had a lot of themed suites.    If we had done something like this when the boys were younger, they would have loved this!

Of course, the real reason I decided to book our rooms at the Great Wolf Lodge was because it has an indoor water park.    What a fun way for our Little Guy to spend his 10th birthday morning!     

Out of all the options at the water park, Little Guy's favorite thing to do was the obstacle course.

At the end of the day, Little Guy seemed to be pretty content.    He barely made it through reading all the sweet "Happy Birthday" messages he got on Facebook.

Happy 10th Birthday, Little Guy!
I know it didn't go quite the way you thought it was going to go,
but I have a feeling it is going to be one that you will never forget.
One where you got to spend it celebrating with family who normally never get to be a part of your birthdays.
How special is that?

We love you!

Sometimes It All Changes With A Phone Call

Our schedule for last weekend was very packed.    On Friday night we were meeting with hubs' family for supper because his brother had driven in from South Carolina.   On Saturday morning, Big Guy had a ski trip with his Sunday School class while hubs and Little Guy drove to Union for Country Day.    Saturday night was running errands to finish up details for Little Guy's birthday party on Sunday.   Sunday morning would be church, the afternoon would be the birthday party and that night back to church.   

Of course, it is amazing how things all change with one phone call.     Our family had just left the restaurant when our phones start all buzzing with messages.     We received news that our sweet aunt who lives in Ohio had died.     We all stood in the parking lot and tried to pull out thoughts together as to what to do next.     We drove to a local yogurt shop and made some phone calls and plans.    

Lots of phone calls were made cancelling, reorganizing and arranging things so that we could start the long trip up to Ohio to be with our family.

There are priorities in life.   A lot of times those priorities are rearranged with just one little phone call.