Monday, April 29, 2013

Just an old sweet song.

Back in February, I began planning a trip to see my grandmother.  And then the tornado came.  The big one.  I cannot really describe it other than to say I did not want the six of us to be separated by many miles for a while.  So, I put off the trip.  And put it off some more.  March came and went.  And April began and almost got away from me!  So, I decided it was time.  I needed some Mama time.  I needed some Georgia time.  There's just something about being home.  Seeing pine trees and pecan trees for miles.  Dirt roads around every corner.  About a week before my trip, my grandmother in her sweet way asked me if I would also bring Tilly on my trip.  I always take Story with me when I go for a visit, but Mama was wanting some Tilly time.  Can you blame her?  Have you been around my Tilly girl for an extended period of time?  She's quite the charmer!  Besides, how in the world do you tell your 82 year old grandmother "no?"  You don't.  So, last Monday, Tilly, Story and I hit the road.  We took Carter and Summer to school first, so we could say bye to them and we headed east.  
We got to have lunch with this sweet girl.  Jen was in my FUGE group back during the summer of 2000 in Charleston, SC.  She was actually in my group the same week that David's church was at camp.  You know the story. . . 
Anyway, this pretty thing lives in Montgomery, so we stopped there and had lunch with her.  The girls played on the playground, and I got to catch up with my friend.  So refreshing.  Then, we hit the road again.  We stopped for gas and a potty break in Warner Robbins, and we didn't stop again until we landed on Turpentine Drive at Mama's house.  Great riders, my girls are.  Yes, indeed!   
Mama was sitting on the back porch in her swing waiting on us with supper hot on the stove.  That's love, y'all!  She has not seen Tilly in over a year.  Last summer Mama got really sick and fell a few times, so we weren't able to make a trip over to see her.  Story and I went last October, and that's the last time we've been until now.  She looks really good and seems to be getting around so much better than she was back in the fall.  In fact, she's able to get around for the most part only using her cane.  I'm thankful.  She has my heart, and I just cannot imagine life without her.  I don't want to either.  
This fella had to come over and see us girls on his way home from work.  Tilly took right to him as you can see.  Story was having none of it.  I don't know if she was different because Tilly was there or not, but she was really bashful and didn't want to have much to do with anyone.  Except me, ha!  She's my girl.  I'm going to be a hot mess when she starts school in the fall.  
I took this picture for David.  He would declare it's the nectar of the gods.  Mama's sweet tea is famous!  Story is already hooked.  I may or may not have put it in her sippy cup.  You do crazy things by the time you get to #4!  Story asked for it every morning first thing.  That's when I knew we might have a problem!  Don't worry, I made her wait until lunchtime.  
These two sweet things had the best time and played together so well.  I told Mama that at our house, three is not really a crowd, but four definitely is!  Any combination of three plays really well together and sometimes they all do, but a lot of times the fourth one becomes a crowd.  
The weather could not have been more perfect.  It was pretty cool in the mornings and evenings and warm during the day, but not too hot.  
We spent the better part of the week taking Mama wherever she wanted to go, or "Driving Miss Daisy" as I call it!  My uncles are so good to take her to the doctor and to the grocery store and to get her hair cut.  I thought it would be great to take a load off of them for the week.  Thankfully, Mama didn't have any appointments, so we were able to play.  And play, we did.  The first day, we drove to Swainsboro to see my Aunt Grace.  She is one of my late grandfather's two sisters who is still living.  The second day, we drove to see the other sister, Aunt Lois.  I loved watching Mama and Aunt Annette visit with Aunt Lois and Aunt Grace.  It was quite sweet and humorous at times.  Picture three "older" ladies who have a little trouble with their ears trying to talk to each other!  Cute!  
Aunt Lois has these two fruit trees growing in her yard.  She assured the girls and me that the fruit is definitely edible, so we sat outside and ate it right up.  I would love to know what this is if any of you know, please comment!  They are small like a kumquat, but much better tasting.  They are soft like a fig, with a little bit of a fuzzy peeling.  They taste sweet and delicious.  
Thursday was our last full day together.  First, we rode over to see my grandmother's brother, Lemuel, and his wife, Grace.  His garden is so impressive, don't you think?  Tilly had the best time playing with their grand-dog, Harley.  For a moment, it made me think an inside dog might be fun, but it only lasted a moment.  He sure was sweet though.  
After our visit with the Deals, we went to see two of Mama's dearest friends, Miss Pete and Miss JoAnn.  I am so thankful for those sweet ladies and how precious they  have been to my grandmother.  Another treat for the week was picking up my cousin, Keri, after school for two days and getting to visit with her.  I am so sad that I did not take a picture of her with the girls.  They had the best time playing and painting finger nails and little toes.  Keri is such a good girl.  I can only hope my girls are as sweet as she is when they are in junior high.  Either that or maybe Jesus will just come on back!  
Mama, she's one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world.  I am sad to think that she won't make it over to Mississippi to see and experience our life here.  I am so thankful to David for rearranging his schedule for the week, so that I could go spend time with her.  We had the most fun watching the Braves, one of my favorite things to do with her.  It doesn't hurt that they are killing it right now.  We shall see if it lasts.  On Thursday night, we stayed up talking until after 11:00.  I think neither of us wanted the night to end, knowing that morning would come much too soon and bring about our departure.  I never leave her house without crying all the way to Metter!  
After a yummy breakfast made with Uncle Joey, I hit the road with my two little loves.  We stopped for  a potty break and snack in Phoenix City, AL, lunch in Montgomery, gas just outside of Mobile, and we made it home at exactly 4:00.  I'm so very thankful for another week spent with Mama and so thankful for yet another safe trip on the road.  He is so gracious that way.  It was good to be home in Georgia.  It was even better to be with the ones who make it so sweet.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hosanna in the highest!

