Monday, December 27, 2010

Where did the babies go?

How quickly our Christmas' change. The oldest is now 14. The next wild one is 13. The baby is 10. (Husband rolls eyes when I call him the baby.) Needless to say....this was our last year to "believe." KILLS ME!!!!!!!! I guess if we adopt the Polar Express theme....we will always believe.

Anyway....the hooligans got lots of neat clothes. They are apparently spoiled rotten and I am currently taking mental momma inventory of that. And yes....I'm going to read Radical starting this week. I need help. ;) These boys have everything under the sun. It's so sad that come Christmas you end up with a bunch of clothes because you have every gadget ever produced.
Shoot me.

Anyway....here they are. They really do love one another. They are as different as night and day.
Thankfully they don't know who David Platt is or ever heard of the book Radical and have no idea just how much their lives are about to change. ;)


Take a note of the "baby's" sweatshirt on the far left. I laugh every time I read it...."My game is money!" Don't you love it?

It's time to start thinking forward to 2011. This can be happy or it can be painful. I'm choosing the happy side of it all.

What in the world do we drastically attempt to do different this next year?? Just one. I'm thinking. And I don't like to think I'm going to do more than one drastic thing because I won't. It's kind of like reading the bible in a year thing. I'll fail.

Hmmmm.....what is my "one?"

Love y'all. Hope all is well in your wintry neck of the woods!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Greatest lesson learned at Deeper Still that DID NOT come from Beth, Kay, or Priscilla

Oh, goodness. I hope you can hear my heart and feel what I'm about to describe when I have to leave out all sorts of names and manner of detail.

Sounds exciting, huh? Hang on....let's ride this out and keep our fingers crossed.

We all know what happens when you put a group of women together. There can be intense giddiness, excitement, fun, and a whole lotta anticipation. There can also be a great deal of fear, insecurity, and question of "Am I really as cute or funny as Suzy across the room?" Isn't it interesting how our minds are all over the place? Maybe it's just me. I'm highly doubting it though.

And, then the dynamics of your little group change. Maybe a new girl that noone knows walks in the room with a friend. Maybe someone starts telling a story about someone you know that rubs you the wrong way. Maybe someone tells something that you think "did she really just tell that?" Maybe, maybe, maybe....

It just happens. It just happens with a group of girls. No matter the age or demographic or status. It can happen just.like.that. Before you can even think or process or understand what is happening.....something has changed. And maybe the change involves yourself. Maybe you were the one who said or did something in that instant you are wondering, "Did I really just say that or do that?" Oh, I think I did.

It happens. And the minute it does....you just want to throw up and cry and run out screaming something completely inappropriate. It happens. And it's ugly.

But after some suffering and hurt and flat out conviction, God shows Himself through someone COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED. And her name is grace and forgiveness.

Her name is grace and forgiveness and she came clothed in the form of a person that you never saw coming. She showed me what it's like to truly understand someone and something without any kind of judgment. She showed me love when she could have easily ran the other way and made all kinds of assumptions.

I saw grace and forgiveness up close and personal this weekend and I will never ever forget it as long as I live.

I won't forget how it felt.

I won't forget how unexpected it came.

I won't forget what she looked like.

I will never forget how humbling and beautiful she was all at the same time.

I love those two words....grace and forgiveness.

I hope you extend it when someone is least expecting it because it just might be one of the greatest life lessons that person can learn.

Hugs and blessings y'all!

Monday, November 1, 2010

That girl may not like me.

Every week something happens in my daily life where I'm reminded just how insecure I am in the world of friendships and wanting to be liked. For example, here are just a few silly things that I have noticed.......again, I am stuck at age 12.

1. Someone I want to be friends with won't look at me or talk to me when we are in a group having a discussion about something. They talk to everyone else in the group BUT me.

2. Someone won't acknowledge me or give me the time that I think I deserve. Talk quickly and move it along. OR, they seem really distracted. Now, that drives me crazy!

