Dec 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

Well we're two days out of Christmas. I'm feeling that familiar feeling of blahs which come from the excitement leading up to the one or two days of family gatherings, good food, opening presents, and watching your kids go crazy with their new stuff!! It is so very anti climatic....a sudden drop from the important to the trivial. I love Christmas. Don't get wrong. However it is a reminder to me every year that happiness is not found in the abundance of possessions. I loved my new North face jacket. Wil loved his Leapster 2, and Mags has taken 2,000 pictures of her feet with her new camera. But I speak for all of us when I say what I enjoyed most was having Tommy home from work for 3 days in a row and being with my part of the family that I don't see often enough. O.k I'm done with the post-scrooge-like attitude for real. I'm gonna get on with the fun we had this year.

CHRISTMAS EVE
For 30 years Christmas Eve has been spent with my dad's side of the family which include my 3 brothers whom I think are the coolest, my aunt Linda and cousins, and my mam ma. My sister Angie doesn't get to come in half of the time but when she does Christmas is complete. This year was very bittersweet. My mam ma landed herself in the hospital just before Christmas with a nasty head wound. The hospital graciously let my brother bring her home to celebrate with us for a few hours before taking her back. I don't know how much longer she will be with us and so this photograph is very special to me. My mam ma was a hero to me growing up and the LORD used her to save me from a childhood that could have robbed me of any future at all. It was in her care that I came to know the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was on her bed that every night we read her Big King James Bible. She'd read a verse, I'd read a verse. Looking back I believe my love for God's Word came from her diligence to place Truth before my eyes in the middle of a chaotic childhood. I know she will never read this, but I have to say thank you mam ma. You'll never know what your life has done and is still doing for me. For the past 2 years, we have celebrated at my brother's house. The food was fabulous. And we had so much fun. They really outdid themselves in countless ways.

CHRISTMAS MORNING
I couldn't wait for Christmas morning. We had some wonderful surprises for Wil and Mags. I had one for Tommy that I was about to bust over. I have no actual pictures of the morning because I am stupid with electronics and erased some of my pictures. Ughhhhhhhhh! It turned out that everyone was surprised including me as I opened my North Face jacket. My mom too was exceptionally happy with her watch. Here are a couple of pictures I took after the fact.




Wil and Mags with a few of their favorites: Leapster 2, basketball, Corduroy bear, and camera.








Surprise!!! Here is Tom eating up his new Ipod Touch.






CHRISTMAS WITH TOM'S PARENTS
We had loads of fun here as always. This year we had an old fashion Christmas. We originally were gonna cut a tree down from Betty and Collis's land for our Christmas tree but who can turn down a $1 real tree from Lowe's. Nobody. That is right. However we did make our gifts for each other. We draw names every year and decided to put more thought and love into by giving a homemade gift. It was really neat. I got the best one. Thanks Marinda. Of course everyone would say their's was the best because seriously they were all great. Some even moved us to tears. I would let you in on what they were but you wouldn't get it....."ain't that right Betty"!!
I love my in laws. Being with them is soul food for me.

FAVE FIVE OF CHRISTMAS 08'
1. Mam ma being with us
2. Collis's sweatshirt from Michael
3. My North Face
4. Surprising Tom with the Ipod Touch
5. The gift revolution

Now on to the New Year and the new resolutions.....

Dec 22, 2008

A Neighborhood Revolution

The Gift Revolution. This is a campaign that our church has had the opportunity to be involved in this Christmas season. Simply put, The Gift Revolution is about giving to those around you and challenging them to pass it on. Case and point: Tom and I took the kids with us to get gas so they could catch the excitement of this gift revolution thing. We paid for a woman to fill up her tank and gave her a Gift Revolution card with a website on it (http://www.thegiftrevolution.com/ ). The hope is that they will go to this website, see all the stories of people giving, post their own, and then be inspired to come up with their own unique way to pass it on. All involved with this brilliant attempt to start a revolution have found themselves just as blessed (probably more so) than those on the receiving end thus proving "tis better to give than to receive" Amen? Amen!!

Now to the video. We decided to combine the Revolution with one of our Christmas traditions. We don't play up Santa at Christmas time. Not because we think it is unChristian. We are not stringent about it. We just chose at the beginning not to say that Santa was who brought them presents. We do however stress the real story of St. Nicholas and how he gave anonymous gifts to boys and girls and how he did so because of his love for Jesus. In the spirit of this, we have the kiddos pick someone whom they want to give a secret Santa gift to. We let them play Santa and give an anonymous gift to someone. This year it was our neighbor. He loves to come to our house and play ball with Wil. And Mags has a capital time with him too. Our Secret Santa adventure took place last night as we delivered the gift with a Gift Revolution card attached. It was all caught on tape. I realize once they [Tom, Wil, and Maggie] start running to the house, you only see blackness but my hope was that I would have enough battery on my camera for them to take it and come back. My hope was lost. The battery took out because Tom and the kids couldn't find a good spot to leave the gift. I was just praying that they weren't shot at being mistaken as a burglar. So if you attempt something like this, use extreme caution no doubt.
Tom just came home and said when he pulled in from work, the neighborhood boy waved real big. I wonder if he knows? If you wonder what happened after the tape quit rolling, let's just say Tommy tripped on a stick and a full moon lit up the sky. On that note have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
video

Dec 17, 2008

Icy Fun

How about this weather? This is what it looks like on my street. One uniformed piece of ice this morning. I am such a home-body and secretly get excited over wintry weather. I love coziness and a soft blanket of white on the ground even if it is sleet, not snow. You can't really tell the difference unless you go out and try to make a snowman.

