Friday, November 11, 2011


Today in America, something will happen that only happens twice in a century. At 11:11:11 it will be a momentous occasion because it is well. . 11-11-11. Something else happens special today that only will happen once. . R is turning 18. I assume that means he is now a man. He came to us at only age 9, a small, glasses wearing, Harry Potter loving, 3rd grader. He is now a football loving, state wrestling compete, college seeking, SAT studyin man. Wow. Words can't even describe the journey we have had with him. His recent struggles with epilepsy haven't left him burdened. He handles it. . great. I receive more compliments in my community for him that all my children combined. Sorry kids, but it's true. R leaves a mark on people he meets. His character shines through because he carries the cross inside him daily. He truly has a servant's heart because he not only wants to please man, but he wants to please his Lord. What a man and example he is to those twice his age. Thank you R, for being a light to Christ.
I thought I would include some recent photos.

Here we are with Richard on his Football Senior night. Today he will play with his team in the playoffs for the state title.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thoughts and Reflections on being a MOM

I know, I know, it's been almost two months since I last posted!! I. Am. So. Sorry. What can I say. . I've been busy being a MOM. Our spring has been jammed packed with life. . baseball, spring dance recitals and all the rehearsals, getting ready for prom, spring football training, science fairs, field trips, school auctions, and well, the normal day to day craziness!!

I wanted to just give a big High Five out there to all the moms. Yes, a day late and a dollar short. . BUT still it must be acknowledged that mothering is the world's hardest job.

Mothering takes you out of any box you ever thought your life would look like! Mothering calls you to a different level of dependence on God. (for those of us that look to Him for council) Mothering requires a level of unselfishness that constantly challenges the flesh and self.

Mothering is the most rewarding job I've ever had. Mothering means a life depends on you. Mothering brings joys and emotions I've never felt. Mothering is a gift from the Lord.

This Mother's Day I am able to watch as sweet friends that have longed for babies are able to finally celebrate their first mother's day. I was able to sit at the lunch table with 4 generations of women in my family. I was reminded of the verse that Paul wrote to Timothy.
"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." 2 Timothy 1:5 And so thankful for the word of God that has been lived out in the lives of my grandmother and mother. And I am praying daily I am living it out in my life as my daughters are learning to as well. What a blessing.

My sweet eldest son stood at Mother's Day lunch and read a letter he had penned himself. Through tears I listened as this sweet man who was once a boy at 9 that came to live with me read...
"You are also the biggest fan we have in anything we do". . "you loved me from the very first day you met me". Seriously? I was speechless, crying, and thanking God for this sweet boy. (almost a man) God has given me the greatest, most challenging job in the world. And to all you mothers out there, I hope you had a fabulous, restful day.

Now, it's Monday Morning. Back to work!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Open Door Home WINS Big!

Last night was a remarkable event. Over 1400 people in our community descended upon an arena for a first time dance off by "stars" in our our little part of the world. J participated and had a blast!! Although they didn't win. . they were more than gracious to have participated. (I think I was more competitive about it than he was!)

The most amazing and awesome winners of the night were the children of the Open Door Home here in Rome. The grand total for the night was read aloud at the end. . over $112,000. That's an awesome amount of money for our sweet little community. . special thanks to all of you out there that helped give. Children's lives will be changed.

Here's a link to a video from our local paper. .

Click here to see. . . You may need to scroll down to the Dancing Stars video at the bottom of the page. . .

Thanks again blog world.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

He's MY MAN! We need your help!!

Look at this hot guy!!
He's mine!

Please vote for him. . scroll down!!
Christina Rocks TOO!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

My hubby needs your vote!!!

J is participating in a local fundraiser for a Children's Home in our area. Our very own Big T lived there for 3 years, so it is near to our hearts. Unfortunately, this small private children's home has faced the budget crunches we have seen in foster care circles in GA over the last few years. Fortunately our organization has man power behind it thanks to CFA and Mr. Cathy. Unfortunately, this home does not, this is a major fundraiser for them and I want ALL of you out there in blog world to help out with this fundraiser. (you can spend as little as $1) It is called:

Dancing with the Stars of Rome!

