31 Days {day 31}

October 31, 2013

the interview

I thought it would be fun to share videos of what my kids think of me as a mom. They recorded these videos with their siblings in private. I did not coach or coax them at all. They were simply given the instructions to take my phone into their room and record each other making a short video of what they think of me as a mother. Here is the result:

Oh, yeah, and they're dressed up for "halloween" today. 

"Her children arise and call her blessed" Proverbs 31:28


31 Days {day 30}

October 30, 2013

name 10 things you hope to be remembered for

  1. I was an honest person.
  2. I loved God.
  3. I loved my children.
  4. I was helpful.
  5. I was not selfish.
  6. I was a good wife.
  7. I made sure that my house was always a home.
  8. I never quit trying to be better.
  9. I had a servant's heart.
  10. I was a good friend to many.
"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of  life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man." Proverbs 3:1-4


31 Days {day 29}

October 29, 2013

Okay. So I don't get the "Blogger of the Year" award.
My weekend was spent in New Orleans with Karli at a dance convention.
I was able to watch my baby girl study under some of the world's top professional dancers.
That is more important than blogging any ole day.
So, I'm skipping over a few days and "catching myself up" today.

{day 29}

what's your favorite quality in your spouse?

Freddie is a very hard worker.
There is not a lazy bone in his body.
He pushes himself every single day to provide well for us.
We made the decision years ago for me to quit my job
and stay home to raise our children.
He has picked up the slack and worked a full time job and then
the equivalent of another job and sometimes more.

I also love that he is in love with me.
Girls need to feel special and beautiful,
and no matter how much weight I gain,
how crazy my hair looks,
or how I look without make-up,
Freddie always makes me feel like he thinks I am 
the most beautiful girl in the world.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24

"But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1Timothy 5:8


31 Days {day 24 & day 25}

October 25, 2013

Lucky us.
Another two for one!
Listen y'all, I've got a crazy busy weekend so please forgive my skipping.
Just a warning, it's GOING to happen again.
REALLY soon.

{day 24}

what is your most & least favorite things about parenthood

My least favorite thing about parenthood is disciplining my children.
It just stinks, especially when the lessons are hard.
I never want to be the "bad guy", even though I know that in reality I'm not.

My favorite thing about parenthood is everything else.
I love the snuggly moments, 
the belly laughs, 
seeing them grow into themselves, 
kisses & cuddles, 
seeing them learn,
the feeling that I have when they show me they love me & trust me.
I love being a parent!

{day 25}

if you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and what would you eat?

What an honor would it be to have dinner with Jesus? Just to be in the presence of the Messiah would be enough to take my breath away. And if I could actually eat, we would eat Bread & Wine.

"And while they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying,'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.'" Luke 22:26-29


31 Days {day 23}

October 23, 2013

what is your favorite holiday and why?

This one is easy.
My favorite holiday is CHRISTmas.
I love CHRISTmas because it is so much more than just one day.
It's a season.
With the first cool spell of fall, a spark ignites an ember within me.
It is the trigger reminding me of a coming day where we will gather 
with our family and friends to celebrate and reconnect.
There will be laughing, and food, and exchanges of tokens of our affections.
Memories will be relived and made new.
It's a sentimental hope, a settling deep within, a joy, an emptying of one's self to be filled.
CHRISTmas is when I turn off the noise of the world 
{for the most part}
and focus on the Gift and what it means for me.
Every year it's about the Birth- about God becoming a human being in the person of Jesus.
It's the reminder of His love for us that awakens me to a re-birth within my soul.
I am grateful always for a Savior who gave the Greatest Gift, 
and for the celebration of His birth continues to give so much more to me & my family.

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:


reading the CHRISTmas story at our family party


31 Days {day 22}

October 22, 2013

where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?

In five years I will be 45 years old & Freddie will be 46.
Karli will be 19 years old & hopefully in college or something.
Drake will be 17 years old and a senior in high {home}school.
Brant will be 15 years old and a freshman.
Aubree will be almost 11 years old and in the 6th grade probably.
{Now I am officially depressed.}
My life will certainly look different than it does today~
although my kids and their interests will still be front & center.
I see football and dancing still being a big part of my life.
I would imagine that there might be a few romantic interests as well.
I will have two more licensed drivers in our home. God help me.
Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, we will be debt free and 
living in a newly built house with enough space for lots of friends & family.
And a pool. I really want an in-ground pool.

