Saturday, March 2, 2019

Happy 10th Birthday Lawson

Lawson is our spunky, funny, creative and kind second son who turns double digits today!  How can it be that we have had ten quick years with this sweet one?!  He brings fun to our family with his desire to have frequent dance parties and to keep us laughing with his jokes.  He feels deeply and gives the best hugs for sure.  He makes friends easily and is a go with the flow (fly by the seat of his pants) kind of kid.  He's always up for an adventure or doing something creative whether that's building a fort in the woods, building Mine Craft worlds or of late, making family videos on the iPad.  He tells us he'd like to either be an inventor or an architect...I do believe he could do either of those jobs very well!
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Lawson James, ten years ago when I first laid eyes on you, my initial comment to your daddy was, "he has such skinny legs, just like G-Dad's!"  I can't believe today, how big you are and how strong you have become.  You are still quite skinny but you are scrappy.  You enjoy playing flag football, basketball and soccer with friends and have a good time doing it.  Your family enjoys cheering you on and watching whatever sport you play.

This boy brings a smile to my face with his insights and comments about spiritual things.  He is learning how to apply the word of God to his every day life and the situations that the Lord presents him with.  Things don't always come easy for Lawson but he pushes through the struggles and we are so very proud of the young man he is becoming.  Perseverance and self control are areas we see him growing in.  Lawson we couldn't love you more.  You are a precious young man and we are so grateful to be your parents!
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This picture is a fairly good representation of Lawson's lease on life....to have fun, no matter what!  Whether we're at the lake, at home, on the ski lopes, with friends or family, you always have a good time, making memories and having fun!   We are thankful for you today, Happy Birthday Bud!!
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Monday, January 21, 2019

Emerson's 8th Birthday Party

Emerson's birthday is right after the Christmas break and I always seem to need a few extra days to get invitations out, so we had a belated laser tag party that I think was well worth the wait!
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I'd seen an advertisement for Rock Town Mobile Lazer Tag and I couldn't have been more pleased with Coach B, he was amazing!!   From the online reservation to creating a great "battle field" and showing the boys how to use the real-deal-holy-field guns--scopes and all--was a momma's dream--easy peasy, lemon squeezy!!  Rock Town Mobile Lazer Tag touched base with me thru email to confirm the party and then checked in a few days before the special day with a confirmation text--they are an excellent company that I would highly recommend!  My boys were in heaven and Coach B blew my boys minds when he set up the .50 caliber de-commisioned weapon straight from Iraq that he had retrofitted to be a lazer gun.  To say the boys (and Adam--who has prior military service) were impressed, is a complete and total understatement.  (Side note: Coach B and Adam had both been to Iraq and were deployed to some of the same Forward Operating Bases in Iraq during OIF 3.)  He literally just finished doing events for Alabama, the Razorbacks and Clemson's football teams--if he's good enough for those athletes he was MORE THAN ENOUGH for these 8 years olds!  Seriously, if you want to have fun, contact Rock Town Mobile Lazer Tag
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Coach B was the total bomb!  He was energetic, fun to be around and had the boys complete and total attention from start to finish!
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He had quite a cache of weapons for the boys to choose from!  The blue gun was for the birthday boy!  (Notice each gun has its own scope to look through.)
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Coach B helped guide the boys on where to hide and how to be creative in order to accomplish the missions he set up for them.
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These two fellas make me smile!
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This little cutie patootie even got in on a little of the action.
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One of the activities Coach B had the boys do was a "quick-draw" style mission where he had the guns one step out from them and they had to quickly grab it and shoot their opponent.  Maddox ended up being the winner on this one!
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Another activity was where he challenged the boys to be the first man to get to the tent "alive"--that winner won $10--and Wesley won that round.IMG_6184
Adam may have had as much fun as the boys did!
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Isn't this little-nephew-sniper of mine the cutest you ever did see?
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With cupcakes from the Cupcake Factory, Chex Mix and green chocolate balls for "shrapnel", pretzel sticks for bazookas and Whoppers for "bullets", I'd say it was smiles all around for these tasty treats.
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I think it's safe to say Emerson had a blast!  He's literally been talking about it all day today.  Though it was quite cold, we stayed warm with the hot chocolate and hand warmers.  We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with you Emerson Clark Head.  Daddy and I sure love you bud!  Happy Birthday!
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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Happy Birthday Emerson

Emerson Clark Head, how can he be 8 years old today?  This sweet boy of ours is pretty easy going, happy most of the time and shows great concern and care for his friends and family.  He's quick to stand up for someone who is being made fun of (including his siblings) and will fiercely defend them.  Emerson Clark, you are a true gift to our family and we couldn't imagine our world without you in it.

