In Perspective: Weeks Forty-Seven – Fifty-Two

Wow! I cannot believe that this past month has flown by! We have been filled with full calendars, work, school, Christmas traditions, and more. Of course, I would not change a bit of it. Instead of doing a play by play of all our activities this past month, I’ve included pictures – lots of pictures! I’ve had fun going through all the photos on my computer the past few days.

This Christmas was a little different for our crew. This was the first year that we did not have any believers. A part of me was sad, but another part of me loved not having the stress of it all. We still have the kids convinced that their siblings still believe. Jackson is convinced that Joshua and Abby Kate believe and the twins are convinced that Jackson still believes. You can read all about this amusement here.

We have been treasuring these special times. The kids have enjoyed plenty of down time and it has been good for us too. At this stage, our lives are busier than ever. And I hear from others that it continues and never really slows down. As I’ve been looking back over the photos on my computer, I can still remember each event as if it were yesterday. When I look at the date, I just can’t believe that the time has flown by. I am thankful for those pictures and videos, for the trips that we’ve shared, and for the memories as they flood back over me. Looking back, I always feel that “that stage of life” was the busiest and then another one comes along. Over the past several months, I’ve really struggled with allowing feelings of discouragement to seep into my mind and heart. I’ve felt discouragement in so many areas of my life – in the busyness, the laundry list of to-do’s, words from others, not being able to do it all, and the list could go on and on from there. Discouragement is one of those feelings that can rob you of your joy. I know that I allowed it to get me down off the road and into the ditch. But I am so thankful that God is there to bring me up out of those ditches that we can sometimes let Satan pull us into. Will the busyness continue? Yes! Will my to-do list (that is forever and a mile long) still be there? Yes! Will words continue to hurt? Yes! Will there be things that I simply cannot accomplish? Yes! But, God is there to restore us, to comfort us, to do the glorious impossible, and to bring us joy! I sure did love Jason’s latest sermon series, “Shine On Us”!

Abby Kate decided to get her hair cut to donate.
Abby Kate after her haircut. I love my girl’s heart!
Jackson’s Winter Showcase
Jackson did a wonderful job at his music showcase. We are so proud of him!
My boys at the Galaxy of Lights 5K
Our first Galaxy of Lights 5K
Driving through the Galaxy of Lights! We went the other night and the wait was forever long! But we enjoyed it. We kept trying to get a great picture, but some people were being a little difficult.
Christmas Eve with Mimi
Christmas Eve with my mom
Christmas Eve Dinner We grilled out steaks after we got home from a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church. It was so wonderful!
Christmas Eve sibling gifts. This is the only present they are allowed to open on Christmas Eve. Our children feel that they are the only ones that have to wait until Christmas to get their gifts.
Sadie is so skittish around any type of packaging. She was a mess Christmas morning. She jumped up in Jason’s lap to try to settle down.
The boys love their Cardinals sweatshirts.
Christmas 2017
My boys on Christmas morning
Jackson loved all of his gifts from Nana.
We sure do have a lot of presents from Nana and Mimi.
Abby Kate
Christmas morning
This is their favorite part – passing out the presents.
Mimi trying out Abby Kate’s new headphones.
Christmas with Mimi
Christmas Day with Nana
Christmas 2017
Christmas Day selfie
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

In Perspective: Weeks Forty-Five – Forty-Six

We’ve had a great week off from school. It is always nice to break the school routine and to spend some time together without the big schedule. This year we hosted Thanksgiving for both of our families. We had a great turn out and ate so well. I am thankful for this time of year and all the special traditions and memories it brings to our family.

Mimi in the kitchen making the gravy.

Thanksgiving 2017

Our nephew, Micah, captured some great Thanksgiving Day photos.

We took down our Thanksgiving/Fall decorations on Friday and began putting up our Christmas decorations. I don’t know how our Christmas decor gets bigger each year, but it does. I’m so pleased with how well it all turned out.

I’m afraid this is the last year for our tree.
This dog will wedge herself anywhere now. She took a little nap behind my back while I also got in a nap.
My Black Friday find that I got on Saturday night.
All ready for Christmas
I love seeing where the kids have been playing around the house.
Christmas puzzle time

We are on the countdown for Christmas break and will try to make the most of our time. Everything is back in order and we are ready to get back into our routine tomorrow.

