Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This may be a rambly, 'tangented' post, but I just realized that I am proud of a lot of people today. I think that I must be hormonal or something, because I been very emotional of late. I was emptying the dryer (go me!!! :) and my mind started to wander. From one thing to the next I realized that the common ground of all my 'stopping points' was one thing--I'm proud!

Let me start off with the story that got me started thinking about this all. It is very sweet to me and I am really writing this down to have it in writing forever... Last night was Lawson's very first tee-ball practice. How'd it go? Let's just say he needs to practice even more! :) Anyways, I was on the bleachers and Jon was out in the field with the other dads helping Jason coach. When practice was over I saw Jon and Lawson walking in together, then I saw them pause and Jon lean down to tell Lawson something. I heard Lawson's little voice, but couldn't make out what they were talking about just then. Later, Jon told me that while they were walking in Lawson looked up and asked, "Daddy, are you proud of me?" Jon leaned down and told him, "Son, of course I'm proud of you!" Their conversation went on a little longer...this part, though, means so much to me. To see my son look into his daddy's eyes longing for approval. Man....everytime it makes me cry. I'm proud of my guys!

I am so proud of my husband Jon. On April 20th, he was appointed as a Deacon over the Youth Group. I am proud and pleased that others see him as I do--respectable, dependable, strong, spritually sound. I am proud that he lives his life in a way that he is scripturally qualified for this position. I'm proud that he has agreed to accept a new role in serving our local congregation of the Church.

Following that, I'm proud of our other friends who were also appointed Deacons in various ministries. We are blessed by being surrounded by a great group of faithful, active friends. I'm sure Douglas, Ben, Philip will do great jobs in service to the Lord. (I can't find the bulletin, I hope I'm not forgetting anyone!)

I'm proud of our dear friend Jason who, after years of school, will graduate this Saturday from Lipscomb.

I'm proud of my fellow mommy friends who daily find their own balance and rhythm in all of the struggles that come with being a mommy. A combination of being a mom, being a wife, being a Christian woman, being a servant to others, being daughters, and sometimes being employees. It's a blessed life but surely has hard days! I'm proud of you ladies!

I'm proud of my friends Janie and Courtney. Courtney just ran her first marathon Saturday in under 5 hours! Janie has run many, but for the first time beat her personal goal of 4:30!! I know that these girls train tirelessly to meet their goal and I am so inspired by their diligence!! If you are a friend of Janie's of Facebook, read her personal account of the race--it made me teary-eyed this morning!

I'm sure this is not my exhaustive list of everyone I know this morning, but these are the people who have been on my heart today!

Anyone you're proud of and you want to give them a 'shout out'???

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Just some recent pics

I have recently learned that Jon's Grandma, who lives in Florida, checks my blog daily. This has caused me to feel very guilty when I go days or weeks w/out posting--not b/c of my friends who live nearby but b/c of the many friends and family who live far away and try to check up on us and the kids... So often I find out about people who regularly check but I haven't known b/c they remain, um, "commentless".

We have been eating picnics a lot so far this spring!

A few weeks ago we went to the Botanical Gardens with several friends.

Here is a pic w/ Lawson and a dinosaur and a bad pic of the kids together. the spirit of a kid update, here's just some random recent pics...

The other day I just found Jordan sitting in our patio door reading to herself. Mumbling and everything!

Our most recent art project turned into a blue moustache and beard for the girlie!!

My kids still LOVE their baths! It is still a good way to get to bedtime on rough nights.

They will splash and squeal and play with each other. I love it!

At 3 yrs and 5 months Lawson in getting to be so big! He loves so many things--singing, music, playing outside, the park, picnics, Curious George, Mickey Mouse, Bible class, and his Bible teachers. He is very excited about playing tee-ball, and the first practice is tonite! He is talking so fact, he hardly ever stops! He is always FULL of questions! He is usually a very good helper and follows directions very well. We are still experiencing the dreaded all-out temper tantrum every so often, but it's getting better. His new favorite thing is GUM...he asks for it every moment that he is awake! He is very interested in spiders and snakes right now, and those are the kinds of books we must look for at the library. He now (usually) does a good job of just walking by me in the store and I don't put him in the cart or stroller anymore unless it's going to be a long trip. I'm so very proud of him!!

