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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Camp Wiregrass

My Dad has been a Director at Camp Wiregrass 3rd & 4th grade for many summers.  The session has always been a High energy and Fun filled week.  But the last couple of years my brother has introduced a new level of entertainment by adding Skits to reinforce the lessons the kids learn each day.  This year he had 3 high school students travel back in time to meet the "real" apostles and see the stories first hand.   Now when I say "real" apostles  I mean.  Peter, Mr. Jeff, who appears on stage with a faulty bread.   John, Mr. Benny, who is peaceful and calm with a proper Old English accent.  Paul, my husband Eric, Who is  Uncle Si in a dress.
Day two we studied about the Story of Paul on the road to Damascus.  As the younger Good looking actors portrayed the Story.  The Older apostles added the humor.  Such as the time when Paul fell to his knees in fear at the bright light that blinded him, Uncle Si added that he was really not that afraid just a little concerned.

Day three we discussed Peter escaping with the angel.  This is Wednesday and our actors have gotten "into" their rolls.  So when the younger actors are portraying the scene older Peter decides they are not "good enough looking"  for him so he takes their place and proceeds to roll through out the audience as he escapes.  When he finally appears at the home of the believers who had been praying all night for his release, the young girl doesn't believe it is him.  But it is not a young girl, it is my brother Seth.  So the older apostles proceed to "girl" him up by adding lip stick.  This time when Peter knocks Seth busts out in full falsetto. "WHO IS IT?" and tells Peter there is no way it is him because he is still in prison because that is why the group is meeting and praying.  After this exchange Peter finally convinced her (or him in our story) and he runs off to tell the group leaving Peter outside standing at the door.

Day Four When our "older" apostle came on stage Uncle Si was speaking with John's old English accent.  Eric had gotten so caught up he couldn't remember how to talk like Uncle Si.  John (AKA Mr. Benny)  had to remind him "You know you talk like "Hey Jack".
 The Lesson today was on Paul and Silas praising the Lord in prison.  The narrator tells the younger "good looking"  apostles to sing and they politely sing "When the saints".  Uncle Si (AKA older Paul) interrupts and declares that music was not good enough and has the Narrator Blare Toby Mac to which the whole stage begins to bust a move. After the music dies down there is an Earthquake on stage and Paul tells the jailer that everyone was still in prison and the Guard is converted.

Mom Lesson:  Saturday when we got home from Camp I was asking the kids about their favorite parts.  All 3 boys told us every detail of the skit.  I mean EVERY Detail.  Hutch would laugh out loud as Curtis did the high knee dance like Eric to that "super cool" song.  Gage summed it up best with "It was like the real stories but very Funny"  The remembered details of the Bible stories.  They Thought is was so funny when the characters "got it wrong".
As teachers it is important to make the stories of the bible come alive for these children.  Yes I believe facts are important but how and why they did what they did can change children's lives.  The same Joy from the fruit of the Spirit that allowed Paul to Praise God in Prison is in us.  The Bible is full of unbelievable miraculous stories.  Everything is True and the reason that the apostles were able to act the way they did was Jesus.  And when we show those same Fruits of the Spirit we are also Showing Jesus in us.  The same Jesus that was in those amazing stories.
I know that Uncle Si and funny stunts are not factual but it brings a new angle to the same lesson. People are not cookie cutters, we all learn different so why teach the bible in boring colorless methods.  We need to put as much effort into teaching God's word as we do into teaching ABC and 123.  We need to have as much of a passion of our Children learning bible stories as we do about children learning in school.  We are dropping the ball if we don't make God's word Come alive for our children.  It is the bread of life and we settle for a couple of hours a week to teach our kids the most important lessons there is.  I know we are "busy" but that is the devils biggest Tool.  Overwhelm your senses until you don't have time.  We can find time for what we WANT to do.
I will step off my soap box to say I am as guilty of this as anyone.  But the Work and extra effort my Dad, Brother, Husband, and Friends put into teaching the bible at camp Wiregrass are doing powerful things in our campers life's.  The outside world may look at us like we are crazy but I have memories from Childhood from the same camp that has made me into he person I am today.  I can close my eyes during a song and see the Pavilion full of 80 Kids singing praises to God in my memory as clear as day.  Make that a priority for your children.  It doesn't have to be camp, it can be other spirit filled places BUT MAKE JESUS MORE IMPORTANT than your busy schedules.  Expose your children to life changing moments, where they realize how real the bible is. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Homemade Granny Biscuits

