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