Monday, August 31, 2009

Blog Hop Tuesday - All of Mommy's Babies

Tilly Brooke O'Dell (the baby) just turned one a couple of weeks ago! She is the sweetest thing. This is one of my favorite baby pictures of her.
Summer Journey O'Dell, our middle daughter who just turned two in July!
Carter and Summer when Summer was just one month old! Thankfully, they still ADORE each other!
Carter Stokes O'Dell, our firstborn. He was three in May. His daddy wore this very same outfit home from the hospital! So special!
One of my favorite pictures of Carter as a baby. This one was taken after his first bath the day we brought him home from the hospital.
Here are my sweet babies growing up way too fast. How I love them so!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thursday, August 27, 2009

It Won't Be Long Now

As long as I can remember, I have been a bulldawg. Growing up, my parents had season tickets between the hedges. We even have a Christmas card picture from the 1980s where my sister and I are posing with the infamous Hairy Dawg. On my refrigerator at home is a picture of me before I was even two in a onesie reading, "I'm a little bulldawg." (Side note, there is a picture of my husband about the same age, standing on very similar tiles in the kitchen, wearing a very similar shirt reading "I'm a little razorback." It could be worse, you know - I'm pretty sure we were meant to be together!) I applied to one college during my senior year of high school and I received my acceptance letter on December 6, 1995. I remember like it was yesterday sitting in my 1986 Cutlass Sierra Oldsmobile, weeping and praising God! I remember going to Freshman Orientation and being taught to call the dawgs on the stairs of the Tate Student Center, as if I didn't know how already! I remember driving down our long driveway in my Georgia Red Geo Tracker with my mom visible in the rear view mirror both of us crying like babies. I remember my first game as a student. There is nothing like walking into that glorious place we call Sanford Stadium between the hedges, hearing the shouts of the fans, and watching the dawgs do their thing. Now, that I am a wife and a proud mommy of 3, I get excited to share my love for the dawgs with my family. My sweet husband has become a true fan having experienced a few Saturdays between the hedges himself! Carter and Summer can call the dawgs with the best of them! Needless to say, we are counting down the days at our house when we get to see those silver britches run out on the field and hear the words "Goooo Dawgs! Sic 'em! Woof! Woof! Woof! Woof!" echo through the stands. It won't be long now. Until then, I have a little something to help the time pass.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tilly's One Year Stats

David took Tilly on Thursday to see Dr. G for her well check-up. Our baby girl is growing up way too fast! She weighed 20 pounds (35%) 30 1/2 inches (90%). We are thankful for the 20 pounds because she can officially face forward now in her car seat! As of her birthday, Tilly has 7 teeth, three on bottom and four on top. She is walking more and more and is following in her sister's footsteps of being a climber. She eats most things offered to her. Some of her favorites are black beans (I wish you could see baby girl eating them), yo baby, zucchini, green beans, bananas, mandarin oranges, carrots, and peas. We have not found a meat that she really enjoys yet, though occasionally she will eat some turkey or chicken. Tilly shares a birthday with a special lady in our life, Ms. Jeanne, so we shared a birthday dinner at the Whitmire's house before heading off to church. I am officially back in school and seem to be quite forgetful. I remembered the camera, but forgot the memory card, there goes that memory thing again. Courtney (Ms. Jeanne's daughter) was kind enough to be the photographer and send some pictures over to me! We are having another party for Tilly over Labor Day Weekend when David's parents, who live in Arkansas, could be here to help us celebrate! We are having a ladybug theme in red and black, my favorites! Be on the lookout for pictures from the big day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

