Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Gift From Papa

The other night we were at the Mexican Restaurant in town with my in-laws. We had just sat down when my father-in-law calls Kayla over. He reaches into his pocket and asks for her hand. Before she could figure out what was going on, he put a ring on her finger and asked;

"Will you be my granddaughter?"

How sweet is that?! What a precious, precious man.

My baby girl was beaming.

And my heart was overflowing.

What a priceless memory she will cherish FOREVER...and so will I.

Purple just happens to be her FAVORITE color. :)

A lesson in sharing...from a three year old.

Today we had our Lord's Supper. That is what us Baptists call communion. Before I go any further this is not a post on the rules of communion or a statement of what us Baptists do or even an explanation of what I believe. It is simply a cute little story that will hopefully make you smile as BIG as I did, while I was suppose to be praying, of course. :)

Anyway, I'm sitting there holding my teeny, tiny cracker, when I hear the sweetest little voice behind me arguing with her mom.

"Mommy, why can't I have some?"

"Because it is for those who are saved.."

"That not fair. I love Jesus and He says SHARE."

Out of the mouths of babes.

Hope you have a GREAT week, friends!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


37 girls and 12 fabulous women helped me pull off an all night adventure, Friday night. "Kudos" also goes to my hubby and son who hauled, set up and helped. There was lots of food eaten, pictures taken and laughter ringing. But I do have to say I am getting too old for this all night mess. That is why I can only pull off one lock in a year. I AM TIRED!!!
Overall, it was fun. I had 6 teams of various aged girls running all around our church compound in search of clues leading to a hidden treasure. They had to deck out in color teams, bob for apples, dig through sand, get their whole group through a rope "spiderweb," make a video, and several other fun tasks. My son loved it, because on one task, he was dressed in black, hiding, shooting them with water guns.

After my men folk left, the girls settled down for door prizes, a devotional story moment and then a movie. They were good girls, even letting this old gal sleep some. :)

Who ever said Christian teenagers don't know how to have fun, well they need to come down and hang with us for a while. :)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayer for Keaton...

This has been a CRAZY year for my family. I have asked for plenty of prayer along the way. Thanks again for the prayers for Sawyer, my nephew, the prayers for me as I have gone through surgery and for my in-laws as they battle cancer. I appreciate them all.

This week, is another step in our journey where we are learning to trust God even more and allow His wonderful peace to flow over us. Earlier this week, my uncle passed away. He is technically a "step" uncle, but since he was raised with my dad, and has ALWAYS been in my family tree, well I choose not to use "step." Please pray for my family as the funeral will be tomorrow.

On another note, one of my other nephews is in need of some prayer. Bless my dear sister, it has been a CRAZY year for her. I didn't know the best way to explain the situation, so I just decided to copy her email to family and friends and let you read a little of what is going on right now.


Hello, friends.

Some of you may have seen on Twitter or Facebook that we spent the day at Children's Hospital with our oldest son, Keaton, today. And some of you may not have heard at all. We didn't really publicize our appointment, because we really weren't sure what exactly we were dealing with, and because we were still in stages of processing out our emotions and feelings about the whole ordeal. But, I fully recognize the power of prayer and the beauty of the fellowship of Believers, so I'm coming to you, as friends, now asking you to remember our family in prayer if we should come to mind.

It all started about a month ago. We noticed Keaton doing this weird thing with his eyes. He would dart his eyes around seemingly uncontrollably, and it was, embarrassingly enough, grating on my nerves. It was annoying and I just wanted him to quit. But, he seemed to be doing it involuntarily and couldn't control it. We went to see our family optometrist, a very trusted and well-respected physician here in Arkansas, and Keaton's condition seemed to puzzle him. Keaton's appointment with him was this past Friday morning, and by Friday afternoon, our physician had called us with an urgent referral to Children's Hospital.Needless to say, our minds were racing. Words like "brain tumor" and "blindness" were swirling in our heads, and we were perplexed as to why there was such urgency if it was just a "habit" or a slight "mannerism" as we had been told it probably was.

