Saturday, March 28, 2015

It is Sent

His Great Granddaddy, Grandaddy, Gigi, Daddy, Mama, Uncle, and Aunt all went there.

I can't believe I even uttered the words, "I will never let a child of mine go to Georgia Southern." Because you know when you say never. . .you normally end up eating those words.

I know what all happens in the 'Boro. . . . those are my reservations. 

It excites him to be a 4th generation family member to go there. 

It excites him to be away from home. 

It excites him to know he's going somewhere where he knows people.

It excites him he's friends with his future roommates.

And I've been weepy. He didn't know that until the other day. 

Financially, it's not a wise choice for him to go to Georgia Southern next year. We put the numbers on paper and explained that to him. I was at the computer and he sat down on the chair with me. He put his arm around me and said, "Mom, don't be sad. I'm not trying to get away from you and Dad." And then he put forth his reasons to me why he wanted to go. And I developed a heart of understanding. 

So I decided, if we do this thing, we need to do it. And we will do things his way, but we will also do things my way. Orientation, us coming down there, us going to GSU football games, and all the such. He smiled and agreed.

So I gathered everything he needed and sent it.  

I am even excited for him.

We talked about the day we would move him in. I said something to the effect, "If I don't cry, will you be disappointed?" To which he replied, "Yes."

He knows his Mama is a big 'ole crybaby.

I confessed, "I've already been crying. I'm just really proud of you, and I will miss you."

It was a sweet moment. A  moment where I think he finally caught a small glimmer of just how much this Mama of his loves him.

We just need one more thing to get sent and then we'll know if he is accepted. We will then attend orientation, search out clubs he's interested in joining, take a tour of the dorms, and probably go and eat at some of Jon and I's old hang outs.. . .maybe *wink*

Year of Last-Firsts

March is ending and April is beginning, and I'm realizing what this year of 2015 is to be called.

The year 2015 is the year of Last-Firsts.

That's what it is for us. As we are doing our last year of homeschooling with him, last time of me giving him a standardized test, all of these lasts. . . we are also transitioning into firsts. First time of applying to colleges, taking SATs, sending off transcripts. 

All of this really hit me when Alec's Classical Conversations Community asked us for a baby picture and special message for all the seniors for the yearbook.  I am overjoyed that they are doing this. 

Thankfully I went right to the perfect baby picture. This was at SSI. Holly worked for Longhorn at the time and gave him this shirt. I remember giggling as he chased the birds with his little bow-legged run. I remember watching the salty wind blow through his blonde curls. I remember just being so tickled to be his Mama. 

Young thing I was. I had so much to learn and it was from this child I learned much. 

I learned how to love unconditionally.

I learned how to forgive myself.

I learned to die to my self. 

I learned how to forgive others. 

I learned how pride destroys.

I learned God is completely in control.

I learned how to be free from my fears.

I learned to love much.

I learned just how much I need Jesus. 

I learned what it was like to be loved. 

Strange thing is. . .I'm still learning these things and I'm very much a work in progress. This gracious learning process all began with my first born. 
As our first born prepares to fly from our nest, these are the words and the charge we leave with him.

Little Buddy, Bubbagee, Bud-Ro:

Our first born. The first one who brought us big smiles, happy tears, and lots of laughs. The first one we taught to read, taught you numbers, and taught you Jesus. The first one who has been our guinea pig. Thank you for your grace and your forgiveness for us as your parents. You’re the one we’ve practiced on and learned from. We overflow with thanksgiving for all the minutes, moments, hours, days, weeks, months and years we’ve had with you. We wouldn’t trade this life with you for anything. You have filled our lives with so many proud moments, so many joyful moments, so many awe-inspiring moments. You have made us incredibly proud. You have grown into a fine, respectable, and hardworking young man.

Be the kind of person who makes this world a better place simply because you have lived here. Be the kind of person that gives others hope, truth, and love. Be the kind of person who points people to Jesus; for He is hope, He is Truth, He is love!!! Use your gift of persuasive speech to persuade others to Truth, to Jesus. Use your ability to logically think through things to make wise choices, choices that will yield good fruit. Use your hard work ethic to work hard and build God’s kingdom. Use your love for words to encourage and build others up. And no matter what happens, always know that your Daddy and your Mama love you with every fiber of our being. Always know you will forever have home, grace, and forgiveness. May Jesus be your safety, your refuge, your strong tower, your hope, your truth, and the greatest love you have ever known.

We love you “to infinity and beyond”. . . and back,

Dad and Mom

P.S. Never underestimate the value and power of simple acts of kindness. Kindness matters.     

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I Heart Sundays

I love Sundays.

The Fab 5 are all together.

We go to church together.