With love from Miss Courtney

The Whitmire family joined our church and was baptized (all of them together; it was awesome) not long after David became the pastor at FBC Austell. We love this family so much! They have been the biggest blessing in our lives. Mr. Duane has fixed SO many broken things in our home and built some new things too. Ms. Jeanne has been taking care of our children while David and I work. Courtney and Ashley have been babysitting for us so we can have the occasional date night! Words cannot express the love and gratitude in our hearts towards this precious family. The following blog post was written by Miss Courtney on her facebook page and I just HAD to add it to our blog! Courtney is leaving next week to go to the University of Maryland. We are going to miss her greatly and frankly, we don't know what we are going to do without her. We pray the Lord will go before her and prepare the way and that He will direct her steps while she is so far away from home. We love you, Miss Courtney! Thank you for loving our children!
I am thankful for the little people God has put in my life. They are innocent and pure and not corrupted by the negative world surrounding us!! Carter, Summer, and Tilly are breaths of fresh air!
Momma (Ms. Jeanne hehe) brought to my attention the look on Sweet Summer's face when I play with her, i.e. letting her brush my hair, watch me put on make up (she gets to hold a make up brush and she LOVES IT!!), or singing with her--she just looks up in amazement and is so happy when I spend time with her. "Play with com-puter Ourtney?" is a frequent phrase from that girl!! She makes the best surprise face ever :-0 !! My favorite noise is her laugh, it is genuine and a great belly laugh. :-D
Today was a GREAT day with them, I hope tomorrow (my last day with them) is as great as today was! Carter randomly gave me a hug when I was laying on the couch, kissed my cheek, and said "I love you Miss Courtney"-- THE sweetest thing ever. You will never meet a more polite 3 year old, yesterday he said "Thanks Miss Courtney for decorating for Ms. Jeanne, it was sweet!" He also enjoys helping me, like today he helped me bring in the groceries! (Get that image...a 3 year old carrying a gallon of is not against child labor laws.) He is so smart, and makes me do double takes everyday with something new he's learned. It is amazing.
I remember last year when Ms. Heather was pregnant with Tilly. I am blessed to have witnessed when she learned to turn over, crawl, crawl super fast, furniture surf, and now walking 5-10 steps at a time!! She turned one yesterday and celebrated with my momma's 50th birthday. You can be having what you think is the worst day ever, look at Tilly's precious grin with her new teeth and fall in love!!! She, too, has learned the surprise face and will soon be a master :-D She is so sweet and full of love. When she wakes up from her nap, she HUGS you. And you can't wait to let her fall asleep just so when she wakes up you can get that hug!!
These children are amazing. And their parents are too!! I pray that my brother & sister's (& cousin) babies have personalities as original as Carter, Summer, and Tilly have.
And I am excited to see how much they have learned and how much they grow when I come home in December!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Tilly!

Happy 1st birthday, Tilly! Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday we were sitting outside on the swing waiting and waiting and waiting on the hospital to call and tell us they had a room available! Well, they never called that night because apparently they forgot about us, so we did not get the call until the next morning and your daddy and I had the blessing of sitting on 285 in rush hour traffic! Don't worry, you were worth it! We checked into Northside Hospital on the morning of August 19, about 9:00. Induction began soon after that. Labor with you was a breeze with the help of a wonderful thing we like to call the epidural; I never even had to push! Thank you! You were born at 4:48 P.M. Christine Gordon, our midwife who delivered both your brother and your sister, delivered you. You weighed 8 pounds exactly; almost 2 pounds smaller than your brother, and 1 1/2 pounds smaller than your sister! You were 20 1/2 inches long. You really were/are just a beautiful baby. The first thing your daddy and I noticed was the precious little dimple on the left side of your mouth; it has become more defined over the last year. We love it! Today, Tilly we give thanks for your life. You have brought so much joy and love into our home and our family would not be complete without you. Our prayer for you is that God would continue to heal your little body and that you would continue to grow and be healthy. We also pray that He would capture your heart at an early age. Happy 1st Birthday, Tilly! We love you so so so much!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Faith Like a Child

