Friday, August 12, 2016

First Day of School!

A piece of my heart walked into the 2nd grade today. I'm so proud of my little boy and I pray he grows in strength and wisdom, and that the grace of God will be upon him. ❤️

All About Levi - 2nd Grade

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up? 
A: A Toymaker

(2nd grade!)

Q: What is your favorite thing to do? 
A: Swim at the pool

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Cheese pizza

Q: What is your favorite toy?
A: Video games

Q: What is your favorite TV show?
A: Full House and Animaniacs

Q: What is your favorite book?
Hank the Cowdog - the 2nd one 

Q: What was your favorite thing we did this summer?
A: Family vacation

Q: What are you looking forward to this school year?
A: Making more friends

Q: What do you want to learn this year?
A: Division

(He had an "awesome" first day! I'm so thankful for his heart and his enthusiasm for everything in his life. He is my JOY!) 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thoughts on Back-to-School.

I'll be the first to say it. I hate Back-to-School. It's sad, it means another year went by, and I like my children with me all the time. I just do. 

This time last year I was an absolute wreck. For a solid month before school started I would disappear to the shower every single night and break down. It was the first time Levi would be apart from me, and I questioned everything. Was I doing the right thing? Would he thrive or not? Should I be homeschooling? Am I about to make the biggest mistake of my/his life? (I tend to get a bit theatrical when it comes to my children.) This was one of the most difficult times in my life. It was hard and sad and downright depressing. Thank the Lord for a level headed husband with his emotions in tact, encouraging me that these changes would bring good things. 

Going into this school year is 100% different. I'm super sad summer is ending, and I still get a pit in my stomach thinking about Levi not being home with me, but I have absolute peace. I never once have doubted our decision this year for where Levi needs to be and he's counting down the days until he starts. He LOVES school and that makes me so, so happy. I'm thrilled God led us to a place that Levi not only enjoys, but where he thrives! And we're a week out and I haven't even shed a tear. (Yet.😉) 

My hearts desire is to homeschool the little years, so I'll be starting Pre-K with little Ezra this year and he is so excited. And so am I. Those years spent homeschooling his brother are some of my sweetest memories. We are so thankful for God's faithfulness and His direction in our decisions, giving us assurance and peace along the way. I could never do this whole parenting gig without Him! 

So, look out Back-to-School. I'm not letting you bring me down this year. 👊

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On Blogging.

I've been thinking about how blogging has changed so much with the times, so here is a little question for you guys. I personally don't read blogs anymore, and haven't for years .... so I was wondering about you! Weigh in!

On Blogging
I prefer reading blogs and wish you would update more.
I prefer to catch up quickly - like, via Instagram.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Pop Its

Growing up with my brother Luke,
there was never a dull moment. I can't see these Pop Its and not think of this story. 

It was summer circa 1990 and my cousins Josh and Stacey were down from Stroud to stay with us for a few weeks. It was, without a doubt, always the highlight of our summer. Four cousins romping and scheming in the sweet Eastern Oklahoma countryside - what else could a kid ask for? 

Sunday night rolled around and Mom was scheduled to host the church Women's Auxiliary in our home that month. There was nowhere for us kids to go, so we were banished to the back of the house and instructed to be well-behaved, quiet, and to stay out of trouble. 


We started out really well, scheming up our nightly midnight snack plan/route and telling stories about the Traveler. But things were sure to get out of hand fast with the four of us involved. And, they did. 

Early into the evening, Josh and Stacey ended up brawling on Luke's water bed. Naturally, Luke and I squabbled back and forth too, but Josh and Stacey took things next level that night. As Stacey went flying through the air she scream-cried to new decibels and Josh was yelping out wildly from her intense fingernail gashes in his skin, and I couldn't do anything but sit on the floor with my eyes glued to the door waiting for Mom to come flying through it. 

Miraculously, she didn't, and things calmed down a bit after that .... until Luke unearthed a pack of Pop Its. 

"Hey, I wonder what would happen if I bit one of these," he said. 

Josh's eyes lit up, Stacey's got enormous, and I was trying to find a way to high tail it outta there to tell Mom. But I was trapped. 

Before I could form a sentence, Luke threw that tiny white bag up into the air and into his mouth like a peppermint tic-tac and those pearly whites came closin' in. I started SCREAMING, Josh was hysterically laughing and Stacey still sat there wide-eyed and concerned not knowing what was about to go down. None of us did. 

POP!!!! We see nothing but a flash of fire. Luke jumps up and black gravel that smells and looks like gun powder coated his mouth and he's hopping around and spitting more than a cowboy at a rodeo. I start bawling because I think he's on the brink of death, while screams and laughs filled the bathroom. 

And then, after he saw he survived, he did it again and tried to get us to do it, too. We went through an entire box of Pop Its in our bathroom that night, snapping, screaming, biting, laughing. That bathroom reeked of TNT and smoke. And we made quite the mess as you could imagine. 

Women's Auxiliary was quickly coming to a close and we all sat on the bed, 4 ducks in row, fearfully awaiting our impending doom. 

