Saturday, December 27, 2014

Are you kidding me?

So today Maddox and I were in the restroom during a quick stop on our way to Atlanta.  As he was standing there with his pants down around his ankles he noticed the "convenience hole" in the front of his underwear.  He looks down and then back up at me and says "These underwear are getting ode (old).  I need to get new ones."  I said "why do you think they are old; they are fine."  He said "look, they have a hole."  I wanted to bust out laughing.  I then explained to him what the hole was for.  After he listened intently, he looked at me and said "Are you kidding me?" seriously and with a straight face.  It was quite funny, what a card!

an appropriate pic for this topic : )

Sophmoric Salvation???

So it is no secret that Chris and I have come to a saving knowledge of Christ and have turned our lives over to HIM as LORD of our lives.  We are Christians who are thankful for Jesus' sacrifice and the LORD's grace and mercy.  With that said, it is no surprise that we are teaching our children about our faith and taking them to church where they learn about it as well.  Whenever I lay them down to sleep - nap or night time - I pray with them.  One thing I always pray for is that they "come to a saving knowledge of you (Jesus) at an early age".  Based upon Chris' and my beliefs it is obvious as to why I would pray this and why that is important to me.

At some point this Fall, Evan was asking me questions about GOD....about seeing him, talking to him, etc.  This was not the first time we have had a conversation similar to this one.  By very definition faith is believing in something you cannot see.  So with GOD not tangibly in front of my boys, faith and the Holy Spirit are aspects of Christianity that we discuss.  Whenever the idea of Jesus living in their hearts and guiding their lives comes up there are many questions about what that means.  On this particular day, Evan was asking me questions about Jesus, about what it means to have Jesus live in our hearts.  I explained to him that Christians are saved from their sins and have eternal life with Jesus in heaven when they ask him to forgive them of their sins, ask him to live in their hearts, and ask him to be LORD of their lives.  He then asked me "how do you ask him?"  All the while, Evan is on the potty while we are having this conversation and I am working on getting Maddox down for a nap.  I answered Evan, "you pray to Jesus and you ask HIM to forgive you, ask him to live in your heart, and to be GOD of your life if you feel like that is something you want to do - and if you sincerely ask him - HE will do it, he will live in your heart."  Evan said "okay, Mom, I want to do that."  I said "okay" and then continued into the bedroom to get Maddox settled.  I then hear Evan praying - while sitting on the pot:  "GOD, I want you to live in my heart.  Okay?"  "I want to live in heaven when I die."  Then I heard him yell from the potty: "Mommy, I did it.  I prayed.  I asked Jesus.  He lives in my heart now."
I was very excited, of course, but was nervous on how to proceed and exactly what to say next.  As much as I loved the fact that he prayed this sweet prayer, that he asked Jesus into his heart, that he was excited about it, I also was very skeptical.  I could not help to think - He is only 5, he does not fully understand, he is too immature to know what all this means, he does not understand what a daily surrender, a true relationship with Christ means.  I did not want to take it too lightly, not show excitement and love for something so AMAZING, so WONDERFUL, the most important decision my children can ever make.  What message would that send to Evan?  So I wonder....does he get it?  Is it real?  Only GOD truly we shall see, I will continue to teach and pray, I will continue to be open and excited to any and all open doors that lead my sweet angels to the one and only Savior.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

BIG School Year

It has been a while since I have written about life here in the Stidham household.  I would love to think I will remember all the things that have made me think: "I need to journal that because I do not want to forget it."  Unfortunately I am sure there is several things I will forget because it has been too long.  I am going to do my best to catch up on the little moments I want to remember.

This was a school year of firsts.  Maddox started school for the very first time....3K, preschool at Shades Crest Baptist Church.  Evan started at big school....kindergarten.  Brady started 3rd grade this school year, which means REAL grades for the first time.

 Maddox has adjusted to school very well.  He has made his own friends.  He constantly says to me "Miss Morgan (his teacher) loves me." 