We eat at Gigi's together.

We come home and Sunday nap together. Well, maybe not nap together. But I nap and the others may do whatever is rest for them. For Alec that would be playing his guitar. For the girls that would be watching TV. Most Sundays Jon will sneak a nap in with me.

Here's a sweet rundown of our Sunday.

We thought we were going to have a soccer game. Although it was raining and hadn't been called off, we still had to make out like we were going to it. Jon went to be with his Dad while his Mom went to church. I tied up some loose CC ends for class this week. I didn't bother getting ready for Sunday School because we would be leaving for soccer during the Sunday School hour. We got the text the game was cancelled and started getting ready for church.

We've been at a new church for several months now. We're still getting used to it. It's been difficult, but we're in a sweet spot, and I'm grateful. I've developed my "place" I like to sit and I've been in my "place" I don't like to sit. Well the place we normally sit was full, so we moved up a couple of rows. At our old church we sat like 2nd or 3rd row from the front, so that's where we moved here. The kids were like, "No, Mom." I quickly reminded them that's where we sat at SBC.  However, they were so little when we started going there it didn't matter to them. Worship began and it was just oh, so, wonderful. The worship is so good. Joy, sweetness of the Holy Spirit, excitement about worshiping Jesus. I love it. The pastor is going through the book of Nehemiah. It has been really good. His sermon was He hits on sin but he will bathe you in the grace and love of Jesus. It's just what our family needs.

As I have pondered all the different churches, all the different hobby horses of pastors, all the different styles of worship, all the different missions, all the different ways of serving. . . I've come to this conclusion. It's so sweet of Jesus to provide us with a variety of options. Everyone is in a different place in their walk with the LORD, in their needs, in their hearts (for serving). It's so sweet of Jesus to allow us the choice to go somewhere where He can meet us, corporately, right where we are. We are all still His body (the church). But as long as a preacher is preaching and living out Truth, what a wonderful thing to have options. I'm so very thankful.

The Holy Spirit was there. He was moving in the hearts and lives of people, and the invitation went much longer than normal. One by one people would come, some for membership, some for prayer. There was one family (who I don't know, of course) who came. There were probably about 6 to 8 of them. From grandparents to grandkids. I didn't know their need but I watched them. They surrounded the grandmother and they all cried. I'm a crier of all sorts. Happy crier, sad crier, compassionate crier. Tears just fell down my face. I don't know these people nor do I know their situation, but I was so moved.

After the pastor concluded the service Alec put his arm around me and said, "That was your sympathy hug because you were crying." Sweet boy of mine. He knows he's got a sap for a Mama.

Our spirits were lifted and our hearts were full of joy as we left.

We headed to Gigi's where she spoiled us with spaghetti, garlic bread, and homemade blackberry cobbler. She then took the girls, along with Natalie, to go shopping for Easter clothes. Every year Gigi gets the kiddos an Easter outfit.  I fed Gdaddy and cleaned up the kitchen. My guys and I left, came home and watched "John Adams". No napping on this Sunday.

That night at Gigi's church there was a man speaking who was on the ground during Black Hawk Down. We went to church with her and listened to his testimony. It was so very wonderful. Again, the worship was great. I was moved to tears. Alec said, "Mom, you're crying a lot today." I hope and pray one days he understands and knows the sweetness of Jesus so much that it moves him to tears.

It was 8:00 or so. We headed to Gigi's and picked up the girls. Came home to the Bungalove. Hanna and I crawled into bed to watch a cartoon (to which I fell asleep). And Jon and the other kiddos played this game they're loving right now.

Sundays, oh, I how heart thee.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Right Now

Since i love the posts of the everyday right here.right now. . . this is what's going on in our home.

I am currently on another SM call. This one is on DBT part 2. I don't "sit" very well. I can listen and I'm going stircrazy checking Facebook 200 times. Just sitting and listening. . . I don't do well. My mind needs to be more engaged. Anyhoo. . . while I'm at the computer listening on and on and on. . . the kids are. . .

Hanna is at  the bar painting her nails. My girls love painting their nails.  Hanna even loves to paint toes (both mine and Jon's . . . shhh. . . don't tell!) Before he and I fly off to the Keys I'm going to have to make sure there is no polish on his toes. He's such a wonderful Daddy. Hanna is just plum giddy over him.

Alec and Ash are playing the X-box together. I went and got a cup of coffee and realized what they were doing. I grinned and I think I even giggled out loud. Here they are 14 and 17 and playing a racing game together. Makes me smile.

As soon as this call is over, the kiddos and I are headed to El Charro to meet Gigi. She has been trying to get Respid care since December and they finally have a spot for Gdaddy. Bless her heart. She doesn't know what it's like to be "free" very long. After they picked him up yesterday she called and asked us if we wanted to meet her at our favorite Mexican place.

