Thursday, September 03, 2015

It's Official!

I'm the worst mother ever! This week, I've earned the title. I have-
And there's this...
  • Made my kids do school while I laid down.
  • Made one wash the cat food bowls even though her greatest fear is tiny worms and spiders.
  • Failed to remind one enough times that a bill was coming due, so it was late getting mailed.
  • Allowed one of them to keep doing school past five, even though they are supposed to stop at three.
  • Made them memorize two verses this week instead of one because it was too easy.
  • Had one ask me, "How long does menopause last?" That was in the middle of her two hour cleaning chores.
  • Punished one because she "just felt like" telling another sister how awful and spoiled she was.
  • Insisted my girls tell me EVERY time they leave who they are riding with. (Yes, I know bad grammar, but you can't use bad grammar and be mad, can you?)
But the best was when-

I ruined one of my girls' life because I wouldn't let her swim before breakfast. She actually said, "Well, thanks for ruining my life!"

At least I've been appreciated this week....

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Good Medicine

One of the hardest things about being laid up is that I wasn't able to  hold these sweet babies. Rachel has been so good to bring them to see me and make sure they didn't climb on me. But that's also been one of the best things.  Nothing makes me feel better than to see those smiles and hear those giggles. God has been kind to give me healing and I am much better. Some days, I wonder if I'll ever be "back to normal."

I have a learned a few things -

  • God will lay me down to rest.
  • It's easy to pray when you can't do anything but lay on your back.
  • The housework will wait, but the piles are getting gigantic!
  • I have no patience, at all.

  • Josiah is better at the spirometer than I am. I was supposed to blow in it about six times a day. I may have tried it twice.

  • I really like holding hands.

Abigail and "Just Plain Elephant"
  • It's time for Abigail and "Just Plain Elephant" to move back tho their own bed.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Recently, Rachel and Adrian invited our entire church over to their house. The plan was to set up tables in their front yard and everyone eat outside and play games. She was a little busier than she expected and couldn't get things as clean as she wanted.

I told her, "Don't worry about your dust, it'll make people feel more comfortable."

No one can attain perfection in their housework when they have small children. (That can't always do it without children either but it is a little easier I think.)

Have them over anyway. Make them comfortable.  I've had a few people seem relieved when they have found my house in a mess. No one can keep things perfectly clean, but that's easy to forget.

On the day that our church was to gather at their house, guess what happened?

As God would have it - Rain, and lots of it. People still came. 

We took of our shoes at the door and piled in. 

Adrian pushed the furniture against the wall and we ate together, sang together and played together. It was loud, but so fun.

Abigail and her sweet friend Karalynn held hands while they sang for a long time. The picture above doesn't show how many children there were gathered to sing together, but it was a sweet time. 

This Summer our church celebrates ten years together. I am grateful to God for the sweet fellowship.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Back to School

Abigail was bright and ready to start very early today. Who wouldn't be ready with a large pan of plastic lemons, eggs, and playhouse people? I never got to do any school with her, but that's okay. She is only three. Notice that Mary was not ready!
The first day of school usually isn't very pretty, but today was a ugly as it gets. The bright spot was a successful recipe for mocha frappuccino. My friend Kelly keeps telling me that we will have to give our kids lots of extra grace through this start up. But it's my kids who are giving me grace. By 11:30, I was hurting so bad that I had to go lay down. I took a two hour nap before I could do anything else with them. Eventually, I'll get back enough strength to be running through the house again, but until then, we are extending much grace.

The school desk at the beginning of the day was a shambles. The girls had started cleaning up when we snapped this picture.
When I told Lydia to pull down her science book, she sighed and said, "I sure do miss Jeanie Fulbright."
I kept the school planning table set up in the den since I wasn't running up and down stairs. I'm sad to say that looked like this for weeks, except of course, for the chocolate. That came and went very quickly. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015


After many trips back and forth to the doctor and hospital in May and June, my mom got a pacemaker put in. She is feeling much better and back to working full time. (By the way, she's seventy-four.)
On one of my trips, I got to visit with my Aunt Anne who lives in a nursing home. She  and my other aunts played key rolls in my early childhood memories. It's sweet to see these two sisters interacting, knowing all that they've been through in their lives.

