Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our New Normal

Life has been a whirlwind over the past few months. Moving has been a well concocted blend of blessing and hardship. Leaving Williamston proved to be just as hard as I thought it would be. There were many tears shed as we packed and said our goodbyes. As sad as leaving was, we could not have asked for the move to go any better.  Things seemed to fall into place seamlessly. We know that the transition was covered in prayer, Because we felt those prayers.

We truly love living in Lenoir. I've told Larry over and over again how much I like this town. It seems the perfect blend of city conveniences with small town charm. We live within a mile or two from the Aquatic Center, Library, Aldi's and Wal-mart.  We're less than a block away from an awesome Greenway.  If our road didn't have such a steep hill, we could easily ride our bikes there. We can see Hibriten Mountain from our front yard. I'm really looking forward to the fall and winter here. I have always wanted to live in the mountains, and now we are. That is so exciting to me!

The members of Lower Creek have been wonderful. They continually amaze us with their love for our family, especially our children. Things that I worry over, the sound of running feet, the pulling of fire alarms, and a loud response to a rhetorical question during a sermon, those things just tickles them. Just as an FYI, an un-named red head and I have both set off the alarm. Oops! I guess we all have things to learn!

We are finally settling into our new home. Most everything is unpacked, and has found a place. What doesn't fit upstairs is stored away in our basement.  It's a great house with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, a school room and a big back yard. We live in a nice neighborhood less than a mile from the church. It's a little weird getting used to living in a neighborhood again. Our previous home had a corn field on one side and a grave yard and church on the other, so this has proven to be an adjustment. We ran into a few problems with the house in the first month of living here. We had three leaks in the basement, the A/C didn't work for a weekend and we had numerous plumbing issues. After the first few problems, it was discovered that there was a pressure issue with the water coming into the house. The first leak was the worst and it was the night before Larry's first sermon.  A value on the hot water heater broke and we had water all over the basement. Not exactly how we planned to spend our evening. However, what the devil meant for evil, God meant for good. We had two sweet church members come over to help us clean up. Our landlord, who has been amazing through all of the problems, also came to help. We laughed through most of it. The old saying proved true, Many hands make for light work. Although, I wasn't the one carrying the buckets of water up stairs and outside to dump. This house is a blessing to be able to rent,  but we hope to be able to buy a home in this area when our lease runs out.

The kids have done better than I expected with the move. There are times when they say that they miss Williamston, or they ask questions about our friends from there.  Eden and I had a good cry together the other night because we both were missing our friends. It's just part of the hardship of moving. But our special friends have remained close.  We are able to call often, and Eden is a pen pal with her best friend. I know they these are the kinds of friendships that will last our lifetime, no matter the distance between us. And most importantly, they will last through eternity because of our common faith in God. We have already been blessed by 2 different sets of visitors from Williamston. We hope to host many more in the future.

Just to give you a little run down of everything we've done in the past few weeks that I don't have time to go into, but want to remember:

  • We celebrated Eden's, Titus' and Larry's birthdays.
  • We had a great weekend VBS with the church.
  • Titus was potty trained. He did such a great job! It's amazing what you can get a child to do for some stickers and a sucker!
  • I went to my first Southern Gospel concert, and met Ivan Parker. 
  •  We celebrated Josiah losing his first tooth.
  • I've canned lots of summer vegetables.
  • I've learned how to use a riding lawnmower. After a few rounds on that machine, I think I have a good shot at a future in bull riding!
  • We went to an antique car show. The kids loved it, especially Titus!
  • We went to the Blackberry Festival. The kids loved it too.
  • We've been exploring the area and getting lost on purpose. We've found some great neighborhood  where we might want to live. 
  • We've also found some neat parks. One had a creek. We got to be the kind of parents that let their kids jump in cold creek water and swim with their clothes on. I'm smiling now, just thinking about the fun they had.
  • I second shot a wedding that Larry helped officiate.
  • We've gone to lots of different programs at the Library for their summer reading program.
  • Larry and I went to Boone. It was amazing! Can't wait to go back with the kids.
  • We've spent time visiting with our church family,  and getting to know our neighbors. This has revolved around great fellowship, and great food!
  • I spoke to one of the WMU groups on Titus 2. With the 25 ladies represented at the meeting there was over 1000 years of marriage represented. Boy, do I have a lot to learn from them!
  • Everyday life with our 7, 5, and 3 year olds.