I was caught off guard by the emotion that welled up in me when Chris and I walked Evan to his first day of kindergarten.  I felt fine leading up to it, he was excited about it, he was not my first child to start school at Bluff Park Elementary - yet still - I found myself thinking "oh my gosh what is this I am feeling.  Why do I feel apprehensive?  What is this anxiety and uncertainty?  That prickly burning behind my eyes is a familiar feeling."  Then...just as we get to where we stop and Brady & Evan would continue into the building, I let go of Evan's hand and he looked at me and said "Who is going to go with me?" Oh no!!!! Oh No!!! Why is he asking that?  Is he not going to be okay with this?  What do I do?  I looked at him and said "Buddy, you will be fine.  You will see Mrs. Shipp (who he had met the day before) and make a bunch of new friends.  It will be great."  Then he walked in by himself with the cheerful encouragement of Mrs. Littlejohn - the assistant principal - and I turned my back away from him and the tears poured out....I was so caught off guard by how I felt that I was not sure how to handle it....I was ill-prepared.  I was anxious to pick them up that afternoon as I was dying to hear how it went.  Evan got in the van and said "I had a great day.  I love kindergarten!"  Phew!!!! That was a long 7 hours for this mommy!

I have been so proud of him and how he has made the transition to "BIG" school.  He has always been a bit more reserved so I had some concerns about the whole "little fish in a big pond" idea. My concerns have proven to be unfounded.  Bluff Park Elementary has been a great environment for Evan to spread his wings and open up.  I have heard from countless adults about how kind he is, how social, well-mannered, and confident too.  It has given me great joy to see him enjoy big school so much and to come into his own as a well-adjusted kindergartener. 

Prior to 3rd grade, our elementary school just gives N's, P's, and S's.  (N - Not Secure, P - Progressing, S - Secure).  So for Brady this is his first year to have "real" grades.  At this point he has only received one report card and it had ALL A's....that was very exciting!  The best part to me about his report card was the 3's (the best) he received in all the sections under Conduct....respect, helps others, etc.  That warms my heart to the core!  I have reminded Brady countless time over his short span of does not matter how smart you are if you do not respect authority and do not treat others kindly.

That was our start to this school year....hopefully I can take the time to journal more and not have to play catch up as often.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


A Friend - according to Webster is defined as:

💜 one attached to another by affection or esteem
💜 a favored companion

There are so many ways to define "friend".  For some it is much deeper than how Webster defines it.  For some it is much simpler - an acquaintance, a Facebook "friend".

I have experienced DEEP, honest, raw "I would die for you" friendships.  I know I am very blessed to be able to say that.

I have also experienced surface friendships.  They are nice.  We have something in common - our children, our community, our job. We enjoy each other's company.  They meet the human companionship need that we all have.  They energize us extroverts (introverts: think sunshine for a flower). 

Then there are those in between......the friendships that begin on the surface, as most relationships do, and appear to be on their way to DEEP, real friendships, maybe even lifelong friendships.

Sometimes they blossom into a life long friendship.  An awkward new caterpillar that metamorphoses into a beautiful butterfly strong enough to fly.

Sometimes they do not.  For one reason or another they just don't:

- the things you thought you had in common, turn out to not be enough
- you get replaced by someone worth diving deeper with
- you find someone else with whom you wish to invest your time
- distance - proximity plays a HUGE part in who we spend our time with

Anytime friendships end, it is hard.  It is especially hard when you think the friendship is starting to sprout wings, starting to transform into a lifelong relationship.  Even harder when you are not the one who chooses to clip the wings.

The GOOD news?  GOD is in control of everything, including our friendships.  For those who are blessed to be able to call HIM "Father", HE has your best interest in mind.  So when friendships come to an end, there is a peace from HIM that surpasses all understanding, a peace in knowing that the GOD who created the universe, who created me, protects, guides, and arranges all according to HIS will.  INCLUDING MY FRIENDSHIPS!!!

What does that mean for friendships?

- A common flaw we possess in our humanness is our NEED to know WHY?!  We LOVE a reason and falsely believe we are entitled to one.  There are times in our life when GOD knows there is something we can learn from someone else, something we may be able to teach another.  There may be someone that we can provide a service to, or they can gift us with a service we need.  GOD provides a friend just in the nick of time to show us HIS love by wrapping up a need in the perfect present.  "A Friend for a Reason"

- It is our nature to focus on the beginning of things/the start and the end/the last time....often what falls in between is worthy of our focus.  Rather than focusing on the beginning of the friendship, and where you thought it would go, or the end, when things came to halt and perhaps there is pain, we should focus on all that fell in between.  GOD's infinite LOVE in providing a friend for a time in our lives when we needed one most....or, maybe when THEY needed one most!  "A Friend for a Season"