I find no joy in cooking in the kitchen.  Don't get me wrong I love to eat, but trying new recipes and adding fun spices is torture for me.   All that said I love watching someone Cook who is a master in the kitchen.  You know the ones that don't have to measure anything!  My first experience with this kind of Cook was my Great Granny Varnum.  My brothers and I could not wait until it was time to watch her make her famous Granny Biscuits.  She took her flour and added just enough buttermilk and oil and whipped her fingers around until a perfect round dough formed.  That was our favorite part because that is when she would pinch us each off a piece of dough.  She continued to pinch perfect biscuits with her magic fingers and when she was done she had nothing left on her hands.   As I grew my granny gave me a cooking lesson.  I tried to mimic every motion she did.  As you can imagine by the end I was covered head to toe with flour and my dough was a stick mess.  In my memory I can see Granny laugh and smile her patience smile, and remind me she had cooked biscuits everyday since she was 13 and all it takes is practice

As the years pasted to quickly, I had the blessing of visiting Granny in the nursing home with my own children.  Even though she did not exactly know who we were she smiled that beautiful smile. After giving Granny hugs Hutch realized that Granny's skin under her arm was very soft.  Through out the visit Hutch kept working his way around to rub Granny's under arm skin.  I tried to get him to stop, trying to explain that women don't like you to bring attention to this "excess skin" on the back of their arms.  But not Granny she smiled and hugged him and Aunt Reby had Granny raise her arm and swing her skin back and forth.

Country Girl lesson:  My precious Granny went home to be with the Lord last month.  As I sit here I would love to go back and revisit that cooking lesson again. (I am sure my husband would love that also)  I tend to struggle with finding Joy in Day to Day chores.  I get bogged down with the details of life and forget to enjoy it.  I know I don't have the joy in my eyes that Granny always did.  The older you get the more you realize how little you really know, and the more you wish you had listened To advice those older than you had given.  I have to remind myself "all it takes is practice".  Hopefully by the time I visit with my Great Great Grandkids they will think I find Joy in the simple things.

Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the LORD not for men.  Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fight or Flight

I was walking to my mailbox and in the bushes was a black snake.  I calmly walked back to the house called my in-laws to make sure it was harmless and then I went about my business.  MAN have I come a long way. 

My first experience with a snake, The boys had a hamster that had gotten out of the cage AGAIN.  I heard some noises behind the washing machine, so I went in the laundry room to investigate. Soon the hamster was running towards me (which my youngest, Curtis caught) but I quickly ran out as well because there was a snake Slithering beside the wall.  I put Curtis (still holding the hamster) on the kitchen counter and Now I had a Dilemma.  I was scared to death and didn't want anything to do with that snake YET I did not want that snake moving to another room in my house.  SO I called my husband, who was not near as concerned as I was and His response was to "get a shovel and kill it".   I sat at the Laundry room door shining a spot light at the snake with a shovel trying to build my strength to kill it if it moved.  I called Uncle Earnest who came to the rescue!  He showed up with another cousin who took care of it. 

Another Crazy experience with a snake was last summer when Eric and I were going for an afternoon walk.  As we rounded the Barn, my husband stepped right on a snake.  When I turned to look at him, I saw the tail of the snake and TOOK OFF running and screaming down the Trail.  Thankfully Eric was able to run to the house, get a gun and kill it. 

We guess it must of just ate something and could not bite Eric.  After everything calmed down Eric realized I was standing 40 yards away before he even jumped off the snake.  Good thing that snake did not bite him because I would have been NO help.