In Perspective: Weeks Forty-One – Forty-Four

It seems that these weeks are flying by! It was just over a month ago that I updated last and here we are again.

We were thrilled to go on the Jr. High Fall Retreat with Joshua and Abby Kate again this year. As always, we had the best time and enjoyed being together with everyone. We all came home a little tired and it took me a little longer to feel back to normal, but I guess that’s just age catching up with me.

Jr. High Fall Retreat
Glow in the Dark Capture the Flag Selfie

For some reason, I decided to try my hand at painting again. I don’t know why I always think that I can do this, but I do. I took a before picture and will need to get a picture of my finished product later. Needless to say, I should just stay away from the paints.

My blank canvas

We enjoyed dinner and a ghost tour with our life group one Friday night. We had the best time together and I loved hearing more stories of our downtown area.

Downtown Ghost Tour
Some handsome guy got my phone. Little does he know that I tend to post these kind of things.

We had the coldest Autumn Fest a few Sundays ago! Jason and I enjoyed handing out candy at our Trunk or Treat and the kids loved helping too.

Autumn Fest Fun!

For Halloween this year, we had our friends over and we feasted on chili (with noodles)! Jackson had decided early on not to go trick or treating this year. As the sun was going down, he quickly changed his mind. I took him around the neighborhood and he had so much fun! I’m glad that he did this for another year! Joshua and Abby Kate had fun handing out the candy at the house while we all watched the World Series.

First batch of chili on Halloween
Jackson’s Halloween costume for the 2017 year. He eventually settled on being Christopher Columbus!

Last week, we all celebrated Jason’s birthday! We went out for dinner at Connor’s and then to see the new Thor movie at our favorite theater! We had fun making the most of Jason’s birthday and spending time together as a family.

Celebrating Jason’s birthday!
We sure do love this guy!

This past Wednesday, Jackson and I headed to Montgomery for his field trip. We had an early morning (up at 4 AM), but really enjoyed our time together. We visited the Capitol building, the Alabama State House, and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum before returning home later that night.

Heading to Montgomery on Jackson’s 4th grade field trip.

Jackson found a good seat to vote in the Alabama State House.

This Friday, we went camping with some friends. We had the best time, but it was so cold! I’ve been catching up on all of our laundry and some sleep that I missed out on this week.

Our camp set up for the night
I have been wanting an electric blanket for several weeks now. Sadie really likes it too!

In Perspective: Weeks Thirty-Seven – Forty

This past month has flown by! I’ve posted some pictures to help us remember all the fun we had!

Abby Kate continues to do so well in her swim meets. She has shaved 6 seconds off of her time since we started our meets a little over 4 weeks ago.

Abby Kate swimming the 50 free style.

Joshua finished up his fall travel ball season yesterday. He is continuing to work on pitching from 60 feet. In the tournament yesterday, he had two singles, a double, and a triple throughout the day (3 games).

Joshua is always playing ball on or off the field.
I always enjoy watching this boy pitch in the game he loves.
After playing 5 games, Joshua’s team walked away with 2nd place a couple of weeks ago!
God’s beautiful creation!

For Fall Break this year our family decided to stay close to home. (4th set of braces. Need I say more. 🙂 ) We used our season pass and took a day trip to Rock City. We can’t wait to see it decorated for Christmas.

Seeing Rock City
Rock City with my guy!
My guys
I love this boy of mine! He is getting bigger each day!

The next day we packed up our gear and headed up to Monte Sano to camp. We had so much fun! I’m not sure Sadie had a good time, but she did okay. I know these years are going by so quickly. I am thankful that Jason set aside the time to take our family to camp. It definitely would have been easier to stay home, but the memories we made will last forever.

Our home under the stars.
This girl loves to read. I was doing the same thing.
Jason taking care of the grill for us.
Who doesn’t love s’mores?!?
Jackson found the comics and decided to read them by flashlight at our camp.
Nothing better than an ice cream cone and a 5 cent coke from Reeve’s Drug Store in Pulaski, Tennessee!