Mom gently opened the door, peeked her head in and said, "Well you guys were perfect little angels tonight! Thank you! You all can come out now! "

We all breathed a collective sigh of relief, exchanged quick glances, and told her the pleasure was all ours. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Opportunity

Last week during a layover at DFW we ran into a friend from church who was on our same flight back to Tulsa. We had a delay, so we sat next to her and chatted while we waited. They were trying to find us another plane as something was wrong with the one we were going to be on. And you know, that's always a comforting thing to hear. 

After a while of sitting, out of the blue, the older man next to my friend began to ask her some questions. He wanted to know what she does for a living back in Tulsa, and she kindly responded that she's a wife and stay at home mom who homeschools her children. That seemed to open up a barrage of questions for this man and he went on to tell her how much he admires and respects what she's doing, and the great impact that will have on our society. 

He's an orthopedic surgeon in the area, but seemed to esteem what she's doing every bit as much as his own profession. He was absolutely intrigued by her life and seemed to have never spoken with a homeschool mom - he wanted to know everything about it! She explained in detail and told him this was the call God has on her life. She made quite the impression on this gentleman. 

His wife, the office manager at his practice, sat quietly beside them playing solitaire, and there I sat on the other side listening to their conversation, trying to decipher if he was a believer or not. It wasn't long after that, she moved over to that topic as they began to discuss what they think being a true believer really is. He had a lot of philosophies about some people being innately good - and that resulting in true belief, and though I was only getting bits and pieces of the conversation, I felt he was searching for answers. She gently challenged his thoughts with the Word, and such grace. I could see the desperation in her face for this man to know our Lord, our Savior.  No philosophies, no KNOW. 

After an hour had passed, a woman came over the speaker and said we weren't getting a new plane after all - ours had been fixed. The man grabbed his cane and began to stand up - but first leaned in closer and told my friend to come to his office whenever she wanted and he and his wife would take her to lunch. She jotted down the address of our church (which happens to be TWO blocks away from his office!) and invited them there as they exchanged names. 

As the older couple got up to leave and I said to her, "Wow! You made quite the impression on that guy!" She smiled and her eyes glistened, "This morning I prayed for an opportunity. God is faithful."

Blown. Away.  

Tears welled up in my eyes as we discussed in short their conversation as we boarded the plane, and she asked Darin and I to pray for him. I have every day since. What I thought was an annoying delay for our flight wasn't that at all. It was a divine appointment. Her opportunity.

Pray for an opportunity. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

4/4 and Turning 4!

My baby boy is four. Happy Birthday, Ezra Ray!


I remember the day you were born, they held you up over the curtain and you screamed with all your little might. When my eyes met your face, my heart stopped. You were the most perfect, precious little angel. And you were mine! (I also thought it was a joke, because you were the size of a 2 month old. The "King of the Nursery" the nurses dubbed you.) 



We have a special connection, you and me. We're buddies. Joined at the hip. Inseparable and in love! You are a momma's boy through and through and you're proud of it. And so am I! You are always doing the sweetest things for me and then you kiss my forehead.  The other day you said, "I like to take care of you, don't I Mommy?" AH!  I know you'll always take care of me, baby boy.  It's just who you are. 



You're the perfect companion to your brother. You make him laugh every day and you stick up for him always. You're a team, you and him. Stay a team. Protect your team. Your love for one another inspires me. Your brotherhood is unique, strong as an ox, and fiercely loyal. It's my favorite thing in the world to watch. 




You think your daddy hung the moon and when he comes home from work every day it's as if he's just coming home from a week away.  You are so excited to see him and your favorite thing to do with him is ride bikes and go on errands. You love your daddy dearly!


You're our little comedian, shy around others but the life of the party at home. You walk around with your hands in your pocket and stand with your hands behind your back, like a little old man. It is the cutest thing in the world...along with your giggle and smiles. I feel like you should do voices in cartoons because your voice is the sweetest little thing. Your daddy and I melt over just how cute you are!


Ezra, I've only scratched the surface here. You are such an exciting little thing. I never know what you'll do or say or how you'll act or feel. You keep us on our toes and bring such life and love to our family. You make me better.



I love you, angel boy. I cherish you always. 


Sunday, April 3, 2016

PJ Masks Party!

Our little Ezra Ray is turning four soon and asked for a PJ Masks birthday party.  What I didn't realize is that PJ Masks stuff is hard to come by.  Like, they don't even make party stuff or toys (yet) since it's so new. Enter .... ETSY! You can always count on Etsy.  I managed to find so many cute things and we ended up with a super fun PJ Masks party for my little Cat Boy!



These were filled with little toys and the like.


These were filled with candy!

I even found an Etsy lady to make cookies.  Which were absolutely perfect.


And then I found a local lady who makes really good cakes. I asked her if she could make a PJ Masks cake like this and showed her a picture. She absolutely nailed it!


Everyone also got a little mask so they could be their favorite character!


And a personalized chocolate bar.  Ezra's favorite - Cookies & Cream!




We went to a local gymnastics gym and invited his little friends.  It ended up being so super fun!! They got to do so many fun stations and it was just the perfect place for his age group. Love! They all had a blast and keep asking to go back!





And my personal favorite photo of the day ....


A super fun party in the books and my baby is another year older. Where oh where does the time go?



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