The peeps!

The peeps!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Gifts

Well, Spring Break is here!! Many of my friends are gone on mini-vacations to the beach, the mountains, Las Vegas and so forth. Sweet man needed my help at our farm for a couple of days as he has been working himself to death and just needed another set of hands for a few days. He and my mama also decided that they want to try their hand at gardening so he plowed us up a spot. A HUGE SPOT! Mama keeps saying we just want an eating garden and I look at the size of it and think she must be planning on the entire parish eating from it. But.......a gardener I am becoming. I was not too thrilled about it at first but I have had the most fun the last couple of days. I love being at the farm with sweet man. No phones, no interruptions. And seeing as how my spring break started out with temps in the 40's I didn't mind at all not being somewhere else.
I am reading the most amazing book. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She is a blogger I follow and am in awe of her writing style and her photographs. She is a delight to read. Anyway, her book is about gratitude. She shares about some personal tragedies in her life that led to a crisis of faith for her and then how she came to view Christ. She shares how the first sin committed was really a sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve had everything they could want, yet they desired what they could not have. Can't we relate? Instead of contentment in our circumstances we seek what we have not. Ann goes on to discuss how she began to study gratitude and thankfulness in the Bible and how even Christ gave thanks before going to the Cross. I could write on and on about what she says, but I will rather encourage you to read it for yourself. You will not be disappointed. One thousand gifts is the name of the list she created for things she was grateful for.
As I spent my days at the farm I began to think of the things I am thankful for. Not the big things like family, health and so on, but the little gifts God has placed in my life that are just as worthy of giving Him thanks for.

So thankful for the land He has allowed us to have and to garden on and all the other things we have planned.

Thankful for children who will come and share in this with us. Even one who doesn't care for vegetables that much! :-)

A baby girl who hopefully will see some satisfaction from the fruit of our efforts. And for some special time she and her daddy got to have together.

Grateful for the opportunity to watch things grow. I couldn't help but think about my grandparents and sweet man's grandparents whose lives were dependent on their crops. I am jealous for the kind of faith that created in them. All of our grandparents were fine, devoted, CONTENT people in Christ. Theirs is the kind of faith I desire for myself and my children.

So many times I fail to thank God for His creation. I was struck over and over by the greenness and freshness of everything this week. Beautiful. Verdant.



Thankful for the gifts in the most unassuming places. My mama went crazy when we saw these wild azaleas growing by the creek bed.

Equally as excited when we saw this dogwood. Easter is coming!

How beautiful the colors against the green. What an artist our Lord is.

The sound in the woods of the wind whispering through the trees is beautiful and comforting all at the same time. I could sit out there for hours just listening.

This tree made me think of what our lives must be like. Bent by the harshness of the world but still standing and producing fruit.



I am having a wonderful break. Filled with simplicity and reassessing. Funny how the older I get the more joy is found in the simple things in life. Hope you are having a blessed week and I challenge you to seek out the areas in your life that you can give thanks to our Gracious Savior.
Blessings,
Michelle

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Birthday Fun

Around our house we think birthday celebrations should be milked for all you can get! So we have been celebrating baby girl's birthday for two days. She had several of her best girlies over last night and did what all 15 year olds do. Eat, giggle, and stay up late. They had so much fun making memories. Then we all got up this morning and headed to the bowling alley for some more partying. It has been awhile since that many girls have been at the house all getting ready at the same time. Sweet man just went outside. Bless his heart. We also believe in a lot of sugar on our birthdays, seeing as how calories don't count when it's your birthday!


Christine is so cute and she is always making these sugar cookies that are out of this world. She made these special for Savannah.

Daughter in-love came over yesterday and helped me make these cupcakes for today. Aren't they so cute! I piped the icing on them this morning and had more fun than I could stand, I just wanted to keep piping on anything I could get my hands on.

Savannah and her two big brothers. Check out Josh's shirt. He is the fashionista of the family. :) He is also the best bowler in the family.

Jon and Christine. She looks innocent and sweet but she is a shark at the bowling alley. She and Josh made us all look lame.

