Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An Arkansas Fall Part 2

This is just a cute photo dump from our Thanksgiving trip.  A whole lotta pictures that I love of people I love.  I've said this before, but you can double click on the photos in the post and view them as a slideshow, too.  The photos look so much better that way.  They are uploading weird today...

Christmas card photo session-

I really should explain for Colton's pictures.  I think my girls are just as cute.  But lets face it.  At 8 and 10 EVERY SINGLE MOVE YOU MAKE isn't as cute as when your 3.  And, yes, I am still in that phase where I think nearly EVERY SINGLE MOVE HE MAKES is the cutest thing I have ever seen.  Maybe its because he's the baby?  Maybe its because he's the only boy?  

For Thanksgiving dinner, we also celebrate Granny's 80th Birthday.

Again with the cuteness here...

And this man is hot.  And he's mine.

And again with my hottie....

And this is just hysterical.  My sister in law Staci.  My brother in law Aaron.  They are not married to each other.

Ok, this is much better.

That was a lot of pictures.  And about 15 minutes of your life you will never get back.  Your welcome.

An Arkansas Fall

We spent 3 days in Arkansas celebrating Thanksgiving and Granny's 80th birthday with the extended Burress family.

Jadyn with 2nd cousins Xandree and Myranda
Since fall/winter visits with Aunt Staci, Uncle Mark, Kaleb and Jacob are extremely rare, we took advantage of the time and celebrated our little Christmas together Thanksgiving night.  Honestly, I was very nervous about all three families staying together under one roof.  Don't get me wrong, I love being all together, I do well with chaos, and I don't mind noise.  I just also know first hand three different families of children can stress mom's and dad's out.  When mom's and dad's get stressed out, well, nothing good comes from it.  I am very excited to say though it was great!  We had fun and everyone did really well!  I think this comes from our kids getting older.  Year by year we are slipping further and further away from that unpredictable baby phase.  Kind of an exciting time!

Decked out in matching pajamas (made by yours truly :), they exchanged the gifts they had drawn names for.    This does appear to be a fool proof way of getting 7 kids to look and smile at the camera.  Give them presents.

The weekend was filled with shopping (no 5am Walmart adventures though!), hanging with family, quick photo session for Christmas cards, playing in the leaves, and a trip to Roaring River State Park to feed the fish.  It was gorgeous!  

I now will warn you before the next post.  It is a part 2 to this Arkansas trip.  It will be a big dump of cuteness of my family and my Colton.  That is all.  No real stories behind the photos.  Just a mom/wife thinking her husband and kids are gorgeous.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hoping everyone of our family and friends is celebrating an amazing Christmas season!  We love you all and are so grateful for you in our lives.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Comfort(er)

As I sit here watching Good Morning America, listening to a children's choir offer us condolence through the words of Amazing Grace, I am so grateful for my salvation.

I have shared with friends and family, as we have all discussed the tragedy at Sandy Hooks Elementary School this weekend, I cannot imagine the fear in the adults minds.  The children, yes, its terrifying I have no doubt and am not discounting that, but as a mother of 3 young children, I also know fear is different when you don't fully understand all the evil around you.  The teacher who sought protection with her students in the bathroom said one little boy said he knew karate and would go out first. I think this perfectly sums up the innocence of little ones.  The teacher on the other hand was sure they were all going to die.  Its a fear I cannot imagine.

So many people have questioned a God that would allow this to happen.  I am going to explain this in the way I (personally) understand this.

We are fallen.  When God created Adam and Eve, it was a perfect world.  They had all the "good" things they needed.  They were told to avoid the one "bad" they DIDN'T EVEN NEED.  How often this is true for me.  I have all the good I need.  All the good I need to survive, to be full, all the opportunities to make the right choices.  They allowed a voice to convince them there was something a little bit better lying there in the bad they were told to refrain from.  How often this is true for me.  There must be something better in that bad decision I will choose to make again.  Sure, I remember clearly regretting it last time.  But, surely it will turn out different this time.  God, the Father, gave them the choice to make their decisions, but he also loved them deeply after that bad decision.  How often this is true for me.  As parent, I do not love my child less today because of their bad yesterday.  

I serve a God who doesn't make the bad things happen, but loves deeply when His children do bad things.

I also serve a God, that through my belief and relationship with his son Jesus, I have a promise of eternity.  A promise that after our miscarriage 11 years ago, I clung to for life.  A promise that reminds me constantly that  this world IS. NOT. ALL.  As much pain as our flesh can feel here, there is an ultimate healing there where no pain will be felt.  I know too that being there is much better than being here.  I will not miss this.  I will not long and ache for this world left behind.  I will gladly give this up for that.  I am so grateful today for this reminder.  This reminder has brought me comfort this fear filled weekend.

God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thanksgiving is for the Byrd's

Ha ha.  This title has cracked me up.  See what I did there....the Byrd's.  As in the Byrd family.  I'm funny.

Since we would spend the actual Thanksgiving day and weekend in Arkansas with Rusty's dad's side of the family, we had Thanksgiving #1 with the Byrd family the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.

We had a fantastic traditional lunch, smoked Turkey with all the fixings (sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green been casserole, Leann's stuffing and rolls).  Pumpkin crunch cake, cheesecake and Mississippi mud brownies for dessert.

I am always so grateful for any peaceful Byrd family functional.  We are the family that typically puts the FUN in dysfunction :)   Yeah, ok, the fun in dysfunction is rarely actually fun!  We did have a sweet time this year and makes me look forward to Christmas!