Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy Birthday, Matthew!

We celebrated Matthew's 20th birthday on New Year's Eve!  Hard to believe he isn't a teenager anymore!  I can truly say the teen years were a breeze with him.  The biggest challenge was getting him to keep his room clean!  I'll take it! :o)

Matthew is a very hard worker. He has held a job at a local feed and seed store since he was sixteen and has also worked part time at Publix for the past two years.  Working two jobs hasn't kept him from staying on the President's list at his college either! 

More than those accomplishments though, we are very proud of the Godly young man he has become.  He strives to be a witness wherever he goes.  He has many "concerned" coworkers that don't understand why he doesn't date.  He has purposed to work hard, remain focused and pure for one day pursuing  the one that God has for him.  He wears a purity band on his finger as a reminder to himself and also as a witnessing tool.  He told a guy at work about it and what it meant and the guy got one too!  I love that he has the confidence to stand alone!

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear  when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holiday Season

These first few pictures were on my camera from Thanksgiving!  That tells you what a whirlwind it has been lately!

My sister and her family came down with my dad for Thanksgiving.  The weather was gorgeous that day and we were able to eat outside!

McKenzie got to share her news with them that she is having a baby!
This little fellow is happiest playing in the dirt! :)

                                         Sweet Myles with his Grandpa.

The Mighty Hunters went deer hunting.

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was one big blur!  Looking back I don't know how I got it all done!  Somehow it all came together and late Christmas Eve after everyone was asleep the stockings were filled and I was the last to go to bed.

 Madeline got a shotgun from Grandpa this year.  She doesn't look very happy in this picture but she was excited!

I take each one of the children Christmas shopping by themselves at some point during Christmas.  The little boys are hilarious picking out their gifts!  Myles bought Madeline a "Piglet" nightlight.  He just knew she was going to love it!  And, she did. :)

McKenzie and Daniel gave the little boys a fish.

Woofing down his chocolate all at once!

These two have tons and tons of Thomas Trains.  We got them some new engines and they could have gotten nothing else!

This kid loves Legos!

Macheus opened a Thomas DVD and wouldn't open anything else.  He waited for hours before I finally got him to open the rest.

The "G" family had a sad Christmas this year.  My brother-in-law lost his mom the week before Christmas. They were able to stop by for a few minutes, but it wasn't quite the same.

We laughed as Grandpa opened his presents from us.  I think we give him a shirt, boxers and cologne every year!

I guess next year I will be filling a baby stocking!
Well, this is just a few of our Christmas pictures! Needed to get them posted tonight because we have birthdays the next two days!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
" For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Busyness

I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve!  The month has been a whirlwind of work, but I have purposed a few times to slow down and enjoy my kiddos.
Every year I take each child out to eat by themselves and to get their Christmas shopping done. I always enjoy that special time focusing on that one child.  This year was the first year that Matthew went and did all of his on his own.  Glad that he is growing up and becoming independent, but a little sad too.
The other night Marc and I took the little boys out to do a little shopping and to see Santa.  I thought Macheus would scream but surprisingly he didn't!  He didn't love him, but at least he sat for a picture!

We don't really "do" Santa, but we always tell them about the real Saint Nicholas and focus on the character quality of being generous.  After the boys walked away Malachi said, "I know Santa isn't real, but isn't it cool that he is dressed up like the real St. Nick!"

Not sure what Myles thought of him.  He was quick to tell him that he was a good boy.  Santa Claus got a kick out of him! :)

I know there is strong opinion on both sides with Christians on the whole "Santa" thing.  Some people feel like it is part of childhood and tell their kids he comes and brings gifts and some act like he is evil.  While we have never told our children that Santa was real or that he brought them gifts if they were "good", I don't think there is anything "evil" about letting them have fun with it at Christmas time.  No different than any other childhood fun to me.  My older children don't feel deprived that Santa didn't bring their gifts when they were little, nor do they struggle because they got to have their picture made with him! :)

A friend of mine got my pictures off of Facebook and turned them into these different designs.  I loved the one above of Myles.  It looks like a painting!