Today in church, Carter and Summer sang with the Kindergarten and First grade children's choir at our church.  We are so thankful for Miss Mara and Mr. Landon, who work so hard and diligently to teach our children.  Their song was just precious.  I loved how Summer smiled with such joy the entire time she sang.  I loved how Carter rocked with the beat of the music while he sang the song.  He later told me that he thought the djembe was so awesome!  Here's the video of their song.  

Carter and Summer, we pray you will continue to make a joyful noise unto the Lord for your whole lives and with your whole hearts.  We are so proud of you!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birthday party fun!

Story was invited to help one of her very special friends from church to celebrate her birthday party! 
I'm sad this is blurry, but it's too cute not to share.  The party was at one of our favorite jump places in town, and Story loves loves loves to jump!  
The pretty birthday girl getting crowned by her daddy.  
Blowing out her candles!  
Story was so excited about ice cream and cake.  PS, I wish you could hear her say the ice part of ice cream in her cute southern drawl, too precious! 
Love this picture of these three sweet girls.  They love each other so much!  I am so thankful we were able to help the birthday girl celebrate her special day!
Story showing off her loot on the way home.  
And literally seconds later, this is what I saw.  Sweet thing.  All that jumping and playing with her friends put her right to sleep! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tilly's spring program at PCS preschool.

Last Friday was Tilly's spring program at her school.  It is unreal to me that we are at the end of yet another school year.  Harder still to believe is that our Tilly girl will be going to kindergarten!  
This is our second year at PCS here in Hattiesburg, and after every event that our children participate in we are more and more grateful that this is where they attend school. Tilly did not want to cooperate with me taking a picture of her on this day, so the actual program is the best I have for this post.  
Here are the songs they sang.  Most impressive to me is that the entire four year old class recited all of the books of the Bible.  I need to record Tilly doing it by herself, too.  I did not know she was even working on this at school.  One Wednesday, we were in the car on our way to church for ballet and Awana, and Summer was telling me she needed help learning the books of the New Testament.  Tilly piped up in her adorable voice declaring, "I can help!" And she proceeded to name all of the books of the Bible beginning with Genesis and going all the way to Revelation.  Wow!  Thankfully, we did record her class reciting them.  
Tilly, we are so very proud of you!  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Carter's baptism.

