Who writes this stuff?

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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meeting Grant

 I was in TX this weekend. My youngest sister, Mary Faith, had an end of the year dance program, and needed to move out of her apartment and into a storage unit. So, as much of the family as could drove down there to be with her, and be her personal slaves...

 Luckily for her, several of our cousins already live in Dallas. This is Collin, his wife Alicia and their amazing son Grant. I had not been able to meet Grant yet, so I was super excited to take this trip. You all know how I feel about babies... and ones that are related to me are even more adored!

My cousin Meredith is lucky enough to live in the same town as her new little nephew, and gets to spend time with him quite often. Can you tell that she adores him?! 

Here is Mom with Grant. She loves babies as much as I do.
 I never could get a picture of him smiling, but there are some really cute ones on his mommy's blog, if you want to check them out. 

Collin and I are only a few months apart in age, and have grown up doing things together our entire lives.
From infants....


to elementary school...

to teenagers (I skipped those pictures- I've got them, but truly, I don't feel the need to share them tonight)
My wedding (almost 8 years ago now!!) 

to his wedding. 
(I had a 4 week old baby, a 2 year old, and a deployed hubby, plus I lived 14 hours away. Getting to this wedding was LOVE - but it sure was fun once I got there!)

We have tried to be there for each other. 

He obviously already knows what to do with boys...


My boys loved having someone to wrestle with after Mary's dance program was over. They were very tired, but found enough energy to play for a few minutes! I think having sat still for two hours at a dance program helped them have some extra energy. 

Aren't these some beautiful girls?

Here is the whole group of us. I just love my family... have I said that enough lately? 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A post from on the road

We are somewhere in Louisianna, at a Comfort Inn. My parents and children are in the room next door. Two of my sisters and a friend are in the beds behind me. I should be sleeping, and preparing for another day on the road tomorrow.
But right this minute I am just so very full. Full of Joy. Full of Faith. Full of Hope.
I have to let some of it out before I can attempt to sleep.

A few days ago I was reading a devotional about Nehemiah. They basis of the reading was pointing out in the second chapter when the king asks him why he is sad, Nehemiah is terrified but his first reaction is to pray.
My absolute first thought when reading this was, "well duh!"

After reading through the encouraging devotional concerning this subject I was actually in some ways disheartened. I was so saddened by the thought that there are some people, God fearing Christian people who love Jesus with their whole heart, who would not have their first reaction be prayer. What a sad, sad, thing to focus on fear, or any emotion really. How very blessed I am that I was taught from my earliest memories to place absolutely everything at the feet of God.

So, I have been thinking about this scripture, and prayer, and my amazing family a lot over the last couple of days.
After spending a lot of hours in the van with my parents and Kelsey driving to TX, I have had plenty of opportunity to NOT like my family. But none of those little nitpicky things matter. Honestly, it may drive me a little batty the way my dad drives, or they way my mom fusses at the way he drives, but those things don't change what really matters.
We were raised right. That is just a wonderful thing to have!

Now, on the way back to GA, we have Mary and her roommate Lindsay with us, and a second car. The van is loaded down with all the girls stuff, my parents, and my kids. The car has the four of us girls. As we were driving down the road this evening a song came on about God being our healer, and our portion, and something about trust. For some reason I just lost it. I was suddenly tired of being sick, tired of asking for healing. Tired of waiting for my sister to be well, and have a baby. For most of my life my parents have taken me to healing services, had me prayed over by anyone with that gift, asked repeatedly for God to step in.

The answer has always been Not right now.

The healing has always been for my heart, and my attitude, and my ability to cheerfully be diabetic, willingly use my disease as a ministry. I have had plenty of healing, and I wouldn't trade it for physical healing - not for a minute.

But for some reason this new disorder, these blackouts, or atypical migraines, or whatever they are - they are sapping my ability to cheerfully "deal". Added to that my unbelievable hurt for my little sister's physical and emotional pain, and the fact that my hubby is gone and our adoption is still delayed...
I guess I was a walking timebomb full of tears.