Yes. . .you read it correctly and yes, it's just like the TV show. One of our friends knew a small fact about J and that he once upon a time took a ballroom class in college. What she didn't know is his instructor asked him to help instruct a few classes. . well, what can I say, J is great at everything he tries. So. . he is the professional dancer in the couple.(not really!) He is dancing with a dear friend of ours that also works for the WinShape Foundation, so she is the star!! So fun.

Now. . they can win one of two ways, by popular votes, which I need your help with, or by the Judges award on the night of the show, March 12. It will be quite a small town production and a great deal of work has gone into every last detail.
There are several different links and I have listed them below. The most important way you can help is HERE:

Click here to view and vote for Couple #6

Thanks for all the support. . you are helping change lives.
Below is the link for Children's Home you are supporting.
Open Door Home

Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the Lighter Side of things. . .

Little J, age 5, told me last night. Hey Mom, "There is this stuff you can buy called Activia, and if you want to get out there and enjoy life, just go get some at the grocery store." (he is a marketer's dream come true)

There's not much I can say to that other than, "kids say the darndest things."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When Life Throws you a Curve Ball

Last Wednesday morning, I awoke to J's voice. . "hurry, hurry wake up, I need you". Of course I went running as he violently switched on the bedroom light to alert my sleepy state. The hour was still 6 AM, and obviously he was already awake. . I followed him through the house as he led me in a hurry towards our oldest son's room. "R is having a seizure, I need you to call 911". I stood there in shock, in a matter of seconds my sleepy brain raced to First Aid training. As foster parents, we have sat through numerous classes of First Aid response. My mind traced to seizure. . call 911. But for some reason, I had to see him. There he was on his bedroom floor, and all I could think was, "do something". I raced by to the kitchen wall phone. (where is a cordless when you need it!) I called our campus safety as that is protocol for summoning an ambulance. I immediately told the operator what the situation was. . I got to work.

I thought of our close friends and immediately called as he is a doctor. The Holy Spirit obviously prompted me to call, as she immediately answered and her own son had been through this. She walked me step by step in a few quick seconds of what was going on, what would happen in the ambulance, and what would happen at the hospital. I swallowed back tears and a lump, I knew I had to keep going. I immediately raced back to R's room, I had a plan. By then the 911 operator was patched through and she read to me, what I already knew. I graciously listened anyway as it calmed me down. I was nervous for R. What did all of this mean?

R came to live with us when he was 9 years old. He is now 17. Almost a man. My heart sunk as I thought quickly of what the coming weekend held for him. State. Wrestling. Finals. What would happen? I started praying. By then the campus safety was at my house. R was nearing the end of his seizure by this point and my husband stayed by him like a servant. Held his hands and head preciously as a father would. I watched from above. Helpless. Moments passed and the ambulance arrived with paramedics that would take over. By this point, they were able to somewhat awaken R from his sleepy state. Although R seemed to have a state of amnesia, he knew his Dad and even told the paramedics, "that's my dad, I know that".

As they escorted him to the ambulance, Ann Claire awoke for her morning bottle, I knew I had to leave the scene as other children needed me. J would be with R. . I went to rock her and in the darkness of that early morning room. I prayed before the Lord and laid my heart at his feet. I begged God to not let this be a brain tumor and that if it was to heal him right there in the back of that ambulance. I begged God to give us all peace in whatever we were facing. . this was going to be a bumpy ride and please help us hold on. I needed that moment with the Lord. I rocked my sweet daughter back to sleep and prayed as I went to awake my other children.

By this point, Papa had arrived to help get the kids to school. I awoke them one bedroom at a time and gingerly and softly told them, yes, an ambulance had just been at our home. . R was ok, but they needed to know. Sweet M. E, she of course started bawling right there first thing. . she has the most sensitive heart. As the kids left my house, I started the texts. I sent them to my truest of prayer warrior friends. . we needed intercession before the throne of grace. And boy did it happen. God worked mightily in my heart as I felt such peace that God would take care of our boy. He. did.

