Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding; In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
I am 15 years happily married to my hard working hubbie, Kelly. We have been blessed beyond measure with four beautiful children. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mama! Never a dull moment in our lives, and I am grateful for every minute of it!!! My day to day life is most of the time a blur!!!!! Being a wife and stay at home mom is a full time job. I am so totally guilty of getting caught up in the rush of checking off the next block on my list. Sometimes, I can't even remember what I did yesterday, much less last week!!!! So what better way to bottle the memories for my children than starting this blog! God has been so good to me and blessed me in more ways than I could ever possibly count. I hope that all who read will enjoy!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.... -James 1:17
Last week, my family traveled down to Florida for some much needed R & R! We spent 4 days doing a whole lot of nothing, and it was so nice! Friday was beach day! The temperature reached an awesome high of 74 with bright, sunny blue skies and the water was crystal clear, but very cold! That did not keep my boys out of the waves, though! Avery wasn't quite as brave, luckily a little girl came shortly after us, and they made fast friends. They played in the sand and searched for seashells. We packed a lunch and spent the most part of the day there! If you like nice deserted beaches, go in November! Hopefully, you will be just as lucky as we were! Saturday, I shopped at the outlets ALL day, mostly alone! I got a huge start to my Christmas shopping! Of course, Target was visited twice, could have gone a third time, but didn't push my luck! Saturday night Kelly boiled a delicious stock pot full of shrimp, potatoes and corn on the cob! Yummy! Kelly, did his 21 mile run early Sunday morning before church! I did my short 4 mile run Sunday afternoon and got lost. Scared me to death, and I had a few moments of panic. Thankfully, with the direction of a really nice man, I found my way back! That's about it.... eating, sleeping, eating, relaxing, eating, shopping, did I mention eating! That was our short, mini and much needed get-away! Facing the hustle and bustle of the holidays will be much easier now, with a renewed spirit!
Yesterday morning, Kelly and I got up at 4:00 to drive to Florence, AL, to run a half-marathon. I know, we're crazy! We picked up a sweet friend who rode over with us. This was my third half and am sad to say my worst! My time was better than St. Jude last December, but the experience was worse! The temperature was freezing at start but felt great after about a mile. The course was beautiful, and I really enjoyed looking out on the water, seeing the fisherman on their boats in the morning fog, running the trails through the woods with the changing colors of the fall leaves. What I didn't like were the hills and the 1 1/2 mile long caged bridge! I have to say that the first 9 miles were awesome! I felt super, running a good steady pace right under a 10 minute mile, but then my knee started hurting! It locked and stiffened up on me really out of nowhere. I have had no trouble at all, except for the occasional aches during long runs. It was really difficult to run through it, and I had to completely stop and stretch it a few times. I honestly wanted to cry several times, and almost did between mile 12-to the finish. That was the longest stretch of time, and I didn't think it was ever going to end! I did push through and finished, but the clock said 2:16, I had missed my goal by a minute! I was so upset and hurting so bad, I just went over to the curb and sat. Kelly found me, checked on me, got me an ice pack and water. I am so proud of Kelly! His time was 2:07, not a PR, but under the circumstances of his week, it was an awesome time! I am amazed by his strength, stamina, and endurance. Not only has he been working incredibly hard on his campaign, he is training for his first full marathon! He is physically exhausted! As a matter of fact, he left the race to go to 3 events yesterday afternoon! After resting and icing my knee for about 20 minutes, I went and found Jimmy, Roan and Esther, who all ran an amazing race! Roan met her goal and all 3 had a PR time! I am so happy for them! We enjoyed some post-race snacks, checked out the official posted results, and to my surprise I actually met my goal! Yeah! My official time was 2:15: 45! I did feel some better! We went to the award ceremony, where Esther won female masters! We all enjoyed the ride home with some good conversations!