After a couple of days being in, I am ready to feel free to venture out if I need to. Wil desperately needs a haircut and I want to go see my mammaw in the hospital, but this weather is a great obstacle in doing both of these. We have had our fill of inside fun:) karaoke, painting pictures, Sequence for kids, tag, shoot out, reading books, and yes even the dreaded t.v. watching. We have seen great success in our no t.v. watching over the past couple of months. Unfortunately our 30 minutes a day has turned into 120 minutes a day this week. I know some may ask "why such a strict view of t.v?" Well when I'm home all day, it can turn into an addiction very easily if I don't keep it in check. They become lazy and uncooperative when I throw caution to the wind and let them watch all the Caillou and Clifford and Handy Manny they want. That is just me. I would rather them run around like crazy kids than be glued to the television.


KARAOKE







We got out in it today. It was fun for a while, but Mags got her hands wet (she had on gloves but they were cheap gloves) and Wil threw a ice ball at her which hurts like heck. I tried to tell him that it is not a snow ball when you throw it at Maggie and it doesn't bust. It is like throwing a golf ball at her....really son!


Well daddy is home now to save the day. Poor guy. Although he doesn't complain, I know it is not fun delivering the mail in this weather. Someone called the other day and ask if Tom had to work. Please....the mail goes on rain, snow, sleet or hail (the mail will prevail). But now he has come to rescue us and whisk us off to the lovely mall for haircuts and grocery shopping.

POOR TREY WANTS TO PLAY OUTSIDE TOO






MY LITTLE VANGOGH(S)










Dec 11, 2008

The Tradition Train (All Aboard)

1. Christmas Tree Dedication- check
2. Take kids to buy 08's ornaments- check
3. Build Gingerbread house- check
4. Christmas Card Photo Shoot (me)- check
5. Make Christmas Cookies
6. Read Christmas Story (in progress)
7. Sibling Gift Exchange
8. Secret Santa Adventure
9. Do 101 Christmas Crafts-ha

Here is a look at my Tradition To-Do List. There is probably more, but these were the ones I had off the top of my head. It is rather funny [or not so] to think about my reasons for filling up our December calendar with tradition activities. I plug these traditions to keep Christmas special and to stay away from the stress and hassle of commercialized Christmas. Uh, hello, these wonderful traditions are killing me. The pressure of checking these off my list make me irritable.

What are traditions?
Traditions are what you want to do year after year after year.... I need to put a whoa on the tradition train. The thought of having 2 more hands (Trey) next year decorating the very practical Gingerbread shack is enough to mark it off momma's tradition list. Here are some pictures of the first annual Gingerbread decorating Christmas tradition. I yap, but we had a good time. Ask Maggie. She will say her favorite part was eating the icing and candy when we weren't looking. The side of the house caved in only once and the gingerbread man wouldn't stay up, but all in all it went pretty smooth.



Meaningful and special that is the way I want my kids to remember Christmas. What we do as parents is what our kids will do as parents to a great degree. I will never be a perfect parent....consistently adequate is my goal for now. But I do want them more than anything to understand that this life is meant to be lived on purpose and to be lived for Christ alone!! Presents are great. Cards and cookies I enjoy. But it is Jesus whom I adore and we owe it [Christmas] all to Him!











Dec 8, 2008

CHE Christmas Party


Today was our home school group Christmas party. It is funny when someone raises the concern to me about "lack of socialization" for a home school kid. Since we joined CHE of NEA home school group, we have had many field trips and parties [not to mention Monday school] that I haven't even been able to fit them all in. So socialization is not an issue. At least not for my kids. And today's Christmas party/festival was very much fun for my kiddos. They had games, crafts, face painting, and food. Unfortunately we left with yet another unwanted abundance of candy.

Maggie is now standing by me at the computer crying huge tears because her Ziploc bag of candy is gone. Oh, she is on to me. She has now accused me of throwing it away. Here comes Wil. Apparently Mags took it upon herself to borrow some of Wil's. Now a fight is on. Excuse me while I get Maggie's claws out of Wil's eye.



Pin Baby Jesus on the manger picture to the right


I did a candy cane craft where I had them make candy canes out of pipe cleaners with a story of the candy cane attached. You know...upside down the cane looks like a "J" for Jesus and the white is the purity of Jesus and the red is the blood of Jesus that saved us from sin. Rachel and I were cracking up because you could tell these very young home school kids had heard the candy cane story a million and one times. "Yeah, yeah, yeah we know the story" is what their faces seemed to say.


All the moms worked wholeheartedly to put together a great party for the kids. A big thanks to Vicky Franks who I know put a lot of time into it!! I am loving our home school group. My kids have just taken to all the kids there. Wil and Maggie have made some great new friends. And I'm enjoying the communal advantage it offers!!






















Dec 4, 2008

Tribute #3 - Trey Dawg

Trey. He is perfect. Enough said!!
Really I did think this to be true, but a little trip to Ruby Tuesday's Tuesday caused me to remove my rose colored glasses. Let me explain here if you will. It has been about 6 years since we had been to this restuarant. They changed the atmosphere, it seemed, since our last visit. From our perspective it went from fun to romantic. I looked to my left and see a couple (without children) gazing into each other eyes and holding hands (not exaggerating). Behind me is an older couple who looked a little let down when we passed their table with 3 children. Then there is our table: table # loud. Wil is saying "watch this" as he tries to do a head stand in the booth.... I kid you not!! Maggie is being Maggie by talking to us like we were across the restaurant from her. It is here that Trey's image of perfection starts to fade. In the middle of the meal, he had enough sitting in the high chair. A maddening scream led us to this conclusion. Lately these maddening screams have gotten frequent in number and louder in sound. In Trey's defense, these screams have become a defense mechanism to defend against Maggie's urges to get in his face and talk baby talk and then pick him up and plop him down. So back to Ruby Tuesday's. Trey and I spent some quality time in the van for he was disturbing the peace in Ruby's.