Here are a few snapshots from my phone:


Thumb ups for Oak Hills Park.

 Meeting Ivan Parker

 Boone :)
 Stopping to watch the deer on the Greenway.

 Lego time at the Library.

 The kids favorite place to stop while walking on the Greenway.

 Backyard summer fun.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eden's 7th Birthday

My sweet Eden turned 7 today. She is my miracle child; The culmination of much prayer when I thought a child wasn't a possibility. We named her Eden because it means comfort and a place where God dwells. She has brought us great comfort and joy though her life.

Eden is kind, funny, curious and has a strong sense of justice. She is tenderhearted and is equal parts prissy and tomboy all rolled into one amazing little girl. She has overcome a serious heart malfunction and loves to run and play. I am in awe of what God has accomplished in her life thus far. She is quickly growing into a beautiful young lady. I look forward to all God has in store for her. :)




 






 





1. What is your favorite colors? Green and Pink
2. What is your favorite toys? Daisy and Bella (stuffed animals)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Cantaloupe
4. What is your favorite movie? Scooby-doo
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?
Hot dogs
6. What is your favorite thing to wear? My red satin dress ( the one with sequins)
7. What is your favorite game? Hide and Go Seek
 8. What is your favorite snack? Chocolate covered raisins
9. What is your favorite animal? A kitty cat
10. What is your favorite song? I am a Christian, You're going to miss me when I'm gone
12. Who is your best friend? Lydia, Meredith and  Katelyn
13. What is your favorite cereal? Honey Nut Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Go Swimming
 15. What is your favorite drink? Chocolate milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

17. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Subway and cake and ice cream
18. What your favorite Bible Story? Queen Ester
19. What is your favorite thing to study in school? Science
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? A gymnast and a veterinarian .

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Front Porch Pictures

I wanted to make sure we kept the memories of the home we shared while the children were young. This was the only home our children have know. Josiah and Titus were born while we lived in here. Eden was only 8 months old when we moved to Williamston. I read somewhere that you should take a photo of your children on your front porch before you move, so we did.  

As for getting 3 children, ages 6, 5 and 2 to all smile at the same time, well, that just doesn't happen. When it does it look something like this:

I love that they are all bare foot :)





 Our back yard
 funny faces

Our last family photo in Williamston

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What were you doing 8 years and 1 day ago?


2006


May 2014
I've been reading though my blog. I'm so happy that I've chosen to capture memories here, because  I'm awful at keeping a journal or baby books. Eden has a week or two filled out in her baby book. Josiah might have some of the pre-birth stuff filled in, in his book. I don't think I bought a book for Titus. I know 3rd kids and all right, Abbey??? :)

Anyways, I was reading this post and thought if these words were so true 4 years ago, how much more are they true 8 years later, And how much more will they be in 12 years, 32 years, maybe even 58 years from now! So I'm reprinting them with some added details, Which means all the stuff that happened in the last four years in mind, and especially with Titus added in. He's a 3rd child and will feel left out if he's not included. I filled some details and helped continue the story because the words are more true today than they were 4 years ago, or even 8 years ago. The God who knows me, and my story, He orchestrated all of this together to make us a part of His story. I'm just happy we get to be a part of it. So without further ado:
What were you doing 8 years and one day ago? Not many people will remember that day, but I do.
This time 8 years and 1 day ago, I was sitting on my washing machine having my pre- wedding melt down. It was the night before our wedding and I was a mess. I assume that all brides go though this. I've seen some on Bridezilla, but refuse to believe I could ever act like that ;)

My house was full of family that had come in from out of town. So to have what I thought was privacy, Larry and I went into the kitchen to talk. Since then my little sister told me she heard our whole conversation while  we thought she was sleeping on the couch. Oh well, so much for privacy.