- Not often, but when HE sees fit, we are given a friend to go the distance with.  That person that will not leave you if you begged them to, the one who know everything about you, knows where the dead bodies are, and still would lay down their life for you just as Jesus laid down HIS.  They are the ones that GOD knows can be there for you in human form to reflect HIS love, to love you just as HE does - even when we are unlovable!  What a treasure!  GOD so perfectly knows who to place in these roles, and who we need to be in that role HIS infinite wisdom, HE ordains these relationships to grow our faith, to teach us, to hold us accountable, to draw us closer to LOVE us!  "A Friend for a Lifetime"


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summah, Summah, Summer Time

This is what Summer 2014 looks like:

LOVE this pic of Evan of "chillaxing"

We have been THOROUGHLY enjoying our community pool.  Brady & Evan our on swim team.  This is Brady's second year to do it and Evan's first year.   They have practice every morning at 10 a.m. so we pack a lunch and enjoy the pool most days until nap time.

 Evan with the best swim coach ever!  

Coach David was so GREAT with Brady last year in overcoming his fear of the deep end.  Now he is so deliberate and intentional with guiding Evan through his first year of swim team.

First pic - scaling the wall, Second pic - finally swimming, Third pic - with his ribbon...he was so proud of it that he never wanted to put it down!

Evan's very first swim meet.  When they jump in it is in the deep end.  Evan believes if he cannot touch the bottom then he can not swim.  So he jumped in, grabbed the wall and scaled it hand over hand - QUICKLY -  until he got to where he can touch and then swam the short distance left to the end of the lane where he won the ribbon!  He scaled the wall so quickly that he beat the kids he was swimming against.  It was exhilarating to watch him.  All the spectators were cheering him on, clapping, laughing in sweet amusement at his speed on the wall.

Brady in the treading portion of the swim test

Brady passed the pool's swim test.  In order for kids at the pool to be able to swim "beyond the rope" and in the "well" (the 10 ft. area where the diving board is) they have to pass the swim test - each year.  This was Brady's first year to take the test and he passed on the very first attempt.  They have to swim the width of the pool - across and back - and then tread water for 2 minutes straight.  I was so proud of this big guy for passing on his first attempt....he has come a LONG way from his fear of the deep end.  A key part of this picture that is worthy to be noted is the tan calves and feet jumping up and down for his best friend.  Grayson stood there encouraging Brady on and cheering for him the whole time he was testing.  He counted down the last 30 some odd seconds that Brady treaded water.  It was touching!

Brady at the driving range

Brady went to a couple of one day golf clinics last summer and enjoyed them so we decided this summer we would let him try golf for the summer.  He attended a weekly golf class on Wednesdays from 3:30-5pm.  He enjoyed it a little bit but realized that golf may not be the sport for him, at least not at this time.

Evan attended VBS for the first time

  Evan & Maddox playing tennis - they attended once per week on Friday afternoons for the month of July....this was Maddox's first time trying tennis and he enjoyed it.

We enjoyed a week at the beach with Chris' family....including the 4th of July....

The boys and I attended most of the summer shows at the Hoover Public Library, which are always entertaining

 Enjoying Bubblemania

Monday, June 2, 2014

Many firsts and lasts

There have been a lot of firsts and lasts around here that I have not written down and want to take some time to do that before the gray hard drive between my ears has to purge to keep up.  This Spring Evan played on a t-ball team for the first time in his little life.

Brady moved up from tball to baseball where he was pitched to by the coach and they had outs (first time for him since he is playing Upward).  He made the transition smoothly.

Maddox had his last Mommy & Me swim class (which in turn is my last EVER Mommy & Me swim more babies)

Maddox's favorite part of the swim class was the hot shower in the locker room after class.

Maddox got his first BIG boy summer cut

The other two with their summer cuts
 Maddox's last music class (he always wanted to sit with Miss Abby - the teacher - but was always too shy....this is my last music class too (I did this with all three boys until they started school, Maddox starts preschool in the Fall)
Evan completed his preschool "career".
His sweet "graduation" portrait
A quick pic before I walked out the door to register Evan for kindergarten...he thought that meant he would go - right then.  When I got home he asked me if he was going to "big school" the very next day.
Evan, Daddy and I at Kindergarten Kickoff....Evan was so proud - May 8, 2014

 Evan's preschool graduation - 5/14/14 - and his last day of preschool - 5/15/14

Brady wanted to have a Father/Son backyard camp out to celebrate his birthday with his friends (just as he did last year) but the weather did not cooperate, so Brady hosted his first sleepover...they had a blast!