I do love spending time with my baby. Just watching him play can brighten the most dismal of days. We were not planning to have another baby so soon after Mags. Believe me. It took me a couple of days (lets be real. it took me 9 months) to come to terms that I was going to have 3 children under the age of 5. I have had 5 years with Wil and almost 4 years with Mags to build a relationship. I have had 12 months with Trey and yet my love for him is just as great as with my other two. Isn't it the same with our Lord. Whether we come to know Him just yesterday or 20 years ago, His love is the same for all His children.

We have all embraced our little Trey and could not imagine a life without his wonderful smile, blond hair, blue eyes, and infectious laugh. His babbling is hysterical these days. He is telling us all about what he thinks and I am not understanding a word of it yet loving every minute of it. Although we are not 100% sure our quiver is full, I believe Trey Thomas Archer is a "perfect" completion to our family.

Thanks for letting me dote on my kiddos. It has been good for my heart to reflect on the many ways they individually bring joy to my life. But it is much much more important that I tell my kids all these reasons why they are a joy to me.

Nov 29, 2008

Tribute #2- Life With Maggie

To know Maggie well is to love her. There are so many thoughts (usually accompanied by a smile or a laugh) when I think about my only daughter. Tom and I use to daydream about a little girl named Maggie so long ago. How would she look? How would she act? Well nothing in our imagination could have prepared us for the real things. Miss Maggie Lynn Archer (a.k.a Mags, Magsy girl, Magster, Baby Girl, Sister Bear, Mag Pie) born March 21st, 2005 came and suddenly our hearts would beat a little faster. After all, that is what excitement does to a person. And trust me you never know what excitement is just around the corner with Magsy.


Maggie started speaking before she turned one. At one 1/2 she could put thoughts into sentences fragmented as they were. She has always been a year ahead in many ways. She is funny, smart, and gives the best hugs and kisses. She has a way of making Tom and me putty in her hands when she turns on the sweet side of herself. Yes, she is dainty in appearance but very robust in personality. When you hang with Maggie, fun (and sometimes danger) is never far behind. She looks like me but acts like Tommy. The only thing that concerns me about this is that Tom has done many daring things (bungy jumped, cliff diving, ejection seat, anything high and dangerous he loves, and he still wants to sky dive....not in my life time I say). That will not "fly" with me for my baby girl if she decides to inherit this part of her father as well.

Like I said earlier, my head can dance with thoughts of Maggie....
She makes up songs.
She makes up words.
She makes up songs with her made up words.
She talks loud.
She whispers loud.
She is loud.
She loves hard.
She plays hard.
She laughs hard.
She sleeps well.
Maggie possesses so many qualities that I admire. She is so many things that I'm not, but wish I were: fun, spontaneous, fearless, brave, charming, carefree....

When she was a baby I would lay her down every night and whisper in her ear "The King is enthralled by you beauty; honor Him for He is your Lord." Psalm 45:11. I want my Maggie girl to know that beauty is in the eye of the Beholder....her Creator, her Lord. Beauty that last comes from a heart that honors God. That is what I will tell her for as long and as often as she will listen.
To know Maggie is to love Maggie and I do in a million and one ways!!!
XOXOXOXOXO, Baby Girl!


The next to last picture is Tom and Mags going on their first daddy-daughter date.

Nov 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


This year began my diligent effort to create a love for Thanksgiving and what meaning it carries. My efforts are paying off for when we go someplace that has a Christmas tree up, they'll say "don't they know its not Christmas yet". Thats right my chicks. We still have Thanksgiving to celebrate! I'm just keepin it real...keepin it real! And here are my children being "real" goofy with their Turkey craft and their Thankful tree!!
Happy Thanksgiving all! See ya at 5a.m at Wal-Mart. Don't snag all the deals, Dana.

Nov 25, 2008

Tribute #1: Wilson Collis





....And so the tributes begin...with Wilson Collis Archer (a.k.a Wil, W.C. ,
Willie Boy, Wil Bub). He is our first born, a typical first born too. He is cautious, reserved, eager to please. He likes rules to be followed that is unless he wants to win. He was what is classified as an easy baby. This makes for a happy momma. Ask Wil what he wants for Christmas and he'll say "all things sports". This makes for a happy dad. Speaking of which. I have never known a boy to bond with his daddy so fast!! There is suppose to be that first 18 months of a boy's life where his world revolves around mommy and then mommy has to let go so that the bonding process between boy and dad can transpire. There was never that transition for Wil. Daddy had his heart from birth. My hypothetical opinion is that daddy got to change the first diaper....I dunno.

One word comes to mind for those who know Wilson best-BASKETBALL. This makes for a VERY happy daddy. The boy loves it. I'm not exaggerating when I say from birth until about 4 years old, the only toy that occupied Wil's time was a ball (many kinds). Whether he was shooting it, hitting it,
throwing it, walking with it, or sitting on it. Now at 5 years old, he has only one other pastime. It is puzzles. He can work circles around me with a puzzle.

The cutest thing with Wil right now is that he is taken by the girls. He is drawn to em' like a moth to a flame!! He chases them around the gym on Mondays. The funny thing is that they chase him back. Let me just say he is seriously committed too. I have even seen him step in with a protective reflex and defend them. I was quite impressed. What a blessed girl who finds the hand of my son. At least momma sees it that way.



Wil, my son. He was the beginning for me. The beginning of a whole new chapter in my life. This chapter lies at the root of a deeper walk with God. The chapter of Wil purposed me to live better and love deeper!!