I absolutely love this picture that Jenny McHam captured of him.   If pictures made noise, you'd hear this boys belly laughter coming on real strong...I can "hear" it every time I look at this picture and it makes me smile.  Emerson is our jokester, he loves to read jokes, tell jokes and make others laugh. He brings real joy and delight to our family and we are so thankful for his light hearted nature.
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Emerson has always been enthralled with cowboys, so we decided to try horseback riding lessons.   In the last year he has learned how to take care of horses, how to get them saddled up and how to ride.  It's been fun to watch him grow in this area--gaining confidence in the barn and while handling Gigi and Max.
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Catching balls inside a cone while riding a moving horse takes balance and coordination and he is GREAT at this little exercise.

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This sweet boy of mine loves to read, do Lego's, play with his brothers, write letters to friends, and keep things in some semblance of order.  We could not imagine our family without Emerson in it.  He is a kind hearted, thoughtful, loving little boy who gives the very best hugs!  My heart swells with pride when I think of him wrapping those skinny arms around my waist and pulling me close for a hug telling me, "Mom, I sure love you.  Thanks for signing me up for basketball and for taking me each week" (... or to horseback riding or for making his favorite meal, etc...this little boy is grateful and appreciative, and I love him to the moon and back!)
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Emerson-We hope today you know how much Daddy and I love you and are so thankful that God placed you in our family!  Happy Birthday bud!
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Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Highs and Lows of 2018

High: 2018 started out by us adding a new member to our family. Then in February, we went back to get him for good when he was 8 weeks old.  Adam was pretty excited about this little adventure, I on the other hand was less enthusiastic, but got on board after seeing this cute little face.
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Major loved Adam from the get go.  I thought this was a cute picture of him looking up at Adam.
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Major was quiet and calm the entire ride home and fell asleep in Peyton's lap, it was pretty sweet.  (He weighed about 15 lbs when we got him.)  At 8 months old we sent him to Duck Retrieval School for then next four months.  We had some sad kiddos and a teary Momma too, which was surprising to me, when we left him in Arkadelphia.  We went down monthly to see his progress and the improvements he was making.  
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In November we got Major back from training.  He's great at all his commands to "heel", "sit", "stay" and he certainly knows when we say "Major" that it means to fetch the dummy.  
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Low:  He is still just a puppy.  A 75 pound, energetic puppy who loves to be near us.  So when we have left him outside on the deck, he has tried his best to be with us, whether that meant chewing the wood frames on our screened in porch or simply pulling off the screens.  This is typical lab puppy behavior, so I am trying to be gracious.  We have literally removed everything from the porch that he could ruin, it did not stop him from moving the furniture, wrinkling up the rug and making an all around ruckus.  We now have a project to fix the back porch once we work through this little hiccup of dog ownership.  
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High: Getting to chaperone the 5th and 6th grade trip to Space Camp.  Getting to know some of the students better as well as some of the parents was really great. We had the opportunity to build our very own rockets that actually were built with an engine and were launched the next day.
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Low: Was riding back on that charter bus for hours and hours with all those screaming kids.  This momma was ready to get off the crazy bus!

High: Adam and I had the chance to host and support two local political races in 2018.  The first one we hosted at our house, was for Eric Higgins, a dear family friend, who was voted in as Pulaski County Sheriff.  The other race that we were happy to support, was for Frank Scott Jr who also ran in a heated race and won!  We look forward to 2019 and what these two men will be able to accomplish within our communities.  Both of them were sworn into office yesterday.  May the Lord give them wisdom and discernment  in all the decisions they will be making.IMG_6569
High: We had the chance to take several family trips this year to Great Wolf Lodge, Memphis and to Branson.  Great Wolf Lodge is a get away where we could all have fun being together cause there's a little bit of something for everyone.  I loved spending time with these sweet people of mine.
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Every other year we go to the beach with Adam's family.  It's always fun to be at the beach together.  The cousins enjoyed the bunk rooms and the adults enjoyed moments to visit and catch up whether it was while sitting on the beach, playing in the water or eating one of the many scrumptious meals.
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We spent some time in Springfield and then a few days in Branson Missouri with my parents while Adam was on a work trip which made for a fun few days for us all--being together and making memories is always a great way to spend our time.  The Wonders of Life National Museum and Aquarium (in Springfield) is so well done.  If you're looking for a quick place to visit, I'd recommend it.  
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Here was most of our group minus my Aunt Debbi and Mike on our trip to Memphis, which is the halfway spot for most of this Little Rock/Nashville crew. 
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We concluded our weekend at Jim n Nick's BBQ and the side of their famous mac n cheese was delicious as promised!
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Low: I only get to see these family members once a year (maybe twice if I'm lucky) but its always great getting to catch up.

