Saturday, November 1, 2014

Leaving a Boy coming back a Man

My first born declared last year he was ready to kill a deer.  He was really excited about the prospect of bringing home a trophy.  The idea of actually "hunting" was a whole other story.  Let's just say he is more interested in talking and moving then sitting quietly and waiting.  This year we noticed some deer coming into our back yard to eat left over pears and other fruit.  So Eric had the idea to set Gage up in our play house as a deer stand.  Our Preacher was interested in shooting a Doe as well, so After Christmas they set up to hunt in the backyard.  Around 8 am Eric and I watched as the deer began to walk from the pine tree.  We were both giddy and nervous, wondering what was taking so long for him to shoot.  Finally when the deer turn broad side, Gage shot and killed it.  Mr. Don than took 2 shots and hit one running off.  When Gage came in the house he was shaking from head to toe.  Mr. Don said they were practicing patience waiting for a perfect shot, But even he admitted his shock when Gage killed  it dead in it's tracks.

 #Mom lesson
For the past two years Eric has been taking Gage hunting but it is so much more than that.  Every trip is filled with discussions of life.  Last year Eric was explaining the rut, "Son, this is when a Buck tries to have sex with a doe." "Dad if that is what is going on around here, I don't want anything to do with it."    Eric and I have decided no matter how uncomfortable a topic can be we would rather our boys hear the truth from us instead of the world.  This way they can have a healthy base for the information they are exposed to.   Every time he begins to ask questions I am not ready for him to ask my heart breaks as he heads off on another hunting trip.  His childhood innocence is leaving quickly and I want to hold on to these moments of magic and fairy tale.  I have to remind myself it is our job as parents to train him in life not hide him life.  I am so proud of the man he is becoming and tuck these wonderful memories in my mother's heart.  It is not easy but I look forward to the day it will be worth it. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Live Skeet shoot

In honor of Eric's birthday we bought Quail to shoot on Christmas eve.   The men set out a few birds and then we went to watch them hunt. 

It was clear we had a lot to learn about the process of putting out quail.  We were not able to find the birds.  So we improvised and set up a live skeet shoot.  Jonathan and Don would release the birds then we would attempt to shoot them.  After a while the kids took turn releasing the birds for us to shoot.  Sawyer was a natural, He was the first to pick one up, release it, and ring it's neck after we shot it.  Gage and Curtis on the other hand were our entertainment.  Every time Gage put his hand in the box the bird would get away.  He responded "That was another one of those Crazy birds, every time I get a bird it is a crazy one."  Next Curtis went to fetch a bird, and they told him to break the birds neck by spinning it around. Curt spun himself around in a complete circle with bird in his hand.

The highlight of the day came from Fannie, the bird dog we borrowed.  Fannie was very excited about the bird hunt, as soon as a bird was released she could not contain herself.  The first release I held the dog leash and when she took off she knocked me over and tripped the kids with the leash.  Next time Mema held her collar.  After all the excitement we found my mother in law laid out on the ground, Fannie had dragged her across the field to get away.  My brother in laws were the only ones capable of holding this over zealous dog.  We even attempted to tie her leash off on the truck after a few birds Fannie broke her leash.

City Girl lesson:
One thing for sure Fannie was passionate about birds.  She was not distracted or held back, she would do anything to get to those quail.  This reminds me of my husband and his hobbies, he gets obsessed.   There was a time when his hobby was pursuing me, so I enjoyed his focus but it quickly turned to Fishing, paintball, Boats, hunting, etc.  Eric does like to include everyone in his obsessions.  Kind of like Fannie dragging Mema half way across the field. 

When I think about the drive Fannie and Eric have, This bird hunting trip has given me a new view on passion for Christ .  How often are we content to leave our faith in the church box.  To live with a constant passion would make us obsessed and it would make us revolve our whole live around Christ.
Philippians 1:21-  For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

What you focus on is what you become obsessed with.  I pray that I will learn to live with a passion for Christ that drives me to run after him no matter what gets in my way.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A view from the Duck Blind

My husband and his dad started the holiday off with a trip to Tennessee to go duck hunting.  In the duck blind everyone looked like very experienced hunters.  Top of the line Guns and Camouflage from head to toe.  Everyone that is expect my relatives.   My husband was not wearing camo and my father in law was carrying a Gun that was 50 years old and wearing his Raccoon hat.

 After the introductions had been made one of the smooth talking salesmen were the 1st to come asking about Eric's attire. He had never meet a man that hunts in pajama pants and hot pink tennis shoes.  Eric responded "you can't hold all this sexy back".  It was so impressionable they referred to Eric as "Big Sexy" for the rest of the trip.
At first when Eric called out that a duck was coming no one took much noticed. When the guide called two that were coming and the Sweet Gum Head Duo put them in the pond, it was quickly recognized that although they may not look right but "you fellows have done this before." 
Eric and Pa headed back early.  The out spoken salesman said when they left the blind, "I am headed to Wal-Mart to buy me some Pajama pants and pink tennis shoes, We have not killed anything since Big sexy left?"