Saturday night, our hot water heater died. Yup, we were like really, right now? Right now! So, while David was out buying us a new one, I was home putting the children to bed, namely Carter and Summer. Tilly was long gone by this point! We were going through our usual nighttime routine of books, songs, and prayers in that order. I have been asking the children to choose someone they want to pray for. Every night Summer says she wants to pray for Miss Jeanne (the lady who took care of her last year and who will keep Tilly this year), but Carter said he wanted to pray for rain. I thought maybe he was trying to pray for someone and was getting the name wrong, but he insisted rain. So, we prayed for rain. I left their room and went to do some school work in our dining room. About 30 minutes later, I heard the sweetest sound outside. You can guess; it was raining! I don't know why I was shocked or surprised that God answered our prayer and I was immediately convicted of not praying in faith. However, the next moments are some of the sweetest I have had with this little boy of mine. I was prompted by the Spirit I am sure to rouse Carter so he too could see the rain. I went into the room and his little eyelids fluttered open. I said, "Come here, buddy, there is something I want to show you." He was so confused. I am sure he was thinking Mommy never let's us get up once we are asleep! We walked to the front door and I held him up to the window. I said, "Look, Carter, it is raining!" I wish you could have seen his big blue eyes! They were so wide with wonder. He was frantically looking back and forth at the rain through the window and then he said, "Mommy! Is God outside?" Precious, I know. I said, "Carter, God is everywhere!" Thank you, God, for answering our prayers and for sending rain! Thank you for this sweet, sweet moment with my little man. Thank you for his tender heart. May you capture his heart for you at an early age. Last night just before Carter went to bed he said, "Mommy, are you going to get me up tonight and let me see the rain again?" Wishful, thinking, my love!

Friday, August 14, 2009

My 100th Post

My friend, Stacee, who worked with David at I at MFUGE Nashville in 2003, gave me a great idea on her blog. For her 100th blog she shared 100 things about herself with her readers. I don't know that I have 100 things that are interesting enough to read about me, but I loved the idea, so I am going to share 100 things that I love! Thank you, Stacee, for the awesome idea! I have heard that copying is the most sincerest form of flattery, so I hope you don't mind my copying! Note: these are in no particular order.
  1. I love knowing I am a daughter of the King.
  2. I love being married to David.
  3. I love being a mommy to Carter, Summer, and Tilly.
  4. I love my family.
  5. I love the sound of rain on a tin roof.
  6. I love the smell of fresh cut grass.
  7. I love the feel of clean sheets.
  8. I love Jergen's lotion.
  9. I love to hear my children laugh.
  10. I love the new face Tilly makes.
  11. I love Summer's big brown eyes.
  12. I love to hear Carter and Summer sing.
  13. I love to hear David preach God's Word.
  14. I love our church family.
  15. I love to read.
  16. I love to blog.
  17. I love to teach.
  18. I love my school.
  19. I love MFUGE.
  20. I love to travel.
  21. I love houses with front porches.
  22. I love to take pictures.
  23. I love having babies.
  24. I love Africa.
  25. I love the beach.
  26. I love the sand between my toes.
  27. I love college football.
  28. I love the Georgia Bulldawgs.
  29. I love New Orleans.
  30. I love skinny vanilla lattes.
  31. I love my grandmother's cooking.
  32. I love shopping with T.
  33. I love being an aunt.
  34. I love the sunshine.
  35. I love Popeye's.
  36. I love diet coke.
  37. I love Romans 8:28.
  38. I love people.
  39. I love to tell people about Jesus.
  40. I love Jillian Michael's 30 day shred.
  41. I love autumn.
  42. I love doing things for other people.
  43. I love facebook.
  44. I love girl time.
  45. I love that so many people I know are having babies.
  46. I love Caedmon's Call.
  47. I love Athens.
  48. I love going home.
  49. I love Atlanta.
  50. I love reading to my children.
  51. I love my faculty at school.
  52. I love helping people.
  53. I love when others pray out loud for me.
  54. I love missions.
  55. I love to swing with my family.
  56. I love surprises.
  57. I love making baby food.
  58. I love the smell of cabbage patch kids.
  59. I love to hold hands.
  60. I love Vera Bradley.
  61. I love fit flops.
  62. I love to paint my toes.
  63. I love to talk to friends.
  64. I love Panera with Wendy and MK.
  65. I love when Carter tells me a secret.
  66. I love to wink.
  67. I love to ride with the windows down.
  68. I love Rascall Flatts.
  69. I love red.
  70. I love to fly.
  71. I love date nights.
  72. I love doing life with people.
  73. I love Arkansas.
  74. I love feeding Tilly her bottles.
  75. I love Summer's hugs at night.
  76. I love when Carter wants to hold you.
  77. I love aha! moments.
  78. I love Tapawingo.
  79. I love Jeep Wranglers.
  80. I love Fridays.
  81. I love Christmas.
  82. I love sending out our Christmas letter.
  83. I love when people come to visit.
  84. I love Clinique mascara and moisturizer.
  85. I love dresses.
  86. I love blue jeans.
  87. I love ponytails.
  88. I love freckles.
  89. I love lightning bugs.
  90. I love that I went to UGA for college.
  91. I love Charleston.
  92. I love light.
  93. I love cherries.
  94. I love Little Giraffe loveys.
  95. I love to be organized.
  96. I love a clean car.
  97. I love rocking chairs.
  98. I love meeting new people.
  99. I love BabyWise.
  100. I love the life God has given to me.