In ten years I will be 50 years old & Freddie will be 51.
Karli will be 24 and working or maybe even married.
Drake will be 22 and a college graduate with a good job.
Brant will be 20 years old and in technical/trade school.
Aubree will be almost 16 and a junior in high {home} school.
Could there be a grand-baby in the picture? It's possible.
I imagine that Aubree {and maybe Brant} will be living at home still.
Are there wedding bells in the air? Could be.
I'm probably going to be totally gray because 
Aubree will be officially a licensed driver. YIKES!

In fifteen years I will be 55 years old & Freddie will be 56.
Karli will be 29 years old & she better be married and have at least one kid!
Drake will be 27 years old & he'll probably be married too. Kids would be nice.
Brant will be 25 years old & he'll be working now and probably married, too.
Aubree will be almost 21 years old and God only knows what she'll be doing.
Freddie & I will hopefully be able to do a lot of traveling.
The extra rooms in our house will be now used for our grand-kids 
and perhaps even space for our new hobbies.
We're still several years away from retirement, 
but hopefully Freddie doesn't have to work nearly as hard as he once did.
I may have a part time job, but in the least I will dedicate a portion of my time
volunteering my time and talents somewhere.

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor, it is attained in the way of righteousness." Proverbs 16:31


31 Days {day 21}

October 21, 2013

describe your relationship with your parents

My relationship with my parents.
Can I just skip this one?

My relationship with my dad....
It's cordial & friendly.
I guess kind of like what you might have with an uncle.
I had a really rough childhood.
There was abuse. Lots of it.
There were some happy memories with my dad, 
but the ones that were not happy were very not happy.
There has been forgiveness.
But some wounds are too deep to forget.
I love him because he is my father,
however I cannot have a close relationship with him.

My relationship with my momma...
It's evolving.
We have our ebbs and flows.
She has worked so hard the past few years to improve many areas of her life
and I am incredibly proud of her for that.
It can be difficult at times to be her daughter.
Sometimes it is draining and frustrating.
The thing about my momma is that there is not a mean bone in her body.
She truly is kind.
Her intentions are good, 
but there is something that stops her sometimes from acting them out.
So here's the rub... 
I love her. I really do.
I trust her. She will always love me.
I will care for her. She has a fear of being alone & I will never let that happen.
I will not quit trying to make us better.
And quite frankly, sometimes, the problems we face are not her fault but mine.
The relationship we have is not necessarily one I want to have with my adult kids,
but it's ours.
It's the best either of us can do at any given moment.
And there is love between us- even if we struggle to show it well sometimes.

"Keep your love for one another at full strength, because love covers a multitude of sins." 1Peter 4:8


31 Days {day 19 & day 20}

October 20, 2013

{day 19} how did you feel the moment you became a parent?

My road to becoming a mother was  long and difficult one.
I've always wanted babies- lots of babies for as long as I can remember.
However, getting to that point was not as easy for Freddie & I as it is for most.
We struggled for 6 years with infertility.

The moment my first born child was placed in my arms was surreal.
I remember thinking, "Wow. This is it. I'm really a mom. She's my baby."
She looked so perfect.
Her face was round and smooth and perfectly pink.
{the photos of those first few moments look very different from what my eyes saw}
I kissed her. And I loved her.
I felt confident that I could take care of her well.
It's almost as though I started to live that day.

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

{day 20} describe 3 significant memories from your childhood

1. I remember that my mom would let me dip my kid-sized play mop in her mop bucket. It made me feel so grown up. I wanted so badly to clean house like her. I always was so jealous that her dirt pile was always so much bigger than mine. 

2. At CHRISTmas we would decorate our tree with our usual ornaments and colored blinking lights. Then, we would put silver icicles on the tree. Momma always wanted them placed neatly and strategically. But Dad would throw them with us on the tree- the thicker the better! It was so much fun and we absolutely LOVED how the tree looked when it was drowned in icicles.