The other night at our last Huddles, Lawson begged for a turn to play the drums on Rock Star.

Jordan busied herself with the piano.

At least she's cute! :)

Jordan is almost 21 months old. It's hard for me to believe that she's going to be 2 in a few months! She loves to read, to eat, Bible Class, singing, playing outside, bubbles, Curious George, Baby Einstein, playing with Lawson, riding bikes, the park... She is talking a lot--using a lot of words and repeating everything we say. Her little voice is so cute to me! She knows her animals/sounds and where all her body parts are. We are working on some colors and basic shapes now. She is able to follow some directions pretty well--I'm sure, I've seen it in person. However, I am frustrated b/c right now she absolutely will not listen!! It's driving me nuts! On her sweeter side...we love it when she gives us kisses and hugs. We also get a kick out of how much she loves to eat...she can be doing ANYTHING...and if we say "are you ready to eat?" she will DROP everything and run and put herself in her booster seat!!

Yesterday we went to Senior Night at Madison Academy's softball game. Two of our dearest seniors have played their hearts out, and we wanted to come show them our support. Here is what Lawson learned how to do...
A catcher, maybe???

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Where do we go from here?

So....on April 7 our family whipped out the little greenhouse set and dirt and seeds that I had bought a couple months ago. I thought it would be a nice project for us to teach Lawson (and kinda Jordan) about how God makes seeds grow into plants, they grow up big, the make flowers and fruit, yadda, yadda, yadda.

It really was a great project...Both of the kids LOVED it...and it was on a night that both were fussy and it was going to be tough to get to bedtime! Bonus!

I'm not sure what I really expected. I guess that they would just grow a little and we would have a nice little tray of plants to look at. I know this is not realistic...just wasn't really thinking in the future.

Today, this is where we are at. The super long/tall ones are sunflowers, tomatoes, squash and snap peas. The ones that are still pretty short are the flowers--petunias, delphiniums, daisies and pansies. The watermelons still haven't really come up yet.

What do I do now with all these plants? I don't think our yard is a good place fora garden--we have 80 gazillion squirrels and birds. Plus...I feel that this will require much maintenance. However, Lawson knows very well that these are his plants and that we are waiting for flowers and fruits and vegetables.

What do I do with them? Any gardeners out there?

Monday, April 21, 2008

What is the fruit?

This weekend I was going through one of my 26-or-so piles of papers and bills trying weed through what I needed to keep and what I needed to toss. I found a paper that I had made some notes on a couple months back but had lost. It was something that I had intended to blog but, as things do, it slipped my mind. The notes were some I had written while doing the route and listened to talk radio, like I usually do. John Croyle was on the show, talking about something near to his heart.

Probably anyone who has anything to do with Alabama in general knows something about the Croyle name. I, innocently coming from MI then Arkansas, knew nothing about Bama football, Bear Bryant, or John or Brody Croyle.

Let me go back to my first encounter with John Croyle. When we first moved to AL, I taught at New Hope High School. The week before school started there was a teacher enrichment day, and the speaker was an amazing man with amazing stories and an awesome message about the importance of children and the effect that we can have on them. After the day was said and done, I couldn't remember the man's name, but I remembered who he was. Turns out it was John Croyle. Fast forward to a couple months ago--I heard him again. And on the radio he had the same effect on me.

John Croyle played football for Bear Bryant. He had the option of playing pro football. He felt in his heart that he wanted to start a Boys' Ranch. He decided to start the ranch instead of play ball. He is full of stories about how God touched his heart. How things worked out. How bills get paid. How hurt, broken parents carry their poor, hurt children to his ranch and hand them over and turn around and walk away. Then the staff at his ranch takes the children in and gives them a home and family environment. After years of taking in boys, a girl was brought to him that needed help. He wasn't allowed to take a girl in, and she was sent home with her family. She was beaten to death. So John Croyle opened a Girls' Ranch too. It's amazing. Really.