This next picture cracks me up. I try so hard to get Graham to look at me and smile and I finally get him to and snap the picture and look at Connor! He is a mess!

Connor loves his Aunt Sabanna.

The bowling extraordinaires!

Jodi and Connor. His grin still looks mischievous.

The two grandpeeps got to bowl too. I think even they bowled better than GiGi did!

A great morning with family and then home for a nap!!! Spring Break next week. So excited to have some time to do what I want and get caught up on some things while we have some great weather. Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Day has Come


Dear Baby Girl,
Well the day has finally arrived! All we have heard for the last THREE months is the countdown to your birthday (you are SO my daughter!). Now it will be,"365 more days till I get my license." Yuck. That makes me want to be sick. So I won't think about that until I have to. But if the upcoming year goes by as swiftly as the last fifteen have, my head will be spinning and once again I will depend on the Lord to protect you when Daddy and I cannot. I guess it has been awhile since your brothers and sister were this age and I had forgotten how helpless you feel as a parent sometimes when you have a teenager!

This picture was taken on your actual first birthday. I still have this birthday cake outfit! I was so afraid you wouldn't ever grow any hair. Funny how the things you worry about change as you get older. 

Hair! Yeah! And BIG hair bows!!!! You were the absolute sweetest thing. Your heart has always been so tender and loving. I pray that never changes.

One thing that hasn't changed is your willingness to cheese it up any time a camera is around! Again, you are my daughter and Jodi's sister!

As I looked at this picture I was reminded how pleasant life was when you let me dress you. Not so much anymore. Darling. Hard to see it though through watery eyes.

This is your kindergarten picture. I love this picture so much. You were terrified on that first day of school. Cried and cried. I can remember dropping you off at pre-school and you would stand at the window and cry like crazy while I drove away. My mama told me that before I knew it those positions would be reversed. I would be the one at the window watching you go.  I wish I had understood that better. Time is flying and I can't make it stop. I am not sure I want to because I have some angst about the next few years we have ahead of us. You have some growing up to do. I don't mean that to sound like Momma is saying you are immature. Quite the opposite. You have some growing up you HAVE to do. It is time. You are growing into adulthood and becoming a young woman. That is the phase we are at in our lives.

This is you now. No hair bows, no letting me dress you and no crying when your momma has to leave you. Oh, but there has been shedding of tears. Tears over hurt feelings, tears over friends changing, tears over boys (don't worry we have their address!:) ) and tears over things I know nothing about. To me this is the most painful part of being a momma. To know you have to suffer through some trials in order to mature and grow up is painful for us even though we know it is necessary. So what do I do? I pray like crazy for you Savannah. The things I desire for you are so different than what I desired for myself at your age (thank you Lord I had a mama praying for me). It is no secret to you the worries and concerns I have about your generation. I want so desperately for the Lord to grant you discernment and wisdom and for you to desire and seek that for yourself. Psalm 119:9 says "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word."
I pray that you will seek Him with all your heart and not stray from His commands. That you will hide His word in your heart that you might not sin against Him. But..... you will make mistakes and shed many more tears. And Daddy and I will love you through it, but more importantly, you have a Savior that loves you so much He gave His life for you. He desperately wants to have a relationship with you and He is always there for you. He is more patient than I. Thank goodness, right?
You are a blessing of the most precious kind to Daddy and me. We are so proud of your accomplishments and the young lady that you already are. We thank Him profusely for the joy of being granted the gift, ever how short, of raising you and loving you and being able to call ourselves your parents.