This morning Lesley and I took the children to the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, we were minus Jared, who was at school. Thankfully, his class traveled to the Blue Mountain patch last week. This year we decided we would try out Holly Farms. We were not disappointed! The weather was gorgeous, and the kids had a great time! There was lots to do there to keep the kids busy!
This old truck with the 30 foot super, rumble slide was a hit with all the children! They loved it! They slid backwards, forwards, upside down and any other way they could come up with!
Very innovative way to "recycle!"
Their next favorite was the huge rope swing! They would swing back and forth from the huge hay bales!
There was also a corn maze, corn crib, barrel train, play ground, country store, a great concessions area, and most importantly the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch!
All the kids on the train!
Carson swimming in the corn crib!
Lesley, John Ashford & Ella Joan getting ready for the wagon ride
Our guide on the way down to the patch stopped to give us a little history lesson!
He did a wonderful job!
Look at those faces! Poor Ella is just saying somebody save me please!
We all had a great time! After working up an appetite we went to Chick-Fil-A for a yummy lunch!
I love Easter!!! Easter is a reminder of new beginnings, blessings, and beauty! God has blessed us in so many ways, and I am so thankful!!!!
A cute sidewalk chalk drawing of the Easter Bunny!
Saturday morning we dyed our eggs. It was somewhat organized, or at least it started that way! Then it turned into organized chaos! But still lots of fun!
John Parker's first masterpiece!
Avery, John Ashford and Jared deciding what color to use
Carson in concentration mode
Jared all smiles!
Ellla Joan, my Ella Bean!!!
After dying our eggs, we went to the Johnson's for their annual egg hunt.
We always have a great time and appreciate so much them hosting this each year for the children!
The children trying to get Oscar to pose for a picture on Easter morning!
Okay, now that's more like it!
Everyone look and say cheese!
Posing in the tree house, which is under construction for some minor updates!
After services at church, everyone came over for lunch and an egg hunt. Some of the children thought they were too old to hunt eggs! After reading Megan's post on her egg hunt, I have some ideas for next year and possibly some new traditions to get them involved again! Such a fun family and a great example of never being too old for whatever it may be!!
John Ashford on the hunt
Emma spotted one
Carter's 2nd Easter! Last year he was only a week old!
He just had his first birthday! He is so adorable!
Avery and Maddi discussing the prize egg!
Love this picture!
Aunt Sheryl, Christy, Bailey, Emma, Carter, Lesley, John Ashford, Ella Joan, my mama, John Parker, Carson, and Ana
Wished I had all the children and myself in it!
Avery, Jared, and Maddi were still on the hunt for more eggs!
Lesley and Ella Joan with her first Easter basket!
It was a beautiful day celebrating and spending time with our family!
Yesterday morning I wore my new Easter frock, a cute little cap sleeved wrap dress. My sweet Carson was snuggled up close to me with his arm wrapped around my arm and he says, " Mama you are so mushy!" Several of the ladies sitting close by heard him and we all got tickled! Nothing like being reminded by our sweet children the reality of our flaws! That's okay though, because he loves me and all my mushiness! Ha!
Saturday morning the children and I went to Pontotoc to run in our first 5K of the season! Unfortunately, Kelly was in Birmingham at drill and not able to run with us! I was terribly nervous about this race, especially since it was the first one for me since my IT band issues, also because the memories came flooding back of the HILLS and my heart was heavy for the sweet Johnson family. The weather was nice, a little chilly and windy, but it felt good after we actually started running. I felt pretty good for most of the run, but the hills were tough. I think I had to walk at least 2-3 times! My time was decent, better than last years but not as good as the Bodock which is the same course, I am okay with that. The Spartans showed up in their sea of green once again, spunky and ready to run! They all did a great job! This is a good course to start with because they will really kick up some dust on the next one! I am so proud of my boys! They have come such a long way since last year! John Parker had an awesome time of 28:08, I finished in 31:08 and Carson close behind at 31:53! Carson placed 3rd in his age division, I placed 2nd in mine, Parker didn't place even though he did better than both Carson and me. I gave him my medal for his hard work! Oh I almost forgot, I won a 30 minute massage as a door prize! I am going to give it to Kelly, I think he needs it worse than me! It was fun to be back racing and seeing and experiencing the Spartans excitement! Looking forward to a fun season with them!