Getting to the part I took notes on....On the radio, he was talking about how at the end of his college career he was feeling led to start this ranch but so many were encouraging him to play pro ball. He went to talk to his coach--apparently one of the best coaches of all time. His coach asked him what his heart was really telling him to do. He encouraged him to follow that feeling and told him that he would be able to do an amazing job and that he could really change lives. John Croyle commented that there are basically three kinds of people.

There are people who Impress.
There are people who Impact.
There are people who Inspire.

The "impressers" and the "impacters" have short-term, surface-level influence on others. Sometimes they even leave a mark on someone that sticks around for a long time but really doesn't affect their life or change their outcome. The "inspirers", though, encourage others to really DO something. To make a difference. To follow their heart. His coach inspired him to make his dream a reality.

He went on to say even after all these years as the director of Big Oak Ranch, and after changing the lives of hundreds of children, he daily asks himself 3 questions. I wrote them down, because I really think that asking and answering these questions on a regular basis can really help me keep my life and actions on track. They are a good way to make sure my actions are guided by the right motive.

I will leave you with these questions, but first I encourage you to visit the website of the Ranch. Read through the History section, and go to this page to see a picture of John and his wife. Then say a prayer for this man and his family as he devotes his life to changing the lives of children because he feels God calling him to do so.

1. What is God calling me to do?
2. Am I doing it?
3. What is the fruit of that action?

On a Monday...

Short post this morning...just a few things to share...

On a quick note, though, I also want to ask everyone who checks in here to send up a prayer on Jon's and his family's behalf. Last night he flew to Kansas City, MO to be with his family during the funeral of his uncle. This article tells how he was murdered and found Thursday night in a parking garage. Please pray for comfort to come over the family and for all who have traveled to return home safely. Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has already called, emailed and spoken to us at church expressing love and concern. Jon told me how much this has meant to him. We are truly blessed with a great supportive family here. I also want to thank those who have extended help--to Jason for driving Jon to the Nashville airport, to Sunny for spending the evening alone while Jason was gone, and to Mrs Marta for coming to stay with the kids while I am doing the papers in the morning. THANK YOU!! :)

I also wanted to post some pics of my van Sunday morning. If you are in Hsv and get a paper, you know it was a ridiculously large paper for no apparent reason! Extra articles and features caused each paper to be quite a handful. Here are two pics of the van after about the last and 550-th paper had been rolled... has been the week for pulling out some dresses Jordan got as gifts for her baby shower and has thus far been too small to wear them! It is very exciting to receive a larger size and know that in two years, when most of the baby items have been long packed away, you will be able to pull a long-awaited something out of the closet!!

Wednesday night I put her in this cute little Polo dress from James, Mary, Ashley and Grace. (I put Lawson in a navy Polo to complement.) I actually got a cute pic of the two of them together--this rarely happens anymore since no one looks at cameras or sits still anymore! :) Well, they're not smiling-but at least they are both in the picture and looking! :)

Finally...I have been waiting for Jordan to wear this dress since she was itty bitty! My friend Lynnette got it for her...she's the one who just got married and I went to Michigan for the wedding. (Which, incidentally, I may try to get the rest of those pics up this week!) She wore it yesterday..was a little big still...but cute! :) Please don't regard the fact that she has the thinnest finest flyaway frizzy hair that hardly even holds a bow... :(

Anyways...that'll do for now...hope this is a good week for everyone! :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blue Skies and Rainbows

Today while we were driving home, Lawson was in a singing mood. I whipped out my camera...and I captured his song... Turn the volume up a little--there's some road noise. Please excuse the gum he's chewing, the moving traffic in the background and the slight road noise! ;)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Great Contest at Jon's Blog!!!

