Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas in Texas

As usual, we made what I've begun to call our Nomadic Adventure to Texas for the holidays.  Jared refers to it as the Tour of Texas but either way it involves a lot of driving but some sweet times with friends and family.

Our first stop was to see our dear friends the Funderburks.  We served alongside the Funderburks on staff when we served in Nacogdoches, TX.  Regina and I have a special bond with one another.  To type that so quickly makes it seem flippant but it is something both of us cherish.  The Funderburks now serve on the mission field in China and have recently adopted two beautiful twins from Ethiopia.  I fell in love with Esther and Eden and we enjoyed sweet time with the rest of the Funderburk crew

Jared with sweet Eden
my precious Regina

Our next stop was on to Bryan to spend time with my family.  When we got there my MiMi was in the hospital so we visited her.  We also got to spend some time with my Marcus and Holly as well as my cousins and aunts and uncles.  It is always sweet to be with our large, loud family.
These two kinda love each other

There is nothing like enjoying my dad's bread when we're together

KA was a big help opening presents (as always)

Kie and I feeding the fish

A beautiful C6 Ranch sunset

Jared & the kids went and helped feed every morning & had stories to share!

Kie got a few tractors!

From Bryan we made a stop in Beaumont where Jared preached at LaBelle Baptist Church.  It was a sweet little church out in the middle of nowhere!  We traveled from Beaumont to Carthage to see Jared's family.  We made sweet memories including opening our presents in the dark.  We lost power early Christmas morning and didn't get it back until almost lunch time.  It was fun (and maybe a bit challenging) but who are we to complain about a little electricity as we open gifts that represent our abundance.
Note my father-in-law holding the flashlight behind Jared

Note the candles

Jake's ship is just as fun in the dark!

We are so blessed.  Christmas is exhausting but so worth it to spend time with our families.  We are always glad to be home and what a blessing it is to have a place to come home to.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A lesson from Doc McStuffins

So, I did something strange yesterday.  Something that as a mom seemed a bit unnatural.  I returned a gift that I had bought for Kati Ann for Christmas.  I returned Doc McStuffins.  Doc McStuffins is the only the thing Kati Ann had asked Santa for and as her mom I really want to give her everything that she wants.  However, as I began considering all that Kati Ann was getting for Christmas not just from us but what I knew about from grandparents, I realized that she was getting EVERYTHING that she had asked for.  That sounds like a great thing but I quickly realized that as her parent, at this point in her life I'm responsible for shaping her character.  I realized that her getting absolutely EVERYTHING she asked for was not what I considered the best thing for shaping her into a godly young woman.  I don't want her to feel entitled to getting every single toy or gift that she wants.  I want her to appreciate what she has and be excited about the gifts she is getting and I feel that sometimes too much "stuff" can get in the way of shaping that attitude.  So, I wrapped Doc up and shipped her back to Amazon.  As I did, God spoke directly to me.  Isn't that what God does for me?  He is concerned about shaping my character.  Because He's my Heavenly Father, He wants to bestow on me every little wish my heart desires but because He loves me so much He doesn't. He withholds things from me that He knows will distract me or cause me to depend less on Him.  Had KA known that I had returned Doc yesterday, there probably would have been some disappointment or some push-back and don't I do that with God?  Yet, I feel like God gave me a gift from Doc.  He gave me a reminder of His love.  He reminded me that He knows better than I do about what I need.  He knows that though I enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and nice things that those aren't always the things that are best for shaping me into a godly woman.
You never know when God will use something as cute as Doc McStuffins to teach us more about Himself.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Memories

Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted time to just stand still.  I wanted to take in as much as I could and store it my memory for forever.
I had the sweet privilege of going with Kati Ann's kindergarten class to see The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Grissom High School.   I don't know if I had ever seen that play before but what a wonderful story with a wonderful message.  Kati Ann has a precious class and the teacher decided this year it would be fun to have the Christmas party at a local restaurant.  So, we left the play and went to FlyBoys with 15 kindergarteners and had a party.  KA's teacher talked to us about what a special group of students she had this year and what a good reminder they were to her of why she went into teaching.  All the moms were there and we all got teary just knowing how much love our children were getting.  After the kindergarten party, Kati Ann and I got in the car and headed back to the school because Kie was having his first ever class party.  It is the first time the 2 year old class has done a party and again I was so blessed by the love of his teachers.  One of the teachers began crying telling us how much she loved those kids and what a special class they were.  My heart was about to burst.
 After nap time that day, Jared and I had some Christmas plans for our family.  We had been on a date to Bridge Street the week before and saw that they were running the Bridge Street Express during the holidays and we knew 2 kids that would love it so we loaded up to take our 2 on a Christmas train ride around Bridge Street.  To watch their faces (especially my train lover) made my heart skip a beat.