3. One year for CHRISTmas we were at my grandmother's house for our annual family get-together. Only this year, when we got home, we discovered that Santa had passed while we were gone. This made my doubting mind wonder, but then I remembered that Dad and my uncles had left for a little while to go the store for something. 

*In order to keep it real, I combined {days 19 & 20} because they were both written today.


31 Days {day 18}

October 18, 2013

what do you think your spouse loves most about you?

What's not to love?
If I had to name the one thing that I think Freddie loves most about me
 it would have to be that I am a really good mother to our children.
A perfect mother I am not.
But I am good and I am theirs.
I love them fiercely with a passion rivaled by none.
I am constantly trying to improve myself- 
as a mother, but also as a wife, a woman, and a child of God.

And, just to see how close my own guess was, I asked him what he loves most about me
and it would seem that I am absolutely right.

"She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.'" Proverbs 31:27-29


31 Days {day 17}

October 17, 2013

what is the thing that you wish you were great at?

I'm good at a few things. 
I can birth a baby like nobody's business.
I'm good at organizational skills.
I'm a good mother.
I like to say that I am a good wife, too.
I've got some mad Language Art skills.
I'm a great reader.
This girl's got some {book} smarts.
I've been told that I've got good "interior decorating" sense.
I can throw a mean party.
Oh, if you need a personal shopper- I am your girl!
I can shop like a pro!

What I am not good at is physical coordination type stuff like dancing & sports.
What would I like to be great at?
I wish I were a great singer. 
I would love to sing a song and not hear 
"shut up" or "that's annoying" or "please stop".
It would be wonderful if the sound of me singing 
would cause everyone within earshot to stop what they were doing 
and just stand there in a trance-like stupor with a big ole smile upon their lips.
That is all.


31 Days {day 16}

October 16, 2013

what are your 5 greatest accomplishments?

  1. Okay. If you know me, you know I am going to say my kids. I am so proud of each of them. They are smart, and beautiful, and compassionate {most of the time}. It was not an easy feat to have children at first. There were several years of infertility. Countless doctor visits, money spent, injections, and graphic invasions of my {uh um} privacy. I cannot tell you how many prayers were prayed or tears were shed. I begged & pleaded with God. And if I had to do it all over again? I would go to the ends of the earth to get the four children I have now. The exact ones. There is nothing about any one of them that I would want to change.
  2. I had a rough social experience in school. Some days were pretty good. But when they were bad, they were really bad. In all fairness, I wasn't the only one who had this experience in my school. It was common and we all took our turns being the outcast. Nonetheless, my self-esteem suffered greatly. In part due to the brutality of my school life but I was also terribly abused at home. Some would say that I did not have a fighting chance to walk away from my youth unscathed. But I did! Okay. There are scars that remain. But I wear them as reminders of what I overcame. 
  3. I have been faithfully married to one man for over 21 years. Listen y'all- this is BIG!
  4. I managed to withstand labor and childbirth four times without the aid of any pain medication at all!
  5. None of these things would be possible if not for one thing- my greatest accomplishment of all. I gave my heart and life over to God several years ago. He is why I have children. He is why I made it out of childhood alive. He is the whisper that was always deep inside that knew I was lovable when no one else did. He is how my marriage has withstood the testings of this life. All glory to Him, it is not I but He who lives in me.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13


31 Days {day 15}

October 15, 2013

describe how you knew your spouse was the one

Freddie & I have  been married for over 21 years now.
We have officially been married longer than we have not been married.
So how did I know that he was the one?
I'm not sure that there is a specific moment that I knew.
It was more of a series of things that just made sense.

The first time he kissed me I literally felt my heart melt and pour into my toes.
{I wish I could say that he is the only boy I've ever kissed.
I don't think you should get that personal with someone you are not very serious about-
but that'a a whole other blog post.}
Anyway, that is the only time EVER in my whole entire life that has happened.

Another important thing is that we were literally the best of friends 
long before we had a dating relationship.
I knew him in a totally different way because of this.
You tend to be a little more real with your friends 
than with the person you're trying to impress as a potential date.