"......Oh (or) Not?"

Maddox has this cute way of asking yes or no questions.   He ends them all with "oh (or) not?"  "Are we going to bed....oh not?"  "Is Daddy home....oh not?"  I love it.  This may be my shortest post ever....oh not....LOL!!

3 year portrait

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Notable Quotables

These are some of the more notable things to come out of my kiddos' mouths in the past couple of months:

  • Evan: while trying to use his napkin at the dinner table as a prop, diligently works to make things disappear, "make magic" as he says.   When things he is covering with his napkin do not disappear, Brady says "magic is not real".  Evan says "I want it to be so that I can make all of you disappear and then I can rule the world."  WOW!! I am not sure whether to be scared or amused!
  • Maddox - in a very serious tone, a couple of times has said "Mommy, I'm sorry that I let you down." I have no idea where he has learned this from but it always makes me feel so terrible inside.  When I have asked him what he means or what he did to let me down (because this does not follow some terrible action) he just says "I don't know", making me think that he does not know what it means.
  • Evan so sweetly at the dinner table said "Mom, your my best girl in the whole town"
  • On our little "staycation" over Spring Break, Brady looked at me and said "Mom you look so beautiful."  I said "thank you, buddy." He said "No, mom, you look really beautiful; like really, really, really beautiful.  You look like someone else, someone different."
  • Maddox has taken to singing - "loudly for all to hear" (Elf) - "I will wait" (Mumford & Sons) has been his song of choice - adorable out of his sweet little voice.  Today when I went to get him up from his nap he was up on his knees in his bed belting "Let it Go" from the Disney Frozen movie.  Then he got down off the bed and said "Mommy, I just need a guitar and a stage and I could sing that."  Apparently I have a little performer on my hands.
  • Two weeks ago was Kindergarten registration for Evan at the Elementary school.  He was very excited to get registered....he tried to head out the door with me as I was leaving to register him, although this was the parent sign up only, so he did not go with me on this evening.  When I got back he and his brothers were already in bed but not yet asleep so I went in their room to tell them good night.  When I got in there he said "Mommy, did you get me signed up Mommy?"  I told him I did.  He said "Brady, maybe I will be in your class" (so sweetly with a noticeable bit of anticipation in his voice).  I held my breath for a pause knowing how excited Evan was in that moment and not wanting Brady to burst his bubble.  Brady said "Buddy, I will be in third grade next year." Phew!! He did not crush Evan's bubble.  In the proudest voice, Evan said "I am gonna be in kindergarten."  
Evan & I as I was walking out the door to register him for kindergarten

Is it really time for BIG boy stuff?

Brady is almost 8.  When he was 7 1/2 (you do not ignore those halves at this age).  During Christmas break (he "officially turned 7.5 on Nov. 30th) I had to buy him deodorant for the first time.  Of course this is something I knew would come sooner rather than later, although I was thinking I had at least a year before this was necessary.  While brushing his teeth one night (yes, I still do it before bed - he does it the other two times per day - as I like knowing that at least one time per day it gets done well/thoroughly)....control freak?? I plea the 5th...I noticed (he was musky after just playing inside and it was not hot) he needed it so we had a little talk about it then.  Then Chris showed him his deodorant and talked to him about how he needed it so he wouldn't stink.  We tried to "normalize" it as much as possible.   Then when we were in Atlanta over Christmas break I bought him his first stick of deodorant.  He has done great the past 4 months using it every day as part of his morning routine when he brushes his teeth.  Now that is BIG boy stuff!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Evan is growing up!

All of a sudden, Evan is becoming a big boy.  This morning before school I told Evan to go ahead and get his pajamas off and wait for me in his room.  I told him that I would be in his room in just a bit to get him dressed for school.  A couple of minutes later Evan comes barreling out of his room completely dressed...he had done something I had not seen in my house at 4 years old....opened his drawers, chosen his clothes, and put them on.   My boy is growing up, becoming independent.  Then tonight after getting out of the bath, he goes in his room and puts clean underwear on, pajamas, and then goes into the bathroom and brushes and flosses his teeth, without prompting.  He came running back to the bathroom where Chris and I were getting Maddox out of the bath tub and he said "look, I did EVERYTHING all by myself".

This past Monday he had his first tball practice for his first tball team ever.  He seemed to really enjoy it.