The conversation went something like this: I can't believe how much isn't done! There were all sorts of things that I wanted, things that right now I can't remember what in the world they were, but there was a lot of them. So you know they must have been crucial if I can't remember them now right?? :) I started to Squall. Squall: a word I learned living in the country. "Squallen'" means you cry so hard that your eyes turn red and puffy and snot begins to run uncontrollably down you nose. It's also known as an "ugly cry." It's a pretty gruesome sight, especially to a groom-to-be! The "for better or worse" wasn't supposed to start until the next day.  Oh boy did Larry get a full dose of worse that night!

So as I'm squallen', I'm thinking this man has no idea what to do with me right now! And bless his heart, he didn't. BUT THEN, (I love BUT THENS in stories) he hugged me and said everything would be OK. He asked what was bothering me and what he could do to fix it. Then there was some pretty serious conversation about running off to Vegas and finding an Elvis to marry us and to heck with all the unfinished details!
After laughing through that thought, I calmed down. Larry spent the next 20 minutes convincing me that the important thing was we were getting married. The silly things I was worried about were just that, silly things that were not important. What was important was we would stand before our friends and family, and GOD and declare our love to one another for the rest of our lives. Those silly details compared to our lifetime together wasn't enough to get that upset over. Wow! Perspective! Speaking Truth in Love. Maybe this man did know what to do with me after all!

So we got married. :) There were things that didn't go right, but I don't think of that now. What I do remember is the look on Larry's face as I walked down the isle to him. I remember laughing through our wedding (we haven't stopped laughing since then.) I remember thinking I had waited so long to meet the right man and get married. Wow! He was worth the wait!!!! God gave me a wonderful man whom he had been sculpting and growing for years. Then he gave Him to me. Next to my salvation, Larry is the best gift I have ever received.

And as these past eight years have flown by so quickly! We have had to deal with so many BIG life changes in such a short amount of time. Having 3 children in 4 years, and raising them in a constant sleep deprived state, I'm surprised daily we all made it out of those newborn days alive, that's a grace of God thing! Finishing grad school, moving to the country, dealing with the joys and hardships of full time ministry, Eden having major heart surgery, starting a doctorate program, moving to the city, and just living life together daily has been challenging to say the least. But just like the night before our wedding, Larry has been right by my side. Loving me, speaking Truth to me, making me laugh all the time, Loving me like Jesus would.

Are we perfect? Nope. Are we best friends? Yep! Are we so in love with one another that it hurts to be apart? You betcha! Is marriage hard work? Most defiantly, yes! I have know nothing else in my life that has shown me my own sinfulness as much as being married has, But I wouldn't want it any other way. Because I have also known love so purely and deeply that I can only compare it to God's love.

So to my husband,

I love you more today that I ever thought possible 8 years ago, I can only imagine how deeply we will love one another 50 years from now. :) I have so many things to thank you for, Thank you for taking your vows seriously. Thank you for cultivating tender affection for me. Thank you for looking at me with that twinkle in you eye that melts my heart and makes me fall more deeply in love with you each time we touch. Thank you for providing our family a wonderful home and the financial security that enable me to stay home to raise our children. Thank you for making me feel like our marriage and family are your first priority behind your relationship with God. Thank you for honoring our marriage and holding it in such high esteem. Thank you for forgiving me and loving me though my many faults. Thank you for not keeping a record of my wrongs. Thank you for the countless hours of discussions we have had about our Lord. I know Jesus better, because I'm married to you. It makes me happy to know that when God sees you and me, He sees the two of us together as one. Thank you for loving me like Jesus would. I am a blessed woman because of you. I'm looking forward to what our future holds, because we know who holds our future:)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

An open letter to Reddicks Grove

Dear Reddicks Grove Church Family,

Larry and I want to thank you for the six years of ministry that we have been able to serve with you at Reddicks Grove. You have welcomed us into your lives, and we have been able to share God's love with you through the joys and hardships of life. We have been with your families as you have  experienced children being born, high school and college graduations, marriages, illnesses, job losses, major surgeries, troublesome times and the deaths of some increadable people. We have prayed with you, cried with you, and rejoiced with you. We have learned so much about ministry and the goodness of God during our time at Reddicks Grove. Our greatest joy in ministry has been watching the transformational life changes that Jesus Christ has made in some of your lives.