The results showed a "beautiful" CT scan as the neurologist on call put it. Thank goodness for that answer to prayer. He was going to be released to come home, prescribed an anti-seizure medication, and was even cleared to wrestle in his tournament. Whew. BUT. . what did all this mean. The word epilepsy was quickly being thrown around, and I didn't even know what all of this meant. Sweet friends offered phone calls of their own stories. . one by one I heard of teenagers his own age known by close friends of ours that had similar experiences. It seemed this may be the diagnosis we may get once his follow up appointment rolled around the next week.

I began to connect dots in my head as the memories flooded me throughout that day. R has always been a sleepwalker and talker. Over the past 6 months, there had been a handful of times we have found R the next morning with what seemed to be a bumped nose in the night, a bruised eye here or there. We have always laughed it off as, "did you fight someone in your sleep"? He always has the disposition to laugh at himself too. "I guess so", he would always say. But now I knew we were getting the answer to the riddle we had been trying to figure out. .why did he bite his tongue though?, why the headaches? why the blood in his sleep? It never occurred to me this could be seizures. Never.

Today R was diagnosed with JME. Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. I have some educating of myself and the family I need to do, but first and foremost this is totally treatable with medication!!! Praise God for answered prayers, answers to questions, and solutions that will help him live a normal life. Fortunately a new habit of having to take medicine won't be that hard for R, however a battery of more formal tests await us. MRIs, EEGs, kidney functioning tests, blood work. I hate it FOR him.

Praise the Lord, he pulled through his wrestling meet very well. He finished 9th or so in his weight class, and did his very best. The beauty of this boy is that he. is. always. happy. He looks forward. He faces the present and the future. He could sit and pout about his past, but he doesn't. He is always an example to all of my children of what helping out, having a great attitude, and trying your best really means. God will use this small story one day for His glory. For whatever reason, R needed to know so many people loved him, support him, and were praying for him. He got in the car Sunday morning after church and said, "man, I love our church.". I asked him, "what do you mean?". He said, " I mean, so many people care about me, they asked about me, prayed for me, and told me, even adults I hardly know." Precious. Even in his moment of uncertainty he was thankful for the blessings of love and community. God. always. has. a. plan. Even when it's a curve ball.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Big Thaw

Well. . I guess all good things must come to an end. Or maybe they never do? My previous "giddiness" has now turned to insanity. We will be entering our 5th snow day tomorrow morning. The snow WILL NOT GO AWAY. Record breaking lows in Georgia are causing the snow to melt so slowly that roads in our area are still not safe for safe passage.

Today the sun is out and we have a high temp of 32 degrees. . however, I hear dripping in the gutters and liquid on the driveways. The kids have exhausted all "snow" activities, including the building of an snow fort/igloo. (it's still standing, it's so cold) Tonight the weather man is forecasting for a close to record low of 11 degrees. They even used the words "brutally cold" to describe how it will feel outside. Will the snow ever thaw?

I really have loved it. . however we are all just a little stir crazy and buzzing with cabin fever. Today we are venturing out to see a movie as the local theatre is finally opening back up. We even went to our favorite burger dive for burgers and video games. (the kids raided Jon's quarters and played air hockey) It helped, but facing another day tomorrow PLUS the weekend PLUS an already schedule holiday Monday, this mom needs some relief!

Enjoy the snow, I'm praying we won't get anymore for awhile.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Worth the Wait

Our little cottage in the snow!

Last night around 10 PM, as predicted, snow started falling over North Georgia. By midnight, 2 inches had already fallen and it was the most beautiful sight. I can't put into words what I saw, but I'll try. As I headed to bed, I turned out all outside flood lights and as I looked out my front door the sight was perfect. The snow was so bright it literally lit the outside. I could see almost 1/2 a mile in the complete dark. . and it almost had a red, twilight glow about it. Such beauty. The smell and sound of it was beautiful as well.

This morning when the kids awoke it might as well have been Christmas morning. Again. They loved it. They ran from window to window looking to see what every aspect of the outside looked like. The playset. The grill. The front driveway. The bird bath. The picnic table. Precious. They wanted to be the first to our local sledding spot so off we went to dig out snow clothes. When we got there a few college guys had beat us. .they were sledding with a baby pool. Seriously?

