Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Pictures

We had a great Thanksgiving week in Dothan. It was a long week and alot of fun to be with our families, but now we are soooo happy to be back home! It was very nice to have a long visit with everyone and I wish we could have those kind at least every month. The only sad part of the week was that Hayes had her 3rd ear infection, so she did not feel great and we woke up to her screaming every night (and still are.) No fun to be a sick baby w/hurting ears. But after several antibiotics that did not work, she had a nice shot this afternoon so we're praying for a peaceful night tonight with good sleep for everyone!
I have way too many pictures of our time in Dothan so I'm really having to pick and choose which ones to share. There are just so many and since this is our 'scrapbook' I do not want to leave any event out. So if you get tired of looking, just click away to another blog!

Visiting our Grandaddy at the hospital-he is doing a little better thankfully and leaving the hospital today to go to a rehab center

3 Elizabeth's

Girls Beach Trip

Mary Hannah's Thanksgiving Feast, she was a precious little Indian!

Playing with Carson

Visiting Nathan's mom's artroom at school

Ready for Thanksgiving!

I will have to post part 2 later. I hear a baby waking up! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It comes and goes way too fast. Cannot believe it's already time for Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Vacation Week

We got started early this year! Hayes and I came to Dothan last Friday to spend our Thanksgiving week in Dothan. A whole week plus a day and I'm sure we'll still leave feeling like we did not get to stay long enough. Nathan will be joining us on Wednesday and it really cannot come fast enough. We are loving spending time with our families but there is just no one like DADDY. I think he misses us too, but is probably really enjoying himself and all his free time before and after work, the tv to himself, a quiet, clean house, no diapers, etc. Well now that I wrote that it really sounds a little sad now that he's there by himself without us!

This past weekend we had a fun girls beach weekend with all of my high school friends (minus Katie-we missed you)-SO much fun to get together and reminisce. It was so great to see each other and amazing that everyone(even Jenny!!) could get there since everyone is spread out w/families, and to be able to work it out for husbands/grandparents to keep all the babies. These girls are longtime friends, 15 and 20+ years-so thankful for all of them. It was my 1st time spending the night away from Hayes-of course I missed her but we mainly talked about our little ones (11total) and looked at pictures so it was really like we were not away from them at all! No responsibility felt really fun and strange, but I love my responsibility more than anything and could NOT get back to her fast enough on Sunday. No pictures from the beach yet though b/c my camera cord is not here with me.

Dothan has already been busy, visiting friends, lunch at Mama Rosas, playing with our cousins, seeing cute little Indians at the 1st Pres thanksgiving feast, and today we visited our Shug's (Nathan's mom) art room at school. Tomorrow we get to pick up our sweet big cousin Carson from school and eat lunch and play. He and Hayes play so good together-he is very sweet to her. He called last week and asked if he could marry her-he is three! Our trips home are never relaxing. With both families here, we rarely have time to just sit around-it's usually go, go, go running from one place/event to the next (which I usually like, but it's harder with a baby!) But even in the busy-ness of being here-running around to stores, eating lunch out, trying to take a nap somewhere (thanks Alyssa!!), trying to see friends and extended family- it's still fun b/c we're with our FAMILY (plus Hayes has thankfully been flexible and taken some very good, long naps!)

I do have some pictures to share that I just got back from Hayes at 6 months. I can't believe how much she has already changed just from these pictures though! Tomorrow will be 10 months-that is super hard to believe. She is working on walking more and more every day. She takes anywhere from 5-10 steps but then falls down and decides to crawl-that's so much easier and faster of course!

Prayer Request: Our Grandaddy is in the hospital in Montgomery with pneumonia, several blood clots, and several other unpleasant things. Would you mind keeping him and my Grandmother (who is very confused) in your prayers? We would appreciate it very much.

Hope you all have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving with your family. We all have so much to be thankful for!
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever. Psalm 100:5

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Don't Want to Raise Successful Children

A friend sent this to me this morning from Proverbs 31 ministries website...a good reminder that worldly standards and benchmarks do not matter in God's eyes. It was such a catchy title that I had to read it and it was well worth it. Take a few minutes to read through if you have time!