My prayer for Wilson is that he will be a man after God's own heart, that he will find the road in which God has his race marked out specifically for him. I want him to love people and glorify God by living and doing all that God has set for him to do.













































































Nov 20, 2008

Back In The Game

Here is my introduction, if you will, to the up and coming tributes I will be giving to our beautiful, wonderful, precious, reflections of the Kingdom: Wilson Collis, Maggie Lynn, and Trey Thomas.
Let me share how I come to the idea of blogging tributes to my kids. Over the past month I have been in what I like to call the "parenting pit". This is a place where I turn into a momma that even I can't tolerate- impatient, demanding, distracted, and selfish. Usually I fall into this pit when I become preoccupied with me, myself, and I. It becomes about my agenda, my to-do list, my expectations, my need, and my wants. I have come to recognize this pit. As I am falling I hear a familiar voice spouting out orders, correcting behavior like a resounding gong, and losing my cool over a misplaced library book. Just before I hit the bottom I realize what has happened and I weep over it! I weep because there has never ever ever been a greater passion and love in my heart than being a mom and a keeper of our home. And when we stumble in our calling [and we will, it can be discouraging.
As I blog these words, I am once again in reaching distance of the solid ground and I can taste the freedom of God's grace.
God handed me 2 things:
#1- An attitude adjustment
#2- And a new perspective
What I learned:
1. Only by the grace of God can I be a momma that shines a light for Jesus for my kids to see.
2. The expectations I placed on Wil and Maggie are not reasonable.
3. Distraction had led me to lose my focus.
4. The line became blurred between what my responsibility as a mom is and what is out of my control. How do you spell this? P-R-I-D-E.

What Am I To Do About It (in random order)
1. Love on my kids.
2. Bible time is the only school that is absolutely mandatory.
3. Play pretend with Mags
4. Shoot hoops with Wil
5. Lots of peek-a-boo, Itsy, Bitsy Spider, and funny faces with Trey
6. Pray
7. Spend time with the LORD.
8. Watch my tone
9. Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven (it starts here)

Alright then. I am Momma. Hear me roar!!!
This roaring is fueled by God's grace of course.

So in honor of God's merciful fresh start I will give tribute to the three greatest attempts I have to leave a lasting legacy for the glory of God.
I'm back in the game.

Nov 10, 2008

Jelly Toast Anyone?




Here I have one more example of daddy being the one who comes in with his bag of tricks and sprinkles salt (or cinnamon) on the mundane with some whipped cream on top. How many husbands out there feed their kids the forbidden foods for dinner when momma is not home or in my case, when momma is not looking. Forbidden foods include: a chocolate candybar , Trix cereal (I swore as a mom that my kids would never eat those boxes of sugar they so ingeniously package in the kid-friendly boxes and have the audacity to call cereal. This turned into a rejected expectation. Why? Ask my husband what his favorite cereal is and how he delights in giving it to our kids.), and my favorite Jelly Toast. This food name was coined by Rachel Moix to describe what her fun daddy of a husband feeds her kids while she is away. I love how us moms can relate so well to one another.
Mondays are rush, rush, rush and oh so tiring. I know these pictures look like breakfast, but this is din-din time at the Archers. Yes I gave my kids cereal for their evening meal BUT, BUT it was Special K. I gave them a piece of toast (NOT jelly toast) and put just enough cinnamon on it so that I wouldn't have to lie when they asked if I had or not. Without warning, I heard Tom say "now that is cinnamon toast". Their little bit of hardly there cinnamon was now I can't see the toast for the cinnamon. Before I can utter my objections, he is squirting whipped cream on it while he is rewarded with giggles of approval.
I tried to act mortified, but deep down I was thanking God for Tommy and his ability to make not only our kids lives but my life a whole lot "sweeter"!

Nov 7, 2008

Wil's Pick

It was Wilson's pick tonight for Family Night. "You never know what I'm gonna pick?" says Wil. And Yet Tom and I know exactly what he is dying to do. He has been dreaming all week of Wii, roasted marshmallows, Micah, Maddie, Uncle Mike, and Sissy. As soon as we walked in the door he was talking trash to Uncle Mike, "I'm gonna beat ya!". Wil just about hyperventilated when he found out they had Dodge ball on the Wii.
Wil was introduced to Dodge ball at church. I believe Christopher Moix ushered the game in in the preschool room. We were at Co-op (Monday school) and Wil pegged a sweet boy in the head with the ball during a friendly game. When I asked where he learned that he said "Abbie's daddy". It totally cracked me up [not that he threw the ball at the boy but the "Abbie's daddy part]. Boys will be boys.
So tonight Wil played endlessly with the Wii. The boy can play some Wii now. Micah was awesome with Maggie. She wrote up a cool little invitation to a tea party in her room. They dressed up and had tea and grapes with Maddie. Tom and I just sat back and enjoyed watching our kids be kids. We also got to watch a little NBA on Uncle Mike and Sissy's 52 inch flat screen. That was a bonus for us.
Wil had a great family night. "You never know what I'm gonna pick for my next family night?" was Wilson's last words as we got in the van to leave.

Nov 6, 2008

Got Scissors?


I think its time for Trey's first haircut. What do ya think? No really I delight in putting hairbows in his hair just to see Tommy give me the look.

Nov 5, 2008

In Beth Moore's Words...

This is Beth Moore's post from her blog. Not mine. I just copied and pasted it [ I hope this is legal within the blogosphere]. Beth's words just resonated with my spirit.

To my beloved Sisters who I esteem so highly and consistently find to be part of the solution to our problems in the Church rather than the cause,Please join me in praying for our President-elect Barack Obama, his wife Michelle, and his precious daughters, Sasha and Malia. Go with me before the Throne of our sovereign God and ask Him to grant wisdom from above to President-elect Obama and the indwelling presence and power of Jesus Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..." Please also join me in the active and deliberate pursuit of unity and purity in the Body of Christ at this historical time in our country. I implore you in Jesus Name to have zero tolerance for prejudice whether it is regarding party-affiliation, color (whether you are Black, White, or Brown), economics or the like. Disagreement is not sin. Prejudice is. Satan has plotted events and planted attitudes that, should he be successful, will result in havoc. We must not stand for his schemes or cooperate in a single way. We would severely displease God and invite untold chastisement upon Christ's Church in our nation. Speak clearly to your children and graciously but emphatically draw a line in your work places and social circles regarding your stand against prejudice of any kind. "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.'" (Matthew 12:25) A united house stands. A divided house falls. The devil has much to gain. But he also has much to lose.We are the Body of Jesus Christ and we have an opportunity to show His character. This is our watch. We stand for what is right not from our feet but from our knees. I humble myself before you and make these pleas under such bold direction of God that I could not resist it nor disobey it. He made it a fire in my bones.I love and esteem you so much. Shoulder to shoulder, Dear Siestas. Let's leave not one inch for the enemy to come between us.
Posted by Beth at
6:42 AM

Nov 4, 2008

God's Word = Peace

This morning as I spent time in prayer over this historical day, God was as always faithful to encouraged me.
LORD,
You are the King that is above every nation. As concerns fill our mind during this time, let it not take the place of You. Thank you for Your Word that gives me peace.

