Saturday, August 26, 2017

~Janie the Cheerleader~

While Madeline and Daddy were beekeeping, Janie and I were at the football field for the jamboree opening the '17 football/cheer season.

Think Janie is excited???
This pic totally cracks me up!!
The girls' uniforms were not in yet so all the teams wore random football jerseys...I thought this was a lame idea...obviously I am not a great cheer mom because it was totally adorable!

Goodness she looks so grown up😲

This little girl was so excited to see all her classmates and friends at the field. She is such a good little joyful and sweet with each person she sees, making a point to say hi to all her friends. Yep, she will be a social butterfly for sure haha!

~Madeline the Beekeeper~

This past spring Hank started his beehive project, Madeline became interested immediately. She was nervous and scared around the hives in the beginning but has become quite a little beekeeper along with her Daddy. Madeline does not like to participate in sports and such so we are always looking for some fun interests for her. Beekeeping is a winner so far whoop whoop!

This morning Hank took Madeline with him to the Shelby County Beekeepers Association to participate in the harvesting of their hives in Shelby Farms.  All total they harvested about 75 hives (the work of about 4 million bees). To say Madeline was into it is an understatement.   
She worked 4 1/2 hours😁

Monday, August 21, 2017

~Dusting Off My Camera~

I literally dusted off my camera this evening when I saw these little bambi's in my yard. All summer long we have been watching these babies grow up so I had to get a few pics! These guys are so adorable!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

~Happy 26th Julianne~

Happy 26th birthday to my original baby of the family! Ju you have grown from the resident "house mouse" being teased by your older siblings to being the link connecting your younger siblings and becoming resident second mom to the littles! Above all else you love the Lord and your passion is to glorify Him. I love you my dear baby girl!! Have the best day!!

I posted this on instagram and facebook but I feel so much more than just these words for my girl. I cried for the first 3 months I was pregnant with her because I felt like I was not ready to handle another baby so close to her sister and brother...then I cried for the first 3 months of her life in thankfulness of God's gift of this special baby... and for my selfishness and fear while pregnant. Little did I know that her sweet Daddy would be diagnosed with cancer before she turned 2 and we would be told that we should not have any more children when she was 3. 

Jeff and I were in Pittburg for a gamma knife procedure when we were told this information. I had my tubes tied when Julianne was born because we can control our lives right??? Oh how funny and naive I was at 28 years of life. I no longer felt funny or naive when the doctor told us this information at 31 years old. I was crushed, because I could no longer choose to have a child but more crushed that I had not trusted God 3 years previously when I became pregnant with this precious surprise. 

As I walked down the corridor of the hospital with Jeff after our pre consultation I was overcome with God's mercy and grace on our lives. He knew we needed this child before we thought we were "ready"! I cried as we walked that hall, Jeff holding my hand and telling me he was so sorry I was scared. I'll never forget looking up at him and telling him I was not scared... I was thankful in that moment for Julianne. The realization washed across his face and we became thankful together in the midst of scary....feeling God's hand upon us even in the difficult place we were in.

So my sweet Julianne I thank God for the gift of you! You are so much like me yet you are a much better version of me. You have such wonderful qualities all your own and I'm so proud of the woman you are!

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Hank and I went to see Drew Holcomb with Julianne, Chris, Bill and Elizabeth. I can't believe I did not get a pic with Ju and Chris!! 
Bill posted this pic on facebook this morning and as I looked at it I am overcome with God's mercy upon each one of us....
Elizabeth and I each lost our first husbands to brain cancer....Hank and Bill lost first marriages due to horrible decisions made by their former spouses.

Each of our losses are profound and not what any of us would have chosen..
but God took each of us on a healing journey of acceptance in our different situations...long hard years learning about God's grace and hope that can only come through Him.

Glancing at this picture one would never know the stories of our lives nor the enormous grace God has given us. In this picture I see God's profound providence. Each one of us could have gone our entire lives never finding another person to spend our lives with...instead God chose to bless us with a new life.
 Now trust me our families are very messy, even typing that makes me laugh out loud, because the amount of people represented by both families is enormous...14 children total, half of which are grown and some grandchildren thrown in there equals some chaos...add adoption from 2 different foreign countries and all that comes along side that hard glorious journey...

I think you can understand why we are so happy to be out for a night of fun relaxation. The only thing missing was the rest of our big kids since they are so much fun to be with on an adult night!

 Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Monday, August 7, 2017

~Gatlinburg Trip~

If you have followed along here long enough you know I am a "keeping it real" kind of person... 
I may not share all the goings on but I'm an open book as far as speaking the truth in a situation.

That being said we have not been willing to go on a family vacation this summer due to some medication changes for Madeline...
fear of her inability to face schedule change and what that can do to our family. 
She has done better than expected all summer so we decided to go visit the grandparents
.....whom we do not visit enough!!😔

I also say these things because most of our instagram lives look like all is happy happy happy
these upcoming pictures look happy yet it was one of the toughest days we have had with Madeline in quite some time.
We pushed through and had a very good weekend despite some tribulation
Carly, John David and Janie are the best brother and sisters ever and are always quick to forgive!

I only have pics from our hike to Rainbow Falls due to the crazy but it was such a great hike, long and hard but so gorgeous! Janie was such a trooper until the last 1/4 when she decided her feet did not work anymore😅

Ma Kitty and Grandpa Jim have moved to a smaller house so we stayed at the Buckhorn Inn in one of their cabins. It was so great with plenty of room. Breakfast was included each morning...Hank took this pic of Janie the first morning before she was really awake haha!

Rainbow Falls Trailhead

Carly and Janie are such great buddies. 

checking out the stream

Madeline got her brave on and wanted to climb up to the falls!

I made the girls get a pic with me! John David and Carly had already taken off up the rocks!

Janie's idea of a selfie😏

Janie was so adventurous and brave, she wanted to try it all!!
until the last 1/4 hahaha

such a gorgeous place!

Janie dances anywhere and everywhere...

the big kids took all sorts of shortcuts along the trail, Janie tagged along every single time!

next up was the roller coaster thingy
guess who could not wait???
guess who refused??? 

The next day I did not take one picture but Hank's dad, Granddaddy, and Aunt Sarah and Uncle Larry came up with their kids to spend the day with us. We ate at Ma Kitty's and hung out on the Little Pigeon River all afternoon. The kids tubed and played all afternoon, it was so nice and relaxing!

Such a great weekend catching up and hanging with family😊