Monday, December 29, 2008

Answered prayer?

Ever since our children were born, I have tried to convince Brother that a christian education would be extremely beneficial to them. He saw nothing wrong with public schools and I will agree that we are very fortunate to have an excellent public school system here in Guntersville. He and I both attended Guntersville from kindergarten til graduation and had wonderful experiences. He went on to Auburn and I to Lipscomb. There was such a huge difference in public and private educations. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to be surrounded by people who believed in the same God and had the same values as me. God was a part of every class you attended and we had uplifting chapel everyday. I just really wanted Rollins and Grady to share some of those same experiences. Well, the school I want to send them to is in Huntsville, and Brother said it makes no sense to drive there everyday when there is a wonderful school here in Guntersville.
I had pretty much given up my argument, when Brother got a call one day from his boss. They were wanting him to relocate to Huntsville. I didn't think much of it because I know how he said he would never leave Guntersville. We talked about it and weighed in on the pros and cons. The pros were endless. What better way to grow a business than to move to a much much larger city? However, the cons were leaving our families, all of which are here in Guntersville. Also, Rollins has already formed some wonderful friendships and I would hate to take her away from that. So, we really didn't talk much about it through the holidays, then the call came this morning. They had to know today if he was going to relocate. I didn't try to persuade him one way or the other because I wanted him to make this decision--I honestly just put it in God's hands because I had no idea myself what to do.
Well, he took the relocation. I have to be honest, I almost cried when he first told me but I have to be supportive and trust that God is working through this with us. Since our house in on the north side of Guntersville, we are going to stay here for a little bit to see how everything goes. If we see that this is where God wants us, we will then move. We have already started looking at real estate there, but have no idea which part of town we would even want to live in. We have decided to keep the lake lot and probably build a cabin so we would have some place to stay when we come visit.
This is exciting but very scary. We don't know that many people in Huntsville, so Brother is going to have to do a good job of networking. Please keep our family in your prayers as we face many important life decisions in the next several months.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The scare of my life

Today was suppost to be a restful day at home. After a very busy and eventful Christmas Holidays, I was looking forward to just spending time with Brother, Rollins and Grady. We had some friends come over to bring their daughter, Ella, to play with the kids and jump on the trampoline Santa brought us. My neice and her friend also stopped by. We were all standing around the trampoline talking, while the kids were jumping. All of a sudden, Rollins starts screaming. Brother said she landed on her back and he was in a panic because he thought she was really hurt. I got her off the trampoline, and I was holding her like you would hold a baby, trying to decide what to do. All of a sudden, she immediately stopped screaming, her body went limp and her eyes rolled back in her head. Brother was standing right there with me when it happened, and I screamed, "oh my God!" and started running to the house. I have seen someone have a seizure, and that was exactly what happened before they started convulsing. However, this only lasted for a few seconds, which seemed like an eternity, and by the time I was almost in the house, she was back crying. We laid her on her bed and after we determined she hadn't hurt her back, Brother said he was going to take the trampoline down, which Rollins, who was still crying said, "no, I want to jump!" I can't tell you how bad this scared me today. I have never really thought about how to handle a situation like this when it involved my own child. I took all the first aid and cpr courses as a part of my health class in college, but I don't think I could have recalled any of it, if I were to have needed it today. I still don't know what happened to Rollins, but trust me, Dr. Boggess will definitely be getting a call this week. Words will never be able to describe the feeling that overcomes you when your child goes limp in your arms. It's by far the scariest thing I have ever experienced.

