Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vacationing With Friends

We are in the midst of planning a vacation with our friends Jonathan and Lesli for this summer. It is a trip we have talked about since before they were married, always saying, "we should sooo do that sometime!!". Well, sometime has arrived and we are headed to the beach together this summer as soon as school is out! Can I get a yahoo?!?

As I thought about this trip tonight, I could not help but look back at the trips we've taken with friends through the years. There are weekend jaunts here and there, but the three that stand out to me are the BelWoodBourn, the Cruise to the Bahamas, and St George Island 2010.

BelWoodBourn (named for the Beltzes, Woods, and Milbourns) wasthe first trip we really took as grown-ups, married, leaving our kid, etc. It was SO MUCH FUN. We arrived in Florida late at night, walked on the beach, then went to the Waffle House in the middle of the night JUST BECAUSE WE COULD!!! This trip deepened some really special friendships and taught us that time away from the kiddos with other adults is precious.

The Cruise to the Bahamas was with the Scotts, and it was SO RELAXING AND FUN!!! We did WHATEVER we wanted. It was so great to just lay by the pool, read until the sun went down, eat whenever we felt like it, laugh and talk, walk around, buy souvenirs. Our waiters treated us like kings and queens, never letting Tim or Sherri run out of Sweet N Low.

St George Island was just last summer with the Shipps and the Gobles. What a RELAXING way to spend a week, not having to be anywhere...just playing and loving and talking and playing some more and eating and talking and eating some more.

We are blessed with friendships that build us up, make us better than we were before. Thank you, sweet Father, for giving us these people who we don't deserve. Teach us to love them well. Oh, and help us have fun on the beach this summer with Jonathan and Lesli!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Art Show

Isaac loves everything about art. He ALWAYS has a project (or 16) going in the house. When asked what he wants to do when he grows up, he will generally answer "be an art teacher". This winter, he took art lessons with our friend Amanda and had a blast doing it.

For one of his assignments he drew a portrait of Harry Potter from the cover of the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I loved watching him agonize over the details, erase, re-draw, and erase again, attempting to reach the perfection that was in his brain as he looked at the drawing.

Tonight was the opening of the Children's Art Show at Gaslight Art Colony here in Marshall, and Isaac's drawing was in the art show. It was so fun for our family to go and celebrate one of Isaac's special gifts. Ezra said, "I'm proud of you Isaac". Simon mostly got mad because he couldn't play with the playing cards which were part of a 3-D design in the show, but it was still fun to have him there. The Harry Potter (as you can see) is to the right of Isaac. I don't know who did the flowers right above his head (oops...should've checked that out!!). The 2nd place winner (to the left of Isaac) was Isaac's friend Thomas (yay Thomas!!!).

I LOVE that Isaac played basketball at 3:00 this afternoon and went to his first art show at 7:30 tonight and was thrilled by both.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm just wondering...

If i completed half of a workout, but I also broke up 3 fights between the little two and one HUGE fight between the big two and helped build a fort and tripped over a 2 year old pretending to be a cheerleader and sent the oldest to his room for talking to me with a bad attitude REPEATEDLY all DURING the half of the workout I completed and then took out the Jillian Michaels DVD and put Diego on in desperation, does that mean that I actually get credit for the whole workout??

AND can I then go into the kitchen and grab this jar of cookies and lock myself in the bathroom and eat the whole jar and not have the calories count at all because of the stress I've just endured?

Yep, thought so.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Sunday, February 13, 2011

More Now Than Ever

So, when I drove like a wild woman after my master's degree graduation to get to Tim who was at church camp and then we got this picture taken together (me with my super cool bib overalls on and Tim with his nappy hair and dark tan), I had no idea how much I would love this man. I thought I loved him then...and I did...but, oh, how I love him now.

Love grows, but not without effort. Love grows with hard work, giving up our own thing, saying sorry when it feels like we shouldn't have to, loving when the other is unlovable, doing loving things when we are feeling far from loving, speaking honestly, listening with a soft heart when we'd like to be defensive, yelling and then humbly apologizing, messing up royally and then admitting the screw-up.

Love is hard, but it is oh so worth it. I would not want to be on this journey with anyone else. I love him more now than ever!!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just Do The Next Thing

This mom was feeling a little overwhelmed by life this afternoon. The house is bursting with dust bunnies and clean clothes and dirty clothes and little boys' toys and dirty dishes and small appliances needing wiped off and put away.