City Girl lesson:
Don't judge a book by it's cover.  How often have we heard that saying?  Yet first impressions come without your realization.  I have always admired the Galloway men's ability to not care about what other's think.  I have even learned to watch for the "shock and awe" when people realize these are not your typical rednecks.  The lesson to learn is not to hold to your first impressions.  These men having been duck hunting for years in a dried up pond in their backyard.  By the end of the hunt everyone jumped up to shoot when Eric called "duck".  They even had enough confidence to ask for a specific number for him to call in.
The Lord does not look at the things people look at.  People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7 

Saturday, November 30, 2013


We just had the annual Galloway Paintball fight.  We have been playing since Eric and I were in college.  We started with a few trees and pump guns.  NOW Mr Gary has a 4 acre field that includes a speed ball course in the middle and two main forts, one with a crows nest.  The ages and guns vary but let me warn you that age does come before beauty when they are carrying a fully automatic gun.

This year the grand kids have become very excited about playing.  It was a great day filled with plenty of paint and lots of Stories.  It is fun to watch the personalities of the kids come out.  Sawyer shot everything even if nothing was there.  Evie was new to game but was up for anything.  Gage is a glory days type of player, most of his stories get better as he tells them.  The highlight story came from the game where all the kids decided to cover the fort by staying in the crows nest.  Of course the parents got caught up in the actions and left the kids behind to "guard" the fort by them selves.  All of a sudden you hear across the entire field Hutch screaming at the top of his lungs over and over again.   When we asked that kids what happened Evie said, "I told him they would stop shooting him if he got out of the door way".  It seems that when heavy fire came on the crows nest Hutch was taking cover  in the entry way.  When we asked him why he wouldn't get down he responded "I was out and they wouldn't let me climb down."

#City Girl lesson
I have heard all types of debates about gun safety.  I used to be indifferent to the discuss.  But in the last couple of years being surrounded by guns, we had to train our children about guns.  This way they have learned at a young age an healthy respect for the danger that Guns can cause.  It required effort on our parts to train and teach.  We as a nation are getting confused by dealing with the consequence of not training kids properly and handling a problem before it presents itself.  Listen I am still new to this so if you want to get into a discussion about Gun Control my husband would love to battle it out with you.  But I will say, Train your child how to handle themselves before they are faced with situations.   An important part of parenting is to prepare your children for life and don't shield them from it.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Spending "Quality Time" at the Dove field

My husband and sons were invited to a dove shoot, which normally means a quiet afternoon of anything I want to do.  This particular trip my husband put in for me to go with him.  I agreed and we all got dressed in our Camouflage.  When we arrive the boys find the local trampoline and proceed to fight with each other like all good brothers do.  When the call came to hit the fields.  I look at Curt who is covered in dirt from the Trampoline and say "You are sure dirty."  He responded with "Mom getting dirty is what Dove hunting is all about."

 After Finding the perfect shooting spot (the shade tree)  my Husband Sets up.  Mr Don, our preacher begins to build him a Blind out of the dead peanut plants lying around.  And then it is time for the boys to "scout out" the area.  Shoot anything that moves with a BB gun and play in the tall grass.  Hunting is serious business ;)

Thankfully the owner of the place is willing to let me use their restroom so that makes my day much better :).  When I return I find that all three of the boys are making blinds.  While Hutch and Gage made their own.  Curt just sat behind Mr Don's and talked his ear off.  Not a single bird and the boys are having a blast preparing for the birds to come.  Finally when Eric and I start talking about leaving the birds start flying.  I will admit the adrenaline that comes with a bird hunting is a lot of fun.  One bird would fly in and the whole field would become a war zone.  Sadly we went home with nothing to show for our hunt, but the men nor the boys don't seem to mind.  They made cool Blinds, shot stuff and got Dirty.  And if we remember our conversation with Curtis that is what Dove hunting is all about.

Wife Lesson:
Anyone who has relationships with other people need to read about Love Languages.  It gives you and deeper understanding how how to communicate with each other and why you respond to certain things the way you do.  My Husband's Love Language is Quality time; which means he wants me to be "with" him.  When I ask him what is his favorite thing about our marriage, the answer is us sitting around having Coffee together in the mornings.  I can tell him how awesome he is (because Words of affirmation is my language) and that doesn't mean very much if I am not willing to be with him when he ask.  SO the idea of Dove hunting may not have been top of my priority list but realizing my Husband's need for me to show him love by sitting "with" him in a field will go a long way at making our relationship better.  It is easy to focus on our needs and our language, but the truth behind any good relationship is putting someone else needs above your own.  God will bless that type of behavior and the more unselfish your behavior is the more Glory to God you show your spouse.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's all fun and games until someone licks a worm.

We had WONDERFUL Weather this month, which lead to us working outside.  As the boys were exploring, they decided it would be fun to fix up a boat to put in our pond.  My Parents were visiting so Pops helped the boys clean out and wash up the boat.  Soon it was time to test it out in true redneck style.