We dated in high school and went our separate ways.
It would have been very easy for that to have been the end of it.
But, when God has a plan it will come to pass.
After I graduated from high school I moved out of my parents house.
I moved to a totally different city.
I should not have been able to have been found.
But, he found me.
He had it set upon his heart to find me and that's what he did.
There was a connection that we shared that was not easily ignored
and time [and apparently distance} could not erase it.

And then there's the test.
When a man's mother asks you to marry him
what are you going to say?
Yes. My mother-in-law popped the question, initially.
What had happened was...
Freddie was in boot camp.
No cell phones. No internet. Old fashioned pay phones and snail mail.
He called intent on proposing to me but I was not there.
His mom was.
So, too impatient to wait, or too afraid he'd chicken out, 
he told his mom to ask me if I would marry him.
You can judge all you want.
But you know it's real 
when you don't even hesitate in that circumstance to scream YES!
{okay. I didn't answer her. I waited for him to ask the next time he called. Needless to say I rarely left the house until I got that next phone call from him, not knowing when it might be.}

So it would appear that we are what you might call destiny.
Even so, our life together has not been easy or without trials.
We have often had to fight to be together.
We have had to fight to stay together.
We have faced the scary reality that sometimes
 being apart was the only thing harder than being together.
This was our first Christmas as a married couple.

So there it is.
Our Story.
Our beautiful, story.


31 Days {day 14}

October 14, 2013

describe 5 strengths & weaknesses you have

  1. I am a very organized person {strength} and I do not function well in disorganization and chaos {weakness}.
  2. I am very punctual {strength} and I cannot stand to be late {weakness}. This has also rubbed off onto my kids.
  3. I am a really good friend- I am loyal, honest, considerate, & helpful {strength} and I expect the same from my friends in return {weakness}. 
  4. I am told that I often appear to be a confident person {strength} but it's not necessarily always true {weakness}. I have a sensitive heart.
  5. I love God with all my heart and soul and work hard everyday to reflect the love of Jesus {strength} but I don't always do such a good job and fail more often than I care to admit {weakness}.
"Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" Matthew 22:37


31 Days {day 13}

October 13, 2013

what's the hardest part of growing up?

This may come as a shock, but, I do remember being a kid.
It really wasn't all that long ago.
Okay. Who am I kidding?
It was a long time ago, but I still remember it.

I had a hard childhood.
I was somehow able to get through the war 
and the scars have healed rather nicely- all things considered.
My childhood looks very different from my kids'.
Even so, growing up can be difficult.

One of the hardest parts, I think, is learning who you really are.
It's one of the most difficult and arguably the most important.
We live in a world that tells us that we need to be skinny,
and tall, and academically superior.
We must be better at everything than everyone else.
But the truth is, we are not all meant to be skinny, or tall.
Some of us struggle to learn and some of us have two left feet.
It is important to realize that we were not all meant to excel in everything.
We were made with a purpose in mind by a perfect Creator.
We are important to Him.
Each one of our hairs are numbered- Matthew 10:29-31

When you're a kid, what everyone else thinks of you is so important.
Heck, some of us adults struggle with that, too.
As you get older, you learn by the school of hard knocks
that everyone else is not the authority in just who you should be, 
nor are they as {uh um} knowledgeable as you may have once believed.

It's important to search your deepest parts to figure out what you're good at.
You need to find your passion- what gets you excited and gives you energy.
And probably most importantly, you need to discover for yourself who God says you are,
and then, you need to believe it.
Don't compare yourself to anyone else.
You are a unique creation of your Father, the Most High King.
That makes you royalty!