This is a picture of Rollins jumping on the trampoline. Brother has now decided not to take the trampoline down, because Rollins loves it so much. Accidents are going to happen and you can't go through your life avoiding everything. I just trust that God is in charge and he will take care of me and my family. Brother and I have both been very upset all day about it. Neither of us could get enough of her hugs and kisses tonight. Thank you so much God for taking care of my baby today!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rollin's Dance Show

Rollins's dance class allowed the parents to come in and watch this past Monday and I wanted to post a few pictures. For those of you that know Rollins, she is a very energetic and outgoing child. Once she gets warmed up, she will talk, dance and sing and never get tired. Her attention span is not the best in the world, so dance has been quite a challenge. Gymnastics, on the other hand, has been wonderful for her because you are constantly changing what you do and it's more of an individual sport. However, Rollins absolutely loves dance, so I continue to let her go, even though she disrupts class with her quirky ways. As soon as we walked in the room, she said hey ___ to everyone she knew. When she called out to Grady, she said, "hey grady grobes!" She even said, "hey julie ann" to ann daniel's mother. She was so excited to see everyone, so she got up and started dancing around the room. They hadn't even started, yet she was already getting told to sit down. I couldn't hide my face, because everyone knew who she belonged to--you can't miss her red hair and bubbly personality from the time she walks in the door. Anyway, this is probably the only picture I have of her doing what she is suppose to.
I did manage to get a couple shots of her participating, but notice the child next to her on the left is standing--I guess Rollins was doing her own dance.

I love this picture because you can tell she is really trying.

This is after the program, while they are suppose to be sitting while Mrs. Jane talks. Rollins, however, is working on her facial expressions. I really shouldn't complain about her disposition because I couldn't ask for a happier and friendlier child. However, I do think she might be better in the acting and singing classes they offer. Until then, we will stick with dance so Rollins can watch herself in the big mirrors.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Amazing Faith

Amazing Faith I have to say that today, I saw God in a way that I had never seen him before. Brother's uncle Mack has been in and out of the hospital the past two weeks and within the last week, his condition began to deteriorate. He developed Pneumonia, ARDS and coded Monday morning. Not knowing if he was going to pull through, Brother, Rollins and I headed to Birmingham this morning. Once we got there, we realized how serious the situation was. His chances of surviving the ARDS was 10%. I think everyone knew the inevitable was going to happen very soon.

If you do not know this family, let me share a little bit about them with you. Mack is an elder in our church, he is on the board of directors at Lipscomb University, and he is just an amazing Christian leader, father and husband. His wife and children share in his love for God and they are all wonderful leaders in the church. I have been fortunate enough to know them my whole life. I started babysitting all his grandchildren from the time they were infants, and I had the wonderful opportunity to watch them grow into the young women and men they are today. This family is focused on God and they have a special gift of music.

While Rollins and I went to the other waiting room to get a snack, I noticed another family in there that you could tell was going through the same thing as the Whitaker family. Not too long after I got back in our waiting room, Kim, Mack's daughter-in-law, walked in with the other family and introduced them to everyone. It was at this moment that I saw God's presence in that hospital waiting room. Joe, Mack's son stood up and said, "let's sing Beulah Land". We all stood up, joined hands and began to sing--Joe is an amazing singer--he is our songleader at church and he did the music for our wedding. His voice is like an angel's. It was hard to hold back the tears, especially as I watched Diane, Mack's wife, sing her praises to God while her husband was taking some of his final breaths. Here are the lyrics to the song. They are very touching especially considering the situation.

I'm kind of homesick for a country,
To which I’ve never been before.
No sad good-byes, will there be spoken,
For time won’t matter, anymore.
Beulah Land, I’m longing for you,
And some day, on thee I’ll stand.
There my home shall be eternal,
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.
I’m looking now across the river
Where my faith will end in sight.
There’s just a few more days to labor,
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Beulah Land, I’m longing for you,
And some day, on thee I’ll stand.
There my home shall be eternal,
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.
There my home shall be eternal,
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land.
Beulah Land,Beulah Land,Beulah Land,
Sweet Beulah Land.

At the end of the song, our preacher, whom Brother and I both adore, Philip Bradley, led a prayer, praying for the two families. At the end of the prayer, Joe led us in one of my favorite songs, A Common Love. I realized that God brought these two families that have never met before together and to share a common love, God's love and to give eachother peace. The words of this song tells us that although we may be strangers, we have so much in common when we have God in our lives. I think Joe does such a wonderful job at picking just the right songs to sing. I wanted to share the lyrics to this song as well.