I Don't Want to Raise Successful Children
19 Nov 2009
Lysa TerKeurst

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

I don't want to raise successful children. That's a shocking thing to read, and a shocking thing for a mother to type. So, let me clarify.

I used to define success according to my child's report card. Good grades and academic achievement would surely equal a good child with great potential in this world. But then several of my children wound up being average students with average grades. Though we carted them off to tutors and spent many a late night at the kitchen table helping them, they remained average. And I remained concerned and frustrated.

One report card day I found myself facedown in the fibers of my carpet crying and wonderi ng, "Where have I gone wrong as a mom?"

I dug into Scriptures. I begged God for wisdom and discernment. I prayed for God's perspective with each of my kids. Finally, one day it dawned on me - what if I simply chose to embrace the natural bent of each of my kids as God's way to protect them and keep them on the path toward His best plans for their lives?

What if my A student needs academic success to prepare her for God's plans while my average to below-average student needs to be steered away from a more academic future? What if my sports star kid needs that athletic excellence for his future assignments by God, but my benchwarmer kid is being protected from getting off course by her lack in this area?

And that's when it finally dawned on me. My job isn't to push success for my kids. My job as a parent is to recognize the unique way God created each child and point them to Jesus at every turn along their journey toward adulthood. Yes, I wan t my kids to learn and thrive and grow up educated, but it's not a flaw in me or them if they don't have straight A report cards and trophy cases full of sports medals.

Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" (NIV).

I am challenged to ponder these words, "… in the way he should go." Are we training our kids that the "way he should go" is to chase worldly achievement or to chase God? Whatever they learn to chase as a child, they will chase as adults. Therefore, we must be challenged to honestly assess the way we are pointing them to go.

My daughter, Hope, is one of my average students. She has also warmed many a bench in the sports she's tried, and can always be found hiding on the back row of the stage during school concerts. Using the world's benchmarks for achievement, Hope wouldn't be seen as a child positioned for success. But God…

This past January, my 15 year old Hope, shocked me when she announced she wanted to go to Ethiopia with some missionary friends of ours and live in the remote African bush for the summer. Yes, she may not have trophies and straight A report cards but she does have a heart of gold. And because she's not entrenched in sports and academic pursuits that could have created obligations for her summer, she was free to go to Africa. Free to chase God in a really big way.

One of the first e-mails she sent me from Ethiopia read, "Mom, I've fallen in love with the AIDS orphanage children. They rushed at me when I held my arms out and I tried with all my might to hold all 30 of them at once. I love it here."

Now, don't get me wrong. I do expect Hope to return to her studies this fall, give 100% effort, and finish her high school career having done her very best. She will most likely then go to college. But she probably won't be delivering the valedictorian address or wearing the honors cords and medals. She'll be the on e with a vision of a dying AIDS orphan pressing against her heart ready to chase God's plans to the ends of the earth.

So back to my original statement, I don't want to raise successful children. It's true, I don't. Though Hope's sister coming behind her is an A student and can always be found on the front row of school performances - we don't chase after success for her either. I trust God that she needs those things in her life for the plans He's unfolding in her life. We train with that bent in mind. But, we don't chase it. Just like Hope, we point her in the direction of God at every turn and pray like crazy.

I stand by what I said and I'll say it again, I don't want to raise successful children. Because--- raising God-honoring adults who will set the world on fire for Christ is just so much more rewarding.

Lysa TerKeurst

Thursday, November 12, 2009

(Almost) Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

I had some serious food inspiration this week after reading Becky Tucker's blog about all her cooking in the kitchen this week. She made the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon roll recipe and when I read through it I was dying to try it for myself! The only downside for me is that it makes tons of rolls-like 50-100 and there is no way we have enough self control(or counter space) in this house to make, then freeze or give away that many without eating most of them ourselves. So I was at Publix earlier this week and found the Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix. You can make homemade rolls or cinnamon rolls from this mix. It already has the flour mixture and packet of yeast in the box.