Everyone eagerly awaiting the awards to be presented!
Carson & John Parker
Carson, Avery, John Parker & Jared looking a bit chilly
I just sat down for a minute to unwind from our school day and regroup for getting through the remainder of my day. Honestly, feeling very stressed that my house is in disarray, the laundry is piled up AGAIN, the dog needs a bath AGAIN (just had one less than 24 hours ago!), and the thing that bugs me the most is.......... my floors are dirty! I know, I know that sounds ridiculous and petty to most, wished I wasn't that way! I logged on the computer to read up on my blogs and the first one I go to is I'm an Organizing Junkie and her post today is just what I needed!
She says so often we complicate matters and make matters so much more difficult on ourselves than they need to be! Yep, that's me, she's talking to me! I know this, I really do, but what I don't know is, how to relax and let it go! That is what I need help with! HELP ME!!!
She goes on to list 10 important things to remember. The two that struck me the most were:
#4 "When your kids grow up and leave home, they won't remember if the towels were folded in perfect 16-inch squares in the linen closet; they will remember if your home was a good place to be and if Mom was a fun person."
#9 "There is no such thing as perfection. Giving up trying to make your home perfect is the first step toward making it a good place to be."
Good rules to live by, and I really want to!
So back to the dirty floors, I'm letting them go, at least for today! Letting the children come in any door they want and not reminding them to take off their shoes, I know I sound like a broken record to them!
Little children, from above, Sent to us with joy and love, Bring a hope so clear and bright, Father, help us raise them right. O how tender is the sight: Little ones in bed at night, Parents praying at their feet, Father keep them pure and sweet. Little children soon are grown; Can they face the world alone? As they strive and struggle through, Father let them turn to You. When our time to go draws near, We may leave our children here; To the new land, far away, Father bring them home someday.
(lyrics by David & Nelline Watts)
St. Jude Marathon
Lynn 2:14 (1/2)
Life Without Limits 1/2
Race for the Cure
John Parker 27:28
Saltillo Buddy 5K
John Parker 30:01
Tallahatchie River Run
John Parker 28:07
John Parker 28:27
Tupelo 14 Miler
John Parker 29:56
Gum Tree 10K
John Parker 1:00
John Parker 1:00
Double Decker 10K Kelly 1:00
Mansion 5K Lynn 28:50 John Parker 27:35 Carson 27:34
Ridge Run 5K Lynn 31:09 John Parker 28:08 Carson 31:53
St. Jude 1/2 Marathon Kelly 2:09 Lynn 2:17
Sav-A-Life 5K Kelly 27:08 Lynn 27:00 John Parker 27:48 Carson 30:24
Race for the Cure 5K Kelly 27:58 Lynn 27:47 John Parker 27:42 Carson 29:28
Corinth Rotary 5K John Parker 29:11 Carson 1 Mile Fun Run
Tallahatchie River Run 5K Kelly 28:41 Lynn 28:49 John Parker 28:03 Carson 30:12
Sherman 5K John Parker 28:34 Carson 28:38
Chick-Fil-A 5K Kelly 37:30 Lynn 32:39 John Parker 37:01 Carson 32:40
Bodock Twilight 5K Kelly 29:16 Lynn 29:49 John Parker 31:56 Carson 29:50
Frog Level 5K Lynn 29:26 John Parker 29:39 Carson 28:36
Elvis Presley 5K Lynn 29:35 John Parker 30:25 Carson 29:27
Brewer 5k Kelly 29:09 John Parker 31:07 Carson 31:10
Tie Dye 5K Kelly 31:29 John Parker 35:14 Carson 35:16
Gum Tree 10K Kelly 1:05 Lynn 1:06 John Parker 2K Carson 2K