A common love for each other,
A common gift to the Savior.
A common bond holding us to the Lord.
A common strength when we're weary.
A common hope for tomorrow,
A common joy in the truth of God's Word.

Brother was right out the door and said even the nurses stopped to listen and he said a couple of them got emotional. To me, this is a testament of this families amazing faith in God. Even in the lowest moments, they are able to give praise to God and know that he is their savior. I can only hope and pray that Brother and I can raise a family like this. We had a talk on the way home about how we wanted to make changes in each of our lives to be more like Mack and Diane.

Uncle Mack lost his earthly battle a little after 5 this evening, but he has won the most important battle, and now he has eternal life with God in heaven. Even in his last moments on this earth, he was touching individuals he didn't even know. I am so proud to be a part of this family and get to have the experiences like I had today. Despite the sadness of the day, I learned so much about faith and God's love.

Uncle Mack, you will be missed by so many, but please know that your example lives on and will continue to touch so many because you left a legacy with your wife and children. I know they will continue your good works.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My clothing blog

OK, so it is in the infant stages, but I hope to grow it very very soon. I wanted to go ahead and share it with you all so you can be apart of something very special to me. I have been sewing since I was 14 and I love making clothes. With the birth of Rollins and Grady, I have really developed a deeper appreciation for handmade original clothing. I have been making things for friends for quite sometime and now I am working on a complete spring line. I am going to start by doing craft shows and offering the clothes through the blog. I love creating custom clothes too so I will continue to work with individuals on developing beautiful pieces. Please check out my blog Tell all your friends with children as well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a wonderful day!

Today was a wonderful day! I woke Rollins up this morning for school, because I always let her wake up when she wants to which is usually around 10 or 10:30. She was the leader today so I wanted to make sure she got to enjoy all it has to offer:) She let me put her hair in braided pig tails and she was so proud of them. After lunch at McDonalds we came home and I made some phone calls, but when I got off the phone, I couldn't find Rollins. I looked all over the house for her, and I finally found her sound asleep in her bed. She was exhausted from having to get up early. In the mean time, I get a call from Vera Bradley (keep in mind, we sold the shop back in April). They said they needed my current address, because they had a check they needed to return to me. I asked them what they were talking about, and they said I had overpaid my account back in March and they needed to return the money to me. I thought it was probably 10 or 15 dollars, but I was shocked when she told me how much it was for--how could I have over paid that much? Anyway, I called Brother and told him, and needless to say, he was ecstatic because that just paid for our "Santa". I also got several more orders for clothes and that always makes me happy because I absolutely love getting to sew. I really miss working and being able to contribute financially so this gives me a little more purpose now.
Another highlight of my day was getting to visit with two wonderful high school friends, Kate and Tegan, and their lovely children, Langley and Tripp. We left Rollins at home because she was still asleep, and Grady and I ventured over to Mrs. Sachs. It was so nice visiting with them and the kids played wonderfully together. I wish we could all get together more often. So many of our friends have children the same age and I think it is so neat they get to grow up together, like we all did.
So, we return home and Rollins is still asleep. I told brother we had to wake her up, or she wouldn't go to sleep tonight. We took the kids to Bruce's for dinner, which Grady slept through, and when we were done eating, we drove around looking at Christmas Lights. Brother remembered seeing on the news about Arab's park, so we drove out there. It was beautiful. They have all these little scenes around the walking trail. The first picture here is from when we first got there--we didn't have coats, hats or gloves, and it was 29 degrees!