But here is the amazing part. Kelsey reached over and grabbed one hand. Mary reached up from the back seat for another hand. And we poured out our tears to our Father. Fears and hurt. Hopes and dreams. Old and new. As a family, automatically.
We were missing one sister, but she was definitely included, and prayed for.

I am so very thankful for my family. I am so glad that our automatic response, to pain or joy, is to take it to Jesus.
Faith. Joy. Hope. Truth. That is what we have, as well as who we are.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

More birthday for me...

 I have so many blogs running around in my head, and tons of emotions that need to be written about, but my birthday has been never ending around here. And for now, first things first!
 My sisters started it off early with my surprise party (which has pictures up and ready to be viewed on Emilee's blog). I got presents in the mail from Andy and Lara. All week long I kept allowing myself pretty much whatever I wanted to eat, "since it is my birthday". On the day of my birthday I went shopping with mom and she bought me some new clothes. Then, yesterday I got a haircut (which he then styled) and a night out with the girls. Whew, I am worn out!
 
 I mention the haircut because if you are not paying attention, you may not recognize me in these pictures. I look really different with straight hair!
 
 Back to the story. Last night my friends Carrie, Chris, Laura and my sister Emilee and I all went to Sips N Strokes in Marietta and painted a picture. It was very much a study in personality types. The psych major in me was fascinated. (note: You didn't count the names wrong. We originally had six coming, but one had to cancel... that is why it says 6 seats reserved.)


 The painter in me was not very successful, but I refuse to let that get me down! 

 First, a picture of what we were looking at as our inspiration. It is called "Funky Vase". 

 We started with a blank canvas, of course. 

 Then covered it with a watered down series of colors. The instructor walked around giving hints while we painted and pointed out that the "type A" personalities in the room needed to chill out with the straight lines. I tried really hard to get rid of the straight lines after that.... but I will never overcome my "type A" personality. 


 It was a step by step process, adding the black swirls, then color, then white to make it "pop". Carrie spent a good amount of time laughing after she overheard me counting, to make sure I had the same amount of each color, evenly distributed across the canvas. I think that "funky vase" may have been too far reaching of a goal for me to obtain. Perhaps "evenly spaced swirls of matching colors" would have been a better title for me? I TRIED! 

 Emilee kept mixing up the most beautiful colors. (look at her work area) I was across the table from her, so I could reach across and swipe them quite easily! 

 There were 50 people there last night. I think this picture tells a lot about both Emilee and I. Look at the table behind us. Completely empty and cleared off. We were the LAST two people still working on our paintings. There is a reason they call me Bob Jr. I move slowly. I don't know what her excuse is! 

 Here we are with our finished paintings. Aren't they all beautiful, and all so very individual? 



Saturday, May 23, 2009

Chattanooga

 We spend the afternoon in Chattanooga not long ago, and somehow I completely skipped posting the pictures.
 My good friend Amanda's husband, Lyle is a teacher and his class was touring several different locations. We decided to join them on the riverboat tour. 
 While we waited for our turn to board we played at a nearby park and Emily Anne went down the "big slide" for the very first time all by herself. It was an exciting moment - but mostly it was stressful for her mommy!  


 Of course, there had to be more then one time! 

 On the riverboat tour we ate a yummy lunch while rocking on the waves and watching the world go by. 

 
We got to see the famous Delta Queen which is in the process of being restored. 
 
We also so saw some turtles, birds and very beautiful insects, but for some reason, I didn't seem to catch pictures of any of that.... 
 The boys loved meeting the captain, and looking out through the front window.  

After our riverboat tour we went to the park and tried out some interesting musical instruments. My boys always enjoy a chance to make noise...


 
And amazingly enough, these made some beautiful noises! 

Then, the crown jewel of the afternoon, the carousel ride. 






Look at the detail on these hand carved wooden pieces. Aren't they amazing? 