Psalm 24:7-10
Open up, ancient gates!
open up ancient doors,
and let the King of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty;
the LORD, invincible in battle.
Open up, ancient gates!
open up, ancient doors,
and let the king of glory enter.
Who is the King of glory?
The LORD of Heaven's Armies-
He is the King of Glory.
*Don't we sing a worship song based on this verse? Ahhhhh to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

This passage is lengthy, but the way it uplifted my heart....I had to share it!!

I Timothy 6:12-16
Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses. And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. For at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God. the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He alone can never die, and He lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach Him. No human eye has ever seen Him, nor ever will. All honor and power to Him forever! Amen.

Hearing this promise, tells me that I can be fearless whatever this life brings. Every knee will bow before Him from Obama to McCain to Hannah Montana.

Nov 1, 2008

All Hallow's Eve

Handy Manny & Wonder Woman (Does Wonder Woman look familiar to anyone)

This is only the second year in which I didn't side favorably on denouncing Halloween. As a Christian I felt as though somehow I was dishonoring God. This was just ignorance on my part. Ignorance because I wasn't viewing it from a historical perspective. But last year Tom had me listen to a program explaining the actual meaning behind Halloween (Google The Bible Answer Man if you are interested in knowing the meaning of Halloween. Halloween Day's program was fittingly on this subject). The bottom line for me was that it was used by Christians as a strategic opportunity to get the gospel out to pagans. So this year momma was much more hands on. We had a good time even though Maggie started us off on a sour note. She got sick and it looked as though all hope was gone of having a merry ole time trick or treating. But amazingly enough she didn't toss her cookies again. And by the end of the night we could hear our kids teeth rotting and we knew this was a successful Halloween.
All dressed up and no candy to show for it!
It took the whole household to get even this picture.
Batman suits him much better don't you think.

Oct 28, 2008

Sheila Raye

This day of my life leaves me exhausted and full of sorrow. It is one of those evenings where I would like nothing better than to curl up in the arms of Jesus literally. My sister Sheila passed away Saturday and today we laid her to rest. Funerals are tough but at the same time it is a celebration of a life. It was comforting to be with family that I wished I saw more often. I love them and hope they all know how much easier they have made this time. Although Sheila and I were 16 years apart in age, I marveled at many things she possessed that I don't. These things I will miss: her ability to comfort the hurting, her contagious laughter, her neat personality, her sense of humor, and her phone messages that always cracked me up. If you think Maggie Lynn has a southern drawl, Sheila wrote the book on it!
Watching my mom grieve was the hardest part. Her and I were the last two to walk away from the casket before they lowered it. Mom touched it and told her daughter she would be there soon. Where? Heaven and when we all get there what a day of rejoicing that will be. Keep us in your prayers as the LORD guides us through this time of grief.

Oct 18, 2008

Eagle Football


Who loves high school football? I love it probably because many of my most fun times involved football Friday night. From the 7th grade until I graduated, my Fall Friday nights were spent cheering for football. I loved cheerleading and really loved cheering for football. Unfortunately I have only gotten to return to a GCT Eagle football game a few times in the 12 years that I have been out of school. We took the kids and went this Friday night.

My main reason for going Friday was their new coach, Jeff Conaway. This is his first year and rumor has it that his new offensive philosophy is working very well for the Eagles. From the stands I could feel the excitement. It was a huge crowd and from what I hear Jeff has already taken the program to a greater level. Even at the away games, dedicated fans fill the bleachers. That says something about the morale of this years football Eagles!! I have known Jeff for many years. His sister and I were close friends in school. I spent a lot of time with her family. He became like a brother to me. Jeff has always had a good head on this shoulders. He is a very smart young man and a good athlete himself. I really think Jeff has the potential to take the Tech football program to new heights.

All of this is well and good but the most impressive thing is that Jeff loves the LORD Jesus and he has kept it no secret that he wants to be more than a coach to these young boys. He wants to be a light for Jesus. Under his leadership these young boys have the privilege of learning much more than how to throw a football or run a play. I believe they will graduate with a greater sense of purpose knowing that life is to be lived in light of their Creator. This will make them better men, better employees, better husbands, and better dads. Jeff's transparent walk with the LORD has already caused one of his players to come to know Jesus as LORD and Savior. That is awesome.

One cool memory that came back to me as I watched the game. I did say I cheered for football but I didn't say I understood it so excuse me if I get the terms wrong. Anyway. Crossroad's own Charlton Cupp was Eagle's starting quarterback my first year as a Sr high cheerleader. I don't remember details but I'm pretty sure it was Charlton. We were down with little time left. We were at the goal line. The play started and all I saw was Charlton diving over the player what seemed like 10 ft toward the end zone for a touchdown that won us a game. Cool huh.

Crossroads is just full of betcha- didn't- know facts.

Oct 16, 2008

What's My Cross Today?

