Sunday, February 23, 2020

A Tea Party!

Yesterday my mom, Allison, and I went to Mae's Vintage Kitchen for the first time. We love having "tea parties" at home. Allison even talks her big brothers into drinking pretend tea with her on a regular basis. We've visited the O'Henry in the past for their afternoon tea and its a lot of fun but, I must say, Mae's Vintage Kitchen was extra special. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Today I am grateful for such a lovely afternoon with my daughter and my mom. It was so truly so much fun to watch Allison with her little tea cup. She loved putting in the sugar and stirring it with a little spoon. We all enjoyed the yummy food too. Times likes these are so special to me. I am so thankful for the memories we're making. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Leading Family Devotions

This evening, for the first time, Evan led our family devotions. This is a big deal because he has always hated to read. He rushes through reading his school books so he can get it over with and he never chooses to read to us. But tonight, he asked if he could read our devotion. He did so good. I was so proud of him! It was wonderful to hear his voice reading about God's willingness to always hear our prayers. He never leaves us and never ignores us. 

Today I am grateful for Evan's desire to lead our family devotions. I enjoyed listening to him read out loud without rushing through it. I loved his excitement, confidence, and leadership. It's incredible to watch our kids grow and change and take on new roles. I never get tired of it!

Friday, February 14, 2020

A Day Full of Love

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. Seventeen years ago, on Valentine's Day, Bryan asked me to be his wife. So, this day has been extra special to us ever since. We usually go on a date to celebrate but this year we decided to spend the day and evening with our kids. (Don't worry, we're going to dinner and a movie tomorrow night!) We enjoyed a day full love and joy.  One of our favorite things to do as a family is to visit a local nursing home. We decided to go today and hand out valentines. 

It was Allison's first time going without being strapped in a stroller. 
She really enjoyed herself!

Tyson has always loved visiting the elderly. They always love his blond hair and blue eyes!

Evan always has such a gentle touch with the elderly.
He is very concerned over them and makes sure they all get a valentine.

Dylan has been handing out valentines in Nursing homes since he was 2 years old.
We began passing out valentines to all the residents on Valentine's Day when visiting my grandmother.

These were the cards we handed out.
Many of the residents were excited to have these suckers.
They said they hadn't had one of these in years.
I love watching my children bring so much joy to others!

After our trip to the nursing home we had dinner at Chick-fil-a, one of our favorite places. The nuggets even came in a heart tray! The little kids had so much fun playing in the kid's area. Dylan thinks he's too old now, which makes my heart ache a little. Allison is big enough now to have a blast!

 We ended the day watching the new Lego Masters reality show together. The boys loved it!! 

Today I am grateful for a wonderful day celebrating Valentine's Day with all the loves of my life. We had a lot of fun bringing smiles to the residents at Brookdale. We also enjoyed a yummy dinner and an evening snuggling on the couch together. While we were laying there, I looked around and realized something pretty amazing. 17 years ago, when Bryan proposed, it was my dream to be a wife and mother. I am literally living the life I dreamed of. In fact its even better. Much better. 
God has been so incredibly good to me.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Their 1st Daddy Daughter Dance

Tonight was so special! It was Bryan and Allison's first Daddy Daughter Dance! I've been excited about this for months! I don't think I'm the only one that's been excited! Bryan let Allison pick out her dress a few weeks ago and she has wanted to wear it every day since!

For weeks I've been wishing I could be a fly on the wall for this event and then today, I was asked to come and help! I was thrilled! I pretended like I was just dropping Allison and her Daddy off but then I came inside and watched from a distance. It was so precious; definitely a night I will never forget. 

How cute is this??!!?!

See that adorable bracelet Allison is wearing?? It was a gift each little girl was given at the dance. The card that came with it says, "Tuck me away to be worn again while dancing with daddy on that special Wedding Day." 
How precious is that??!!