We came to you young and idealistic, and are leaving a little older, wiser and still idealistic.  We learned that ministry is about living life with people, and people can be complicated. When dealing with people, sometime situations are not black and white. It is in the gray that we saw God's grace best displayed.

Our faith in God has grown as we have have tired to serve Him in Williamston. We have spent countless hours praying, seeking God's will for our life and family. Resigning has not been an easy decision to come to, but we feel that God has lead us to serve somewhere else. We are thankful for the technology that will allow us to continue our friendships, even if we are not in Williamston. We also look forward to the day when we will be able to worship with you again in Heaven. What a great day that will be, the day when all things will be made right, when we will see Jesus face to face and all sing out Holy, Holy Holy is the Lamb!

With Love,
Angela



Monday, April 28, 2014

A Character Parade

We have a stellar library, and an amazing children's librarian named Ms. Heather. She planned a family reading night complete with a costume parade.  To say my kids were excited is an understatement. They ask over and over again if it was time to go. And because my children can rarely stick to one theme, Here are a few of my favorite characters :)

 Titus: Spiderman with a Bob the Builder hat.

Josiah: a doctoring, train conducting, Curious George

Eden: a blue karate chopping Power Ranger.
I love that she still added a little pink with her shoes.
The whole gang!
Ms. Heather was an excellent Fancy Nancy.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

All About Spelling




For those of you who read my blog, you know spelling is not my strong suit. In times past, my Mom would call me after I posted something up here to tell me what I needed to correct. That was in the days of paying per minute for long distance. I'm sure she went broke! My dad has said, he has no idea how I completed as much schooling as I have, without knowing how to spell or type, I must work hard! And on a pretty regular basis, I ask Larry how to spell something. If he's not around, I look it up in the dictionary or have recently found Dictionary.com, which is awesome! The fact that I can even get this many words posted up here amaze us all.

When I was growing up we learned sight reading. I never learned phonics. I am convinced that is why I struggle as much as I do with spelling. That and my 3rd Grade teacher let me skip spelling test when I rubbed her shoulder. The only reason I feel like I have the vocabulary I do is because I loved reading. I became creative when I couldn't spell something. I would think of multiple other words to put in it's place until I could spell one of them!

I'm a homeschool mom, which means I have to teach my children how to spell. Que Music.....DUM DUM DUM!!!! Well that's was going to be a challenge!  I knew it would be awful! I'm sure those listed above are a little scared too. To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed! BUT I am also excited at the same time. I figured maybe now at the age of 30 something, I might be able to learn to spell as I teach them. I only have to be one step ahead in order to teach them.

A few month ago a friend suggested we give All About Spelling a try. Eden was having a hard time learning to read and AAS is recommended for struggling readers. Another homeschool mom saw the post and gave me the kit with Lessons 1&2. I was ready to try something different becasue Eden was was hating anything to do with words. We have tried three other programs without success. AAS changed words for her. Using the manipulative letters was like turning on a light bulb for her. It all clicked and she started to understand vowel and consonant sounds and blends. Her reading and confidence have improved. It’s a great program, and I have learned some phonics rules myself. Did you know c say /s/ before e, i and y? Did you know that f,l, and s double after a single vowel in a one syllable word? Well if you did good for you, but this was new news to me!

So I'm hooked on AAS!  And yes, you have to keep a close eye on what you type when you refer to AAS :)

They have a neat giveaway going on right now. Check out this link to  win Lesson 1 and all the goodies that come with it.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Fire Truck, Fire Truck, I Wanna Ride on a Fire Truck!

We were able to take our homeschool group on a tour of the Williamston Fire Department. It was a great experience for them. Not only were they able to see the trucks, but they learned a lot about fire safety in the process. After watching a video, the kids were able to ask questions and think through issues regarding fire safety. The tour was an A+ in terms of education through fun.


Our homeschool group at the fire station.


 A brief moment when all three were almost still for a picture.
 Eden and Titus posing at the fire station.
 The kids were able to climb inside the fire trucks to look around.
 

 To say Titus loved his time at the fire station is an understatement!
One day, we might have a fire fighter in our family :)