3. No one calls and asks me to lunch. Boo hoo. Woe is me.

4. Friends don't call you as much any more.

You get the idea right? It begins to hurt a little. It begins to take a toll and make you question "whats up?" Is it me? Am I that busy?

In my defense I can say that I'm a wife, mom to 3 busy boys, and I work so that takes up all but 99% of my day. I KNOW. I GET IT. The time just isn't there.

But, deep down inside, we all desperately long to be loved, liked, and to fit in. And even sometimes the people you want to like you, love you, and fit in with them.....well, it just isn't going to happen.

I'm really, really trying to be ok with all of this.

I really want to be secure in who I am.

I'll be 41 in February and I'm wondering if we ever grow up and stop being 12? Sometimes I am just not going to be liked by that one person who for whatever obnoxious reason, I want to be liked by. Sometimes I just need to realize that not everyone wants to be friends with me.

Wow. A middle school lesson I'm still learning......

Not everyone wants to be friends with me and I'm ok with that. *gulp*

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Insecurity, a 5K, and some pride




These are just a few pix of my first 5k on Saturday. Let me tell you what I learned about this race. I was PETRIFIED PEOPLE!!! Why was I so scared? Let me tell you. I quickly became 12 years old again.

1. I felt so inadequate. This started Friday night with what do I eat the night before? What do I wear tomorrow morning? It's going to be cold at 9am. What if I finish last? What if I trip and fall? Blah blah blah.

2. I felt like I wouldn't fit into the "runner's world." And boy did I have a ball looking at all the pro's out there that morning who are clearly into the running world. I clearly was trying to act as if I was one of them. HI-LARIOUS! Boy, let's play that part real quick.

3. Every insecurity and ounce of pride I own surfaced that day. Now that my friends isn't pretty. I started off scared to death and thinking I would die before mile 1 was finished to thinking "WOW...look at me. Look how good I did. Look everyone...I finished the race!!!!" People, this was a 5k and not a half or whole marathon for crying out loud. I swelled up pretty fast. Woe is me.

While waiting on the race to start, I really felt like I was in middle school all over again trying to find my way.

During the race the pride began to creep in because I was hanging with my running buddy, Kristi, through 2 whole miles. And then the "stitch that killed" arrived and about did me in. But I will finish strong people. I WILL. I HAVE TO. MY LIFE IS AT STAKE. (whatever)

After the race, I was quite proud of myself. I loved all the compliments and all the praises and the "way to go's!" I actually thought maybe I could be a runner. Maybe. I had to be a little puffed up.

And, then guess what? I arrive to church on Sunday and listen to a truly awesome sermon on humility. Yep. Thanks God. I hear ya loud and clear. ;)

I'm learning to do this life with humility because after all....when I stop and think about that "race" I did on Saturday....I realize that life is just like that 5k. Life is full of insecurity and a whole lotta pride and I need to learn how to deal with both.

I'm thankful for this lesson on Saturday.

I'm thankful I ran that 5k.

I'm thankful I went to church on Sunday.

I'm thankful for the One Who shows me how to run the race He has set before me.

Isaiah 40:31 "but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

Lets run the race with Him. Lets run it in such a way that people will want to follow us!! Because after all, they are seeing Jesus in us and not some insecure or puffed up chick who has the whole world fooled.

It's all for Him.

Hugs and blessings~

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My peeps in Nashville!

Last Sunday we skipped church....WHICH ABSOLUTELY KILLS ME.....and headed over to Nashvegas to catch the beloved Titans game. It was a fabulously cool day and felt just like football weather. Here are a few of the pix from the day.

Here we are before we split up as a family. Hubs and oldest had seats on the 5 yard line, 3 rows up. NOT FAIR. Me and the other two had seats on the....not 5 yard line 3 rows up.


If you look closely you can see the super stud himself who didn't play a single minute....
TIM TEBOW!!!!! He is 315 right beside the coach in the khaki pants. He is to the right of him.


This guy totally cracked me up!!! He jumped up no less than 623 times to yell something at someone. He was clean and sober and fine, but totally loving the game and thinking he could be heard. Great entertainment!