Carter's Funny Stuff Part II

Before I begin, can I just say, have you ever seen a more handsome fella? I mean, look at him! You can't tell because of the red-eye, but he has the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen! Thank you to T and my grandfather for sharing those with my sweet boy! And, look at those curls! Now, it appears that my girls' hair is going to be straighter than a stick, but my little fella has the sweetest curls. According to Daddy and school dress code, they are going to have to go soon, but I am going to enjoy them for the next few weeks! A few months ago, I posted here about some funny and endearing phrases that Carter has said. It has been a while since I have done this and there are some that I definitely do not want to forget.
  1. I got you a secret! You really have to see him in action to get the full effect because he puts his hand out to his ear, like one of the old wrestlers used to do, and proceeds to whisper (not really) his secret!
  2. Mommy, you're adorable! Only, it kind of came out as deplorable, but I am convinced it was adorable.
  3. I make noise with my hiney! What a polite way to express what is going on, I must say.
  4. Mommy, we need to pray for Mama, so her back will get better.
  5. Mommy, I am going to kiss Mama's back and then it will be all better.
  6. Summer/Tilly, NO ma'am!
  7. I love you so so so so much!
  8. Hey, watch out for my sister! He said this to a boy twice his size.
  9. Never mind. Enough said!
  10. Hold you. This one is my favorite. He has been saying this since he was little bitty and could hold his arms out for us to pick him up. I love that he still says it this way. I have not had the heart to correct this one!

The Jesus Storybook Bible

Not too long ago I participated in a blog game, "What's on Your Nightstand," where I blogged about the Jesus Storybook Bible. I received a message from one of the reps at Zondervan that I wanted to share with you: We want to give you the exciting opportunity to help us celebrate the release of the Deluxe Edition this October! All throughout September we'll be sending updates about ways you can win copies of the Deluxe Edition (which features the entire Jesus Storybook Bible read by award-winning British actor, David Suchet) and free resources you can share with others! To register for these updates and exclusive information, visit here and sign up!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Rookie Mistake?

Is there a such thing as a rookie mistake when it comes to your children? After the fact, David and I are thinking we made a rookie mistake, but how do you know in the heat of the moment? Friday night, our sweet little Summer fell on our neighbor's brick steps and busted her lower lip. There was a cut on the inside of her mouth and the outside of her mouth was bleeding as well, not just a little bit either! We thought, it had gone all the way through! So. . .David loaded up Summer and took her to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital in Atlanta. Speaking of, we are so thankful to live so close to such a great children's hospital. She was a champ! Thankfully, she did not have to have stitches and was sent home after being cleaned up and given a Popsicle! I am sure along the way in our parenting journey we will make many "rookie mistakes." I am thankful for extra measures of grace given to parents by the One who knows our children better than we do! Here are some pictures from our sweet girl the day after her accident. We love you, Summer, and are proud of you for always being so brave!
Isn't she the prettiest thing you have ever seen? Even with a busted lip!
I love those BIG brown eyes!
"Ice cream!"

