Thursday, August 11, 2016

A new school year with some BIG firsts

My sweet loves 💙💙💙 started another school year today. We had two big firsts baby started kindergarten today, his very first 1st day of school at BPES. My oldest love - Brady Mac - started 5th grade today, his last 1st day of school at BPES as next year he will be on his way to middle school.  WOW!!! In the blink of an eye....I entered into a new book in this mothering journey.  📕.  

There have been so many emotions.  

They were all happy walking into school this morning and - PRAISE the GOOD LORD - they were happy when they climbed into the van this afternoon.  

Evan was such a sweet big brother this morning...climbing down from his bunk bed, half asleep, he said "Don't worry, Maddox" - as he put his arm around Maddox - "I will help you. I will make sure you get to your classroom this morning". And he did just that!

I love how they love each other.  

After school today, I got a sweet email from Mrs. Shipp letting me know how well he did and telling me that he is "a sweet sweet boy".  She included 5 pics of his first day which means so much to this momma's heart.

Monday, August 8, 2016

LOTS of growING

I feel like my boys are growing soooo much and soooo fast lately....not sure how to handle it all.  Some of it has been exciting and fun, some of it is hurting my heart - of course it is inevitable and there is not a thing I can do about it.  I think the pain of their growing comes with the fear of regret. 

- what if I look back and it was not enough?
- what if I fail them in some way and when I see it later and I long to go back for a re-do?
- what do I say to them when they walk away from me as an adult - to college, work, their own place, the military - that will accurately encapsulate my love, my hopes, and my dreams for them?
- what if I regret choices I made, time I did not savor, patience I lost?

URGGGHHH!!! This mommy thing is sooo much harder than anyone could have conveyed to me.  I know how unhealthy it is to live in the past, to dwell on "what ifs" and wallow in regret.  I hope it is just enough to remind me to cherish the times, the moments, however hard they are at times.

Soooo in the past few months my oldest turned double digits - 10!!! Oh my, that is quite a milestone birthday.  We celebrated with a trip to the beach with Uncle Rich and family - to Mark's place at Isle of Palms.  He hit the 4'9" mark, so he is at the "it is okay to move out of a booster seat" more booster for this big boy.

My "baby" finally broke 40lbs.....what a thin little guy he is.  While he is small, he is mighty!! He was on swim team for the first time this summer at Shades Cliff Pool.  He struggled a bit in the beginning and only participated in practice for most of the season then he swam in the very last swim meet and won the HEAT....he was sooooo excited and sooo proud of was AWESOME!!!

We are preparing for three BIG firsts in our house - (1) all three kiddos in the same school at the same time - this is a first and a LAST...I get one year for all my babies to be at the same school (2) Brady's first day of his LAST year at BPES...oh my, this will be a hard one for me and, even harder still (3) my baby is starting kindergarten....first day of big school for Maddox....WOW!

Hard for this Mommy in soooo many ways but proud for me as well.....blessed to call them mine!

So much cuteness, such little time

I have had a lot of "oh, that is too cute" and "that is too precious not to document" moments over the past few months.  Unfortunately, if I do not grab my phone or laptop in that moment, time and my memory get away from me.  I am going to try and capture some of the recent cuteness that I can remember:

* a month or so ago, Maddox was heading to the bathroom.  He told me he had to poop.  A couple of minutes later, he calls from the potty: "I did not need to poop, I just gassed."

* During Dr. Seuss week  at Bluff Park Elementary, Brady and Evan had a day where they were to dress up like what they want to be when they grow up.  Evan decided to dress up like a baseball player.  On the way home from school, I looked in the rear view mirror at Evan in the back of the van with his baseball hat on and thought he looked so handsome.  I said "Evan you look so cute dressed up like a baseball player."  He just shot me a cute smile.  Then I said: "You look like a boy that I would have wanted to talk to when I was in school" (I always have had a thing for baseball players).  He just looked at me and smiled with his big, magnetic dimples.   I said: "do you know what that means, Evan?" (referencing the statement I had just said prior).  He said: "Yeah, I do."  I said: "What does it mean?"  He said: "That you want to marry me."  LOVE the thought process of these little people : )

* My little love bug - Evan - is so thoughtful...I came home from being out somewhere and they were home with Chris.  When I got home, Evan had a "vase" of flowers for me:

I know there are many more sweet moments, conversations, etc. that have happened over the past few months that I am just not remembering but - for now - I am documenting these or I will keep being too busy to get them down in print.  
Love my boys!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

My brother, Brady

So my first born just prayed to accept Jesus Christ as his SAVIOR!!!! I am beyond thrilled, rejoicing with him and with HIM.  I feel so honored to have been with him when he felt this prompting from the LORD.  As Brady's mother, there is no other joy I can ever imagine feeling on this earth.  I am fighting my flesh on the skepticism and cynicism that, unfortunately, is woven throughout me like tendons and ligaments.  I know the LORD is in control of this, not me.  For many, many reasons, Chris and I have always wondered about the authenticity of children's salvation, the skepticism greater the younger the child.