My morning began with a question.
"What is my cross today, LORD?"
During my quiet time I read Luke 9:23-27 in which Jesus says to His disciples:
If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
Two things jumped out at me. One is Him saying to turn from your selfish ways. Ouch!! Doesn't the LORD know us so well. The second thing is when He said we must take up our cross daily. Tommy spoke very well the other Sunday when he said that we must be obedient in the simple things first. I may not suffer at the hands of monstrous persecution daily, but you can be that daily there will be times when my flesh wants to go another way or do another thing than that of God's will.
Who knows what the day holds for me? It most likely will be a normal day, but even the most menial of task can be God glorifying. In what ways? Let me share some common occurrences with you.

Momma, Maggie hit me.

Crash. "What was that?" Wil, why were you climbing on the arm of the chair? My one and only vase is broken now (the other day he knocked its twin off the fireplace mantle and it shattered).

I run in the other room because I hear Trey choking. "Maggie stop picking Trey up by his neck. For the last time he will not fit in your baby doll stroller."

And my newest dealing is with Maggie. Maggie really is a good girl. She is just curious and strong willed just like her daddy. Screaming is Mags' new coping mechanism. Be it at Wil or just because she can't get her baby doll's shoe on right. She gets this from me. I don't scream but when I can't get something to work I get so frustrated. I keep saying to her: Maggie, you gotta have self-control. Calm down and let your reaction be gentle. I then have to tell her that I too have to ask Jesus for help when I get frustrated with things. I love the quizzical look that is returned to me.

I love being home with my children. And I am in 100% agreement with God that my purpose lies at home nurturing my children and loving my husband. With this comes trying days and even tears of inadequacy. I don't want to carry the cross of disciplining them (for the 20th time in a day) or serving Tommy when I myself just want to be served! But its my joy to honor God in all I do.

If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. Luke 9:24

The cool thing is giving my life to Jesus is not a loss. It is not a burden even. Is it hard sometimes? Sure it is. Do I question His direction at times? I do. But I never stay there long because I am met with peace knowing His will and ways are perfect.

So what is your cross today? May the LORD lead you to it and may you joyfully take it up.

Oct 12, 2008

Lessons from To Kill A Mockingbird


Lately I have had a craving for some literary classics. I love reading and if you are a lover of books, there are just some books that one must read. I started with To Kill A Mockingbird and just finished Part I of it. I don't know if it is just because I get so caught up in books, but it is drawing so many emotions out of me. When I read a book, I start to see my world through the eyes of the characters. This morning at breakfast I referred to Wil as Jem [a character in TKAMB) because something Wil said reminded me of him...which Tommy goes, "huh?". Obviously I get very caught up in the story. This particular book I read in Mrs Cupp's 11th grade English class. But there are just some things that most young people can't appreciate until they are older like classic literature and history and really just learning in general. That was me and this being true causes me to look back on high school with and label it as precious time wasted.


Books just aren't written with the same morals in mind(and I'm not speaking of religion) as the Classics. Don't get me wrong. Scout Finch's mouth sends forth some unpleasant language but Atticus, her daddy stands up against her on it with such grace. Speaking of Atticus. His character in the book one might label as a prude. I for one think prudence is to be admired. C.S Lewis goes as far as to refer to prudence as a cardinal virtue. But when you hear someone call another a "prude", it is most always in a negative sense. Prudence is exercising sound judgement in practical matters. It means you are cautious in conduct and not rash. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus is just this. If you remember the story, the one thing you remember is that Atticus [a lawyer in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama] is greatly condemned for defending a black man named Tom Robinson [in 1933]. The town calls him and his children awful names and are atrocious in their behavior toward Atticus and his children.


Last night after I had already made several comments about Atticus. I told my friend Rachel how I wish I could be more like him. To that she replied, "Misty, remember he is fictional." She is right, but I would go as far to say this:) God is using this book to teach me about a few of my many character flaws. Michael our pastor spoke about character verses reputation just the other Sunday. And Atticus (of TKAMB) is a fine illustration of Michael's point. He said "reputation is what others think about you and character is what God thinks about you." In the story Atticus ruins his reputation with the people and I believe honors God with his character. Atticus tells his daughter who is distraught over what is going on with her father that "he would not be able to go to church and worship God if he did not defend this man" He knows what counts the most with people is NOT what counts the most with God. I get way too caught up in the opinions of man. "What will they say if I stand for this Truth or I will lose relationships if I chose to walk this path (for the LORD)." Let us not confuse "right" with "politically correct"!! Let me just end by saying To Kill A Mockingbird is chocked-full of great lessons.

Oct 9, 2008

Petting Zoo II

First a heads up. I'm allowing myself 15 minutes to do this blog so if it ends with a incomplete thought its most likely because my time ran out. So as Ross Taylor would say, "I'm just tellin' ya."











Several posts ago I spoke about a home school field trip to the petting zoo in Paragould. There was not a ton of kicks and giggles involved with the first petting zoo trip. We decided to try it again and this time bring daddy along. We went to the ASU petting zoo as a part of our home school group. It is perplexing how daddy can do the same things as me but when he does it, it suddenly becomes the coolest thing ever. I guess daddies are just geared that way just as daddy can't kiss a boo boo away quite like momma (although Wil wants daddy to do EVERYTHING). We first arrived alone and of course it was all black and white but the minute I said "daddy is here" even the pigs started to dance. I became chopped liver and only there to take pictures. That is one thing God set in mommas' hearts is to hold onto memories any way we can (scrap booking, pictures, and such), Seriously it is as old as the Bible. Remember when the shepherds come to see Jesus and retold their account of how they heard the news of the birth of Jesus. What did Mary do ladies? She pondered them in her heart. And if it weren't for me, their would be no visual memories of our children. So I am good for some things. OK I have 10 minutes left.