I thought I would share a few shots of the fun.

The view from our front door. Gorgeous. This is spot I stood in last night that was lit up just like dawn would look.

Little AC. Today is her 19 month bday! She loved it!

Some of our local scenery. Such beauty!

After a morning of cold fun we are all in. We've had snow cream, hot chocolate, and soup for lunch. I love making fun memories with my kids like this. It is in front of that very chapel where I used to sled with my brothers and where I even walked down the aisle to marry my sweet hubby. God has blessed me with living here to raise my family. The snow is the icing on the top! Enjoy your day wherever you are. . if you live near us, stay warm!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

On waiting and being prepared. . .

At this very moment, a huge winter storm is headed our way. School has been called off for at least tomorrow. We have heeded the warning and spent the weekend preparing. .lots of milk. . 6 gallons in the fridge to be exact. I have stocked up on plenty of food and since the storm called for ice I bought food that could even be cooked on the grill should we lose power. My dad searched on a scavenger hunt all over our campus for their old generator. It ended up in a storage room at the end of our field. . too heavy for Jon to load on his truck so he and the kids actually rolled it to our house. Yes. The length of a football field. Gas has been bought to run it, the firewood is stacked in the carport. All of the laundry is drying just in case. (I grew up on this campus and lived many a snow storm without power) I wanted to be prepared.

As I mentioned in my post about Christmas, I love the snow. I am literally like a kid at Christmas when it arrives. I don't know what it is about it. . the world is just, well. . prettier. How can brown trees and dead winter grass become so beautiful so instantly? I can't fathom a Creator that created it. To me, it is a gift from Him. . a reminder of what he does to our sins. Isaiah 1:18 says, "Come now, let us reason together, " says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool." What a beautiful reminder of what He does for us.

I also was thinking tonight on waiting for the return of Christ. . am I ready, am I ready for Him to come back to take us home? Just like the example in the New Testament, we don't know the hour or the day, but we must be prepared. Today at church was "Good News" Sunday. A day to reflect on testimonies of fellow church members that testified to the Holy Spirit working in their lives to bring them to Jesus. One was a sweet lifelong friend. As I listened to their stories. . I thought of all Jesus has done to prepare us. All of the work orchestrated to get each of his children "ready for him". Also it was a reminder to me to share my story with other's, to share Him, to help the cause of getting the world ready. He will not return until the Whole world hears!!

Jesus died for all of us.. he takes our sins, makes them white as snow. Pray to Him. . and YOU will be prepared for His return! Now. . bring on the snow!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Morning!

This year's Christmas consisted of 4 days of celebrations. Yes. Four. Days. What an event. I have tried to break up all of our parties and gatherings into sections. . there was so much to document.

Christmas morning, I awoke early with little Ann Claire, she went back to sleep. . so I was able to get our morning going without the kids even stirring just yet. I started a fire in the fireplace, turned on some Christmas tunes and was able to snap a few photos of what I found in the den before the little ones came running in.

Santa had come! He was so generous to all of us this year! Thank you Santa! (this was pre-kid destruction)

This is our family tree in the family room!
I tried to capture what I felt and saw that morning.. . peace and beauty. Exactly what Jesus brought when we came to earth. Peace in the fight for our eternal lives and beauty in what His life would mean to ALL he came for!

This is our tree in the main Living Room. . this year it held most of the family gifts under one tree! This was definitely the before shot, I didn't even take the after. . it was a MESS!

Almost time!
The younger kids WAITING anxiously for the teenagers to crawl out of bed so they could all run in together!

The long anticipated moment had come. S's face says it all!

A C is crazy about Curious George, notice she found him in the middle of her gifts!

This candy cane was basically her breakfast. . Nana, Papa, Aunt Jen, and Uncle Bill came over for Christmas breakfast. At breakfast, M. E. led us in prayer and then I jokingly added. . "and please let it snow". That was about 9 AM. . this was taken from my front door at around 3 PM. Prayer works!

Those that know be best, know how I feel about snow. . I was thrilled. It was such a magical Christmas this year. . . one the kids will remember as special one that was WHITE. I will too.