 Wheeee!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

School rants and raves

 Last night we were at a homeschool graduation party for a friend of the family. During the ceremony commemorating her accomplishments, Canaan leaned up to ask me, "What is going on?" I told him that we were all celebrating because she had graduated, which means she had finished her school and now she was going to get to go to college. In his best, "you can't fool me" voice he replied, "Isn't college just more school?" 

 He has definitely decided that school is not fun. He told me today that he HATES SCHOOL. He even told me in all capital letters. It was quite disconcerting. I thought I had several years before I would have to deal with that. I told him that. After mulling my opinion over for awhile, (that he wasn't allowed to hate school yet) he decided that he only hated it because he had to do it EVERY SINGLE DAY. (once again, in all caps - he is quite expressive right now) I hated to break it to him that he has 12 more years of every single day.... and that doesn't count college.  
 Poor kid! 

 He is actually doing quite well in school. He is at least on level (more likely above) for reading and math, which at his age are the most important subjects. His handwriting, on the other hand (pun intended) is horrid, but so is mine, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Thank goodness for computers, right? 
 Today was actually a really fun day of school. We made homemade paper, then, because the hand cranked thing was so hard to turn and we wussed out and used the blender, we decided to study electricity too. We talked about the usefulness and blessings of paper, as well as the usefulness and blessings of electricity. I'll post pics soon, and show you our creativity - but first, I am off to watch a chick flick with my good friend Carrie. 
 Right now, being silly takes priority over being productive. 
 School is done for the day - time for some play time! 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

waiting

 I have been so discouraged lately, with the waiting. 
 I want my little Eden to come home so very badly, and I feel useless, and helpless, and incapable.
 But, I serve a living God, who is listening when I call out. 
 He led me to this poem recently, and I have been mulling it over, reading it every day this week. 
 I wanted to share it. 
 I have highlighted some of the words that spoke to me most strongly. 


 Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
 Till next steps made plain shall be;
 To hear, with the inner hearing,
 The Voice that will call for me.

 Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
 With hope that need not grow dim;
 The Master is pledged to guide me,
 And my eyes are unto Him.

 Waiting! Expectantly waiting!
 Perhaps it may be today
 The Master will quickly open
 The gate to my future way.

 Waiting! Yes, waiting! Still, waiting!
 I know, though I've waited long,
 That, while He withholds His purpose, 
 His waiting cannot be wrong.

 Waiting! Yes, waiting! Still waiting!
 The Master will not be late;
 He knoweth that I am waiting
 For Him to unlatch the gate.
   J. Danson Smith

 I am focused on one day at a time. Some days are easier to take. 
 Right now my father is in Norway, to visit Frank Kaleb. While he is there he will be meeting with another friend, Pierre, who is our original contact from Benin. I am very hopeful that a face to face meeting with someone who is from Benin will answer some questions, make things move, SOMETHING! 
 Waiting, patiently waiting
 That is a prayer I recite to myself moment by moment. Please, join me. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Swing time

 Our family has a reputation when it comes to swings. 
 I had a rope swing break when I was kid - that was the first time I broke my tailbone. A porch swing broke with mom when she was hugely pregnant with Kelsey and scared us to death. Emilee broke her nose trying to do a trick on a swing. Just the other day, Canaan's horse tire swing came out of the ceiling while he was riding it. At least two other porch swing "incidents" pop into my head, and that is without having to push too far into the recesses of my memory. 
 So, when Mom asked for a new porch swing for Mother's day, we wanted to make sure we got the strongest, toughest, most secure gear available. 

 We made sure we secured it all the way through the wood, instead of just into the wood.  
 We bought the chain link attachments rated to hold 800 lbs each
 We thought that we were prepared for anything, so we decided to enjoy our swing. 

 
Anyone care to guess what happened approximately 15 seconds after I took this last picture? 


 The entire piece of wood that the swing was attached to split in half

 That is just the way the Binkley luck works with swings.
Perhaps we shouldn't use them anymore?

 (They aren't posers, are they???)