Sunday, January 15, 2017

Celebrating Emerson

Monday we celebrated Emerson's birthday, he has now been apart of our family for 6 whole years.   I still vividly remember the whirl wind story of his birth which consisted of me being in the hospital, Adam being at our house with packers and movers in the middle of the 2011 snow-pocalypse as we prepared to move to Birmingham with a two week old baby.  It was a truly crazy time of our life as I look back on it, but in the midst of it all, I simply enjoyed holding my red headed bundle of joy and having family around to help me with my 4 year old, 2 year old and my sweet baby boy.

Our Emerson Clark is growing to be such a kind young boy who laughs quite a lot and who has a real zeal for life.  Every morning he wakes up with a smile and a, "good morning Mom", spoken in his sweetest little boy voice.  Going in to wake him up each morning is a real pleasure because of how chipper he is, he truly loves each and every day.

This boy loves to have fun.  Whether its playing Lego's, having Nerf wars, playing games, watching movies or simply being with his brothers, he usually is found having a good time.
We have been so proud of him lately as he has been remembering to say "Yes Mama or No Mama" and his manners all around have been improving.  He easily memorizes scripture and enjoys the challenge of remembering several verses in a row.  (A fist bump goes a long way with him---it's the simple things in life, huh?!)  According to his teacher, he sees things differently.  There was a picture that she showed the kids in the class, everyone else said exactly what the picture was supposed to be but Emerson said that he saw something all together different.  After Mrs. Campbell re-looked at the picture, examining it for what Emerson saw, she said, "in all the years I've been teaching Kindergarten, no one has ever seen it that way, and when I inspected it myself, it certainly could've been exactly what Emerson saw."  I look forward to what God does with this little guy, he's articulate, has a depth of knowledge about God's word that is fun to see growing and hearing his perspective on things is really quite interesting.

We love our cowboy dressing, Lego making, fun-time having cute little guy.  Happy Birthday Emerson, we love you with all our hearts!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Its a New Year...

I can hardly believe that we just rang in 2017, how can that be?  Seems unbelievable how fast life is flying by.   We had originally planned to spend NYE with our supper club but several had trouble finding sitters and several were sick so Adam and I decided to ring in the New Year with a couple of friends and their families.

We ate together while the kids watched a movie and the parents enjoyed a card game of Golf and some good laughs.  Hanging out with our ten kids and ringing in the New Year at ten o'clock...we are crazy wild around here!   It's always fun to with good friends though.  Aren't these cookies that Carol made just awesome?!  Almost too good to eat....almost!
Six days into the New Year, we experienced our first snow day of the season.  The kids were thrilled  that school was cancelled and so was I, to be honest.  We had a big breakfast and then everyone got all their many layers and we headed outside for a little fun.  We took a walk through the woods behind our house and then trekked over to the park nearby.  It honestly took longer to get their ski clothes on then we actually stayed outside, simply because it was so super de-duper cold.  But we did go outside and have a little "adventure" in the woods and of course came back in for hot chocolate and chili.  I enjoyed having the kids home, having a low key morning with them just building Lego's and playing together, was really so nice.
We experienced our first cyber school and I was a tad shocked at how much homework the kids needed to finish that day.  All three boys literally spent three hours doing homework that afternoon and there were definitely some tears to deal with.  I had to remind Lawson (and myself) that this was really a good thing, "this way you don't have to add any days and go into summer break!"  That fact did little to console him and therefore did little to help me since the whining and fusing continued.  Thankfully we made it through our whiny afternoon.

I love the start of a New Year, it feels like its a blank slate to evaluate what's worked and what hasn't, what I'd like to continue or what I'd like to push to the wayside.  There's plenty of things I'd like to see go by the wayside: my bad attitude, impatience and the bad words that bounce around in my head sometimes and even flow out of my mouth.  I'm hoping to continue memorizing two verses a month and helping the kids remember them too as well as reading through The Daily Bible.  Adam and I are also implementing something I've wanted to do for several years now.  The highlight of my Christmas holiday is receiving all the Christmas cards people send to us.   
I always keep the cards year after year and for 2017 we are committing to praying for one family each week.  By hole punching the Christmas cards and putting them on a ring, we are hoping to stay better connected with friends and also pray for them more intentionally.  I've been emailing and texting to get specific prayer requests from our friends and we are hoping that our children will get to see how they can pray specifically for others.  Getting to watch as God answers those prayers and seeing how He provides for each of the specific situations, even if it's not how we thought it would be answered or when we wanted it to happen.  I'm looking forward to this so very much and getting to see more of what God is up to.

I do hope your 2017 is off to a good start.  Ours has been fairly slow paced yet steady with random incidentals like me spending five hours in the ER last Monday with a horrible headache and a numb right hand and arm thinking I was having a stroke.  But no, after a CT scan and MRI, it was just a migraine, praise the LORD.   Unfortunately my head has continued to hurt every day since then so I'm hoping that will go away soon.  We had Ava Jane's yearly cardiology appointment and it went great.  Dr. Bornemeire was pleased at how well her Echo looked and said she seems to be doing terrific, which was really encouraging.  They are keeping a watch on her mitral valve which is still a sluggish but not bad enough to fix right now, so we are praising God for another good report.  

Lawson passed out in PE and hit the floor face first resulting in a huge egg knot on his cheek and a busted lip.  We ended up at All For Kids and determined it was just a vasovagal response after they checked his blood pressure and blood sugar levels, hopefully that won't happen again!  So welcome 2017, I look forward to what other things might be in store...I'm certain it will keep me hopping and totally dependent on the Lord for strength.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

December's Recap: It's been crazy!