We finished our train ride and got cookies at the The Great American Cookie Company and then left to drive through the Botanical Gardens Galaxy of Lights.  It was do fun now that Kie is old enough to really enjoy the lights and the whole experience.  It might not sound like a lot but it was better than any Christmas party or celebration I could go to.  To talk about why we decorate and prepare for the birth of the Messiah, to share hugs and laughs with my sweet family is such a gift and as Mary did, I'm trying to treasure all these things in my heart.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A New Life

With Mother's Day just a few hours away, I began to reflect on my life before and since becoming a mom.  Five years ago, almost to the day, I gave birth to our first child and my life was changed dramatically.  However, its funny with the first how I still tried to hold on to some aspects of my pre-child life.  Though over time, I realized that my life was a stark contrast to the life I lived before bringing a new life into the world.  Not only is my schedule, check book, car and standard of cleanliness different, but I'm different.  I recognize that though I might have some of the same personality traits...I'm a different person.  With the birth of Kati Ann came the birth of a new me.
How similar is that to our relationship with Jesus.  When He entered the picture, I got a new life.  One that gave me a different perspective and leash on life.  I have purpose and satisfaction in the person of Jesus.  In Him, I find approval, acceptance and affection.  My needs are met in the person of Jesus.  But just as I tried to hold on to some of the things of my previous pre-child life...I sometimes try to grab hold of my things from the old Bobi Ann.  I pick up some of the insecurities or worldly pursuits that marked my previous life and try to make them somehow fit with my new life in Jesus but they don't.  It doesn't work.
Mother's Day usually makes me think of the joys of having sweet kids that mess up my house and give me more laundry than I could have imagined but I was just reminded today about the fact that they gave me a new me...alot like Jesus did.  I'm thankful for both.

Ballet 2012

Jared & I have some strong opinions about kids and extracurricular activities and so when Kati Ann approached us about wanting to take ballet, we were a little hesitant.  We really didn't want to start her in anything so young.  However, she didn't just ask once.  She continued to ask and virtually begged.   So, we gave it serious consideration.
I had heard of this sweet little ballet program at Whitesburg Baptist Church that met for one hour, once a week.  It was a relaxed atmosphere that just allowed the girls to enjoy themselves without being competitive or overly serious about it.  
So, we signed her up and it turned out being such a blessing for all of us.  Besides Kati Ann getting to dance every week, I made a precious friend with one of the other moms that I cherish.  We hung out at the indoor playground in the building where KA took lessons and Kie got to have a great time.  It was all around such a positive experience.  I'm so glad that we did it and as you can see Kati Ann truly enjoyed herself.  We're planning on continuing next year in the same program.
They had a little recital at the end of the year where the 5 classes danced to some precious worship songs. The whole recital lasted 30 minutes and my girl enjoyed every second.  I thought she looked gorgeous and we were so proud of her.

Five and Fabulous

Kati Ann turned five and we had a party in our backyard with 4 of her closest friends.  It was a sweet time of riding bikes, painting and just hanging out.
For Kati Ann's birthday, I asked her some questions that I hope to do every year to see how she grows and changes.
1.  How old are you?  5
2. What makes you happy?  When Daddy makes me smile
3.  What is your favorite animal? elephants
4.  What is your favorite thing to eat?  chicken & sauce and apples and strawberries
5.  What is your favorite things to do?  watch a movie on Daddy's phone or iPad
6.  What is your favorite TV show?  My Little Pony
7.  What are you really good at?  cleaning up toys
8.  What is your favorite movie?  Tinkerbell
9.  What is your favorite song?  Twinkle Toes  (I'm pretty sure she made this up)
10.  What is your favorite color?  pink and purple
11.  Who is your best friend?  Carly, Greta, Campbell
12.  What do you and your mom do together?  play
13.  What do you and your dad do together?  love
14.  What is your favorite sport?  ballet
15.  What is your favorite place to go?  Wal-Mart
16.  What is your favorite book?  Cinderella
17.  What do you want to be when you grow up?  a princess