I have actually read that even from infancy when daddy walks into the room, the baby's heart rate will increase significantly. I think I read that in Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson. If I knew how to handle hyperlinks, I would make one for this book. Unfortunately I do not. I have a autographed copy if you would like to borrow it though.
At least once a day my kids will request for me to do some fun thing daddy does with them. And after I put all I have into it I will be shot down with a comment like, "you're not doing it right" Maggie actually cries real tears when I get it wrong. For instance there is a wall we pass on the way to church when we take the short cut alongside the old mall. The wall separates the car dealership and the mall. Anyway Tom chants something as we pass this particular wall and my kids laugh and eat it up. On several occasions I have tried to play this part when Tom is not in the car with us. What does Mags do? You got it. She burst into tears because I don't use the same voice fluctuation. Now you wonder why I go to such exorbitant means to prove a point. I just want to say how important the small things are to our kids. I can guarantee you that the "wall story" and many others will be talked about at Thanksgiving dinners for years to come.
The wrestling times are a hoot at our house. The other day at dinner Tommy played a game with us and we had a blast. You might want to try it. He got a wooden spoon and spun it in the middle of the table. Whoever it landed on had to answer a question like, "what is your favorite thing to eat" or "if you could go anywhere right now, where would it be". We may not have money to buy our kids all they desire or even half of their desires, but who cares right? Our children need more of us. We live in a time when parenting magazines recommend trying to commit 10 minutes a day with each child and scheduling one Saturday a month as family day. That's not okay to me. Our children don't need nintendos, computers, after school activities, ballet lessons, play groups and soccor practice nearly as much as they need US. They need fathers who sit and listen to their days, mothers who join in and make crafts with them, parents who take the time to read them stories and act like idiots with them. They deserve to help us make supper even though it takes twice as long and makes twice as much work (I have learned to make myself do this one cuz I wanna do it without hassle). They deserve to know that they're a priority for us and that we truly love to be with them. I am so thankful to the ladies in my life who have taught me this by example because it is so easy to be focused on my to-do list. We as parents just need to be with them and love them and be goofy with them. Daddies are the best at the goofy part but that's they way it is suppose to be in my opinion. I am thankful because I'm only funny on accident! Well time is up. I added a video and if you call our house at about 4pm, this is what you'll hear. Its a tribute to dads doing their thing... only this one ends on a sour note.
Notice Trey in the backgound. He is so oblivious to the chaos. It cracks me up. Note: I have noticed that many pictures I have posted which show my living room looks as if I never clean it. I don't know what to say except I promise it doesn't always look that way or maybe it does.



video

Oct 7, 2008

A Self-Portrait

This week with Wil and Mags we are discussing how God looks NOT at the outward appearance of man but rather He looks and is very concerned about the heart. The is an abstract idea for my preschooler and even my kindergartner but still I try to give it to them in small doses and use "Misty-creative" ways (this means creative by the skin of my teeth). Activity One: I had them draw a self-portrait while looking in the mirror.

They usually have fun with art. This time was no different. Then I was ready to bring home the spiritual truth of "pretty is means pretty does". This was a saying given to me by my mammaw when I was little and got a little out of line. I had them dictate to me what God loves to see in our hearts. In other words I said, "How is it that God wants us to act?" I then stapled there answers behind their self-portrait to illustrate looking on the inside of a person to see what is there.


Here were their answers (word for word including pronunciation) to what God saw in their hearts starting with Wil:


1. Skin


2. Nothing. I don't have anything else


Yes my sentiments exactly...my son is a little confused. With Wil, you can't go on and on trying to explain something to him because he gets farther and farther away from the point. Had I tried to work with him I'm sure his response would have eventually been something like, I think God sees pickles in my heart.


Here were Maggie's answers to What does God want to see in your heart?


1. act very good


2. share toys with each other


3. if your mom says pick up toys, you pick up em' (word for word may I remind you)


4. if your mom says load up in the car, we have to go (can you tell what issues we have to address often)


5. do somethangs (yes thangs) that my mom says to do


6. if your goin' to cheerleader practice, I have to go (this response comes from a deep desire to be a cheerleader)


Now I was puzzled that Mags got the concept and Wil didn't. Remember I mentioned in a recent blog that Maggie said a couple months ago, "Jesus, will you come live in my heart?" during our devotion time one morning. The morning she prayed this we discussed some things and I can't say to you that she didn't know what she was saying because she seemed confident but I kept coming back to the fact that she is 3 years old.


Wil on the other hand says firmly that he has NOT asked Jesus into his heart because he doesn't want to go to heaven. Why? He wants to stay with momma and daddy he says. In a small way our lesson with the self-portrait reminded me that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who don't know Him but then again no one will ever accuse me of being a great teacher. What is my peace in home schooling? Not me but He who lives in me. When I am weak He is strong and God's Truth will be revealed to my kids if I'm obedient to live it out and seek the LORD when my son says that "skin" is what Jesus wants to see in our hearts.




Tagged

I am clueless about how to do this tagged thing. I hope I'm doing it right....
I was tagged by my great friend Holly Taylor who is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside, who is wonderfully funny, and makes me wish for more fashion sense!!!!!!!!

About me:
1 I don't understand hyperlinks
2. I can never get enough sleep
3. I love Elvis music
4. I really want a vacation with my family
5. I am so boring
6. When people fall down, it cracks me up (as long as they are not hurt)
7. I am not sure I'm suppose to make this a post but I'm gonna cuz Maggie is standing here staring at me as she waits patiently for me to wipe her

I don't have anyone to tag that hasn't been tagged...I don't think

Oct 4, 2008

Yard Sales and Marriage



Today was a great day of liquidating. I decided on a whim I would have a yard sale. Because this is my 3rd yard sale this season I didn't have a ton of stuff to liquidate, but my in-luvs [aka in- laws] always do. They enjoy going to auctions and yard sales. They have a gift when it comes to getting some deals which they turn around and gain profit. They bring a trailer full of furniture and other great attractions that draw a crowd. As for me, I had 3 goals in mind:

1. declutter (I promise you if I declutter much more I will be sitting in an empty house. I am the opposite of a pack rat which means I am uuuuuuhhh...I can't think of a word)

2. make money (I just want a nice Fall door wreath. Is that too much to ask?)