How about an upclose picture of a kid drinking hot chocolate. You may thank the 9 year old for this.


This is me and the funniest kid on the planet. He is the infamous 9 year old who thinks he is it on a stick. I love him to pieces. He did have a sweatshirt on. That is why you see the belt that is driving me crazy. ;)


Oh, and here is too cool for school nearly 13 year old. You can see him fighting the smile if you look closely.


And then here is the oldest. He is precious and ever so kind and will be a pastor one day. Maybe. I hope. Or a coach. Or on ESPN.


Crazy kid.


"I can't take it any more mom!"


My fabulous family of 5. I love these guys so much!

Hope y'all are well. Tell me how you are. I really do care.
Hugs and blessings~

Monday, September 20, 2010

Swimming in the shallow end!



A couple of weeks ago my pastor said something in his sermon that won't leave me alone. And, I'm completely guilty of this right now and I don't like it.

Here is my observation....

If you are at all wrapped up in the world of computers, gadgets, iphones, cell phones, facebook, twitter, blah blah blah....my hunch is you read a lot of things throughout the day that go in one ear and out the other. Right?

Is there much depth in your day???

My day is shallow and empty right now and it's time to make a change. And when I say my day is shallow and empty I mean the conversations and relationships that are constantly before me day in and day out don't have much depth to them.

I'm wondering....are you swimming in the shallow end or the deep end?

I'm ready to get back into the deep end. It's where I get fed and grow the most.

Hugs and blessings y'all~

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slapped me in the face!!

I had a very short conversation with a momma over the weekend at the ballfield and I CANNOT LET IT GO FOR THE LIFE OF ME.

What if we put as much time, effort and energy into our kids spiritual development that we do into their academic development??

Yep. Smack in the face.

Whatcha think??

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We went and got all Baptist on ya!

Well, we did it.

It's been almost one year and it was time.

For those of you who may remember a little bit of our church story you know that we have been on the hunt since early last September to find us a new home. This year has definitely been the most difficult for me personally, but also the most rewarding. I don't want to go back. I want to move forward. Funny how we wouldn't trade all that hurt and disappointment for one single minute. God has brought us to a beautiful place of healing and growth, but most of all a flat out love for Him like never before!

God is faithful to move you forward when you are willing to move slowly and diligently. The last year has been more of a slow and steady pace with me and God. That is a true test for someone that has to constantly work on patience.

Soooooo......this is a little bit about our new home. Yep...it's a brand new denomination....Methodist to Baptist for anyone interested or may have a question or ten about that. And, yep....we know a whopping 15 people there. And yep....I may or may not be having issues with "fitting in." But that is what women do. We worry about fitting in and it's completely ridiculous isn't it? Geeez....that is a totally different post called "Why do women still battle insecurity at the age of 40? And in church for cryin' out loud!"

So, if you are a Baptist or have moved churches....I would love for you to share some beautiful words of "welcome" or something funny or something I may need to watch out for. ;)

Thank you Englewood Baptist Church for being our new home. I CANNOT wait to see what God has in store for me and my family. We are here to learn, love, grow and serve!!

Hang in there if you are in the search for a new church home. Having walked the road, I keep you tucked in close to my heart. He'll show you the way.

Now, excuse me while I dance my way down the Baptist aisle!! ;)
Hugs and blessings,
Fran

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Way to go preacher. Hit me smack between the eyes!

Last Sunday we were in church. I love this church so very much. I love this pastor so very much. The guy can BRING IT!!! He is simply pouring out so unselfishly what the Holy Spirit is pressing on his heart. It's such an awesome thing.

He was rockin' and rollin' along with his sermon and then somewhere he stopped to ask us parents 5 questions that I CANNOT LET GO OF. Apparently I am clearly convicted over one or three of these and have some work to do.

Here is a snippet of scripture and then the 5 questions.

Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about then when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframe of your houses and on your gates."

Ben defines "impressed" as being put on them forcefully to where it leaves a mark. We also CANNOT pass along what hasn't passed through us.