Happy Monday everyone! I don't know if everyone who comes to my site also checks out Jon' I wanted to post a link to his today...

He recently put up information for a raffle contest, and the winner and 2nd prize will both get FREE GRANITE for a kitchen or bathroom!!! I think this is an awesome prize!

The best part of the raffle is that the proceeds benefit the MEG INGRAM Memorial Scholarship Fund. I didn't personally know Meg, but many of my friends did and I've heard many things about the passion and life of this young lady.

Here are some links you can go to and read what others have written about her...

Summer Lights Celebration 2007 in honor of fighting Meg
Garden of Hope--Intergraph
Mike the Eyeguy--Blog Roll on, Sweet Meg
Third Saturday in Blogtober--Blog Meg loses her fight

Anyways...if you are interested in participating in the raffle, or just donating to the scholarship fund, get the contact info over at Jon's place!

Have a great day! :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pine Needles--Free!

Hey everyone. Just wondering if anyone was wondering what we did yesterday afternoon. Jon and I finished working in our yard. A couple months ago I started raking and bagging the pine needles in our pine tree-abundant yard. That time I raked, bagged and tied 13 bags all by myself. Jon helped me rake the rest of the yard into piles. Didn't get it picked up then--between weather and my trip and being sick...just got around to it yesterday.

Whew!!! What a lot of work!! Jon carried the previously bagged bags to the curb for me while I worked hard to rake and fill new bags as fast as he was working! All in all...I think 34 55-gallon bags of needles are on our curb.

If you need any, come before Thursday! :)

Our yard after it's all cleaned up. Looks MUCH better, but some grass would be nice! :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Trip (Part Four)

My last update on The Trip was Easter Sunday... Now, I proceed in telling the tale!!

I forgot to mention that Friday night after returning from Dad's my high school friend Joann came over to visit with me after the kids went down for the night. It was SO nice to be able to have people over and catch up while still trying to keep the kids on some sort of schedule!

Monday was filled with not much...Kids got up and ate fruit bars and drank milk and watched a few episodes of Curious George that I had DVR'ed and burned. We had a good visit and lunch with my long-time friend Christina. I am SO EXCITED that she and her husband Jhonny are expecting their first little baby in September!! :)

How our mornings started!!

We went home for nap, then went to see ny mom-Babo. I forgot to tell about a near tragedy that happened Easter Sunday afternoon. After opening Easter baskets and having Easter Lunch and hunting Easter eggs, we were Easter'ed out and were gonna go change into different clothes for night-church. (Sounds a little risque, doesn't it? Kinda like night-club..ha ha) Anyways...WE COULDN'T FIND LAWSON'S BLANKIE ANYWHERE!!! Me, Babo, my Grandma, my brother...we were all looking everywhere to no avail. Can I even describe this to you??? Lawson got Blankie from Mr. Denton and Mrs. Martha when he was a little bitty baby. He carried it around with him everywhere until he was 2 and I gave him a life-time sentence to Lawson's bed. Lawson STILL sleeps with him every night and naptime. Sunday night he woke up about 7 times crying for his Blankie. Holy cow!! Still a whole trip to go??? Monday we were supposed to see my dad, but Lawson woke up (early) from his nap to tell me that "I'm awake from my nap so now we can go to Babo's house to keep looking for my Blankie!" So...I called my mom to ask her if we could swing by again. She said yes and started looking for him and FINALLY found him stuffed in the bottom of the hall linen closet!!! Whew!!! :)

Okay... Tuesday after nap we went to see my dear friend Linda Lawson. Because of the friend she has been to me during my high school, college and early marriage years, I named Lawson after her. She had pizza and snacks for us, and we had a great visit. Lawson entertained her on their karaoke microphone. They played games together. Of course, they ate and ate and ate! And of course I forgot my camera!! I wish I had pictures of this night, but don't. :(

Wednesday, we ate lunch with my Mom, my Grandma, and my Grandma's friend Mary. Then we went to the park. I actually have pictures for this, so may not type out as much...We just had a wonderful day. The weather was 50, but windy--warmer than it had been, but still cool! Gram spent the afternoon hanging out w/ Jordan and my mom spent some good time with Lawson!!