City Girl Lesson:
The Bible Says over and over, Do not Be afraid.  As these stories affirm, fear is something I struggle with.  But I love the fact that Courage has nothing to do with the absence of fear, it is more about the willingness to confront it.   We can still be afraid, but we can possess the understanding of how to not let it rule our lives.  If I let my fear of snakes rule my life, I would never get to enjoy the beauty of nature I am surrounded by every day.  Letting fear paralyze you, will make you lose opportunities to experience the wonderful things life has to offer.  Believe me I am not ready to pick up a snake and play with it BUT I can respect their presence as long as they don't come to close :)

Be Strong and Courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fireworks + Family= A Fun Fourth of July

This was a Rainy Independence day and we spent it hanging out with Mema, Pa and the Sewell family.  The rain finally let up and we stepped out on the carport to shoot off a few Fireworks.  Eric had the boys all lined up as he put a Big Bottle Rocket inside a coke can.  Aunt Colie was positioned to their right to get the perfect picture.  When Eric lit the rocket, the boys took off running and the can tip over and shot right at Aunt Colie.  She dove out of the way and it barely missed her BUT the house was not so fortunate.  The Rocket hit the wall and exploded in the flower bed. 

From then on every time Eric started to light a firecracker Zander would scream
"Uncle Bones Don't Burn the House down" 
 I was standing behind the boys talking to Mema watching the show when "WHACK" out of no where I was hit in the leg with a bottle rocket.  I jumped and danced around until I finally found myself laying on the ground holding my leg.

 When I look behind me I see my Father-in-law laughing and shaking so hard he can not even speak.  He had throw a bottle rocket off the carport, hit the Trampoline and Bounced directly towards my leg.  Needless to say this small Rain Day Firework show will be one No one forgets.

Country Girl Lesson-  True Confession: I am a queen of mistakes!  I mess up ALL the time.  I should have a warning label "she will stick her foot in her mouth" tattooed across my face.  Honestly, I do not wake up everyday with the intentions of messing up and looking like a crazy person yet it always seems to happen.  Because of this trait I have become careful not to over react when people mess up around me, I try to look more at their intentions then their actions.  Everyone of us have made our fair share of goof ups, we should give each other a little grace (and even laugh about it) when things go wrong.  Jesus was the only perfect man yet he hung out with Peter who kept his foot in his mouth as a chew toy.  1 Peter 3:8 Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
Do yourself a favor and give others the benefit of the doubt.  I know that my wonderful Father in law did not shoot me with a firecracker on purpose.  Actually if we tried to recreate this moment,  I would guess he could not hit me again if his life depended on it!  We are so thankful Aunt Colie had her camera ready so we could remember it forever. :) 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Seasons of Motherhood

As I sat in Church this morning I had a sudden realization of how quickly life flies by.  There were 3 precious babies that just turned one this month sitting behind me making sweet noises and moving restlessly around.  All of a sudden when one hits his head on the bench and screams out, I realize I am sitting by myself listening to the sermon with no one demanding my attention.  My arms began to ache, I longed to snatch up one of those babies and snuggle.
Yet just a few short years ago I remember sitting in the same pew almost in tears because I couldn't get my babies to act right.  I remember longing for just one moment of worship time without the stress of worrying if my children were ruining the service for everyone else.  At times dreaded going because it was an emotional roll coaster, even when they sat with other people I heard every breath they made.  In time they were trained and now they even participate by reading, singing, praying, or taking up the offering.  Things I dreamed of while I was wrestling with my precious baby.  Yet now I listen to the sweet noise (it is amazing how the tone changes when it is not your child) and long for those days.

Mom lesson:

I can't tell you how many times have I heard Don't Blink or you will miss it.  Believe me having 3 boys in 3 1/2 years, I am sad to say there was a lot of blinking just to survive the baby stages.  I wish you could go back and visit those moments so you can truly appreciate them.  First so you can enjoy your precious child who wanted to wear superman shirts every where for 2 years. Second so you can remember what ACTUALLY happened, You can trick your mind into thinking a 3 year old stubbornness is cute AFTER you have survived it but while it was going on it was awful. 