During a Saturday afternoon visit, Papa got to play with the babies.
I spent too much time reading magazines, eating candy and watching Food Network and learned that the people in Macon are friendlier than I remembered.

Monday, August 17, 2015

God of the Detail

God's Hand is evident in the "big" things of life. Creation, the Exodus, oceans, childbirth, etc. are just a few examples that are easy to see the big ways that God moves. But what about the details? Have you ever seen the tiny close up detail pictures of sea creatures that live on the bottom of the ocean floor? No one sees them but God. Psalm 104:26 says that God created the Leviathan to play in the ocean, yet no one knows where or what the Leviathan is. God moves in every detail.

Nearly three weeks ago, we were in a car wreck. The van crumbled in the impact (and was totaled, by the way.) Yesterday, Ray talked to a man who was involved in a car wreck several years ago, very similar to mine. He was driving an older suburban, like I used to drive. The injuries they had were so extensive that the man and his wife nearly died and spent a long time in the hospital. The suburban didn't crumble, it bounced everything off of them, it stayed strong. The detail that I see God's hand in and how does it apply to us? I just bought a van with the latest safety features, it was supposed to crumble and take the impact of the crash, so we didn't have to. Some engineer, that I don't know, researched and figured out that a crumpled vehicle is safer than a metal bouncer. God has used those tiny details to save lots of lives, including Hannah, Abigail and me.

In front of the Tower Bridge in London.
But what about other details? Today, Ray and I celebrate twenty eight years of marriage. How many details has God orchestrated to get us here, where we are today? Many bumps in the road, many mountain top experiences are under our belts, lots of "big" events, we do have six children and two grandchildren. Yet, detail after detail God has moved us together.

I am thankful for twenty-eight years of details that God has intricately woven in the depths of the earth. (Psalm 139:15)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

An Accident?

Was this an accident?  Hannah, Abigail and I were driving to Gainesville when another car turned immediately in front of us, causing us to hit almost head on. The wreck happened close to our home, which is also very close to an EMT center, so the paramedics and Ray got to the scene very quickly.

Hannah rode with me to the hospital in the ambulance and Ray followed close behind us. Rachel met us to pick up Abigail, but brought her to the hospital later because she was complaining of too many aches and pains. Abigail's shoulder was X-rayed and found to be fine.  She was sore for too long for my comfort and ended up with more bruises than anyone. Hannah was checked out at the hospital and was okay.

I don't remember much about the accident, definitely not the actual hit or how anything sounded. I remember seeing the air bag inflated, Hannah jumping over to the back seat and Abigail's terrified face. Hannah seemed to be more prepared for the crash and got to Abigail so quickly. I jumped out of the car and tried to get Abi's door opened. When I got to the other side of the car, it was surrounded with people helping us. It wasn't until I sat down in a grassy median holding Abigail in my lap that I realized that I was hurt. All I could think of was my chest felt very hot and I couldn't catch my breath and I wanted Ray to get there fast to help me.

I had lots of X-rays and an MRI and in the end of the day have a broken sternum and whiplash. The pain isn't quite as bad as childbirth, but it is terrible and it's a pain that will just not go away. For the first week, there seemed to be no relief from it except for strong medication. In the beginning, I had no control over my torso and had to be lifted from a lying to a sitting position. It was aggravating to just lie and wait for someone to help me up, but my injuries could have been so much worse. We are grateful that God protected us all. The family in the other car came away with no injuries and they were driving a small car.

There is still no word about the van, which we've only made five payments on. My beautiful van that had less than 50,000 miles on it and every gadget still worked is no longer with us. We think it will be totaled but for some reason the insurance company just doesn't know.

I've tried to stay away from the word accident about all of this. God is sovereign over all things and I know He was very present that day. Reading Psalm 139:7-10, I am assured that God is everywhere. He was on the road that day. He was not surprised when that man turned into my path. Did He cause it? I don't know, but I know He was not shocked at what happened.

After twelve days I am back to functioning on my own and trying to get back to my duties. Going to the grocery store with Ray was brutal and church on Sunday was way too long, but I made it through both. I couldn't fold three loads of laundry today, but I was able to get it started. I feel very weak from laying around and have been too easily discouraged. That's when I have to be reminded of God's Sovereignty over all things. Psalm 139:5 - You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

This summer has been unusual. I have been traveling more, cleaning and cooking less, and spent much less on the computer. Which means I haven't blogged at all. By now I would normally have had the school closet cleaned out and well on my way to having school planned for the next year, but I don't. And that's all okay. My family is all well - today.