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:9-11


31 Days {day 12}

October 12, 2013

a typical day in the life of me {currently}

I normally sleep until about 7:30am. 
I will get up and make a pot of coffee if Freddie has not already done so.
I will usually go through my emails & scroll through my Facebook feed.
Then I sit down to a beautiful {LARGE} cup of coffee and Freddie & I have our special morning time together- hopefully uninterrupted time for adult conversation and catch-up. 
This is probably my most favorite part of the day. Well, close at least.
Freddie will head off to work and I will spend some time reading my Bible.
Then the kids will start waking up about 8:30am or shortly thereafter. 
It depends on how selfish generous I'm feeling that day.
Then it's go time.
I will spend the next several minutes getting the kids into the kitchen trying to convince them to eat breakfast.
 I will sneak in my morning phone time with my BFFFL while I get my first {of many} load of laundry going and work on the rest of the housework.
It's chore/personal hygiene time until about 10:00am-10:30am and then we start school.
Karli and Drake head to their rooms and I get Brant & Aubree started on schoolwork, 
taking turns working independently and then one on one with me. 
From time to time I pop in on Karli & Drake to help them as needed.
We try to break for lunch around 12:30pm.
After lunch, it's back to the grind where we try to make sure to finish all schoolwork, housework, and supper by about 3:00pm.
Then we get the kids a quick snack and whoever needs to gets changed into whatever practice attire is required, depending on the day of the week.
I'm usually out the door for about 3:45pm 
headed an hour away to get Drake to football practice and 
I have to rely on someone else to get the other kids to their practices, 
which is closer to home. 
Usually Freddie does this, but I do have to rely on outside help sometimes, too.
We get home from football practice between 9:00pm-9:30pm usually. 
We grab some supper, bathe and fall into bed to do it all over again the next day.
Not every day is the same. 
Wednesdays Drake does not have practice. 
His games are usually either Friday or Saturday nights and we have driven as far as 4+ hours to get a game.
 Brant's football games are on Saturday afternoon. 
Karli also has dancing on Saturday mornings and Sunday after noons after church. 
Things will calm down quite a bit after football season is over, 
although we will still have dance classes 5 days a week.
My guess is that I will miss all this busyness. 
Even though I exist in a state of exhaustion most days, I love it! 
There is nothing else I would rather be doing.
 I love my life and everything that fills it. 
So, if you are a part of my life, {even just a tiny part} know that you are here deliberately and I thank you for being a part of making it awesome!

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20


31 Days {day 11}

October 11, 2013

describe your 10 pet peeves

  1. bad grammar- including misspelled words and misuse of homophones
  2. more than one dish in the sink at a time if I am hand washing dishes {thankfully, now that I have a teenager, this rarely happens anymore}
  3. when people do not answer/return phone calls
  4. tardiness
  5. pessimism as the rule rather than the exception
  6. chin hair- on girls, not guys {don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. And if you don't know now, you will.}
  7. stuff dragging around my house
  8. LYING
  9. when my kids are disrespectful to me
  10. did I mention bad grammar?

"for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:3-4


31 Days {day 10}

October 10, 2013

describe your most embarrassing moment

Who's thinking up these topics?

Okay, fine. I'll play along.
My most embarrassing moment.... hmmmm....
Ugh! This is not fun.
You probably don't even want to know.
You do want to know!
But I don't wanna!

Okay... but it's gonna be QUICK!

All you need to know is that my most embarrassing moment involves a swimming pool and a top that did not do what it was designed to do.

The End. Over and Out.


31 Days {day 9}

October 9, 2013

list 10 people who have influenced you and how

  1. Ms. Suzanne Robin- she was my Home Economics teacher & FHA adviser. She made me feel like she believed in me when I really needed someone in my corner.
  2. Minnie Quebedeaux- my grandmother always made me feel as though I was her favorite. I'm sure I wasn't, but I've always felt like I was.
  3. Rebecca Matte- she has been a god-send. The End.
  4. Charlotte Adams- she is a new friend who has shown me that you can still really, truly, genuinely like someone even if you don't agree with them all the time.
  5. Savannah Arnaud- she has proven to me time and again that friends- true friends- will not walk away, they will stay, they will fight for the friendship, they will love you, they will apologize, they will forgive. BFFFL's do exist.
  6. Nancy Friou- she has shown me what faith looks like.
  7. Freddie Calverette- he has shown me what it feels like to really be loved.
  8. Mona Arnaud- she has always loved me for as long as I can remember. She really, really loves me and I know it. There are not many people who I can say this about.
  9. Brenda Quebedeaux- she's my mom. She's always done the best that she can. She has shown me that it's never too late to work on becoming better.
  10. Marie Calverette- I know that she will defend me to death. She loves me as her own child. She raised a wonderful man, and for that I am eternally grateful.
"As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt." 1Samuel 18:1-4


31 Days {day 8}

October 8, 2013

what are 5 passions that you have?