My sweet Grandma.

Lawson and Babo
Grandma and Jordan swinging

Let me add another to my lengthing list of terrible pics of them together!!!
This was what I got for trying to get them to sit still for 4 seconds!!!


Sunday when I actually had some time, I wrote 3 posts and uploaded pics--this takes the most time, as you know. I figured that I would get some drafts in store, then when I didn't have time to write I could just click Post and it would put it in my blog!

Well...almost. I did that this morning b/c I'm about to go throw papers (Big Thanks to my wonderful hubbie who, in addition to throwing the route for the past week for me, wrapped all my Wednesday papers for me this morning!) I clicked on the post I did for Part Two of my Michigan trip, and it posted----under Sunday's date!!! You can't change the date!!! So...I just went ahead and posted both of the posts I had pre-written, and wanted to let anyone who wanted to read know that they are under April 6.

So much for posting those on a day when I didn't have time to write--cuz now I just wrote!!! :)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Jordan's Animal Sounds

Jordan Singing

I will pause in my posts about The Trip to post a couple videos of Jordan. I took these yesterday while Jon and Lawson were out and it was just the two of us outside in the yard.

I may be partial, but I think she's pretty cute!!! :)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Trip! (Part Three) Easter Edition

After the playing-in-the-snow-filled-morning, we went home for a nap then headed to my mom's for some Easter Egg Coloring. Lawson enjoyed doing this last year, so I knew he would really get into it this year! I still thought Jordan was a little young to participate this year, so I gave her a plastic egg and some bunny (plastic) scissors to play with. I was right...Lawson loved making all the colors, then dipping them in a second (and sometimes third and fourth!) color to see what color they would turn.

One funny thing...notice that Jordan never has the same thing was a very dramatic clothes day for her!! She came over in a shirt and jeans. Reasonable, right? Well, I took her shirt off, just in case she did get into the dye. Well next she poured juice all over her jeans and soaked herself. So...I took the pants off and put them in the dryer. Nakee, nakee!! Done w/eggs, on to blowing bubbles...shirt back on. Poop. Pooped again! All over shirt. Shirt off. Pants dry--back on. Take Lawson's undershirt off and give to Jordan so we can head home. Whew!!!

Sunday Morning--Easter--both kids woke up early, with snotty noses and crying. We barely made it to church, let alone taking time to snap some beautiful before-church pictures. The first ones are when we got to Mom's b/c the Easter Bunny came to Babo's!!! Lawson had been waiting and waiting for the Easter bunny--I forgot to say that while we were walking around the mall we stopped at on the way up that I let them go sit on the EasterBunny's lap but they wouldn't let me take pictures and I didn't want to pay $40 for a package!--and the Easter Bunny did a GREAT job! The kids loved their baskets!

The kids loved these balloons

Best I could do to get both of them.
Notice they are eating fruit snacks.
That is the only reason they are standing still!

I thought this picture was funny. I love how their legs are both pointed the same way. It cracked me up how Lawson just sat down in his chair and crossed his leg over!

I know, we missed Mayfair's wonderful annual Easter Egg Hunt...But how many of you can say you hunted Easter eggs in the SNOW???? Let me say it wasn't the most difficult hunt ever...flourescent eggs show up pretty well on top of white!!!

I wasn't sure if Jordan would get this...but man, did she ever!!! She grabbed that basket, carried it around like a little purse, and every time she saw an egg she would gasp and say, "Oooohhhh!!!" It was very cute!!!

Lawson showed Jordan how to open up the eggs and find the loot. Some had quarters for Lawson's bus. Some had Jellybeans. Turns out those were the hot item--definitely a favorite!