Friday, August 07, 2009

Mama and T

This morning we met my mom (AKA T) and my grandmother (AKA Mama) at Mall of GA for a little shopping, a little lunch, and a whole lot of playing! My grandmother has been at my mom's all week helping to take care of her after her surgery. I am thankful we were able to work it out to see them both in the same day! Mall of GA has an awesome play area for children with a train offering rides as well. There is also a carousel in the food court that we were able to try out for the first time! Carter and Summer had the most fun playing and riding. Tilly was quite content to sit in her stroller and look cute! I will let the pictures tell the story of our day!
Mama and T with all the babies! What a sweet picture. We were so thankful to see both of them today!
Carter and Summer on the train for the first time. Carter was really excited; Summer not so much, which is surprising because she is our fearless and tough one.
Mommy and Tilly again. Daddy continues to be a rockin' photographer!
Mommy and Carter on the train. Summer did not want to ride this time, so I was more than happy to fill in for her! We had so much fun!
Daddy with Carter and Summer on the carousel. This was their very first time to ride! I think it is awesome they are experiencing a lot of their firsts together. These two are best buddies and do not know life without the other, precious!
Sweet Tilly watching in the wings; lovey tight in her hands.
Carter and Summer again on the carousel.
Mommy and Tilly. I LOVE this picture. Look at all those teeth in her mouth! She will be ONE week after next, I can hardly believe it!
My sweet babies. It is rare to get a picture of the three of them together; who cares if they are not looking?!
Tilly was all tuckered out after a long morning of shopping and playing with Mama and T. Thank you, Mama and T for meeting us. We loved spending time with you both and hope our party of five did not wear you both out too much! We love you and hope to see you again very soon!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hudson Taylor Rowell

Have you ever met someone for the first time and you just knew that you would be friends forever? This is my friend Wendy. We met our freshman year of college and then lived together for 3 years at UGA with MK and Candace. We were all married within four months of each other and we now have 10 children between us with hopefully more to come. The newest member of our family was born yesterday!
Last night, while my family went to church, I drove to Northside Hospital in Atlanta, to see Wendy and meet baby Hudson Taylor! I have to interject and share that it was so surreal to walk into the hospital and not be delivering myself! We have spent the last 3 summers at Northside Hospital delivering babies. They were still in Labor and Delivery, too, because their room was not ready for them yet, so that made it even more strange for me. I went into the bathroom to wash my hands and the smell of the soap brought on so many wonderful feelings of nostalgia! It was fun to remember the births of my 3 babies for a moment, what special days they are for me! Now, back to Wendy. Hudson was born at 4:56 P.M. on August 5, 2009, weighing 8 lbs 9 oz and 20 1/1 inches long! He is perfect in every way! The first thing two things I noticed about him were first how much he looks like his big brother, Brennan, and (Hudson is the younger brother of Colman, 5, and Brennan, 3) the second thing I noticed about him, were the awesomest (I don't think that is a word, but it is fitting) dimples I have ever seen! Wendy and her husband, John, both have gorgeous dimples, so it is no surprise their new fella would be blessed with them as well! Thankfully, there were no other girls in the room with John and Wendy when I got there, so I did not have to take anybody out in order to get my hands on this baby! It was such a treat to meet baby Hudson and spend a few moments with the proud new parents. I remember where I was when John called to tell me that Colman, their first son, had been born. David and I were in New Orleans at seminary and I was sitting at the table in our red "dining room," and I remember being so sad that I was not closer to my friend. Thankfully the Lord saw fit to lead us to ATL after seminary! I have loved being close to my girls! When Wendy's second son, Brennan, was born I got to see him the same day, what a treat! Wendy has come to the hospital for the births of all of my babies, and I loved being able to be there for her yesterday! I love this sweet family and since they have 3 boys, I am confident we can arrange two marriages with them for my Summer and Tilly. Now for the moment you have been waiting for, pictures of this handsome fella!