  1. I have a passion for my kids. It's amazing how much one person can love another person. When I look at them, each one of them, I see so much awesome-sauce pulsing through their veins. I can almost see their souls. I know each of them so well that I can tell with precision what each nuance means. It's as though I might be able to physically touch their intentions. And I almost need their breath for my own. They are my past- the longing for them to fill the empty spaces. The are my now- besides the worship of my Father, all that I do includes them. They are my future- I am excited for what's to come when they grow up and venture out on their own journeys- which I really hope includes a bunch of grandchildren.
  2. I have a passion for what I do for a living. I don't get paid with a check, but what I get is even better. My heart is at home. It is within these walls that I create our space. It's personal. It's safe. It's crazy. It's us. It's where we fight, and love, it's where are roots are planted and where we bloom. It's where we walk around in our underwear. We gather here to work, to play, to relax, to be. It's consistent yet ever changing to meet our needs. It's our soft place to fall.
  3. I have a passion for my husband. I have a love for him that brings tears to my eyes even as I type these words. I don't often think of him as being separate from me. He is part of who I am. He loved me when I did not know how to love myself. He has pushed me beyond the limits I had created in my mind. He's demanded more of me than I would have been able to do otherwise. He makes me better.
  4. I have a passion for service. I love to feel useful. I really enjoy helping others.
  5. I have a passion for God. Recently, I have come to realize that there is nothing that I can do to earn my salvation. I can never, not ever, be a good enough Christian. No amount of love or service or sacrifice is going to get me to Heaven. It is only by the blood of Jesus Christ that I will get there one day. His grace covers me daily. His mercy is poured into me. I am oozing with gratefulness and love and humility at the perfect Love He has for me. I will never be able to express in human words what I feel inside when I think of God, or talk to God, or hear from God.  I pray that others might see HIM in me and want It for themselves. Fill me Lord with YOU! 
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Mark 12:30


31 Days {day 7}

October 7, 2013

what is your dream job and why?

I am so glad you asked! I have known pretty much what I wanted to be when I grew up since I was a wee child.

After high school I got married right away. My husband was in the Navy and so we packed up the few things we received as wedding gifts and moved 900 miles as far east as the road would go. I was half-way across the country from everyone I knew and my new husband was often deployed for weeks at a time. I tell you we had the CLEANEST apartment in Florida! A girl can only clean so much, so I enrolled in school and got a degree in Travel & Tourism and began a professional career as a Travel Consultant. But, in my heart, I knew there was a greater plan. I worked hard. I waited- sometimes rather impatiently. But, finally, on April 7, 1999 I got that big promotion I had been waiting on my whole entire life! I became a mom! But not just any mom, I was able to be a stay-at-home mom. Well, at first it was a work-at-home mom. Anyway that's irrelevant.

My dream job is, was, and always will be to be a wife & mommy. Why? Well, it just is. It has been my heart for as long as I can remember. It's all I have ever wanted to do or be. I am passionate about my family. Even before they were my family. It's what I feel like I was called to do. I am not the best mom or wife. Although, I have gotten to be sort of good at it with years of practice. The thing is, I try real hard. I want to make this time in their lives full of great memories for my kids. I want our house to be home. Forever. We all want that, right? I am blessed to be able to spend so much time with my kids. I absolutely love seeing them grow from infant to toddler to child to human being. {I'm not saying that littles are not human- they just don't always act human. wink, wink I kid. Sort of.} It drives me crazy crazier many days. Some days, I wish I could just quit. But, mostly I am grateful for the privilege to be his wife & their mom- day in and day out. Guts and all. 

"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. Sh dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. she puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs a the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all." Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her pf the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:10-31


31 Days {day 6}

October 6, 2013

if you could have 3 wishes what would you wish for?

