Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Giving Honor Where Honor is Due

It seems I'm always blogging about the great things my kids are doing, but I don't say too much about my incredible husband! May I brag on him for awhile?

First of all, he is a loving husband and father and a faithful, responsible, loyal, trustworthy sort of guy. He is also compassionate and caring and a man of integrity. He doesn't talk a lot, but when he does, it is usually with great wisdom. He recently helped one of our sons through a difficult spot, and our son told me later, "I'm so lucky to have a father like Dad, because he has so much wisdom and knows how to handle a variety of situations wisely."

"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him." -- Proverbs 20:7

Alan is also a very humble man, and he would never toot his own horn. That's why he needs me to do it for him!~ :)

Alan was recently selected to be Secretary/Treasurer of the Georgia City County Management Association. This means he is in line to become the President of the GCCMA in two years!

I am so proud of him for this accomplishment!

What does my hubby think about this?? Well, according to the article in Saturday's newspaper, "The organization has a nominating committee made up of past presidents, and I had no idea they were considering me for the position . . . It's a tremendous honor to be nominated and elected by my peers."

One of the members of the nominating committe was quoted as saying, "Alan's been in local government I guess pretty much all his working life. He's done a real good job in Lee County and the nominating committee felt he would be a good person to represent our organization."

Alan concludes by saying, " The number one benefit of being a part of this organization is that its membership consists of committed managers who truly want to make a difference. These people want to have a positive impact on the lives of others." And that quote demonstrates his heart to serve others!

"And of some have compassion, making a difference." -- Jude vs. 22

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Family that Works Together and Plays Together . . .

Saturday was an incredibly beautiful spring day, but what really made it beautiful to me was seeing my family work together to accomplish many projects and then watching them play together and enjoy spending time together as a family! As much as I would like for it to be, this is not always the case . . .

Psalm 133:1 - "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."

We all worked hard both inside and outside, cleaning house and doing yard work. Alan and the boys tilled and planted the garden, picked up a couple truck loads of mulch and spread it, and did other yard jobs. The girls and I went to the garden center and picked out some flowers, which we planted in our backyard in a spot where Joseph tilled up for us.

After the hard work was done, the children enjoyed a good ole family game of baseball (using a tennis ball!) in the back yard!

I got a kick out of watching Joe celebrate his home run!

Then, most everyone cooled off in the pool! It was too frigid for the more delicate among us, but even Alan enjoyed a refreshing dip after getting so hot and sweaty working in the garden!

Alan rewarded all of us for our hard work by ordering some Papa John's pizza for supper!! We were all Starved from working outside all day, making it some of the best pizza we had ever eaten!

After supper, we watched one of our favorite family movies -- a real classic -- You Can't Take it With You , starring Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur, and Jimmy Stewart.

And then it was time for Sweet Dreams . . .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Source of Joy

Just wanted to share this verse, which I've been pondering all day, after reading it during my Devotional Time this morning:

"Thou wilt show me the path of life; in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more." ~~ Psalm 16:11

photo taken by my niece, Anna Sherrick

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spreading Mulch

I just had to post these pictures from last week of the kids spreading mulch for their Dad. They were hurrying to get it out before the rains set in again, but they did take the time to pose for a few pictures! I thought they turned out so cute, and I just had to share!! :)

Weight Loss Wednesday

Somehow I managed to lose 1 pound this week. I really don't know how with spring break and Easter . . . there were plenty of opportunities to enjoy good food! But, I will rejoice with this unexpected blessing! :)

Maybe it helped that Tiffany and I were committed to doing our T-Tapp workouts over spring break. I am just so incredibly inspired by the success of my friend, Trisch, and her friend, Charlotte. They have lost so many inches with T-Tapp!!! I really want to be a success story too!

Here are some sneak peeks of Tiffany and me doing the T-Tapp Total workout! Want to join us? Check out the T-Tapp website for more information!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Partly Sunny

The rain has moved out and today is partly cloudy. Or is it partly sunny??

It all depends on your perspective -- just like whether the glass is half-full or half-empty.

I have chosen to look at today as partly sunny!

This reminds me of some quotes I love by my favorite author, Sally Clarkson, from her book, Seasons of a Mother's Heart --

"When I pout instead of being joyful, grumble instead of praying, and complain instead of giving thanks, I am in effect telling God that he is mishandling my life and I don't like it. At that point, I have ceased to put my faith in my sovereign Lord and have chosen to put my faith in my circumstances. In other words, I am telling God and myself, that if my circumstances change, then and only then can I be happy. Until then, I have nothing to be thankful for. And that, according to Paul, is when I step out of God's will." -- p. 8

"Joy is the result of the choices that you make. If you are choosing to be thankful and learning to be content, then you are opening your heart to that joy." -- p. 12

I just wanted to let you all know that things look brighter today, and although all of my problems have not been solved, I am choosing joy!