Look at that sweet face! I wish the dimples were showing, so you could witness firsthand their awesomeness!
Here I am holding the sweet thing! Thank you, John and Wendy, for letting me share in your special day. My prayer for Hudson Taylor is that God will use him to rock the nations much like his namesake!
Wendy with little Miss Tilly the day after she was born! Tilly adores Wendy!
Wendy with Carter after Summer' birth; he looks so tiny! MK was there too, but I don't have those pictures! Thank you, Wendy for sharing in my special days! It was a joy to share in yours! Love you!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

SUPER Fun Weekend - Warning lots of pictures!

Since I have been out of school for the summer, Fridays have become my most favorite day. David is off on Fridays because Sundays are a busy work day for him, so we all get to play together for the whole day. We spent Friday morning and afternoon around the house, but after nap time we definitely got the party started! We took Carter, Summer, and Tilly to Jump for Joey. Now, those of you who are not from our parts may not know what this is. It is a building that has wall to wall inflatable jumping machines! We had SO much fun! David and I even joined in on the fun a few times. Save a few people, we had the run of the place to ourselves; it was awesome! Carter has been to one of these jump places several times, but this was Summer's first time. She was very cautious, but Carter was sweet to encourage her! I overheard him one time say to a boy 3x his size, "Watch out for my sister!" Aw! There was a great little place for Tilly to play as well. She had a blast! Here are some pictures from our fun Friday. After Jump for Joeys, we ate supper at Moe's. What a yummy ending to a fun day!

Now for Saturday. . .the children slept until after 8! I broke out into the Hallelujah chorus many times from the confines of our bed that morning. We drove out to the mall to walk around and see what we could see. With our sweet Summer starting school for the first time this year, we wanted to buy her some new clothes for her big debut! Belk was having an awesome sale. We bought her four precious outfits for $30 and saved over $90! That's my kind of shopping. After a quick lunch at the food court, we made our way home with our loot, or Summer's loot rather. Quick naps were in order because we had a pool party just waiting for us! A sweet lady in our church had the children over for a pool party on Saturday afternoon. We had a great time playing in the water, soaking in the sun, and eating yummy food. You know good ole Baptists can't fellowship without food!

Adelle and Ashlyn in their precious matching suits!

Carter and Adelle - he adores her!

Miss Sara having story time with the children.

James (our pastor of education) and Ashlyn.

Little Miss Tilly peeking through the screen.

Summer striking a pose.
Look at those curls. David says they have to go soon :(

David and Tilly. Real men wear pink, you know!
Tilly's picture says it all. We were worn out after a fun day!

Now for Sunday! For the month of July, we have been having "big church" in the chapel. It has been a sweet time of worship for the last few weeks, more intimate I think. David has been teaching about Forgiveness for the last 5 weeks, and today we ended our time with the Lord's Supper. I have been blessed to have sweet friends visiting me every Sunday we have been in the chapel. I have loved it! Today, our special friend Emily came to worship with us. She attends FBA, but Dr. Stanley was going to be out of town today, so she came to our church. We were honored. Emily joined our family for a quick lunch before heading home. She took some great pictures, so after she sends them to me I will add them to this post. We have known Emily for 5 years now - wow, has it been that long? We met during the summer of 2004 while we were all three on staff at MFUGE in Nashville and we have been friends ever since!

What a SUPER fun weekend it has been for our family. To top it all off, my sweet husband bought me a new toy! He is the BEST! I love it, especially since it plays the Georgia fight song!