Ok, 5 questions to think about and truly pray over.

1. If my child asked "what is the gospel" could I answer them clearly and quote scripture?

2. When was the last time my child interrupted me in prayer?

3. If I died today, would my bible be a keepsake for my children?

4. Do I want my children to enjoy time with God?

5. If you asked your child "what is important to your parents?" would they answer God, church or the bible?

I hope you can't let this one go like I can't let it go.

What truly matters? We have a legacy to live for generations to come.

Hugs and blessings~
Fran

Monday, August 2, 2010

Teenage years.....pray a lot and love your hair wizard!

Well, detox is complete. And, I'm referring to the post vacation detox. Trying to get myself and these kiddos back on some kind of track, but I'm realizing they are having "end of the summer blues." Bless 'em. I think I hear a school bell ringing. ;)

I wanted to share a few pix of celebrating my oldest turning 14. Did you hear that? He is 14. Oh geez. How did I manage to have a child at 15? Oh, I kid. I'm 30 and not 29.

A few things to note when you have two teenagers that have really stopped me dead in my tracks...

*Not a shocker on this one, but parents do not parent the same. This gets especially interesting when you hit these teenage years. I'm learning just how conservative I am.

*This world is NUTS and you must know how to parents these teens. If you don't know what you are doing, find a friend or mentor who has walked the road and parents similar to you!

*I'm sick of beer and alcohol being "normal." I don't want my kids growing up in a bubble, but man we are competing against some pretty clever marketers. Movies and tv are just as bad. We gotta stay on top of what our kids are watching.

*GREATEST lesson at this stage....these kids are watching your every move. They are watching IT ALL. They are taking it all in. They want to see if things "line up" like you've been saying all these years.

*Talk, talk, talk, talk to your kids about EVERYTHING...and I mean everything. And not just the one time talk about sex, alcohol, drugs, bullying, mean kids, etc. Keep the conversation going and going and going. Find great resources for your area that can help you. It's a must!

Would you like to see some pix of the birthday celebration? Some are at my inlaws house and their pool. Some pix are here at our house with my mom and dad. Some pix are at Outback because the boy gets to pick the place.

Here is dad and birthday boy Clay and Dylan!

Me and Tyler!

The gang!

Swimming at the inlaws.......someone must be weird and mess up the cute pic. ;)


Playing some made up game that last FOREVAH!


His hair is like a porcupine when wet.

Handsome 14 year old


Oh great mom....this is stupid!


The homemade birthday cake!

Everyone but me and my dad :(


This makes me laugh because they are laughing. Awwwww!


I'll be writing a book on surviving the teen years. I need some distraction because I think all we do is pray every other minute, and sit in the hair wizard chair to cover all the grey that comes in by the day. ;)

Happy August!
Hugs and blessings~

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Detox




Time to get it into gear....but first a little detox.

We ate so much food while on vacation. Some was delicious. Some was not so delicious. My digestive system is in a bit of shock now that we are home and my boring routine food is back in my tummy again.

Sleep is whacked out. Digestive system is whacked out. But, what is killing me........

SCHOOL STARTS AUGUST 9th!!!!!!!!!!

As my friend Abby says....."what the junk?"

I'm going into vacation detox and then heading to Walmart for school supplies.

Stupid, I tell ya.

Please tell me we all start school this early. PLEASE!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beach, baseball, and friends!!










Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy and then sad

I'm happy and I'm sad.

I'm happy that we are at Orange Beach for baseball. But I am I sad that the beaches, roads, and restaurants are so empty. I will say that I really am surprised that the beaches look as good as they do. I was expecting A LOT worse so I'm happy that we can still get in the water with only a slight oil application to the skin. ;) It is funny to see people laying out in their just bought for vacation swimsuit and dude in a hazmat suit cleaning up right beside you.

I'm sad with you BP.

