Thursday, July 28, 2011

Treasured Photos

Just got word that my mammaw has passed. When I think of mammaw I think of:

  • gardening
  • hand-made costumes at halloween
  • hand-made clothes
  • no-bake cookies
  • curly white hair
  • "Well"
  • laughter
  • love

I am so happy that Cooper and I were able to visit her a month ago. Her last words spoken to me were "I wish you lived closer so we can watch Cooper grow up". Ironic thing is that soon we will be closer, and she gets the best view of Cooper growing up. These two photos will always be treasured.

Andrew and I were supposed to drive back to FL today. Instead we will be traveling to KY. Please keep my mom's side of the family in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

No pictures, but great memories.

There are so many thoughts going through my mind that I will be able to share at a later date. Until then, know that my life has been a whirlwind the past couple of weeks and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Please keep my family (Andrew, Cooper, me) and my extended family on my mom's side (my mammaw is not doing well) in your prayers.

Currently we are in Nashville, TN. Andrew has his last training this week, and since I have cousins here, we decided to make a week of it and come stay a while. I can't tell you how wonderful it has been to be here with family. Many of you often hear me talk about my Nan and the legacy she left. At her funeral several years back, I looked around the room and realized that the family she had left believed in the Lord. I can't tell you how encouraging and peaceful it is to be with that family she left behind. A family who truly loves each other, has fun with each other, and serves each other. It has been a growing experience for Andrew and I. I hope that at my funeral, you are able to look around and see the same legacy. I want my family to love the Lord and each other. To my Nashvillian family: thank you for your love, your time, your service. We hope to come back and see you as often as we can.

I brought both of my cameras with me this trip. Both camera batteries have died, and I forgot both chargers. SO, no pictures this post, but I will share two great memories from this trip.

First, the funny.
Cooper has found that thing that hangs between his legs. It took me a few days to realize that we needed to tell him what it was. He would point to it and just look at us with a curious face. So, we taught him what it was "penis". He says it "eenis". A couple nights ago I was giving him a bath and talking to him about Jesus. He then said "eezus" and pointed to his penis. Not quite, Cooper. Jesus lives in our heart, not our penis. It was funny that he got them mixed up. I hope it's not a mix up that lasts very long.

Now for one of the most precious memories.
Cooper and I were sitting on the couch the first night we arrived in Nashville. He patted me on the shoulder, then put his face real close to mine, kissed me on the mouth, and patted me again. He then looked at me and with all sincerity he could muster up, said "uv you". I then told him I loved him too. He smiled big and sat back. This was the first time Cooper has stated his love for me without being prompted. Talk about a melted heart, swelling with love and joy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


This picture shows Cooper saying "weeeee".
Wanna know what Cooper's so excited about?
The vacuum, of course.

It is no secret that Cooper has a slight obsession with the vacuum. It is often the first word he says when he wakes up in the morning, the first toy he searches for, and usually the last thing he's thinking about when he goes to bed at night. He talks of it and plays with it all day long. He has his own little red devil vacuum to play with, but the real joy comes out when we get the "real" vacuum out. We keep the vacuum in the garage and when the garage door opens, he comes running as fast as he can to see if he can get a peek at the loud, green masterpiece. If he does spot it, or gets lucky enough to venture into the garage with us, he screams, "There it is" with so much excitement it's as if he's been looking for it his whole life and has finally found it. Kind of reminds me of the excitement Indiana Jones felt when he found the arc of the covenant. There was also for Indiana the disappointment of having it taken away. Cooper, too, has great disappointment when the vacuum is taken away or he can't go to the garage to see it. He soothes himself by saying "bye bye" to it.

This weekend Andrew is actually doing a lesson for students! Something he hasn't done in months and it's exciting to see him "back in the groove" of being creative in that way. He is speaking of passion, which has caused us to talk about things we're passionate about. Can anyone guess what Cooper is excited about? THE VACUUM. I hope that one day Cooper can be as passionate about God. Maybe he'll still be passionate about the vacuum, but using it for God's vacuuming for his wife, or for the church, or the elderly woman down his street. Whatever it is, I'm excited to see Cooper's passion unfold in the coming years, and I pray that he uses them for God's glory.

One more picture. How cute is this box?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

5 More Years

Did you ever have one of those periods of your life where you sensed God's work in your life and felt his movement? Right now is one of those times for me.

Making time with and for God has always been a struggle. There are times when I give myself a big pat on the back for continually making time for him, and times where time with him is far from my mind. Since having Cooper, it has been much harder to "find time" to open up God's word and let it soak into my heart and mind. Add to having a baby: a work schedule, ministry, and family problems of all sorts. God should have been my first retreat. However, I slowly walked further and further away from quality time with him. There have been times in the past year where I have spent time with him, but it has in no way been a consistent priority for me. Other things fell apart during this time, too. Health (mine and Andrew's), budgeting expertise (I would completely forget to pay bills...not because we didn't have money to, but because I was completely overwhelmed), home-cooked meals, having fun...the list could go on but I'll spare you.