SO some free advice from a mom who survived so far: 
#1 This to shall pass and a lot quicker than you think.  The Good Lord gives you strength when you ask!  My 3rd baby slept through the night when I brought him home from the hospital, and at the time that was a miracle!
#2  Deal with behavior issues NOW I know it is hard and you are tired but you need to be consistent and give your child a healthy respect for authority BEFORE you have to start training Attitudes and Heart lessons
#3  When a mom with older children offers to help with your precious baby, PLEASE let her.  You need a break and she needs the memories.
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
 a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Whatever season of motherhood you are in remind yourself, there is some mother out there longing to be in your shoes.  Some may want to remember and others may be caught in the chaos. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Gator Bait

We were invited to go fishing at a friends pond.  Although there were some good size fish, we were invited to see the Gators.  That is right I said alligators.  As we drove up 2 swam up to the bank where we were sitting up to fish.  The smaller one swam in the reeds directly in front of us the whole time

The kids threw out their fishing poles and began to fish.  The youngest member of our Fishing team was great at catching.  He caught a "Ginormous" bass, but also hooked several trees and adults.  He impressed us all by giving the bass a kiss for good
Our Crew hooked a couple of Brim.  Gage was reeling one in and pulled it directly over the gator, that sweet "little" Gator Launched at the fish.  After that the kids were done Fishing.  They began trying feed the fish food, trying to entice the Gator to Bite another one.  The kids spent the rest of the afternoon racing around the pond talking to "Big mama"

City Girl lesson
I could not get over how many fish were swimming around the alligator in the water.  They were completely unaware of the danger they were in.  How often to we get so use to our surrounding that we are unaware of the Danger that is surrounding us.  1Peter 5:8  Be Self-controlled and Alert.  Your Enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 
It reminds me of the Song "Slow Fade" by Casting Crowns
It's a slow fade
When you give yourself away
It's a slow fade
When black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made
A price will be paid
when you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day

 You do not possess the tools to overcome your temptations.  Luke 9:23 Deny yourself and take up your cross daily and follow Christ.  Walk with God Daily, he wants a relationship with you.  Only than will you be Alert when your enemy is trying to devour you.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


 During a beautiful summer evening Eric was grilling hamburgers and the boys were playing outside.  The sun began to set and our yard lit up with fireflies.
  The boys immediately grabbed their Bug buckets and took off to the field.  The boys filled their buckets loving every minute of it. 

Hutch was busy lecturing us on how important it was to be careful with them as he slings his bucket from side to side.  While Curtis was attempting to count how many Fireflies we caught, we heard Gage scream "Ouch one just flew in my ear, no it was not a lighting bug we are ok" 

 City Girl Lesson-
It was amazing to watch the bugs light up across the field!  I think about how God has called us to be a light in the dark world.  There were tons of bug in that field but my boys were drawn to the Fireflies because of their lights.  My Brother in law, Don, once did a lesson on how darkness is just the absence of light and when you bring a source of light the darkness immediately vanishes.  We often try to complicate the purpose of being a Christian.  It is to reflect the light of Christ in a world of darkness.  People will be drawn to Him not to you.  Don't try to turn yourself into something you are not, God did not mean for you to feel the pressure of being everything to all people.  That is what he is, you are just a flying bug that stands out in the darkness that can point others to the source of your light. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Start with the End in Mind

A couple of years ago, I was coming home late one night from Prattville.  The kids were asleep in the back of the mini van and I was ready to be home.  I was on a road in-between Enterprise and Troy when I came to a detour.  So I turned and began driving down this country road I had never been on, watching for the next Detour sign.  After Driving for 10 minutes I began to get nervous.  I called Eric for some reassurance.  "Just follow the cars in front of you" So within minutes I came to a 4 way stop.  The First Car went right, the second Car went Straight and the third went left.  That's right the cars in front of me all went different Directions So my plan of following the cars in front of me went out the window!  I immediately break down in tears and stop in the middle of the road.  The next action I took was to CALL MY DAD.  He looked up my location and directed me back to a road I knew.

City Girl Lesson:  Life is full of many different roads but only your destination matters.  It's all about finding your way home.  I remember having a conversation with my Sister in Law, Sherri, about thinking about what we are asking of God when we pray for our children to have qualities such as patience, compassion, humility.  How many of us would pray for  our children to face heartbreak, physical pain, or failure.  No we pray for the end results, if God told us everything we face during a journey we may quit before we start. 
Habakkuk 1:5 Look at the nations and watch and be utterly amazed.  For I am going to do something in your days that you would no believe even if you were told.
 This week has been one of Joy and Grief in our family.  Colton, our oldest nephew, graduated high school and Eric's Granny Galloway passed away.  Colton is just beginning to decide what road he will blaze down while Granny is enjoying her final destination.  
I recently found a letter she wrote during a wedding shower
When Eric complains about the burnt toast tell him you learned how from Granny Galloway.  When you can't find the car keys tell him you also learned that from Granny Galloway.  You may lose anything and burn all the food just don't lose your love or your trust in God.