So, we decided it was just too cold, but the kids wanted to stay, so we took them to Wal Mart to get coats, hats and gloves. Rollins was so proud of her 15 dollar pink coat and Hannah Montana hat and gloves. Grady, who had never worn gloves, actually kept them on and he picked out a dinosaur hat. They were so excited to be there and were being so sweet to eachother--even holding hands! I had several more pictures of them at the park, but for some reason, it won't let me upload anymore, so you can just enjoy these two for now.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Santa Claus

I have already made several trips to the mall this year in hopes that Grady might get over his fear of Santa. Last year was Grady's 1st Christmas but he was almost a year old, so he already was aware of his surroundings and was not fond of Santa at all. Rollins, on the other hand, has always loved Santa and we always get the best pictures of her with him. So, this past Saturday my parents did their Christmas packages at Generations Footwear and I had planned on taking just Rollins. Grady has been so sick lately and he had been to the doctor Friday and had congestion in his right lung, but they didn't think it had developed into pneumonia yet, but they were treating it like it was. So he was already cranky, but Brother had a bunch of guys coming over to watch the Alabama/Florida game. I thought I would do Brother a favor and take Grady with me. For some reason, as soon as we walked in, Grady walked right up to him. I couldn't believe it. He sat in his lap and smiled for his picture--He never tried to get down, and he just kept looking at him smiling. I was so proud of him, and I just wanted to share these sweet pictures with you all.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What were they thinking?

Tonight, Brother, Grady and I went to dinner at a local eatery and I noticed a very pregnant woman come in--atleast 8 months along--she was alone and told the waitress she was meeting a friend. The waitress asked her if she could go ahead and get her something to drink. She ordered a glass or water and a corona. I thought I was going to fall out of the bench. I couldn't even get it out of my mouth to tell Brother. What in the world was this pregnant lady thinking, or even more so--what was the waitress thinking who gave her the bottled corona? Her friend later came in and also ordered a beer. When the waitress came to check on them, she asked if there was anything else they needed and the pregnant woman said, "yeah, a cigarette". I am still in total amazement as I sit here and type this. It's one thing to do this in the privacy of your home, but how in the world can it be legal for a public establishment to serve alcohol to a pregnant person? Is there not some law against this? Anyway, I couldn't help but overhear her telling her friend about her recent doctor's appointment where her doctor told her that her baby seemed to be distressed. I would be distressed to if I knew I was coming into this world to a mother like that. Does she think the corona and cigarette would take the baby's stress away? Ok sorry to go off on a rampage about drinking pregnant women. I just get so frustrated with all the careless and irresponsible people having babies when there are wonderful people out there trying so hard to conceive a child that they would love more these other people could ever imagine. It just doesn't seem fair sometimes.

Monday, December 1, 2008

What have we taught our kids?

With Rollins being three, she is really getting into Christmas and beginning to understand it rather well--atleast we thought. It seems like every commercial that comes on is for some toy, and every commercial just happens to be something else Rollins says she wants. At first, I started making a list of all these things, then Brother and I started to realize that all she knows about Christmas is that Santa brings her lots of gifts and all she has to do is ask him for them. Well, tonight, Brother and I got a little discouraged with all the "oh, I want that too". So, Brother explained to her that not all kids would get gifts like she does, and it would be really nice if one day she could go through her toys and pick out some to give them. Rollins happily said, "o.k., I will". Well a couple minutes later she walks back in the room with an arm full of her favorite toys, and said, "here some toys for the boys and girls". I did everything I could to hold back my tears. She could have picked out the toys she never played with anymore, but she wanted to give them her best toys. Tonight, I was humbled by my 3 year old. We are suppost to give our best not only to the needy, but also to God. I am probably the most guilty of putting everything in front of God. I say my prayers after everything else is done, I go to church if the kids wake up in time, I skip on Sunday school because I don't want Grady to cry, and I only read my bible if I have time. I think we get so caught up in everything going on around us in the world, that we fail to realize why we are even here. I am making a promise to myself and everyone reading this, to put God first and give him nothing but the best of me. Thank you Rollins for teaching me that. Your pureness is one of the many things I absolutely love about you!