Well it's been a month since I last blogged.  I've been a tiny bit preoccupied with all the regular December events, parties, programs and oh,  did I mention we moved?  To say December 2016 has had me hopping is a bit of an understatement.

We started off the month by seeing Elf at the newly renovated Robinson Auditorium, it was really well done and a fun way to spend an evening with friends.
Lawson started off the Christmas program season with his solo performance in the second grade musical at his school.  In the days leading up to the performance he asked Adam and I to pray for him because, "Mom, its gonna be the biggest day of my life!"  How cute is he?  He stepped right up to the mic with no hesitation and sang really well.  We were so proud of him.
Just two days later Adam MC-ed the Arkansas Heart Hospitals Christmas program.  He did a great job if I do say so myself, and do I think everyone there had a good time.
I enjoyed spending the evening with these fun people!
We visited with Santa at the Christmas brunch.
And afterwards, this was the best picture we could get.
G-Dad, Gigi and the grands.
Peyton's fourth grade went to the Capitol to tell the story of Jesus' birth and sing a few Christmas carols too.  I was so proud of them as these young girls and boys quoted the entire chapter of Luke 2, recounting the birth of our Savior.   I had chill bumps hearing God's word spoken in unison with all the many voices!
And when I wasn't at a party or planning for one, I was literally up to my chin in boxes and packing paper as I wrapped up our entire home in a week and a half.  We found a house and made a non-contingent offer, but thankfully we did sell our house, and it was on the market and sold within three weeks, thanks to McLellan and Associates!  We had 2-3 showings almost every day during that time (it was so much work to keep it show ready at a minutes notice--I'm grateful it was only on the market three weeks) and we only had one open house that had more then thirty visitors come through; we were thankful for all the interest!   And though I had done a good bit of purging and organizing over the last year, I still had quite a bit of stuff to pack in those boxes, but I got 'er done!
We moved everything except the furniture, we had some movers do that heavy lifting.  Thankfully we had family who pitched in a ton, friends who carried boxes up and down stairs and for several days was had friends and new neighbors delivering breakfast, lunch and dinner which was so very kind and thoughtful!  These three little helpers were total champs, have I mentioned how much I love them?!
They took a little time out for some Chick-Fil-A sustenance when our friends brought it by.
And these two cuties found chocolate candy in the pantry and were having a big time in there.
This was one of the last pictures Adam snapped as we finished up moving things from our old home.  It was a great house with nice neighbors.  We have many memories from Stoneview Court and will treasure the time we had there.
Upon moving in, we had a few things go awry.  It was only the coldest days we have seen in Little Rock this winter season (as in 16 degrees at night) and of course, the flame sensor on the downstairs furnace went out.  We waited four days for the Home Warranty company to come out and take a gander at it, which I completely know is a first world problem.  In light of what some experience, four days without heat is a cake walk, but when I had to sleep in my North Face fleece plus fleecy robe with socks just to keep from shivering, I was ready for the Home Warranty company to show up and do their thing.  The same day that they finally came out, we also had an upstairs toilet over flow creating an unwanted water feature right smack dab in the middle of my kitchen.  Water poured down the wall for quite a while and dripped for hours after the water was turned off.  Oh and let me remind you, our heat was lets just say, I had icicles forming on my crown molding....not exactly what I was hoping for the day all four kids class Christmas parties were occurring.  I ended up just dropping the items I was responsible for in each class and rushing back to the house to relieve Adam so he could get to a morning meeting.  It felt crazy and completely chaotic, but thankfully it all got fixed and there doesn't appear to be any water damage!  PHEW!

Since I was dealing with the water issue I completely missed each one of the kids class Christmas parties, but thanks to several mom friends I was able to get these cute pictures!  These two are becoming good friends in their pre-k 3 class, thanks to her Momma for these pictures.
Emerson's class caroled around the Elementary campus before their party started.  Oh how I love this little Santa helper.
Lawson and Kate have been friends half their lives, I'm so thankful they are in class together!
School let out and that was a welcomed reprieve that was for me.  Having no routine or place to be first thing in the morning was wonderful as we unpacked loads of boxes as I dawned warm gloves and my long down puffy parka, since my house was freezing!

Adam's dad has gotten Razorback basketball tickets to the Little Rock game the last several years so the big boys went with them and Uncle Johnny.
Lawson honed in on the foam finger selling guy, and Adam was hard pressed to not purchase said "gift".  From the looks of this picture, I'm thinking he was thrilled!
While the bigs did their thing, Ava Jane, Emerson and I went to eat pizza and watch Sing.  It was such a great movie, had fun on our little date.
We had made plans to go to Garvan Gardens with friends to see the annual, beautiful Christmas lights but the heating company came late that afternoon and I wasn't about to reschedule their appointment! So we punted and did dinner downtown at the Flying Fish.
Then we hung out and had dessert.

Christmas morning was fun as the kids opened their gifts and we celebrated Jesus' birthday.
Our church had a late morning service so we went and worshipped the birth of Jesus together.
My dear Aunt Debbi drove over from Nashville to spend some time with us.  I loved getting to catch up in person, she's such a thoughtful Aunt and I hope to be the same for my nieces and nephews!
December has been fast and furious, but I've loved the past few days of time spent with my people, settling into a new normal and just enjoying time together watching movies, eating good food, having dance parties and simply being together.  There's definitely been some sibling conflicts but for the most part, this Christmas break has really been sweet.  Hope you're holiday has held good times and wonderful memories made.  As 2017 sneaks up on us, I hope you're New Year is filled with blessings from the Lord and precious moments spent with friends and family.

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