High: Having season tickets to the Broadway shows that came to Little Rock is really fun!  We were able to take the kids and see The Lion King, which they LOVED! 

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High: Adam and I were able to visit California twice this year, which was really fun!  In May he had a cancer conference to attend in San Fransisco so I tagged along and enjoyed a few days sleeping in  as late as I wanted, then reading in bed til I was ready to get up and around.  It was awesome!  The second trip we took was out to Napa with some couple friends which was a blast!
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Low:  All good things must come to an end.

High: Getting to take a girls trip with these precious ladies, who I am so grateful and blessed to have in my life, was amazing!  Road tripping without kids is AWE-SOME!  Five days with no interruptions, the sand on my feet, the sound of the waves crashing, a heavy dose of charcuterie boards for lunch (and snacking) and talking til wee hours of the morning was a delight!  We were definitely in Vacay Mode and LOVED every.single.minute of it!
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Low: That it may be way too many years before we get to do this precious trip again. 😢 

HighWe attended a lot of fun CARTI events that kept us hopping all year long.  Meeting new people and hearing Adam share what CARTI is doing for the state of Arkansas was really wonderful.  We got to see a newly renovated CARTI clinic open in Conway, the land deal signed for the North Little Rock clinic to be built, as well as help raise money for the Foundation at Rajun Cajun and other events this past fall.  Watching the Lord's faithfulness in Adam's work arena has been a real bright spot of this year.  Seeing the physicians and administration, nurses and staff, the Board and Foundation coming together around a common cause--the cancer patients of Arkansas--has been extremely rewarding.  Seeing the Lord's gracious blessings on this amazing organization over the past 15 months or so has really been exciting.  We look forward with eager anticipation to what 2019 holds.
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Low:  2018 will go down as one of the most challenging years of our lives aside from Adam's year long deployment to Iraq (2005-2006) and the year Ava Jane was born and needed emergency heart surgery and round the clock medications (2012).  There has been much growth but not without lots of counseling from friends and professionals.  This year has required the "strengthening of muscles" that hadn't had much, if any,  prior use.  The working out of unused "muscles" has had its painful and very "sore"/"raw" moments which have left both Adam and I ready to close this chapter and ring in a new year.  Thankfully, we serve a faithful God who knew the things we would experience in 2018--He is the One who allowed the challenging and sometimes heart breaking circumstances to occur.   Our God is acquainted with pain and sorrow, with misunderstanding and suffering---that is why we are so appreciative of the salve He has been on our "wounds"; we can say with confidence, that He has gone before and behind us as our hedge of protection.  He carried us each and every day; He sustained us; He walked through the fire with us and we came out on the other side....but not unscathed.  I have "scars", we both have reminders of the things we faced this year--the battles God allowed in our lives but we also have the "memorial stones" we will pile up each and every time we recount the circumstances we walked through and the faithful presence of our Lord EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. of 2018.  I am more grateful for the Holy Spirit, for the peace the Lord provides and for the security I have in my relationship with Him.  Focusing on His faithfulness, His goodness, His sovereignty has sustained me in my hardest moments.

High: The cherry on top of this challenging and difficult year culminated last weekend when my baby sister stood before her closest friends and family to make a commitment before God and those witnesses to declare that she will love and cherish, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health til death do they part.  I had the privilege of standing next to her in support of their promises, Adam had the opportunity to perform the service, our kids were involved and got to see first hand what a wedding day entails but more then that, we all have gotten to see over the last weeks, months and year, how her new husband loves her and her son so well--he is the answer to all our prayers!  Having lived up close to this story I can say unequivocally that I am thrilled beyond measure for this couple, for what the future holds for them and for the redemption story that God is weaving.  (Here's a few pics from my phone, I can't wait to see the ones the photographer took!)
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Congratulations you two!  We pray God's many blessings upon you.

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2018, you had it all, highs and lows, and we are thankful to have closed out this chapter and look forward with eager anticipation to what 2019 will bring.  May the Lord bless each of you in this New Year!

Happy 10th Birthday Lawson

Lawson is our spunky, funny, creative and kind second son who turns double digits today!  How can it be that we have had ten quick years wit...