Over the past 2-3 years Brady has asked us very poignant questions at different times regarding GOD, salvation, faith, etc.  We have always answered them and - I think out of a fear of pushing an agenda - been somewhat "when you are ready to ask Jesus in your heart, you will know.  You are still young and learning." because we did not want to "are you ready to say THE prayer" persuade him into a decision that was not a decision of GOD.  He would often say to us: "Yeah, I definitely believe in GOD and believe Jesus died for my sins but I am not ready to ask HIM into my heart yet.  I am young.  I am still learning." So, we would just continue praying for him to come to that decision through GOD's urging at a young age and not because he felt "this is what I am supposed to do. This is what is expected of me".

So tonight at his Upward basketball celebration, there were these two AMAZING guys that are slam dunk performers...Team Big Air.  They performed some incredible stunts and one of the guys shared his faith, his salvation story, and his career path.  At the end of the celebration the pastor of Green Valley Baptist Church prayed for all the kids and prayed for them to want to surrender their lives to Christ.  When the celebration was over I went to pick up Brady - the kids sat together with their teams - he handed me this postcard that was optional to fill out. He checked the box saying he asked Christ into his heart, the box that he wants to be baptized, and the box that he wants to speak with a minister.  He says "Mom, I need you to fill out this part"; the part for phone number and email address.  In that moment I said "Brady, do you know what all of this means?"  He said "yes, mom, I know" I said okay, filled out the info and he gave the card to his coach.  

I got the boys home, in the bed, story read, sound machine on and then stood on Maddox's bed - the bottom bunk - to talk privately with Brady in the top bunk.  I asked him about his decision, I asked him what it meant, I asked him how he felt, I asked him if he felt ready or if he felt he was supposed to make this decision because they handed out cards.  I talked with him for about 10 minutes and I felt he was genuine, I felt this was from GOD and I felt my own prompting, my own moment with GOD "child, why do you doubt, why do you lack faith?. I have come for all." Oh the conviction!!  My fear of Brady - all my children - not REALLY being saved - has allowed my own sin...doubt...and Satan to sully the best moment in parenthood.  Thank you, LORD, for shaking me in that moment and opening my eyes to see the blessing, the answer to a decade long prayer that almost passed me by!  I asked him if he wanted to pray, he said "I pray a lot after Evan & Maddox have fallen asleep and I am laying in my bed by myself awake" I said "okay.  If that is when you want to pray about it you can or you can pray with me now too, if you want."  He looked up at me and said "you want to pray with me?" DO I WANT TO PRAY WITH YOU?!?!??? (this is a dream come true my precious child) Of course I just  answered with, "I would LOVE to baby.  I have been praying for this since you were in my belly."  He grabbed my neck, bowed his head and then looked up at me and said "wait, I do not know if I know what to pray" I told him the great thing about praying is that it is just talking to GOD so you can say whatever is in your heart.  He bowed his head again and said a myriad of beautiful words "I am a big sinner.  I want you to live in my heart GOD.  I know you died on the cross for me, Jesus. Holy Spirit please live inside of me and lead my life" and so many more melodious words all through tears.  I asked him when he was done praying why he was crying he said "I am just REALLY happy, Mommy." I cried then too...I had been fighting them back all this time (again the cynicism...I did not want my tears to force him into an emotional decision).  I told him how cool it was that now he is my brother and we hugged it out.  BEST.DAY.EVER!!!! Praise you, LORD, Jesus Christ!!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

We called it!

Chris and I have always known that we have been blessed to be boy parents for 9.5 years without a trip to the ER with a broken bone or stitches.  We have also known for quite some time that Maddox would be the one to take us there first.  We knew it!  Luckily it was not a broken bone or stitches but he did have to have his tooth extracted.  I got a call about two months ago that Maddox had fallen on the playground at preschool and landed on his front teeth.  I took him to the dentist and the verdict - his injury could lead to damage to one of his adult tooth - so we had to extract the baby tooth to prevent damage to his permanent tooth.  We called it!  Poor little guy...a bit young for a tooth out already but, he handled it like a champ and - of course - is still has cute as can be.  He was also very excited about the tooth fairy visiting him. 

 at the dentist right before his extraction; last pic with that front tooth

my brave boy in the dentist chair

 Maddox's first visit from the tooth fairy; he was very excited!