Happy, Happy Birthday our precious Savannah. We love you with all our hearts and hope that your day is as special as you are.  And just remember, in the altered words of your muse Taylor Swift,
"Cause when you're fifteen,
Somebody tells you they love you,
You're gonna believe them (but nobody loves you like Momma, Daddy and Jesus)!!!!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Girly Stuff

Well, I feel like spring break is never going to get here!!!! Ours is next week and I have a feeling this week will go by slowly. My seniors have totally lost their drive to accomplish anything and the battle is on. ARGH! Happens every year at this time. This past weekend was so pretty, however it was beauty pageant time and I was called upon to emcee again. Baby girl did not participate as a contestant (thank goodness - I am so NOT up for that) but she was called upon to sing. The theme of the pageant was "Enchanted" and she was asked to sing the Taylor Swift song by the same name. It is about a girl who meets a boy and goes home and remembers it all giddy like- Much like how my baby girl is on a regular basis - Giddy! She looked adorable and had a blast

I thought she looked like Cinderella. She will be FIFTEEN this week. I am ill over it. We will lament that after while. Here she is making ga-ga eyes at the boy she sang to. She was in her element.
It was fun to have my oldest daughter in town for the event. She did her baby sister's hair and makeup - they argued the whole time and older girl wanted to know was she as obnoxious as baby girl when she was that age - Are you kidding? 

Aren't they adorable? I think so. We also got to have Christine share the day with us. She is Josh's girlfriend and she is so very precious to me. She is so sweet and helpful. She is a lady in every sense of the word. She is always calling me and asking what can she do for me and she just cut 12 inches of her hair and donated to Locks of Love. She is gorgeous. I love you Christine!

We missed Laura in a huge way but she was busy with bridesmaid duties for a friend's wedding. We had a good time being all girly together. We will be busy with baby girl birthday festivities this weekend. I hope I can get it together to blog on her birthday. Somewhat in disbelief that she is fifteen years old.My heart aches if I think about it too much - so I won't! Hope everyone has a great week!
Springtime Blessings,
Michelle



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

SSMT #6!

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)



“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

 
I am one of those people who really do not get all crazy about things. Don’t really “freak out” about stuff and basically keep a level head. Most of the time. However, there are occasions that THE word – you know the one I am talking about – WORRY - creeps in when I least expect it and it takes me by surprise. Even when I know that I know that I know – HE is in control and worry does me not one bit of good. This is not just in relation to one particular thing in my life right now but a few areas I am experiencing concern. A little angst if you will. I do not like how that makes me feel. Not my basic nature so it feels unnatural. Yesterday afternoon I was feeling a pretty healthy dose of worry and I was at my computer and started to look at more of those videos of the devastation in Japan. WOW. My mind cannot fathom all of that. It is truly like watching a movie with wild special effects, except this is real. Talk about feeling convicted about what I feel is problematic right now. Then a whole new set of feelings swept over me – Guilt. How can I be so petty when I have just seen families literally running for their lives. Makes me ill thinking about it.



Today is the day for memory verse #6 and I began praying a couple of days ago for the Lord to direct me to the scripture He feels I most need right now. All night long, ALL NIGHT LONG – I dreamed about oxen in a yoke. Heard an illustration once about how our yokes keep us in bondage. Like the oxen who were shackled to a yoke. Some yokes are for one oxen and others were for two. When I try to worry and control things I am like that oxen in one yoke and that yoke is bondage. Bondage to my fears, concerns, and worries. However when I accept the yoke that Christ has offered me to share with Him, I am released from all that fear, concern and worry for He gives me rest from it and He carries it – His burden is light. Then that yoke of bondage becomes a yoke of liberty. More than anything this morning I am reminded that even through my guilt about worry and my worry (how is that for a double whammy of self-absorption!) the God who is concerned for the people of Japan is also reminding me He still wants me to cast all my cares upon Him and He cares for me in the midst of all that goes in the world.
Oh, what a Savior!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Hour

One would not think that an hour makes such a difference! I don't really like this whole "spring forward" thing. I am an early morning riser so it shouldn't be that hard for me, but I can surely tell you I will be wiped out tonight. We had a great day yesterday. First with a family reunion where there was much good fellowship and food and then on to a sweet little boys fourth birthday party where there was much cake to be eaten, presents to be opened and much running around like wild indians. :) Fun for all. Hoping to get a lot of papers graded today and just relax.
Off to worship - Hope everyone has a blessed Lord's day. He is so worthy of our worship!
Michelle

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday Connor!!!!