I have the intention of making my time with God out of want, not requirement. Nowhere in scripture does it say "thou shalt spend 30 minutes a day reading the Bible" (crazy to think that the Bible wasn't "The Bible" when it was written). I have wanted my time in scripture to come from my desire to. And honestly, my heart just hasn't been in it for a while now. It's been about a month since school ended and I can tell you that having a "break" (as much as a break you can have with a child and husband home with you) has brought back my desire. This past week week I longed for time with God. Funny that when everything else kind of calms down, that desire is strong.

*I know this blog entry is a long one, with no entertaining pictures, but you're getting ready to encounter my 5 More Years point of it all*

Yesterday I had the hardest time finding time to spend with God. Cooper's naps were short (he is growing out of his 2 naps a day and into 1....NOOOOOOOO.) and I'm pretty sure I procrastinated with a ton of stuff. But, I finally found some time. During that time I wrote at the end of my journal entry that I had a new goal: Wake up at 6am, spend some time with God, workout, and then fiddle around the house before anyone else wakes up. This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but during the summer I love to bask in the glory of sleeping in. God has given Cooper an ability to sleep until 8, 9, sometimes 10 this summer. Also, I am a lover of sleep. I am a pro-nap girl; always have been, always will be. Andrew used to give me a hard time about my napping. He didn't understand how I could just go and nap in the middle of the day. Becoming a dad has changed his perspective a bit, but mine has grown even more concrete: Naps and sleep are soooo gooood. So, waking up early during summer is quite a feat for me. A habit I'm not so sure I will do well with, but am going to try.

So, this morning I heard my 6 am alarm sound at what seemed to be a not very long sleep. I "snoozed" for about 20 minutes. For my first day I thought that was pretty good...better than not getting up at all....right?! I've been going through a book about the Proverbs 31 woman. Guess what today's chapter was about? Getting up early! No joke...I couldn't believe it. I came away from that feeling rejuvenated with my conviction confirmed to wake up early.

Here is an excerpt from today's chapter.
"If you can do nicely with six hours of sleep instead of the eight you now may be getting, saving those two hours a day, Monday through Friday, would give you an extra forty hours - one additional work week - every month! ...Just one hour less sleep per night would mean: six extra work weeks per year, which adds up, over a working lifetime, to more than five years. Think what you could accomplish in an extra five years! - Up and at 'em!

I am by no means showing off that I got up early today. It is only day one, it's 1:30 pm, and I'm EXHAUSTED already. I just wanted to share what is on my heart today. To all those people who "don't have time"...try waking up early. I was one of them, and I can assure you I will be going to bed earlier tonight. But all I'll be missing then is TV. What I'm gaining is much more valuable.

I have had the sense that God is getting ready to do great things for our family. I can feel him moving all around me. God is on the move and I can't wait to see what he does.

Cooper wanted to share something too:
"6s 5986357-==87rrre64r567890-iikju867890[[" - love, Cooper

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cooper's First Fireworks

The 4th of July brings about amazing memories growing up spending the day picnicking and playing with cousins. I am so happy I was able to grow up with my cousins and am thankful I still have relationships with them to this day. To those cousins who read this: I love you.
On to this year's celebrations...Andrew decided to make a crazy trip to Houston and back with a friend. He got back in the afternoon of the 4th...tired, exhausted, and a little grumpy. I had one mindset: to take Cooper to see fireworks for the first time. After Andrew napped and I ruined some alaska cookies, we headed out for some fun. We ventured to our friends, the Laucsher's, for dinner, then went over to the harbor to watch fireworks with them. The had parked their boat on the dock earlier that day, so we had some perfect seating. We didn't go out on the boat because we didn't know how Cooper would react and we didn't want to be stuck in the water if he hated the fireworks. Cooper did play on the boat, and ate some popcorn and watermelon. (Food is definitely the way to Cooper's heart).
Then the show began.
Cooper was squealing with excitement and words like "wow" "ooh" "yay" and his new word for that day "firework".
A couple of minutes into the show, they stopped. Not exactly sure why yet. So, we waited around for a while. During this time, Cooper was yelling "Ready...GOOOOOOO" as loud as he could, as well as "firework...where is it?" After waiting a while and Cooper getting restless, we decided it was time to go.

As we were gathering our things the fireworks started again. We stayed and watched a while longer before heading home.

When we got home Cooper was OUT!

I took this picture so you can get a better idea of how tall he is...crazy!