What a wonderful heritage of faith!  No matter what roads you travel or how many times you get lost.  Remember WHO holds the map.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Don and Sherri shared their Exchange Student, Andrew, with us this year.  Andrew was welcomed with open arms into the craziness of Sweet Gum Head.  The main goal during our time together has been to let Andrew experience "The Country" in America.   
Of course anyone who has visited Sweet Gum Head knows that one of the BEST experiences is Mema's Cooking!  During supper we were enjoying a BIG country spread full of fresh vegetables, homemade dressing, homemade chicken and dumplings, and Mema topped it off with strawberry shortcake.  The boys kept asking for more shaving cream (whip cream) on their cake.  Andrew told Mema that he would have to bring some of these recipes for his Grandma to cook for him.  He really enjoyed the strawberries and shaving cream during dessert.  I would love the see the faces of his family when he tries to reassure them that shaving cream really is good on cake. 
During dinner Eric and Sherri were talking about fun childhood memories when the stories of "muddin" started. The more Eric thought about it, the more we had to let Andrew experience this redneck tradition before he left.   Did it matter to Eric that it was 8:30 the night before Mother's day? Of course not, Memories needed to be made and it was his job to get it done. 
Sherri and Colton hopped on the four wheeler to start this adventure, and everyone else got in the Truck or Gator and Headed to the field.  The First Laugh came when Sherri was pushing Colton out of a mud rut by standing right behind the tire which sprayed her with mud.  Quickly we were all covered in mud and having a Blast!  Colton and Andrew were all about getting dirty but the other kids were nervous yet excited about joining in.   Eric rode Gage and Hutch while Sherri took Evie and CeCe.  Curtis and Ashton decided to watch from the truck.  The kids loved every minute of it and were really impressive drivers when the adults had to push the four wheeler out of a hole.
After everyone was sufficiently covered in mud, Sherri challenged the kids to a race across the mud tracks.   The next big laugh came quickly after when yours truly took a nose dive right in to the mud at the word GO.  Colton blasted off and was given the title of Elf Legolas because it looked as if he barely touched the ground.  Cece's boots got stuck and she sunk up to her knees in mud before she was rescued.  Even while CeCe was stuck she still beat Hutch, who never made it to the starting line.  He was tiptoeing around trying to avoid Mud in the middle of a field of mud.

As the mud began to dry and cake on to our skin, We complained about the smell.  Mema quickly enlighten us to the fact that it most likely was not all mud.  This made shower time a little more urgent.  Did I say shower because I meant being sprayed down with a water hose.  After striping down and realizing how many crevices we have that mud found it's way into, we were all FREEZING and full of stories about the adventures of the night.  

City Girl lesson:  Opening your home and heart to others is a gift that I have experienced over and over again since we moved to Sweet Gum Head.  Andrew was from another Country but this year it has felt as if he was a part of the family.  Sharing all of what the country life is all about in one year is impossible.  Truthfully we did things our own children had not experienced.  We forget to go "muddin" because we get caught up in daily life.  It is easy to talk yourself out it by thinking we can do it tomorrow, next week, next year.  Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?  You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14   It is so important to take advantage of the time you are given.  Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today.
Thank you Andrew for reminding us how fun our country can be, thank you for challenging us to experience life through your eyes.  As my son cried to sleep when he realized this would be one of our last visit with you, there is no doubt you will be in our hearts and memories forever.