We are in the middle of birthday celebrations around here! Today is our first grandpeep' s fourth birthday! We are going to celebrate like crazy at his party this weekend.

Connor,
It does not seem possible that you can be a four year old now. Oh my goodness how PawPaw and I love you. You hold the distinct honor of making us PawPaw and GiGi!! Nothing makes us smile like you coming to stay with us. You are such a sweet, sweet boy. I know you won't really like that label your whole life but right now I can tell you that.

I love this picture of you cause it represents how you approach everything right now - with great abandon and no inhibitions. You can do that when you are four!
This face is so precious to me. Like you are up to something. And you usually are! You love to be at the farm and do "farm stuff". Mostly just ride stuff with wheels and hang out with PawPaw and Old Paw. We love you being there.
I just like this picture of you. You are so handsome.
And this picture is just you. Busy with something and just being all boy. And are you ever! We cannot get over how smart you are. You say the funniest things. Like telling me PawPaw and I are now the Prince and the Princess! And the other day when you said,"PawPaw, when you die and go to heaven you get to be with Jesus."
"That's right Connor."
"I went to heaven one time PawPaw."
Laughter from us and then "I don't think so Connor."
"Uh-huh."
"Okay, well what did you see if you went to heaven?"
"Hearts, hearts, hearts everywhere."
HMMM. Maybe he is on to something. We pray for you every day that you will grow to be just who God wants you to be. He has a great and perfect plan for your life. We love you with all our hearts and cannot wait to see you on Saturday! Hope your day is just as special as you are and we will see you before you know it!
Love to the sky and back!
PawPaw, GiGi and Aunt Savannah

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Grandboy Peeps


This past weekend was filled with what I love more than anything - my grand boys. We celebrated Graham's second birthday on Saturday with a big ole John Deere tractor themed party. If you know anything about this precious one it is this - HE LOVES HIM SOME TRACTORS!!!! He ate cupcakes and jumped in the jumpy thing (I am sure there is a more technical name) and played in the dirt. Ahhhhh - it is good to be a boy. We were so thrilled to get to take Connor home with us after the party. We had not seen him since Christmas and we were about to burst to get our hands on him. Then on Sunday our whole family congregated to our parents house to celebrate my niece's birthday with of all things - pony rides. My two boys were euphoric all weekend. 

"Bring on the cupcakes!"

"Man, I love icing."

"This jumpy thing even has a slide - My parents rock!!!"

"A lot of people say I look like my dad and that we make the same faces. I don't know - what do you think?"

"GiGi, when is it MY turn to ride the pony? I am ready. Make them hurry."

"I feel as though I am channeling Roy Rogers. Don't have a clue who that is but I feel it! I bet if they would let me out of this pen my pony and I would fly like the wind!!!"

"PawPaw look at Connor. Hey Connor. I want on that pony real bad."

"See, I am just as big as everybody else. Dude, don't hold on to me - I got this."

"Well, okay maybe PawPaw can stand close - just in case. It will make my Momma happy. Look at me though - I AM THE MAN."

"I don't really understand why the grownups won't let me drive this by myself. I will just hang off of it like a monkey until someone notices and decides to give me a ride."

"I think me and my cousin Nonnor are the stuff. Look at us.We are some cool dudes sitting on top of this hay bale. I can tell by looking at my GiGi that she is saying - 'They are darling'. She loves us."

"I need wheels man. Why won't this key turn this bad boy on? I could sit here for hours if they would let me. But they won't."

"Aunt Bana, Graham is sitting on a 4-wheeler please let me sit on yours. Please, Please Please."

"Uncle Josh has wheels. Score!"

"PawPaw, I am through playing all this little stuff. Let's get the big boy toy out. You know you want to. Look I even dressed for it. If we're gonna do it, let's DO IT!"

"Bye GiGi! We are leaving with PawPaw. Look at us! We are the coolest ever!"

And there you have the end to the perfect weekend. Two boys riding off into the sunset with their PawPaw on their tractor. Life just doesn't get any better!