This Sunday, April 21,  was such a special day for our family.  David had the privilege of baptizing Carter during our morning worship service.  So very precious!  

Here is the video of the service.  I am so thankful that it is forever captured, so that we will always remember this special day.  So he will always remember this decision he made to follow Christ.  I shared the story here of how Carter came to know the Lord.  As a parent, you long for the day when your children will come to know Jesus, and you pray for their salvation even before they are born.  I'm so thankful for the gift of being able to witness the Lord's capture of my son's heart.  
There is so much I want to remember about this day.  David and I talked this morning as we were getting ready for church.  What would we do if Carter freaked out?  How would we handle that?  This is the child, who at his first birthday cried after everyone sang the birthday song to him!  I called him into my room to talk to him a little bit about what it would be like once he got in the water.  He assured me that he was fine and could handle it.
I want to remember the sweet church members who were so diligent to help us with Carter's baptism.  This is Mr. Myrick, he and his wife are so very precious to our family.  I love that they were both in the back helping us.
I want to forever remember the pure excitement my little fella was experiencing.  He was beyond excited.  He was smiling the entire morning.  I think he hardly slept last night!  He kept telling anyone who would listen, "I'm just so excited!"
I want to remember Carter and David getting ready together for the big event.
I want to remember my two favorite boys in the whole world talking and excitedly waiting for their time to enter the water.  I want to remember how they kept looking out to see if the choir was in their rightful spot.  I want to remember Carter excitedly saying, "They're here!  It's time, Daddy!"
I want to remember David talking to Carter and our church family about how thankful we are to be his parents and how we have prayed for this day, even before he was born.  I want to remember how David choked on his words, as we all knew he would, and then amazingly pulled it together to perform his pastoral and fatherly duty.
I want to remember how I got to sit over on the other side behind them and watch the entire event unfold, with tears of joy and thankfulness rolling down my cheeks.
I want to remember holding my breath as David prepared to dunk Carter under the water.
I want to remember that Papa and Gigi came from Arkansas to be with us for the weekend.  I want to remember that our dear friends, the Berteaus, missed their church to be with us on this special day.
Buried with Christ and raised to walk in the newness of Him.
I want to remember exhaling as he came up out of the water, a new creature in Christ.
I want to remember the big smile on his face.  I love this picture so very much.
I want to remember that he looked back over his daddy's shoulder to smile at me when it was over.
Thank you, Lord, for our son.  Thank you for rescuing him at such an early age.  Thank you for sending your Son, so that ours might have life to the fullest.  

Friday, April 19, 2013

Story's first field trip!

One day each week on Thursdays, Story goes to our church's weekday preschool.  She loves going to school, and I think she will love it even more next year when she goes three days each week.  
Today, I had the privilege of going with her and her class on a field trip to the Hattiesburg Zoo, which meant we literally walked across our church's parking lot into the entrance of the zoo.  She was so excited.  We took this picture of ourselves while we were waiting to go inside.  
We began our zoo journey in Africa.  The music playing reminded me for a moment of being at Disney.  I'm definitely ready to go back!  
Story was a big fan of the bongos and kept wanting to go back to play.  
The zebras were so pretty.  I was telling a friend today that the animals were really active, so that definitely made our adventure all the more fun.  
Look at those little cuties.  Story is in a class full of girls, how fun!  And easy for her teacher, ha!
The tiger was actually awake and even yawned for us a few times.  
I love this picture of Story's friend, Cate, talking to the goat!  
This cute little monkey climbed down from his perch and walked right over to the fence to get a better look at us!
What is a trip to the zoo without a stop at the bounce houses?  For a moment I thought I was going to have to go in after her.  
The flamingos are new to the zoo in our town, and they did not disappoint!
I love this guy.  Literally, every time I have been to the zoo he is pacing back and forth along the fence.    He looks kind of sweet!  Story and I had a great time with her classmates at the zoo. I am so thankful I was able to experience her very first field trip with her.  I have a feeling our four little loves will be wanting to hit up the zoo and the splash pad quite a bit this summer.  
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Welcoming spring.