Two with Thomas

For Kie's second birthday, we headed to Chattanooga for Day Out with Thomas.  We got to ride the train, jump in a bounce house, pet farm animals, play with trains and more.  It was such a sweet day.  We hope to go again as Kie gets older because he wasn't quite tall enough for the table they had with the trains (though he didn't seem to notice!)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Star Student Week & A Sleepover

This is a special week for Kati Ann. She gets to be the star student at school. That's a pretty big deal. It starts with bring "Buddy" home for the weekend. Buddy is a stuffed dog that all the students got to bring home for a weekend. Buddy went virtually everywhere Kati Ann went.
During Star Student week Kati Ann gets to be the leader all week, choose the prayer for the food, tell everyone what the weather is like and be the Teacher helper for the whole week. It's pretty special to be the star student. We also bring a star student snack for the whole class. KA wanted to make blue & pink cookies (blue for the boys & pink for the girls). So, we added some food coloring to some sugar cookie dough & we had our snack.
On top of getting to be star student, KA had her first friend sleepover. After ballet on Thursday, Greta Russo came over & spent the night. They haddock much fun & both did so well.
When did my girl get so grown up?

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Atlanta-Part 2

On Friday we hit the Atlanta Children's Museum. It is absolutely one of the BEST Children's Museums. It was extra special because they had a Clifford exhibit. All 4 of us enjoyed it and all of 4 of us were tired after a morning of interactive fun!

Atlanta-Part 1

For Spring Break, Jared was heading to Costa Rica on a mission trip and me and the kids were heading to Texas. Since, we were going to be apart for several days, we decided it would be fun to take a little family getaway to Atlanta. We picked the kids up from preschool on a Wednesday and drove to Atlanta.
We decided it would be fun to take the Marta Train. It would be a new experience for our kids and Kati Ann really enjoyed it.

Our first stop on Thursday was the Georgia Aquarium. It was so cool. All four of us really enjoyed seeing all the amazing underwater life. It was really fun.

As fun as the aquarium was it was exhausting. The kids BOTH fell asleep as we walked to the Marta train and remained asleep the whole ride back and into the hotel. I placed both of them in the bed in the hotel and we all took a good nap!

Lots of Changes

Quite frankly, I really haven't had time to blog. I mean, I want to but I just haven't had time. The primary reason for lack of time is that our family has experienced some substantial transition in our jobs. Jared & I both have changed positions at our church. For Jared, he has moved from Minister to Middle School students to Minister of Students. He supervises all the student ministries on 3 campuses and leads the High School Ministry on our main campus. It has been an exciting transition for him. It is one that has challenged and stretched him and made him depend more on God.
We were aware of the Jared's transition long before it happened. However, we weren't anticipating a change in position for me. In October, our Women's Ministry director resigned and our pastor and associate pastor asked me to consider the position. At first, I really wanted to say "no." However, God quickly convicted me of my motivation for saying "no." I was very comfortable in my previous position. It fit well with my routine and lifestyle and worked with our family. However, I felt as if God tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "did I call you to comfortable?" I was on my face before God surrendering my will to His and trusting Him to work out the routine and our family life. It really meant turning over my kids to Him AGAIN. I was afraid that a new position might interfere with parenting my children and though that is a worthy heart was holding on to control instead of giving it to God. So, I agreed to walking through whatever doors God opened (fully anticipating Him to shut them!). Lo and behold, God opened every door and has led me to leading the Women's Ministry at Willowbrook. I have a wonderful staff of 3 women that faithfully support the work of the ministry and keep me "in line"! I am still able to work part-time and love on my kids lots and lots at home. I absolutely love what I do and feel like we're all settling in to our new ministries. I, too, have definitely been stretched and am learning more and more about trusting God in a ministry that is filled with godly women that I have so much to learn from. I'm seeking Him for direction in leading these women when I feel inadequate to do so. He is showing me just how (more than) adequate He is through me. It makes for some exciting times in our lives.
I can't promise that means I'll blog more but I'll try. Mainly, I'll commit to making memories with my family and obeying God's calling to obedience, whatever that means!