Today, we headed to Children's and were met with a whole stream of tests. Basically what we found out was that Keaton's eyesight is perfect. His vision tests out above normal in most categories and there is no problem with his vision. So, the problem with his eyes is not with his eyes (if that makes sense).Our ophthalmologist at Children's has referred us to the Neurology department at Children's because the idea is that all of Keaton's issues are neurologically based. Words like "seizure" and "autism" and "Tourette's Syndrome" were all thrown around today, but until we meet with a neurologist and undergo some further testing, we will not have a sound diagnosis.

Keaton has always been a "different" kind of kid. I've always blamed some of his social behavior on just being shy, overly-sensitive, and very intelligent but the more I concentrate on his behavior patterns throughout his life, those diagnosis don't seem that far-fetched. We are choosing to just trust Keaton to the One who created him. He knows Keaton's body and mind better than any doctor or brain scan ever will, and we are holding true to the fact that His purposes and timings are perfect.

Thank you for your prayers. We'll keep you updated on what we find out in the future.

Love, Kirk and Amber

Monday, September 20, 2010

My girls...

These are about half of the girls in my hubby's youth group. Being the wife of a student minister has its advantages. One of them is that I get to spend time with these gals. It is even better now that my own daughter and her friends are a part of the group.
I love to plan a party. Every September I have had the privilege to be a part of planning a lock in for our youth group girls. Only we choose not to just have an ordinary lock in, we like theme parties around these here parts. Two years ago it was a princess party, last year was "Hollywood" and this year we are doing a pirate/treasure hunt theme. Fun, fun, fun!!!
Anyway, if you don't hear much from me this week, it is because I'm all tied up in the planning of a pirate adventure. I promise to come back after I "survived" the "alnighter" this weekend, with plenty of pictures.
Hope you have a GREAT week.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Football Fever! (My Talented Band Geek)

Tonight was our junior high football night. There were two games, an 8Th grade game and a 9Th grade game. The 8Th grade band played on the field for the first time. Kayla, with her musical friend, the flute, was in the front. A wonderful picture taking moment for a picture taking mom like me. Overall it was a fun night of hanging out with friends, taking pictures of our kiddos and our youth group and enjoying the hometown atmosphere.
Here are a few pictures of my talented young "band geek." We are proud of her.

Jordan's dinner. (Can you say iron stomach?)
Kevin and Kayla with a few of their church "peeps."

Oh, by the way, we won both games. It was a good night for the home team. :)

Hope you have had a good week. Yeah! Tomorrow is FRIDAY!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Kay's Abe"

Kayla's homework in art.
(She drew the lighter "penciled" side.)

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 13, 2010

It is Soccer Time!

Tonight was my kiddos first game. The great thing is that they are on the same team this year, so this mom doesn't have to race back and forth between two games, missing a lot of great picture moments. Of course I took pictures tonight, but even though I have a great camera, I am still learning the whole "art of action shots." One of these days I will conquer blurriness.
They won their game, so they were happy.

Here are a few highlights of our evening on the soccer field...

Hope you have a great week!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This has been a crazy week. Yes, the schedules have been busy, with me going back to work, Kev back in action as the high school football team chaplain, Kayla having band practice, both kids having soccer, etc..etc...etc... So we are tired. (VERY TIRED.)

And it is only going to get busier. Between now and Christmas, well I think the fall and the first part of winter are the busiest time of year for us. It is also my favorite time of year, with all the birthday parties (both my kids have October birthdays.), the holidays, sports and football games. But then that is another post for another day...
Today the word is DRAMA.

The fact that we are all tired probably plays into that, but the real culprits and two individuals responsible for my mother madness are "K & J." They are a brother/sister team who like to tag team their dear, sweet mom, until mommy dearest feels like she is literally going to blow up. (And believe me, i have a few times this week.) I just THOUGHT the preschool days were hard. Seriously, there are moments that I consider going back to the potty training days, very short moments, mind you. But the thought does cross my mind from time to time. The problem is, that usually what they are upset about or fighting about adds up to NOTHING.