Friday, May 17, 2013

My Personal Chick Flick

I just finish watching my favorite chick flick, Pride and Prejudice.  I Adore everything about the movie!  When he calls her Mrs. Darcy at the end I just want to jump up and cheer.
Then I want to scream, "Show what happens on their 11th anniversary?"  Does he find her stubborn personality enduring or annoying when it is dealing with how to reorganize her closet for the 5th time.  How does he handle it when she HAS to walk not because she is fond of it but because her figure is not as young as it use to be.    Is she accomplished when she is caught reading all day instead of cleaning the house or tending to the children. 
What about the days Elizabeth does everything right BUT Mr. Darcy has a rough day at work and forgets to notice.
OK maybe you understand where I am coming from.  Chick flicks are a long way from real life.  Yet I have dreams and expectations in my head that make it impossible for Eric to live up to.  I have learned (not perfected) to remember my 1st with Eric.  Back in the days when I was a "cute" (I always hated being called cute) flirty little teenager I lived at Camp Wiregrass during the summer, my own piece of heaven on earth.  This particle session I was counseling 7th 8th and 9th grade and Eric's Sister, Nicole, convinced her family to come to camp.   I grew up attending camp with Nicole but had never meet Sherri or Eric.  When we were introduced, I automatically thought Eric was married, Sherri and Don were there together and he was "way" (5 years) older then me.
A view from Eric's memory, a camper walked in and announced "I am Magen Madaris' Cousin"  He said "Who?  Why do I care about that?".   After meeting this random 17 year old he told himself to stay away from that Jail bait.  After the week continued and sleep deprivation got the best of him,  he began talk to me Thursday night.  (I think I heard a story about him trading his truck for a kiss?!?  I must have been a really "cute" teenager)  The rest was history.  Although we didn't began dating for another year the seeds of a Wonderful friendship had begun to bloom.  

  Do you remember this scene of Pride and prejudice?  The First time they Touch, Mr. Darcy helps Elizabeth into the carriage.  The best scene ever!  You can Feel the connection. 
Eric asked me to teach him to make a Lanyard for his truck keys.  I was showing him how to weave the laces and our hands touched.  Now this may seem like no big deal but I express myself with my hands and I touch all the time. 
The fact that I remember that touch with such clarity is magical to my memory. 

Wife Lesson: Chick Flicks are romantic and fun but it is not reality.  Just like Ice cream taste great but you cant eat it for every meal.  As much as I love to remember how crazy we were when we were young, I do not want Eric skipping work to stare into my eyes.  WHY because He would loose his job and that is what makes it possible for my family to survive.  

My Reality is : 
*The fact that we love to walk and talk at the end of day (as much for our figures as for relationship) is something I am very fond of
*The fact we love to stay at the house hanging out instead of going out when the grandparents keep the kids is our Incandescently Happy moments.
*The Fact that Eric loves me when I am unlovable, shows that I have
 Bewitched him Body and Soul
In conclusion I love my husband more today than when we first met.  I don't love him more because he proposed to me in the exact spot he first saw me at Camp Wiregrass under a Meteor Show  (AMAZING! See He really can be VERY romantic).  I love him more because of the effort that goes into living EVERYDAY and after 11 years he still CHOOSES to put that effort into me.

I Corinthians 13 
 Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, It does not boast, It is not proud. It is not rude, It is not Self-seeking, It is not easily angered, It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It ALWAYS Protects, ALWAYS Trust, ALWAYS Hopes, ALWAYS Perseveres.
Love never fails.

The details that make True Love real do not always make good movies.  But it makes my life full of magic and adventure.  You are my Favorite Eric Galloway  Happy 11th Anniversary


Monday, May 13, 2013

Down and Dirty Digging

In the country the family that works together has a lot of stories to tell.
Last month Pappy needed some dirty digging done in his yard.  Four Generations of Galloway men; Pappy, Pa, Eric, and the Boys (Galloway and Sewell) were working together to get the job done.  After they finished working at Pappy's house they drove the Back-hoe to Pa's Yard and dug up a tree stump.

The lessons the boys have acquired made this a very productive day.

1)   Pa taught the boys how to be on the "workin" end of a shovel (aka how to hold a shovel).

2)  When the boys found a toad and were playing with it, Pappy told them "If it pees on your hand you could get warts". 

3) The hardest worker in the crew was the youngest, Zander.  He never quit digging, of course he was in the hole everyone else was trying to fill.

4) When you dig a hole and pile up dirt, it makes a ideal place to play King of the Hill

City Girl Lesson:
 To often we try to spare our children from work, we think we are doing them a favor by letting them rest and play.  Honestly we are spoiling the next generation and depriving them of the knowledge of how to accomplish a task.  I am so excited for the boys to get to learn "how to" do things.  I hope it will one day give them the confidence to handle dirty digging on their own. 
A BIG SHOUT OUT to the older men of this story!  We all know it would have been a lot easier to accomplish the job without
5 little rug rats helping.
Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old
he will not turn from it.  Proverbs 22:6

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How many lives does a dead cat have?