I found myself repeating in my mind "Just take care of each little space. Don't think about the other things to do until that little space is done." My sweet friend Brenda passed on this little nugget of wisdom which she learned from her grandma. It has saved me from myself many times. Rather than feeling paralyzed by the monster in front of me, I am choosing to take care of one little space. The good news is that those little spaces add up. The mudroom looks great now, and the kitchen isn't too far behind.

P.S. Do you like my new highlights?? A 1st grader told me this morning that I looked like I transformed into beautiful!! hahaha! Don't you just love those little boogers??

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Monday, February 7, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys

The Wood boys (the three oldest...that would be Tim, Isaac, and Ezra) thought a snow fort was in order after the latest snow. Ezra and Tim spent several hours outside the first day, designing and creating the fort. When Isaac got home from a day of helping Bubba (family friend for anyone wondering, aka "Jonathan") do some construction work (yay, Bubba, thanks for helping us build men outta these boys!!), he was so excited to see all of the work done on the fort.

The next day, Isaac and Ezra went to work, constructing rooms and doors. Ezra wanted to sleep in the fort, and I think Tim still has plans for a chimney and a fire. I'm feeling thankful for fun boys, for a super fun Daddy, and for my cozy couch which kept me company while I read my book during all of these shenanigans!!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Through Ezra's Eyes

Ezra got Grammie's old camera when she got a new camera for Christmas. After we got him all set up, he said, "What should I take pictures of, Mama?". I said, "Just take pictures of things you love". When I connected the camera and these were the first three pictures to pop up, my heart skipped a beat. These are the things he loves.

What an honor to be entrusted with these three. May I be found worthy.
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

I am reading, well actually devouring, the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I'm considering making it required reading for everyone I love. Typically I'm more of a fiction girl. I'm not sure what happened, but I wonder if I overdosed on non-fiction in college and grad school. It's like the sight of it is alluring to me and I think I'm gonna like it, but when I start reading, I break out into hives. I don't like this about myself, and it's something I'm constantly working on. That is why reading this book is so exciting to me. It's non-fiction, and, not only is my body free of hives, but I am LOVING it, ingesting it, underlining it, turning down its corners, making REAL changes in my life because of it.

One of those changes is a journal of gifts in my life, things I'm thankful for. I started it yesterday, and one page is already full of gifts...

...fresh grace each day
...flannel sheets on a cold night
...Simon's smile in the morning
...homemade bread
...Isaac reading Harry Potter
...the moment my lover gets home
...Ezra's little thumbs playing games on Isaac's ipod
...teenage babysitters
...coffee first thing in the morning
...Tim in a suit and tie
...comments on facebook
...Simon playing Little People
...Little House on the Prairie
...dinner out
...the boys at Grammie's for the afternoon
...a dear old friend chatting on facebook

I can't wait to fill my little black journal with gifts, not just so I'm a good girl who is giving thanks, but so that the hole in my soul will truly be filled, so that I will receive the GIFT of God fully.

"...I'm struck, a comet blazing across the empty dark of my life. All those years thinking I was saved and had said my yes to God, but was really living the no. Was it because I had never fully experienced the whole of my salvation? Had never lived out the fullest expression of my salvation in Christ? Because I wasn't taking everything in my life and returning to Jesus, falling at His feet and thanking Him. I sit still, blinded. This is why I sat all those years in church but my soul holes had never fully healed. Eucharisteo, the Greek word with the hard meaning and the harder meaning to live--this is the only way from empty to full." from One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Friday, February 4, 2011


This songs makes me want to be more like Jesus. Go to itunes and buy it. You know you want to.

I've been looking for a reason… I've been longing for a purpose…

I'm losing all my meaning…I've run out of excuses.

Lord, it's hard to know You. ..I don't always see your plan ...

But holiness is calling me so take me as I am.

You are my everything, you are the song I sing; I'll do anything for you

Teach me how to pray, to live a life of grace; I'll go anywhere with you

Jesus, be my everything.

Lord, I get so tired of the struggle within...

I settle in complacency and I'm weighed down in my sin...

So lead me past emotion, 'cause they change with the wind...

I want to be a true disciple to daily choose Your hand.

Jesus My Everything by Matt Maher

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I love it when...

...Tim wakes me early in the morning, before the sun is up, to kiss me and say goodbye, and I know that I can go back to sleep for an hour or two. Mmmm...mmmm..mmmm....

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, sweet 10 year old

Can it be true? Do we really have a child in the double digits? Wow. I can't think of anyone I'd rather have as the big brother of our house. He is strong and sweet all mixed together.

Auntie and Uncle Dave and the cousins came to help celebrate. We had a blast!

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us