Allison said she had a wonderful date night with her daddy. Bryan had a sweet time with his baby girl, too. I had the best time watching them together. Tonight my heart was so full. I am incredibly grateful for the chance to watch from a distance as they enjoyed their first date together. I am also a thankful for these precious people. My husband and my daughter, two of God's greatest blessings in my life. Tonight was such a beautiful night!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Where Did They Learn That?

Lately all 4 of my children have been playing I Spy in the back seat of the van as we drive around town. It is absolutely adorable to hear my 2 year old say, "I pi wit my wittle eye..." I also love hearing my 5 year old say, "I see something with my little eyeball." It really cracks me up! 

As I listened to them this morning, I couldn't help but think about how they each learned to play this game. I remember teaching Dylan to play the game when he was little but I honestly don't remember teaching the other 3 kids how to play. They must have taught each other! How precious is that?

If they're teaching each other games like I Spy, what else are they teaching one another? 

Recently, Allison started saying the blessing at dinner. We didn't teach her how to do that. She learned by hearing her brothers say the blessing. She has also started laying hands on anyone that is in pain and praying out loud for God to help them feel better. She learned that from Evan, who prays boldly any time someone needs it. Tyson has learned to play "Star Wars" with his brothers but he has never even seen one of the movies. He picked up the story lines and the characters by watching his brothers play. 

More than ever, I am aware of how important it is for us to be aware of what our children are learning because they never stop learning from each other- even things that we'd rather them not learn. We also need to be intentional about teaching them the things of God. What we teach the oldest trickles down to the younger siblings. 

Today I am thankful for my precious babies and the lessons they are teaching one another. It makes my heart happy to know that Dylan is teaching Evan and Evan is teaching Tyson and Tyson is teaching Allison. I pray they will always learn from one another, reassure one another, and point each other to Jesus!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

A Different Kind of Family Time

For Bryan's Birthday I gave him a very unique gift. It's a monthly subscription for a murder mystery game called, Hunt A Killer. Each month, for six months, we'll get a box of evidence, timelines, newspaper clippings, autopsy reports, suspect interviews, maps, puzzles, clues, etc. Each month we are expected to eliminate a suspect. By the end of the 6th month we should be able to identify the killer in a very intricate murder mystery. Bryan and I did our first box set alone to make sure it would be appropriate for the kids. Tonight, with our second box, we included our older boys. It was so much fun to watch them search through the information, find important clues, and form opinions. We were able to eliminate a second suspect and we can't wait until our next box arrives!

Bryan had to test out the strangulation technique suggested on the autopsy report.

Today I am thankful for a new, fun way to spend time together as a family, at least with our older boys. It's so interesting to participate in such a realistic mystery. It grabs all of our attention! I enjoy spending quality with my family and this is just an exciting, fresh activity for us to do together!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Sharing My Story...

This weekend I had the honor of speaking at a Women's Conference in Galax, VA. The theme of the weekend was Seasons and it was truly a wonderful time of worship and learning. It's still hard for me to believe they asked me to be a guest speaker. This was my first time telling my entire story, with all its ups and downs. The ugly truth followed by all the ways God has turned things around for me. It wasn't easy to say out loud in front of hundreds of women but it was very fulfilling to hear so many of those women share their gratitude for my transparency. Many of them learned the truth of abortion. Some of them finally heard a fellow post-abortive woman share her story. A few even shared their stories with me for the first time. Thankfully, a couple of these ladies have signed up for Not Forgotten Ministries' upcoming Virtual Post-Abortive Bible Study where they will be able to find the hope and healing God wants for them.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story with so many of God's precious daughters. It's not an easy story to share but I believe it needs to be told. Light needs to be shed on abortion and what it really does to women. My prayer is that God will use my story to help other women find healing and eventually share their stories. The post-abortive woman can have a great impact on the fight against abortion by revealing the truth about this hidden tragedy. I am thankful that I get to be a part of the rescue mission for so many unborn babies and their mommas.

A Tea Party!

Yesterday my mom, Allison, and I went to Mae's Vintage Kitchen for the first time. We love having "tea parties" at home. Alli...