  1. I would wish for a long life to see my children grow up to have full, happy lives with spouses who cherished them above all others and loved God with all of their hearts.
  2. I would wish to be debt free.
  3. I would wish to live in a world where everyone has a heart for God and lives each day to please Him.
"And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" Luke 11:9-13


31 Days {day 5}

October 5, 2013

the 5 things that make me most happy right now

  1. watching my kids do what they love to do
  2. snuggle time with my babies {all 5 of them}
  3. our health
  4. my friends- the circle is growing. i am so glad to have faith-filled friends- new & old
  5. getting lost in worship songs 

"And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13


31 Days {day 4}

October 4, 2013

10 things i would tell my 16 year old self

  1. your worth is not contingent upon someone else's opinion. ever.
  2. you are exactly who God created you to be and it is a beautiful Masterpiece in His eyes. 
  3. never say never.
  4. be careful who you trust with your heart in matters of love & friendship.
  5. stay away from gossip. learn this skill sooner rather than later- it will save you a lot of heartache and trouble.
  6. think carefully before you react. remember to most often think with your brain not your heart.
  7. when you have kids, work hardest at not losing it so much. you will want them to know how to be kind and patient and slow to anger. you are going to have to demonstrate these skills in order for them to be learned.
  8. make it a priority to save money & do all you can to stay out of debt. this is so important!
  9. you know a lot less than you think you do.
  10. you do not have to eat the whole coconut pie even though you want to!

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


31 Days {day 3}

October 3, 2013

my relationship with my husband

Can anyone say per-son-al?
But, I supposed that it's an important part of the story of our family.
After all, this blog was created for my children, 
and this post is no exception.

I met Daddy when I was a teenager. Fifteen.
He drove into my driveway in his big, loud truck.
{I think. It could have been a car. A camaro, maybe?}
You see, I was "dating" his friend and he was the "ride".
No need to go into details.
Obviously, things did not work out for me and the "friend".

Daddy & I were friends for a very long time.
Yes. Just friends.
Best friends.
I feel like this is a very important part of the story.
It's important to be friends first.
That's what we built everything else on.
When things got tough- 
and they did get tough- 
we had a really good foundation to hold us up.

Our friendship slowly grew into an attraction.
We dated for a while and then broke up.
After high school, Daddy decided that he was ready
to settle into something serious.
His thoughts turned to me and he set out to find me.
This was not an easy task because 
I had moved out of my parent's home and was living in a different city.
Remember, this was in the "olden days"- before cell phones.
Long story short, we began dating again immediately.
September 1, 1991.
A series of events that included the US Navy led us to marry in August of 1992.

And here we are.
Twenty-one years & four kids later.
We have had our fair share of ups & downs.
We battled being apart during naval deployments.
Then there were the years of infertility.
And there were all those years we lived like hell.
But we found Jesus. Or He found us.
It has not been picture perfect.
We have loved hard and fought harder.
There was a lot of growing up that had to be done.
Souls had to be searched and made right.
I can honestly say that I have loved him through it all.
I have not always liked him very much.
But the love has always been there.
And it has grown. And changed. And deepened.

Our marriage has it's issues- as they all do.
I never want my children to grow up thinking 
that a good marriage exists only within the context
of two people who always agree and do everything right.
Listen, we both mess up.
But we have learned to be good forgivers.

Our relationship is multifaceted.
We are parents.
We must stand together as a united front.
This is not always easy, but we do our best to navigate these waters carefully.
We are a couple.
This is the fun part for us.
It's nice to be Dana & Freddie.
That's when we get to be real people 
who get to have adult conversations with other adults.
And then there is Dana and there is Freddie- individuals.
Individuals who have interests apart from each other.
We have unique personalities, struggles, strengths, & weaknesses.
There are goals we would like to accomplish as a family,
those we have as a couple, 
and those that are personal.
They all coexist and somehow help the others along.