3. eat ribs (Tom's dad brought his smoker and slow smoked some ribs. Collis is "the man" when it comes to smokin' some grub)

I am proud to say all 3 goals were attained with a bonus I might add. The hubby and I got a chance to sharpen our vows as Wil and Mags got a chance to keep grandma and papa young by staying overnight! Trey stayed with mom at home. With 3 kids, we both are very aware of our need to date [each other of course]. Proverbs 29:18 says "Where there is no vision the people perish; but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." And I think it is fair to say "where there is no date night, the marital passion perishes; but he that dateth their spouse, happy is she (or he)" Well thats my take on it anyway. Thankfully I have been awakened by the fact that keeping my marriage fresh should be a priority for me. And plus I love having QT with Tommy. There is no other who can compete for my attention!! When the kids are away, there is no question where I wanna be. Tonight we had a Starbucks date. Uninterrupted conversation makes for a great date. And even though I didn't come home with a Fall wreath, I come home with a renewed spirit and an even better marriage. I love you, Tom. Thanks for making our marriage top priority. Funny I didn't mean to tie my marriage into yard sales. I never know what direction my blogs will go.

Oct 1, 2008

My Wake Up Call

Tommy just called me with some startling news about a lady we both know. She was in an accident and now very close to death. Even though I know that God can take us in an instant, I am still taken aback when I hear of tragedy striking someone I know. This particular lady was in better condition than any woman or man for that matter that I know. She was fit as a fiddle. Don't get me wrong I am all about keeping yourself healthy. After all our bodies are the temple of God and we need to treat them as such.
I didn't have a friendship with her and certainly didn't come in contact with her a lot and so I wonder if she knows Jesus as her Savior and not did she say a prayer ,but did she have a real relationship with HIM....a saving relationship with HIM? Hopefully so.
This brings me to a challenge and conviction that has been on my heart. For the past 3 weeks and for the next 4 weeks I am taking an inductive Bible study (Precept Upon Precept) on I Corinthians. As I was finishing up my homework last night I was faced with this question:) Is there anything that has kept you from preaching, proclaiming, sharing gospel of Jesus Christ. If so, what is it? If there is anyone out there who can answer no to this question please contact me. I am serious!!
These were my answers that I wrote down:
I don't get out much.
It's hard to know how to start the conversation.
Will my lack of gentleness come across as judgemental?
Is my love for them and my concern for their eternity in the forefront of my mind the way it should be?
Will I stumble and fail?

The last answer [will i stumble and fail] is where the LORD rebuked me. I'm just going to cut to the chase.
Romans 1:16 says For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes- the Jew first and also the
Gentile.

Salvation does not rest on me being eloquent or having all the answers. I Corinthians 1 and 2 state clearly that the Word of the Cross is the power of God and it is wonder-working power (of the blood....are you singing that hymn now). My very existence is in the hands of God and the reason I breathe is to glorify Him. But oh how I get wrapped up in my own agenda, my own plans, my own woes, my own interests. I should not be ashamed and I should not let anything distract me from sharing the gospel. The result is not within my power. That is a relief. People we know and love need Him, they need Him now and they need Him forever. Break my heart for those people but let me also remember it is by the power of God that salvation is granted.
The LORD is using my children for practice. Yesterday we were talking about how we need Jesus and therefore the Holy Spirit living in us to show us the way to act and live. And Wilson said "yep and I haven't asked Him yet." and I was thinking please let me live in a way that prompts the desire for Wil and Mags and Trey to receive Jesus. Maggie does still say that Jesus lives in her heart. She prayed the prayer about a month ago (with no pressure from me) but you never know with a 3 year old. Most importantly I must LIVE IT OUT....my faith and belief in the Lord Jesus that is.

Sep 27, 2008

I LOVE BOOKS!!!


I was just so excited about a treasure of a blessing I received this morning. Books are in the top 3 of my passions in life! I absolutely love books. Tommy, being the book lover he is as well, has joined forces with me to instill a love and hopefully a passion in our kids for books. Just recently we have decided on a distinctive approach for teaching our children at home. It is called the Classical Education. In the early years, the main focus is literature (great children's literature....the classics) along with learning facts. Anyway we are excited about this approach. So my main focus during our school time has been to teach Wil to read because in the classical approach they need to be fluently reading by the first grade. I truly believe if you are a good reader then you will automatically be a good learner. Remember when Michael talked about the giant in our lives and what is it. My competition many times is them wanting to watch t.v. rather than read. I have tried my best to be diligent in weaning them from it..not completely. I like Handy Manny as much as my kids. Anyway it has been a rewarding experience to watch him on this learning to read journey. He is doing fabulous and feeling very grown up. The best thing I can do for Wil (and Mags and Trey) is to read to them of course. My quest lately has been to find books that are on the Children's literature list. Although I am grateful for our library, I want to build a library of my own which brings me to my treasure . Marinda, my sister in law, brought over about 4 boxes of books several weeks ago. I had forgotten about them because I had put them away. You know how that goes....out of sight, out of mind. This morning I was looking for something for us to do and those books popped to my mind. We got them down and my kids were giddy as they opened the books feeling as though it were Christmas [see above picture]. This led me to believe that maybe I should have waited till Christmas and just let them open these boxes of Sissy's [Sissy is what they call Marinda]. I opened the books and found several of the books I had in mind to buy the kids....ones that were actually on the Children's Literature list. God has done this countless times lately. He has dropped these sort of blessings in my lap unexpectedly. I just found it odd that I had not opened these boxes sooner but rather just when we needed them. I suppose that is why we call Him omniscient [all-knowing]. Oh and we also found the cutest artwork from when Micah and Maddie were little. It would have brought a tear to Marinda I'm sure. Time flies. Our kids grow up so fast and I pray that I will make the most of my time with them. Hopefully reading with them will be something they cherish as they grow up. I know it will be for me.