"The joy-filled life is not found by trying to diminish my God-given responsibilities as a woman, wife and mother, nor can I find joy merely by refusing to face the hard realities of life in a fallen world. There is a tension that God is asking me to acknowledge and accept -- the tension between ideals and realities. True joy is found by living somewhere between the "ideal life" and "daily realities." That is where Jesus meets me, where his Holy Spirit empowers, and where I learn how to live the Christian life with supernatural joy." -- p. 6

How about you? Are you Choosing Joy today?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Jonah Day

Today has been what a dear friend of mine used to call a "Jonah Day." That is the "Christian" way of saying I'm having a pity party!

I know I have too many blessings to count, so why the Jonah Day?

Well . . .

Spring Break is over. That means it is time to get back to work and I sort of liked having time to play!

It also means everyone had to go back to work and school and I miss them.

Then, Ashlyn left this morning for SC, and that means a piece of my heart went with her. :(

Then, the house is a mess after a week Off, and the laundry is piled up and dishes are overflowing the sink, and with the dishwasher broken, that means a LOT of handwashing. Honestly, I don't have the energy to attack the mess. I'm tired, unmotivated, feeling down . . .

No one feels like doing schoolwork today either. Is anyone else tired of doing school??

Then, rain and severe storms have moved into our area once again. I'm so tired of all this rainy, stormy weather!

And, . . . well, you know how it is, once you get started, there is no stopping point of things to be discouraged about!!

So, the gloomy weather joined hands with my weary spirit and the two have been trudging together through this long, dreary day.

Hopefully, the Sun will come out tomorrow . . .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

We had a glorious Easter/Resurrection Sunday! I hope you did too! I always think Easter morning should be a radiant, sunny, spring day, and this year it was!~

Our church choir presented an Easter Cantata and they did an amazing job! With less than twenty members, God must have donated a few voices from the heavenlies, because they sounded magnificent! The Cantata was so worshipful and triumphant!

Tiffany played "My Tribute" for Offertory, and she played it with so much passion! It was very moving and God-honoring!

Here is a picture of Tiffany and Joseph, taken after church. I wanted to get everyone together for a family picture -- but somehow, it never materialized.

It was nice to have the whole family around the table, including Ashlyn and Mum Mum (Alan's Mom). We did miss having my parents here, but the trip is a lot for them to undertake these days with us being so far away.

Our Easter Menu included:

Spiral Ham
Party Potato Casserole
Potato Salad
Devilled Eggs
Spinach Salad
Yeast Rolls
Carrot Cake

Bethany got tired of waiting to be served and decided to help herself to a deviled egg! :) It may not have been picture-perfect manners, but it did make a cute picture!! :)

After dinner, Matt serenaded us on the piano. Maybe he is going to follow in Tiffany's footsteps??

Taylor impressed us by washing ALL of the dishes from dinner! It was a huge job, with our dishwasher still broken, but he never complained once! He had lots of help with the drying and putting away, and the old adage proved true -- "Many hands make light work."

Here are some pictures that Hannah took of Bethany outside. Tiffany bought her the new dress for Easter. Isn't it adorable?

It is rare that I like a picture of myself, but I really like this picture of Joseph and Me! Isn't he handsome??

After dinner was eaten and cleaned up, the house grew Very Quiet, as there were many napping passengers! (Alan and the boys were especially tired because they didn't get home from the Braves game until 2:30 am!) Ashlyn and I took advantage of the peace and quiet, to enjoy a LONG talk sitting on the porch swing. It was a rare opportunity and we made the most of it! :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring Break, part 3

Unbelievably, our splendid spring break has almost come to an end . . . but I won't think about that yet! I'll think about that tomorrow . . .

Friday was a busy day packed full of working on various projects, running errands, shopping, cleaning, working outside, etc. Friday evening, after discovering that our dishwasher was broken, and washing a whole kitchen full of dirty dishes, my wonderful husband announced that he was taking us all out to dinner! :) Hooray! We ate at Blackbeards and then enjoyed a Movie and Ice Cream night at home. The feature presentation was "Bedtime Stories." It's a cute movie! I especially liked one line in the movie stating that goofy is the new handsome, because that is soooo Taylor!!!