I mean, that is a good thing, that my kids are not going through any serious difficulties right now and that all they can come up with is "NOTHING" to fight about. But it still does not keep my hair from turning a little grayer with each and every passing day.

This is the part of the post where I need to take a moment and tell my dear sweet mom and dad, "SORRY."
- I am sorry that I blamed YOU for ALL my troubles, since you had a big part in making me who I am. After all, it is ALWAYS the parent's fault, right? (UGH!!!!)

- I am sorry that I used words like ALWAYS and NEVER. Because, after all, bad things ALWAYS happened to me and I NEVER got my way. RIGHT?!!!

- I am sorry that I ROLLED MY EYES when asked to do something around the house or when I KNEW you were just plain stupid. After all, I had all the answers, right?

- I am sorry that some days it was like pulling teeth to get me to talk about my day and other days you couldn't get me to shut up. And that you were expected to just KNOW which day was which.

- I am sorry that it was your fault that I would pick out a cute outfit, only to HATE it the next week. You were suppose to know that I would. (or that it made me look fat.)

- I am sorry that I ever exaggerated, lied, talked back, or just plain acted like a HORMONAL TEENAGER. Babies should come with warning labels, preparing every parent for the teenage days.

But now, that I have said "I AM SORRY," let me just let you know this;

- You and God really did KNOW what was best for me.

- You were able to see outside the box and KNOW which friends had my best interest at heart.

-You really did KNOW what clothes fit me best and looked good on me.

-You NEVER tried to intentionally embarrass me, I did enough of that on my own.
- Your rules were for my own good. You were NOT MEAN, BOSSY, NOSEY and IN MY BUSINESS. You were doing YOU JOB.

- When you were referee between my sister and I, you tried your best to hear both side of the story and make the best call you knew how to make at the time.

- You didn't play favorites. My sister and I were just DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES, DIFFERENT AGES.

- You were right. Deep down I didn't HATE my sister, but actually loved her and would have defended her if push came to shove. I just had to keep up appearances. It is in the sibling handbook.

- I now KNOW how much you really do LOVE ME, just for putting up with me all those years.


That being said, back to my own dear, sweet darlings. This week has been FULL of sibling madness. I am truly beginning to think that this is another "growth" period in my own spiritual journey. It is like God is saying, "Hey, you survived your childhood, the teenage years, college, dating, being a newlywed, pregnancy and childbirth and the preschool years, let me see how much more you are willing to give over to me. How much more time are you willing to spend on your knees in prayer? Welcome to being parents of TEENAGERS. See if you come out the other side like my man Job. Still going to PRAISE me at the end of every day?"

Yes, Lord. I am going to praise you. 'Cause even though my kiddos can shovel out some verbal dirt, I am totally in love with both of them. Besides you and my hubby, THEY ARE MY LIFE; the good, the bad and the ugly. I look forward to the day they say "THANKS."
In the meantime, I send this post out as a warning...
Even if something looks as sweet as this;

or as cute as this;

they will grow up to look like this;

and this;

Teenagers. Gotta love them. I do.
Happy Saturday! Here is hoping for a better week, starting tomorrow.
Now that I have caught up for the week. I just wanted to take a moment to "remember when..."
I remember hearing people throughout my life recalling "where they were" when HUGE events in history took place. Man on the moon, JFK being shot, space shuttle explosion... today I remember where I was when I saw planes, twin towers and lots of rubble.
Of all things, I was dropping my son off at daycare. I remember walking in and my friend was staring at her TV, as preschoolers ran unaware around the room. I remember joining her and we both stood frozen for what seemed like an eternity. Little did I know our world would change so very much in just a few moments.
Today as I remember, I pray. There is such anger in this world today. Whether it be religious, racial, or economic, Satan has gotten a hold of our world and flipped the hate button on. So many horrible things have taken place in the last decade, so many harmful things have been said, so many unmentionable things have been done. We can't go back. We are all changed.
But we can go forward. I choose to continue to believe in a God of forgiveness, hope and love. I choose today to love even those I do not understand. I choose to forgive, even those that seem unforgivable, for as Jesus said "they know not what they do." I choose to love, even when it is hard, as God has called me to.
There will be days I struggle. Days I wake up and say "it is hopeless." Yet, I choose to still believe in all of God's faithfulness and glory. I think I will leave all judgment to the one true judge.
My prayers continue to go out to all the friends and families who are "remembering." My prayers continue to go out to the soldiers and their families for their sacrifice. Most of all my prayers go to God, for continuing me on my own journey of faith and strength each day.
At the end of the day, GOD IS GOOD.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Quote to live by...