So I woke up Wednesday morning about 6:30 and thought I would make the cinnamon rolls for breakfast and surely they would be ready by 7:15 or so. Well that was not the case. It turns out that the "from scratch" baking like the box claims is truly that. You mix up your dough, yeast, egg, water, etc. and then wait and wait. It needs to be refrigerated (like Becky said) so you can actually do something with the dough. Then once you roll it out with your rolling pin and put your cinnamon mixture on the dough, you roll it up, slice into rolls and then let it sit again to let it rise. So our morning breakfast turned into a morning project and we did not get to eat until 10:00. But, they were so worth it!! So you might need to do this on a morning when you have a few hours of free time!

Before Baking...

After baked and glazed...(and next time I would double the glaze recipe-just to have a little extra:)

The good thing is this recipe made 16 rolls. Eat them right out of the oven, while they are warm and soft! Also, this might be a seasonal baking item because it was on the end of the display shelf at Publix. I'm a frequent visitor to the baking aisle these days and have never seen it. You might want to grab a few boxes to stock up once you try them!

This picture doesn't have anything to do w/cinnamon rolls but Hayes wanted me to take her picture eating cornbread for the first time at lunch yesterday. Lunch date w/mommy and daddy at the Bluff park diner.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Morning Reading

Please take a moment to read Kelly's blog here if you have not already done so today. She wrote about day 2 of her trip to El Salvador w/Compassion and has many stories of families and children who have sponsors and how it has changed their lives. It is heartbreaking and humbling, but it is a great reminder of the great commission that we are all called to be the hands and feet of Christ (Matthew 28:19-21.) You'll be so glad you visited her blog too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Botanical Gardens

I am super sad that I never got around to taking any pumpkin pictures with Hayes. It seemed like every weekend or any free afternoon we had was either raining, or had just rained the day before, too cool outside, or Hayes was not feeling good. So no pumpkin pics for us this year. That is okay though because hopefully there will be next year for the pumpkin patch! So today we had a lunch date w/our friend Lindsay and her precious girl, Caroline. Lindsay is a sweet, loving, extremely friendly, encouraging, supportive, and super fun friend from college days. She is at home all day w/her baby and one thing I really love about her is that she is SO spontaneous! She's the friend you can call who says YES to everything you ask her to do and does so w/much enthusiasm! There are many things I love about her but that is just one thing. I wish you all knew Lindsay. Maybe you do if you went to Auburn? She's precious and a beautiful friend inside and out. Anyway we met for lunch at Zoe's and then took our girls to the botanical gardens. It was a beautiful day in Birmingham today, not too warm or too cool. We talked and strolled and had fun watching our babies take it all in. So here are our fall pictures, finally!! No pumpkins, but plenty of fall flowers!

Hayes with sweet friend, Caroline...such a cutie pie and the most beautiful blue eyes!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Family Time

This has been such a nice weekend! It's been fun and busy, and full of good quality time together. We made a short, unexpected trip to Dothan this past week (more on that later) which resulted in a longer weekend at home together and that is always nice. I love weekends (and weeknights:) at home with our family of 3. It's such a "complete" feeling and always lots of fun.

We started Friday night getting ready for the fall festival at our church. This is an annual event at Dawson and always so much fun! We've spent the last couple of years volunteering but this year we were able to take our little munchkin with us. Hayes was a flower this year for her 1st Halloween! She did great the 1st night keeping her hat on, but the 2nd night she was not having it. She let us know quickly that she would not be wearing the flower hat and that was okay. I'm just glad I dressed her up 2 nights so I could make sure to have lots of pictures! We met up w/our friends the Harpoles for some yummy dinner first and then braved it through the rain to get there. It was hectic but lots of fun to see everyone! Halloween night we hung out w/some sweet friends, ate chili and smores, and had a fun time. It was a fun 1st Halloween for our little flower!!

Our sweet friend, Jack!

Hayes had a great time people watching at the festival-lots going on there!! She was so tired by the end of the night.

I'm hoping she will adjust easily to the time change. For the past couple of days she has been sleeping late, which is not like her at all-like 7, 7:15 and even 8:15 when we were in Dothan. Tonight she was ready for supper and then bed SO early b/c of the time change. As long as she can sleep a little later that is okay with me, we will see. Hope you had a GREAT weekend with your family!!