A highlight for our family last week was Abby Kate’s baptism. I plan on doing a separate post with pictures and more. Stay tuned. 🙂

Such a beautiful young lady!
Abby Kate’s baptism Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sometimes something weird happens….

What in the world is going on with this crazy short hair that is sticking up on top of my head?
This is what we do before school when they release a new Star Wars movie trailer.

This week Jason and I saw 2 concerts in Nashville. We realized a few months back that this week would be a busy one. I love seeing live music and I love seeing live music with Jason even more! Our first date was to see a concert at Starwood Amphitheater. Needless to say, we’ve seen lots of artists through the years on the stage.

Super excited to see Jason Isbell at The Ryman!
We went to the store to fill our empty refrigerator and pantry. This is what our buggy looks like every 3-4 days when we leave the store. Apparently we were out of drinks on this run.
Jackson and his Mimi excited about spending Saturday night together.
Excited to see Chris Stapleton in Nashville!
Chris Stapleton


In Perspective: Week Thirty-Six

What a fun week this turned out to be! We spent the first part of the week out of school on Monday and Tuesday. We took avantange of being home and made the most of our time. I caught up on all the household chores and found myself making different things in the kitchen. I was also able to get ahead on some of my lesson plans and school stuff. 

We returned to school on Wednesday and Nana took Joshua to get his braces. Joshua makes the 4th set of braces for our children. He’s been hurting, but he’s finally back to eating! 

On Thursday night Joshua had middle school baseball tryouts. We found out Friday morning that he made the team!! He is beyond excited and we are so proud of him!!

We’ve had a great weekend. We attended the football game on Friday night and I spent yesterday running a few errands and marking things off my chore list around the house. Jackson was excited to clean out the aquarium. It took some time, but it was all worth it. Our little baby fish are doing quite nicely and are getting bigger each day. Jackson loves making sure that Mango, Allison, Juliet, and George are okay. 

We enjoyed a nice Sunday today. Jason started a new series at church that I am really looking forward to. I always enjoy listening to him preach. 

The kids have had fun together at home this weekend. Abby Kate has been working on a school project and has been SO helpful around the house. I found Joshua getting in some more swings this afternoon. 

We have a busy week ahead, but it’s going to be fun! 

In Perspective: Weeks Thirty-Four – Thirty-Five

We started out our last two weeks with a Friend’s Day at church. It was a great day spent in worship with our church family. Jason got in the dunking booth and was a good sport as several kids dunked him. I only wish I had a picture. 

Jackson visited our eye doctor and we found out he is far-sighted. He’s been struggling with headaches for awhile now. Maybe this will help him. He sure does look handsome to me. 

Joshua had three teeth pulled to prepare his mouth for braces. He enjoyed “Mr. Nose,” but by the time I got him home, he was in so much pain. Thankfully, the cold tea bag and Motrin took care of his bleeding and pain. After that, we had a good evening at home. 

This past Wednesday, Nana drove up to Tennessee and picked up Mimi. Mimi came down for Grandparents’ Day and we were happy to have her here with us a few days early. I think we might’ve worn her out. 

On Friday, our school celebrated Grandparents’ Day. Jackson was so delighted to have both Nana and Mimi there to share in the day. 

Joshua got back into the swing of things with his first tournament of the fall season. The weather was perfect and Joshua had a great day on the field. He pitched 3 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and struck out 4 batters. And at the plate, he was 1 for 2 with an RBI single.

In Perspective: Week Thirty-Three

We had such a fun week! Monday was the big Solar Eclipse. I was super excited to watch the eclipse with my family! I found all the pictures, news stories, and my view from the backyard fascinating! We had 98% coverage here. I was amazed at the amount of light we still had with only 2% of the sun shining through. It was definitely one of those special moments that we’ll be talking about years from now. 

We successfully completed out our 3rd full week of school and we are definitely getting back into the swing of things. The kids are loving their new classes and teachers. And I’m enjoying my new bunch. 

Jackson went to his first lock-in with our church this year. He really had a great time! Jason and I had a date night while Jackson was at the lock-in. Joshua and Abby Kate had a great time with Nana! Thank you again Nana!