Still doing a "clean sweep" on the office/scrapbook room. Not quite finished and since I went back to work, well my cleaning time was drastically cut. But I am getting there. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for sure.

I was going through a stack of papers and found a quote that someone must have given me, somewhere in time. I don't remember why, when or how. What I do know is that I read it yesterday and it spoke to me. IN A BIG WAY! Definitely something that leaves you thinking.

Thought I would share it with you. Here is the quote of the day, a thought to live by.

"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character;
it becomes your destiny."
-Author Unknown

Happy week friends! Tired from going back to work today after a mini break following surgery. I will try to catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I need a nap...

Still plugging along cleaning my scrapbook room and purging my soul. Kevin has made fun of me along the way, for I would find something from one of my kid's younger days and get weepy. They really do grow up so very fast. AND I AM A SENTIMENTAL PACK RAT!!!

Anyhoo, tired gal here. Might just need a nap...

Couldn't resist showing this little treasure. Wasn't I cute? I think I had had enough picture taking for the day.
Happy weekend, friends! May God pour His blessings on each and every one of you...

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Day Spent with the "King."

No, he isn't wax. This a picture of the real deal with my dad looking all cute in his sailor uniform.

I found me a project after going "stir crazy" from not being able to drive and work this week. I never thought I would say this, but a gal can only take so much of the "chick flick and being lazy" attitude that I was doctor prescribed with. Now that I'm feeling better, better than I have in a long time, well I needed something to do.

My office/ scrapbook room.

It could have been entered for a room on that show about "hoarding." Seriously. I started yesterday and threw out four bags of trash. Good thing today was trash day.

Anyway, it has been good, and has felt good. It has also been hard. Letting go...

But I will save those thoughts for another post.

I just found this fun little picture and thought I would share.

My dad was in the Navy in California. Eventually he became a driver for the "bigwigs" that came to the coast to visit and check out the sights. He has plenty of fun memories of those days. Meeting the "king" was one of them.

Hope you had a great week. I just realized last night that this is a holiday weekend! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


For those who don't know, my dad-in-law has been dealing with cancer. It has been a crazy couple of months for us, since my hubby has had to take care of me too. Now that I am on the mend, and "Papa" has just begun treatments, our focus is turning to him.

He started chemo a week ago Monday. He has done well overall. He has had his good days, a few bad days, and several "I'm just tired" days. Of course that is to be expected.

Today he is having a surgery to put a "port" in. Please keep him in your prayers.

Papa has always been a strong, "get up and go" kind of guy. He likes to have his coffee, with the other old guys in town, every morning at the coffee shop. He loves going to church every Sunday. He loves going to the deer camp and hanging out with family. He loves being the backbone of his family. He takes pride in his kids and grand kids. He is definitely one of a kind.

A few things will not be the same for a while.

I pray that God graces him with strength. I pray that we, as family, all have the patience and unfailing love for this wonderful man we love during this time. He deserves it, for he is a wonderful husband, dad, grandpa and friend. He has spent a lifetime serving others, for that is his love language... may we return the favor and serve him.

We love you, Papa! We pray for you daily.
Papa made it through the procedure where they put the port in fine. However, he has felt sick to his stomach this evening. I guess this is all part of the chemo process. He is just not use to being/feeling sick. We are not use to him feeling sick either.
thanks for the continued prayers.