Ray and I spent ten days in London in late May. My mom had a pacemaker installed and I went back and forth to see her more than I usually do, but that was the good part. Our family took a week long vacation to Daytona Beach, also good. I had a major car wreck and broke my sternum.  Other than those big things, I'm not sure where the time went.

This Summer season has been "spiritually dry" for me also. I don't know why, but I haven't "felt" close to God or that I have anything worthwhile to share. It's important to note that though feelings matter somewhat, they don't decide who God is. God has not moved, He has always been, and will always be. He never changes.

But what about my feelings? Christians are as likely as anyone to go through seasons of darkness, but the difference for Christians is that there is light at the end of he tunnel. God is Light! He will see us through. As I sit on my bed and recover from a car wreck, I can see that God is working for my good through this all.

Hopefully, I'll be back to my routine "chaos" soon and God will use His word to cheer me and spur me on to do what He has called me to do.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Few of my Favorite Mother's Day Memories

I kept forgetting to take the traditional "stand together and look cute" pictures this weekend. Then, this morning, I forgot to take any more pictures of the actual day. I do love all of my children, but sometimes I can't seem to get them all in a picture. Oh well, we've taken those before. 

Mary, Lydia and Abigail with Mama

What an amazing example of motherhood my mother has been. She has taught me to do whatever it takes to raise her children and to be generous with her life.

Mama, aka Grandma, was teaching Abigail that sugar is good on everything. And as you can tell  by Abi's pajamas, it was early morning. Abigail also managed to empty Grandma's cabinet to "make ice cream"; cut her finger on a food processor blade; then bleed all over every dish and the cabinet. We only thought we were through washing the dishes. Apparently, large funnels on the head are the key to good homemade ice cream.

We stopped by Nana's to say Happy Mother's Day and took a spin on the golf cart. Nana taught Abigail to drive. Who knows what else she'll learn!
I'm so thankful for Ray's mother and her commitment to family. She certainly knows how to laugh and has taught my girls some great silly songs.

Rachel and Adrian had all of us over for supper. Her lemon cupcakes are delicious!
Rachel has two babies, keeps her house great, cooks wonderful meals and never complains about parenting. I have truly never heard her complain about having to take care of her children. She is always searching for something fun to do with them and their uninhibited giggles are proof that she is doing a great job.

Ray and the girls over did the presents this year so much that it felt like Christmas. 
Josiah is growing fast and gives the sweetest kisses, but my favorite present from him is when he called me "Gigi" this week. Grammy is still my name to them, but it comes out like that and I love to hear them call my name.

I did get Hannah and Lydia posing for pictures.

During my quiet time this morning, Abigail crawled in my lap. It was great reminder to pray for all of my girls and to thank God for my over flowing cup.

This afternoon, we had one of our sweetest friends over for lunch. I'm so disappointed we didn't get any pictures. To hear our children talk and love me, her and each other made me so thankful to God. Yes, they have their moments like everyone, but they do bless me often!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pay Attention

I was bragging to a friend last week about how great our system of keeping up with library books was working. We've had almost no overdue fines and no lost books in a very long time. 

Well, I opened our library account yesterday morning and nearly cried. There was big red letters that said they had stopped adding up the fines because there is a limit as to how much they charge you. Did you know that the library puts a limit on its overdue fines? I was ever so grateful to learn that! I tried to renew our books, but it just said that I must bring everything to the library immediately. It was embarrassing and aggravating and frustrating and expensive and well..., you get the point, I'm sure. 

So, the whole day I was running errands and kicking myself for such negligence and ... get this, avoiding wrecks. I had three very near wrecks in the same day, all due to other people not paying attention. One was an eighteen wheeler, another the vehicle was completely in my lane coming at me head on.

I could easily get on my high horse and say I would never do such a thing. But then I remember that blinking red dollar sign. We all get distracted, these days more than ever. An unmanned car isn't nearly as bad as a maxed out library card, but it's still a bad sign, a sign of distraction. 

Lydia returning our massive load of books.
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. (Acts 20:28 ESV)
I need this reminder today as much as anyone! The end of the school year is approaching quickly and I'm having trouble focussing on that too.