Spring has come with a vengeance here in South Mississippi, wow!  For a while there, we wondered if it would come at all, and after one last cold snap, she is here to stay!
Our party of six has been so busy with the coming of spring, and I've not done a great job of keeping up with our activities on the blog.  I noticed on my calendar that the next week is crazy busy with lots to share, so I need to catch up before I get much further behind.  
A couple of weeks ago, we planted our garden.  After some torrential rain, we wondered if it was going to survive, but the garden has flourished with all the rain.  We have planted, several types of tomatoes,  three different types of peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, peas, beans, corn, squash, zucchini, and I'm sure I am forgetting something else.  David and the children have been hard at work getting it all ready. Carter, especially loves to help Daddy in the garden.  
The girls are all busy with dance getting ready for their spring recital.  It's going to be so cute.  One of the songs they are dancing to is "Rockin' Robin!" I'm pretty sure I danced to that a time or two when I was a little girl.  
We finally put Tilly in a real big girl bed, complete with new bedding and pillows.  She could not be happier.  And, we changed out Carter and Summer's twin beds for bunk beds.  We are still working on arranging the room and getting some things settled, so I will post a picture later when it is complete.  Carter and Summer have much more floor space to play, so it's great.  And Tilly is feeling oh so special in her big girl bed!
This little one and I are relishing our last two months of just us before school is out for the summertime.  One of her favorite things to do these days is listen to music on the iPad.  Her current favorite song is Matt Redman's, 10,000 Reasons.  If you haven't heard it, you are certainly missing out.  
With the warmer weather being here to stay, we have definitely taken advantage of Happy Hour after school.  Such a fun treat!  The children love slushes from Sonic.  Right now the current favorite flavors are: blue coconut, green apple, and grape!  I am sure it will be different next week!
Our front yard is mostly shaded in the late afternoons, so we enjoy playing.  We love hopscotch and hide and seek.  It has also been sweet to watch the children pick up pine cones from our neighbor's yard.  Love this picture of the four of them.  I'm thinking David and I could be in so much trouble as they grow older, yikes!  We are way outnumbered ha!
I love this sweet picture of Story and her favorite friend from church.  Mallory's mom sent it to me last Wednesday.  They love love each other!  So sweet to watch!
Probably the most exciting thing of the spring so far is getting to take swimming lessons.  We took them at the Wesley Wellness Center, where we are members of the gym.  The children loved it, and eagerly looked forward to them!  I am so thankful we have four children who love the water.  My mom declares that I was swimming before I could walk, so I guess they get it honest!  Story and I did the Mommy and Me class, and it was so much fun.  She was blowing bubbles, jumping off the ledge, and going under water like a champ by the end of the session.  
The big three took a group lesson from Coach Jared.  His mother-in-law (to be) is the famous Miss America, that Summer talks about so much.  Miss America is Summer's teacher's sister, small world!  
Carter, Summer and Tilly did a great job!
Of course goggles had to be purchased after the first class, so we did!  She's kind of proud, don't you think!
Carter swimming back to the side of the pool.  
Summer swimming to another of the instructors.  We will do another session in May before we head to the beach in June!  I can't wait to see how much better they get each time.  
Tilly has been spending quite a bit of time with this sweet girl.  I will share more in a later post, but you can be praying for her family.  Ella's mom, Keri, is in the Ronald McDonald house in Jackson awaiting the birth of twin boys, one of whom has a congenital heart defect and will have surgery days after being born.  I know the Bradberry family would be honored to have you pray for them!  As you can see, our spring season is off to a great start!  

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