I am happy that we are here to watch 2 of my boys play in their annual "lets wrap this baseball season up by heading to the beach with our favorite families and happen to play some baseball too." I like this program. Sign me up all day long. And, the beauty of it is.....We are here for 12 glorious days. As my 9 year old says..."Praise the high heavens."

Aren't they a cute bunch?

This is where you will find me for the next oh several days. I know...woe is me. I do feel sad for my dogs though. They are with a darling college girl, but I'm thinkin' they may be slightly confused on the transition and when are they coming back concept? Oh, funny thing...last night, Sarah, sends me a text that says..."oh, everything is ok...just some cows in your yard and walking down the street." Silly me. I failed to mention the country life we live in. She wasn't freaked out too bad.

See....the gulf coast is still beautiful. Kids were in the water yesterday. But...wow...look at the slim crowd.

Breaks my heart BP. I'm sad over you.

Blessings y'all!! Lots of fun pix to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The info in my brain is about to BUST OUT!

My undiagnosed ADD is in HIGH GEAR right now and has been when it comes to this blog so let me spit out some interesting, disturbing, happy info that continues to spin around in my head.

** I had to strategically place myself in front of some magazines at Target the other day. WHY? Because that nutty plastic surgery junkie from Hollywood/LA and I totally can't think of her name right now.....was plastered on the front of this magazine talking about her boob jobs. WHAT IN THE WORLD PEOPLE???? Shoot me now. Poor nearly 14 year old boy. I'm sure he was wondering why mom was standing like a fool and not moving until we absolutely had to.

** To date I have not watched one solid episode of the Bachelorette. This is huge. Could care less about these guys. They seemed so weird from the get go and I think I had some insight into this summer season and said...."no thanks...can't handle the stupidity." But, really...this is not new to this show and I know that.

** I miss serving in a church. Really really really happy with where we have been going, but I'm ready to jump in and serve again.

** I obsessively check my kids facebook pages 627 times a day and am amazed and what is going on out there and there is not one thing I can realistically do about some pictures and words and junk that is happening on THE MIDDLE SCHOOL LEVEL. Step up to the plate parents and stop some of this mess.

** It's too hot to eat.

** Call me crazy, but Spongebob really does make me laugh.

** I'm jealous of the iphone people out there. No denial.

** I get to go to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores/Black Beach in a few weeks. Lots of documenting to come. And, I'll be ticked about it too. ;) Watch out BP.

** I want to put my kids in a bubble. Oldest will be 14 next month and life is about to drastically change. I'm not sure if I can handle it.


Whew....I feel so much better. Thanks for playing along.
Happy Summer!!! Don't burn up and melt.

Love ya!
Fran

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's all I know thus far!

This is what I'm doing this summer. It might seem a bit monotonous, but I'm totally loving it. It's my favorite people and I'm good with that.

The only thing I'M DONE WITH.....is this crazy, out of control heat!!! I mean we are melting down in the south people. What is up with the heat and humidity in mid June? I'm trying to stay grateful, but it's a huge challenge.

Ok, if you do not know what "Skinny Cow" ice cream is. PLEASE GO FIND SOME NOW!!! I bought these ice cream sandwiches at Target a few weeks ago and I'm in love. They are low fat and absolutely a gift from heaven. You'll be blessed. And, no....this isn't my picture. No way would I lay (lie) these sandwiches on their side and take a picture! ;)


Water of some kind is in order these days. Isn't he cute?

Little guy getting a baseball trophy last weekend. He is so precious. Love him!!!

Dude is saying..."please stop mom. You are so embarrassing."


Bwahahahahaha.....he has no idea I've taken 726 pix of this game!


Love these guys! Hope you are off to a fabulous summer. Please tell me what's your favorite part so far.

Or, feel free to share a favorite ice cream find that I might be missing too! :)

And, one more thing....still ticked at BP and the oil spill. I will be reporting live from Black Beach/Orange Beach in July.

Hugs and blessings~
Fran

I blog so you can get a glimpse into my life as wife, mom of 3 boys, and someone who simply wants to bless others along the way. Have fun and be sweet :)

Boy 1

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