Jason and I enjoyed dinner at one of our favorites – Sam & Greg’s. Afterwards, we spent some time walking around downtown. The weather was so pleasant! It did not feel like August in Alabama. We got to see Jason Isbell in concert Friday night. This was my second time to see him and it was awesome! 

Friday evening was beautiful!

We spent today at church for our annual Friends’ Day. It was a great day of worship followed by dinner on the grounds. Once again Jason found his way into the dunk tank. I wish I had had my phone to get a picture.  

In Perspective: Week Thirty-Two

This week was a big one for Jason and me! This past Monday, August 14th, Jason and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary! These past 18 years have flown by. I am so thankful for the blessing Jason is to me. 

Nana came over Monday afternoon and spent a few hours with the kids (thank you Nana) while Jason and I celebrated over dinner at Connor’s. We’ve tried several fancy places in town, but at the end of the day, we just love a meal from Connor’s.  
Abby Kate started her swim lessons this week. She’s really working hard to build up those leg muscles. I am so proud of her hard work and dedication! 

Yesterday we headed up to Nashville to see Jason’s family. We always get together at Jason’s aunt and uncle’s house for a pool party. We always enjoy our time with family!

Tomorrow we are looking forward to the solar eclipse. Everyone has been preparing for the big day. I can’t wait to see it! 

In Perspective: Weeks Thirty & Thirty-One

Well we survived our first 8 days of school! The kids are really enjoying their new grades and teachers. I’m loving being back in the classroom doing what I love to do! I think that I’ve been running on adrenaline because today I hit a wall. I was so tired that I just had to get in a good old fashioned Sunday nap. 

First Day of School

I was finally able to find the time for a little late birthday celebration for Abby Kate. We had a fun time! 

The Birthday Girl

We are looking forward to a new week. We have appointments, practices, and a date night planned. I can’t wait to see where this week leads us. 

In Perspective: Weeks Twenty-Eight & Twenty-Nine

These last two weeks of our summer break have flown by! I cannot believe that I return to work tomorrow morning. I’m really excited about teaching another group of third graders. Joshua and Abby Kate are entering middle school and they can’t wait. We spent this past Friday night at orientation and walked the halls and met their teachers. I’m thankful that they will still be with me. They’ll just be downstairs. Jackson will have his orientation tomorrow night for the 4th grade. He has big goals for reading and practicing his multiplication facts. 

I spent last week (week twenty-eight) at church camp. I went as a kitchen mama and had the best time!! I love working in the kitchen and it was made even more special with some wonderful friends. Joshua and Abby Kate had a great time!! I am SO thankful for the opportunities they have had this summer with our youth group. These years are so special and I am grateful for all that our youth ministry does for our kids. I also love watching how they are growing in their relationships with others and with God. 

Abby Kate loved spending time outdoors. Photo Credit: Julie
Joshua loved playing! Photo Credit: Julie

We spent this past week getting ready for school. I was able to finish up my classroom. I love the way it turned out!

My home away from home!

We also spent this week running errands, riding bikes, checking out books at the library, shopping for school stuff, and jumping in the pool when we had the time. 

We always love a trip to the pool!
I might’ve made multiple trips across town in search of this beauty. I finally found it this Friday!!

And finally, my new Fitbit Alta HR arrived!! 

I’m really excited about my new Fitbit for reasons other than steps. Back in April, I had a doctor’s appointment and they ran a lot of tests. Unfortunately my triglycerides came back higher than high. They were so high that they couldn’t get a read on my LDL. The short of it all was that my cholesterol was really bad (my dad and grandmother also struggled with high cholesterol). I followed up with my family doctor and read up on all things cholesterol and fats (the good and the bad). I decided to take control and began working on watching my cholesterol and saturated fats intake. I also decided to drink more water and less of the sugary drinks. I even started watching my sugar intake in sweets. I didn’t want to say that I would never have —- because I knew that would make me crave it all the more. I’ve worked really hard over these past 4 months and I’m happy to say that my hard work is paying off. My recent tests came back and my triglycerides dropped over 200 points. My HDL increased by one point and they were able to get a read on my LDL. Overall things are looking better and I am so thankful. I still have more work to do, but I am very pleased with my progress so far.