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Dec 17, 2014

To My Daughter

When the kids at school like to squeeze your little cheeks and tell you how cute you are, and you get more and more annoyed every day...I see you.

When the girl sitting next to you moves her lunchbox to sit with friends at another table...I see you.

When the kids at recess tell you they don't want to play with you...I see you.

When you do something nice for a friend and they don't understand...I see you.

When your friends talk about each other behind their backs and you just want to treat everyone the same...I see you.

When the girl brags about all the new toys she got for her birthday...I see you.

When kids laugh or make fun of you...I see you.

Years ago, I was you. And I still struggle with those same feelings when I'm around certain people at different points in life. You feel left out. You feel like you don't fit in, like you're the only one. You feel lonely. You feel scared and afraid. You feel like you don't matter.

But, God has given us so much more. All we have to do is receive it.

"I am a child of God." John 1:12
"I am a friend of Jesus." John 15:15
"I am a new creature in Christ." 2 Corinthians 5:17
"I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved." Colossians 3:12
"I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ." Ephesians 1:7
"I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Ephesians 1:13
"I have boldness and confident access to God through faith in Christ." Ephesians 3:12
"I have been set free in Christ." Galatians 5:1
"God supplies all my needs." Philippians 4:19
"God loves me and has chosen me." 1 Thessalonians 1:4

I'm proud of you, baby girl. You are brave. You are beautiful. You are loved. You will never go unnoticed.
 
You are a princess. The daughter of a King.

I pray these moments - some not-so-fun teachable moments - will help you grow into a Godly young woman full of love, full of mercy, full of grace.

May God's blessings shine all around you.

Dec 16, 2014

Pajama Christmas Party

On Monday after school, we had a pajama Christmas party for some of our dear friends. We invited Mary Hudson and her sister Caroline and Aubrey and her little sister Kennedy. These kids - and mama's - had a great time!

The food:

It was simple - we served popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate, lemonade or chocolate milk.




"Frozen" heart and Santa cookies:


The decorations:

I had coffee cups and cute antlers for everyone to wear. (Thank you, Dollar Tree.)



My little cuties before friends arrived:


First, it was snack time. Then, I read The Legend of the Candy Cane and gave everyone candy canes to take home.


The rest of the time was spent decorating gingerbread houses, watching Christmas movies and having fun with our friends!





Even Jake participated - so glad! :)






And here's proof - at the end of the day, things may not always be rosy with this many kids around, but we're thankful for friends and all the fun they bring. Especially at Christmastime!

Dec 12, 2014

Winter Band Concert

Jacob played trombone in the winter band concert at school last night, and the 7th and 8th graders (combined) did a fabulous job! They had a new band director this year, and Scot and I were really, really impressed.
 








Jake had a little speaking part before this one:





Such a fun night to get away and see this kid in action!


(And then there's always real life too...)

Dec 8, 2014

Connor's 3rd Birthday

Connor's 3rd birthday was yesterday! We had a simple little family party at home - complete with brownies, Publix cookies, yogurt drinks and chocolate milk. His favorites!
 
Singing to the big birthday boy:
 




He had a little trouble blowing out the candle, so daddy had to step in and help!



Celebrating with Grammy + Papa, Uncle Kris + Aunt Jenn and cousins:



Connor's plate full of deliciousness (that he was too excited to eat):


Time for presents:




The only thing he asked for - a big fire truck!




This kid was in heaven.



And he had a lot of helpers. :)





Another favorite - a fireman dress-up costume:





Here are three things we love about our "little dude" Connor:

1. He is the sweetest and loudest kid ever. (We're working on the loud part.)

2. He loves being the center of attention, so we treasure those moments and make sure he doesn't feel forgotten.

3. His laugh. He spits, he giggles, he makes funny faces, he acts crazy, he runs around...he is definitely all-boy, but he sure brings a ton of joy to our family of five.

So grateful for your life and all the joy that you bring. We love you so much, Connor! Can't believe it's here, but happy #3!!

Dec 5, 2014

More Than Just a Table

Right before Thanksgiving, we sold our first dining set - a mahogany dining table with 8 chairs - that we bought when we first got married. For nine years, it's been used in countless meals for family and friends. Family devotions, special talks. Birthday parties. Holidays. Homework and crafts. Laundry-folding. Occasional time-outs for the kids.

There were scratches on the table, nicks on the chairs. Legs were wobbly. The upholstered seats were splitting. We didn't just give away a piece of furniture to a new family. We gave away a piece full of love.

And now we're ready to create new memories and love with a brand new one.

(Thanks to a sweet man named Johnny in Ashland City who designed and handcrafted this beautiful farmhouse table and benches at such an affordable cost. Can't thank him enough.)





It's more than just a table. It's truly something we'll use and treasure forever - and, hopefully, even pass down to our children one day. The memories and moments are just waiting to be shared...

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