Well, my presents are all bought, most are wrapped, gifts have all been delivered to various friends around us and I have most of my groceries bought.  My girls and I will venture out tomorrow along with all of the other last minute people and gather our last bit of groceries before the stores close tomorrow!  Tomorrow evening all of my children will be under one roof for dinner and a Christmas movie.
I can't ask for anything better than that!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Stopping to smell the...cotton

 Life has been crazy busy lately!  Most of it is stuff that is out of my control, but I am trying to make the best of these days.  The thing that is hardest at this stage in my life is I feel like my little ones don't get the attention that my older ones got when they were small.  I am having to purpose time to focus on them.

We have farm land all around us and right now we have cotton across the street.  It is our "Georgia snow"!
I  let them run all over it and they had a ball! Shorts in December!  That is my kind of winter!

Grandpa was staying with us and he told the kids about when he was a little and had to pick cotton after school every day.  Myles kept asking me if Grandpa had taken his picture in the field too. :o)

Myles loves taking "selfies".  I often find multiples of the same shot of him on my phone.

I have pictures of all of my kids playing on these little bridges.  Many sweet memories playing in this field!

McKenzie and Daniel are in the process of moving.  It has been such a fiasco!  They moved back down our direction last spring after Daniel had a job change. (We are SO glad to have them closer!)  The apartment they are renting is in a downtown area though.  It was a neat place to stay for a newlywed couple, but not so great for having a baby!  We toyed with the idea of moving my dad back to his house and McKenzie and Daniel living with them as his "caretakers".  There were many reasons why that didn't work out, but God has been so good and provided the perfect spot for them!  They are living out Dave Ramsey's financial plan and are saving to buy a house.  Not the "get what I want now" mentality of most young couples, but I keep telling McKenzie it will be so worth it!  Marc and I have never had debt other than our mortgage, but I think about how much further we could be if we had started out that way!

Trying to juggle getting my dad's house back in shape after renters destroyed it and helping fix up the house that Daniel and McKenzie will be living in has been tough right here at the holidays!  We also will be moving my dad here after the new year!  So much  going on at one time!

Our days are busy and not always with what we want to be busy doing.  I was having a "character training moment" with one of my children the other day and talked to them about choosing to be joyful!  It's definitely something you have to choose to do and not let your circumstances determine that for you!

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice." Philippians 4:4

Our church service got moved to a later time today.  Because of that I decided to stay home with Macheus and the rest of the family went.  We drive over an hour to meet with a family-integrated congregation.  It makes for a long day, but with it being later in the day I knew Mac would be miserable.  It has been a long week and I have enjoyed the quiet day with just him.  He is napping right now, my laundry is done, floors are mopped and I started working on my Christmas letters.  I even got to have a quiet time with no interruptions.  That is something I rarely get to do these days! 

Matthew and Madeline both finished finals this week!  We are all rejoicing that they are finished!  It is so stressful as you watch them cram for tests and frantically finish writing papers.  Madeline's schooling this quarter seemed to be never ending papers!  She is a wonderful writer, but she had a really tough History teacher that  stretched her writing ability.  She managed to get an "A" in his class but she was sweating it!  They both made Dean's list again and I am super proud of them!  They are much better students than I was when I was in college! :o)

Well, I always enjoy writing on this little blog of mine.  I guess it helps me record little bits and pieces of my life and it's kind of therapeutic for me.  However, laundry needs to be folded and Macheus is now awake!

~Until next time...
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." Romans 12:!2

Friday, December 4, 2015

It's a good day for a good day!

We were out yesterday looking at houses with McKenzie, and Myles found this star and fell in love with it.  The realtor told him he could have it.  It made his day!

When we got home Matthew helped him put it on top of one of our fir trees. 

Myles is such a handful right now.  I think he has higher than average intelligence but immature for his age.  Dangerous combination! :o)  He keeps me on my toes and keeps us all laughing!
Today he went with me when I was taking my dad to town.  He saw lip prints on the van window where apparently a certain twelve year old had left her impression.  The conversation went something like this.

Myles:  "Oooh, there is kissing on my window."
Me: "Kiss it back."
Myles:  "That is So gross!  Girls kiss girls, boy don't do kissing."  Gotta' love their innocence! :o)

Several times this week when he has been in trouble he said, 'Mommy, I love you!  It's Christmas! Be happy!"  Little manipulator!