I am of the mentality that a wife should submit to her husband.
This is not a popular stand to take in today's liberal world.
If you will indulge me a moment I would like to elaborate.
I don't think of my husband as a ruler over me.
He is responsible for me,
much in the same way that we are responsible for our children.
I do not, in any means, consider myself his child.
I am his partner who has thoughts, ideas, solutions, and value.
But, when it comes down to it, 
I trust my husband to ultimately make the decisions for our family.
He in turn, listens to my opinions in consideration. 
Sometimes my opinions need to be louder than other times {wink, wink}.
I feel like it's more a matter of respect & trust than of authority.
I respect him as my husband- a smart man with our best interest at heart.
I trust that he will make the best decisions for his family.
And he is responsible for the consequences.
My role is to make our house a home.
I am the emotional caretaker of this family.
It's my job to make sure that everyone's heart is full 
and his to make sure everyone's bellies are full.
I keep the house running 
and it's his job to fund it.
I make him feel needed 
and he makes me feel beautiful. 

It took a long time to get to this place.
We both had so much growing up to do.
It has not been easy. 
But is has been worth it.

People love each other in different ways.
It's important to figure out what love looks like for each other- 
both how you give it & how you receive it.
I have learned that it's in everyone's best interest 
not to compare your marriage with anyone else's.
Ain't nobody got time fo dat.

Daddy & I were made for each other.
God sent Daddy to love me when I didn't know how to love myself.
I honestly believe that this marriage was Planned 
long before either of us knew about it.
We are just really good for each other.
And as long as I am alive, there will never be anyone on this earth 
who loves him more than I do.

"Scarcely had I left them When I found him whom my soul loves;" Song of Solomon 3:4


31 Days [day 2}

October 2, 2013

i fear...

As a Christian, I know that God is in control of my life. 
To say that I never worry, or am fearful would not be accurate.
The thing is, I know that my God can, I'm just not always sure that He will.
I may be [and have been] asked to walk through some scary paths in my life.
My comfort is that God will always be with me. 
He will never leave me.

There are a few things that I fear God will ask me to face.
My prayer is that it never happens.
These are fears I refuse to voice, simply because I will not give life to those things.
With that being said, I still need to tell you what I fear.
Here goes...

1. ...bats. They are just creepy. I don't like them. They are ugly. And scary. Heaven help me. That is all. 

2. ...heights. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I am afraid of falling off of something from very high up. I guess this fear is more of falling than of actual heights. When I am up high and I peer over the edge my legs faint. It is the weirdest thing. I don't even have to be the one high up and close the the edge of something. If I see someone else in this predicament, I get sympathy fear and my legs will, again, faint!

3. ...being stuck in a small space. Claustrophobia. I've got that. BAD! I will panic like nobody's business if I feel like I can't move around enough to turn myself around and get out of whatever space I find myself in. If you need someone to crawl through a little tunnel or pipe or something, you are out of luck. I am not that girl. I will seriously lose it.

So, those are my fears. I hope that doesn't affect my SuperMom status. What are some of your fears?

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." 2Timothy 1:7

"fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows." Matthew 10:31

"in God I trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Psalm 56:11


31 Days: {day 1}

October 1, 2013

20 Random Facts About Myself

  1. My favorite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11.
  2. My eyes are blue & I have always been in love with that fact.
  3. I am driven by my emotions, which is not always a good/bad thing. I am trying to insert more wisdom into the equation of my life and less emotional impulse.
  4. I have wanted to be a wife & mommy for as long as I can remember. Nothing else, really.
  5. I really wish that I was 5'6" tall. 
  6. I am really proud of the fact that I birthed my 4 babies with NO drugs at all!
  7. I once backed into a chief of police's car in a parking lot.
  8. I am afraid of heights in the sense that my legs turn into spaghetti if I am near an edge where I can fall off. The same thing happens if I see someone else in the same predicament. Especially my kids.
  9. I am not nearly as patient as I should or would like to be.
  10. I have always wanted a big family.
  11. I am good in {English} Language Arts. I once wanted to be a broadcast journalist.
  12. I tell each of my kids, "You're my favorite, but don't tell the others." and I mean it.
  13. I was a Travel Consultant before I had kids.
  14. I dream of traveling the world with Freddie once he retires.
  15. The thing that bothers me the most is when my intentions are misunderstood.
  16. I hate to cook.
  17. I love to shop.
  18. I like history, in the sense of antiques and seeing how past generations lived day to day life. I love to visit old plantations and houses just to see what it was like long ago.
  19. My favorite color is pink.
  20. I love God. I mean, I really, really, really love God.

"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