I am loving, loving, loving my roles in CC. I'm loving all the new people i'm meeting and friendships that are forming. I did this just to help me with my homeschooling, to motivate my kiddos, and to give  them positive peer pressure. I never dreamed through this God would provide me with a job I absolutely LOVE!!! . . . well, minus the training calls. Hee!Hee!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

18 years and Counting

When I think about Jon and being married for 18 years, I think, "Wow, there are days when I feel a little older than 18."

It's pretty funny that's when I met this precious man of mine. I was 18 years old. 

To celebrate we went to the Ferris Wheel in Atlanta. 

Going at night would have been so much more romantic. But when you're sleeping there's no romantic anywhere in sight. 

Being the early bird, daylight lovin' folks we are we decided to take in the ferris wheel during the day and dinner that night. 

The views were beautiful. 

I've been kissing on that man for 19 years plus!!! I love how he has his lips puckered out here too!!

After we finished at the ferris wheel we headed over to The Melting Pot. This was our first time and probably our last. We really, really liked it. But it was very expensive. The experience was really neat. Our waiter was great. When he found out we were celebrating our anniversary he asked us how long we had been married. When we told him his eyes bugged out, and he looked at Jon as if he were saying, "Man, how in the world have you stayed with one woman for so long?" He came back later and told us he was about to get married and asked us for advice. It's a sad world when 18 years of marriage becomes a shocker. This should be the norm, not the exception. 

The next morning Jon and I got up. After a good 'ole cup of coffee he and I went on a run together. 

I love sharing this life with him. He is my soul mate and my best friend. Little did that feisty little red-headed 18-year-old girl knwo what a bright future she had with that attractive assistant manager when he walked through the doors of Regency Jewelers almost two decades ago. I still remember when I first met him. There was a letter torn up and thrown in the trash. Me and my boss, Fred, were trying to piece it back together again to read it. Horrible, I know!!! Jon walked in for the first time. Fred looked at me and motioned me to throw away my nosy-rosey puzzle I was trying to put together. I was too caught up in what I was throwing away to even notice there walked my future husband.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

They Call Me Mama

My children just delight me in their unconditional love for me.

It's the little things.

During CC on Monday Alec sends me a text, "Things got heated in class today." Thankfully I was teaching my class so I ignored my phone. As I was packing up my stuff I see his number pop across my screen. "Hey Bud." He started telling me about how things got heated in class. My boy who loves the good 'ole red, white, and blue. . .the patriot in him got offended because America was being accused of the one to blame for Pearl Harbor. That boy of mine with his persuasive speech and big words told that group of people, "We have to be careful not to just believe every conspiracy theory we hear. That's dangerous. We also have to be careful not to put America the country with America the government. I will always stand beside America the country. He's going to be President one day. Just wait!!! I love that I'm the one he calls first, that he and I can talk history and politics and even disagree on our views and ideas at times. But mainly, I love that he thinks to call me and tell me.

Hanna has been fighting a nasty cold. She told me the other day, "Mama, when I grow up and get married and have a husband and kids, when I get sick I'm coming home to  you. . . because Mama's make everything better."

Ash, my mini-me in just about everything except her athleticism. That girl loves when people tell her how much we look alike. It's like she just lights up. She loves to shop in my closet for both herself and her friends. Just yesterday she came and got a shirt of mine saying, "Mom, Claire is going to wear this shirt, okay?" I love that she's not embarrassed, doesn't like it, or all the other negative things that could come to pass when she's told how much we look alike.

Baby, why do you always do that????

Jon and I have always had a TV in our room. I think it was me who started this bad habit. I always had a TV in my room growing up and I loved falling asleep to the background noise of this silly little box that I really don't have much use for.

Most nights all five of us are piled in the bed watching something. Right now we really like American Idol. Jon will set the sleep timer. After the show goes off he and I drift off to sleep. The kids are at ages where they put themselves to bed.

When I hear the kids shuffle out of our room, I'll wake up and say, "Will you turn the TV off, please?"

Jon will then wake up and inform me, "I've set the sleep timer."

I drift back off to sleep.

This happened probably about four or five times. This same scenario. Until finally Jon had had enough. *Insert giggle*

On this night Jon and I went to sleep. When the kids went to leave I heard them bustling about. I awake briefly out of a slumbering sleep and say, "Ash, will you turn off the TV, please?" Jon then responds, "Baby, why do you always do that? I've got the timer set."

I think I giggled as I drifted back off to sleep.

Okay, I've got the point now. You set the timer. No need for me to ask the kids to turn it off. Got it.