Speaking of goofy, here are some pictures from our dinner out:

I love this pic of Taylor and Joe! Remember? Goofy is the new handsome!!! :)

Today, was also full to overflowing with everyone going in different directions, trying to accomplish many tasks! Ashlyn went to the gym; Taylor headed out for a much-needed haircut and oil change in his truck, and then picked up a load of mulch. Meanwhile, Ashlyn gave Joe a driving lesson, while running some necesssary errands. Josh worked as a lifeguard at the Y this morning, and then worked the rest of the day at his new job in the Pro Shop at the country club.

I ran some necessary errands, and then tackled some house cleaning, cooking, and ironing, in preparation for Easter Sunday. Alan planted some bushes, and worked in the yard, while Tiffany worked in her room and the little ones played outside. We were like a productive hive of bees!

But the day was not all work and no play. This afternoon, Alan left with Ashlyn, Taylor, Joseph, Christopher and Luke for the big ATL, where they went to a Braves game. While they were gone, Tiffany and I took Hannah, Matthew and Bethany to church for a family cook out and Easter Egg hunt. Then, we came home and finished working on our preparations for tomorrow.
We are anticipating a great Easter/Resurrection Day Celebration. How about you??

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Break, part 2

The fun continues! Our house has truly been a hub of activity this week! Here are some of the highlights:

On Tuesday, Tiffany took Matthew (6) and Bethany (4) out for a Special Time. She took them to McDonalds to eat lunch and play at the Play Place, to the library to pick out books and movies, and then to the Dollar Tree to buy something fun. Bethany came home with some play dough and a packet of seeds that she is dying to plant! Matthew picked out a spy kit for some good old fashioned adventure.

That evening, Tiffany set up a special girl time for Hannah (12). She picked up supper from Zaxby's and they closed off the doors to the girl's "apartment" and ate their special supper, watched a movie, ate some junk food, and did pedicures and manicures -- while I tried to stand guard and keep the interruptions from curious siblings down to a minimum! :)

We have always tried to encourage family unity and the idea of investing in younger siblings. One of the videos my older children will remember me making them watch over and over throughout their childhood was The Influence of Older Children on the Younger Children by S.M. Davis. I can't tell you how pleased I am that Tiffany and Ashlyn have both taken this to heart and readily use their limited free time and their resources to plan special times for their younger brothers and sisters! :)

While the girls had their special girl time on Tuesday night and the two older boys were at their jobs, the rest of us sat in the family room, watching the Braves game with Alan, or doing our own thing on our computers. After awhile, Alan declared that he had a "special family project" for everyone to work on together, and after we were done, we would celebrate with ice cream! Here are some pictures of the "special family project" -- (a.k.a. folding laundry!) :)

On Wednesday, Alan took the boys to the Andersonville Confederate Prison and POW Museum. This was a great field trip for them and gave me some time at home to plan menus and study the grocery sales and make my plan of attack for keeping this mega-family fed!

Ashlyn had a shorter break than the rest of the family, arriving home on Wednesday afternoon. When she arrived, Josh invited her and Tiffany out to dinner at a nice restaurant, his treat! Wasn't that sweet?? (Don't tell anybody, but I think he is extremely proud that he is working and has money to spend on his sisters!)

Today, after a breakfast of scrambled eggs and my special Creamy Cheese Grits, we all got in our work outs -- Ashlyn went to the gym, Tiffany and I did our T-Tapp work out, and Alan and the three older boys worked in the garden, tilling, adding a load of top soil, and struggling to extract some stubborn roots! The girls and I also took a walk in the neighborhood to enjoy the Beautiful Spring Day!

Then, I made a recession-busting trip to Sam's Club!! Ouch!!! After restocking the pantry and freezer, I mixed up some cookie dough. The cookies are baking right now! Publix had Ghiradelhi chips on sale B1G1F, and I decided to put in a combination of semi-sweet, milk chocolate, and white chocolate chips, plus chopped pecans! I'm not sure how the cookies are going to taste -- but the dough is incredible! (Not that I know from personal experience, of course --- Taylor told me it was the best cookie dough he has ever eaten!!)

The girls are out shopping right now, while Alan and the boys are enjoying a pretty competitive 2-on-2 basketball tournament! The problem with things like this is Alan has had to wait so many years for any real competition from the boys, and now, I think he has gotten more than he bargained for!!! Even though he repeatedly tells me that 50 is the new 30, he looks a little more whipped than he did when he was 30!!! :)

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