Super kitty showed up at our house 2 years ago.  Last year she had her first litter of kittens and the boys were ecstatic.  I honestly think they drove the kittens crazy with Love. Since then she has had another litter, at one point I had 9 cats at my house.  I have no intentions of becoming a Cat Lady but sadly if you look at my yard the label fits.

Do not read further if you are a weak hearted animal lover. 
The playful kittens love to hide under my car when we come outside.  I honk and go as slow as I possibly can when I drive away.  BUT the other day I ran over a kitten.  The sight threw me into a full panic because I was going to pick up Curt SO I have to remove it before he gets home.  I force myself to get the shovel and proceeded to scoop the kitten up.  GROSS!!   I know the other animals thought I was crazy.  Screaming and flipping out because this was the LAST thing I wanted to deal with.  I finally throw it into the woods and run to get Curt because I am now really late!   
The weekend passes and I am doing my Monday morning Routine when Eric calls to Say "THE CAT IS BACK"  Something had pulled that dead headless cat back into my front yard!!!  This time I (pulled my shirt over my nose) dug a hole and buried it again.  My first experience of handling a dead pet by myself, and I had to handle the SAME dead cat TWICE. 

Country Girl Lesson:  Life is FULL of uncomfortable situations.  Everyone has things they don't want to deal with.   You could avoid it, make someone else deal with it, OR you could just yank off the Band-Aid, put your big girl panties on and get it over with.  Wasting time worrying about it just makes the task more difficult.  The more you think on something the more of a challenge it can become.  I promise you I did not handle the situation gracefully and I put on quite a show for the good Lord and my other animals, stomping my feet every time the cat fell off of my shovel, but I did do it (poorly, which is why I had to do it again but that's another lesson).
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Matthew 6:27 

*Anyone want to save the life of 3 kittens?  I would love for you to take them before this story repeats itself.*

Friday, May 3, 2013

Birthday cake, Water Balloons and Shot Guns.

My middle child Hutch wanted a Party to celebrated his 7th birthday.  He has been planning it for months.  He even asked his teacher for a present, his excuse "Well it is my Birthday".  The way he views it this day should be a national holiday.  Hutch wanted a Super Hero Ninja party, so I went to Pinterest to get a few ideas.  I quickly learned Pinterest is the best and worst thing ever for party ideas.  Everything is so "cute" but after you  have cleaned house, mowed the yard, fought with your husband over fixing the kitchen light, IT IS CRAZY to cut out the 30 Mini Masks and capes to tape to the lollipops because they are cute . 

When all of the guest arrived and were armed with swords, we challenged the kids to attack balloon Ninjas.  All the balloon ninjas were busted in a matter of minutes.  And for the most part all the kids made it safe and sound. 


The next "planned" activity was to use water balloons as piƱatas.   To the kids delight Eric thought it would be much better if we use water balloons as targets for the BB Guns. 

Soon it was Time for Birthday cake and ice cream.  The kids quickly ran off to the party.   Pops (my Dad) mentioned "Hey I bet we could Launch the water balloons in the air then shot them."  Well that is all the encouragement Eric needed.

Can you imagine the scene, Mema (Eric's mother) who is cutting cake and serving the children, nearly jumps out of her skin when her son fires a 12 gauge off busting a water balloon out of the sky. 

The men's explanation,Hutch's Birthday is the same as Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty. "Hey, no use wasting target practice because someone is serving cake, Jack."

#City Girl Lesson:
You can not plan every detail of life.  The unexpected crazy ideas make life an adventure.  I think of the story of Mary and Martha.  Martha was distracted by all the details and Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus.  Although I do not compare shooting water balloons to Jesus.  This is a perfect example of putting what is important in front of the urgent.  Taking advantage of My son wanting to sword fight with me is much more important then stressing over details no one will remember. Hutch didn't want me to be the Best Party planner, He wanted me to enjoy his party with him. 
You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better.
John 10:41b-42a