After walking to the pond Nonna and I Found just the boys in the boat, Hutch was driving the trolling motor swirling around in circles.  Thankful my dad was just playing a trick on us and got up from the bottom of the boat.  My Plans were to watch but of course the boys talked me into letting them ride me around.  This was no Peaceful trip, Curtis only knows One speed, it doesn't matter what directions he is going or what is in front of us, He was going fast.  And Hutch was fixated on dropping the anchor so we could fish.  Eric finally gets in a position to fish and tells Hutch he can drop the Anchor.  The only problem was no one had Tied the anchor off.  So it disappears to the bottom of the pond. 
So the boys no longer have the trolling motor or the Anchor to play with so they are ready to fish.  If you know anything about fishing with your Husband, he quickly gets intense on catching a fish.  Which means dealing with the boys becomes a hassle that falls to you.  Let us remember I am not a fan of gross slimy stuff.  So helping the boys put a worm on their hooks is not on my list of Fun afternoon activities.  Soon my son Curtis realizes this and begins to torture me. 

For some Crazy Reason at our house whenever something is gross my husband challenges the boys to eat it for money.  Why this happens is beyond me but The boys have tried all kinds of things for cash.  So when Eric offered up a dollar to lick the worm Curtis was all about it.  Which of course meant my other boys also licked it because they could not be out done by their little brother.  When Curtis challenged Eric for a dollar per lick, My husband stopped the challenge at 2 dollars. 
The biggest surprise, we caught some fish. 

City Girl Lesson:

Boys will be boys.  Before I had my children I thought this was all about kids but it is something men never grow out of.  My Husband can challenge the boys to do anything and they will.  Climb a tree, Throw a water balloon at their loving mother, attach a lizard to their ear, eat fish food and the list goes on and on!  I just don't get it, and I know most of you reading this may thing that I am crazy for letting this go on.  BUT being a gross boy has a lot to do with making a Man.  The same man I depend on to kill snakes, be my personal handyman, and bring home the bacon started out as a curious gross boy.  Thankfully He had Real men in his life to challenge him to do uncomfortable stupid things.  As women we struggle with understanding how this works but If you want your boy to become a Man Let him be gross.  LET the men in his life train him to face challenges and fail, LET him learn to be strong when he feels frightened, LET him not be scared of worms and bugs (even if that means he tortures you with them).  I don't know how it works, that is a man secret.  It makes me appreciate all the Real men in my life that are willing to pass this secret along to my boys. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Good Morning, Wait maybe just Morning.

To scream or not to scream that is the question.  I am trying because of my screaming habits to wake up at least 15 minutes before the chaos starts at my house and read Jesus Calling (amazing book).  This morning was all about trusting God and being Quiet.  Right in the middle my alarm starts blaring because we hit snooze instead of off.  I try to continue to focus on scripture But the boys wake up and to start the day before I am ready. 
Here is my perfect plan, the boys get dressed from head to toe (clothes have already been set out the night before) and put up their PJ's, I feed them breakfast while I read a bible study then they clean up their dishes. Next they should brush their teeth & Hair then clean up the bathroom.  Lastly they get their backpacks (which also were set out the night before) so we can head to the bus.  The plan is set out to make them responsible and me less stressed so I can avoid the screaming habit.

Now that was my plan this is what Actually happens.  It was picture day so I picked out their outfits, which we forgot about last night because we were cutting hair for pictures.   Hutch and Gage put on the wrong size pants and could not figure out why they wouldn't fit.   Curtis is still laying on the floor under his blanket trying to hide. The milk is already in the cereal so the scream is getting in my throat.  After finally getting dressed Hutch starts to put on his play shoes because he can't find his school shoes.  Of course this will not due because they dressed nice for picture day, so the plan needs him to wear his nice shoes.  1st screams comes at Curtis who is now naked standing in the kitchen wanting to eat breakfast.  I find Hutch's shoe (in the closet on the shoe rack).  Now Curtis can't find his shoes. At this point I am giving up on pictures and he can wear play shoes.  Yet another scream comes about breakfast because the cereal is soggy.  During the bible study (Guilt filled mom reads about not worrying because God will take care of you) Gage reminds me I said I would make lunch for them today.  So I begin to put their lunch together and scream yet again rushing them off to brush their teeth and hair.   I now realize I have not put fruit in their lunch and can't find the apples.  Thankfully Eric appears and saves me because the boys now can't find their backpacks because the left them in the car.  As your can guess, Full Scream mode is upon everyone as we rush off to the bus stop.

Mom Lesson:  As I find Gage's lunch box in the front seat, see Curtis school shoes outside in the yard and pick up the PJ's, I am in full Guilt Mode because yet another morning the boys left with my voice screaming in their ears.  I look in the magazine basket and see an article in thriving Family about "Perfect isn't the point" Looking beyond unrealistic Expectations to enjoy the moment.  I may not have found God in my set time for Him but in that moment He gave me a huge Hug and said it's going to be OK.  The article talked about GRACE, we are not expected to be perfect and if we try to be perfect we WILL FAIL.  I am still going to try to plan ahead and teach my boys to be responsible but I hope they will know that when everything goes wrong God still loves us.  I am still working on my screaming habit and I would love to end this post saying I figured it out BUT I haven't.  I am a work in process that Lord loves and right now I am OK with that, Well at least until tomorrow morning.

 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10