Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is the exercise helping?

Well, I've been walking consistently in the morning to get some exercise. Anywhere from 1.5 - 3 miles on average. Pretty good for me.

Tonight at dinner Mason asked, "Mom, are you still walking in the morning?"

Preparing myself for a compliment, I answered, "Yes, why do you ask?"

Mason honestly answers, "Because you look really good... Well... not really good, but better."

Good recovery Mason! I know you speak the truth!

Some Understanding of Cat Lovers

Okay, now I get it! I have some understanding of Cat Lovers. Some.

On Monday night, these two kittens showed up in our yard. The boys were beside themselves! They played and played with them. Monday night, they went to several houses to see if anyone would claim these two - okay, I'll admit it - these two cute animals. Although no one claimed them, one sweet neighbor gave the boys some cat food and another generous neighbor sent them home with a cat toy! Wasn't that thoughtful?!?
Well, Reid calls me from work on Tuesday around lunchtime to say, "Robin, do NOT let the boys think that these kittens have found a home."
To which I reply, "Well, honey...the boys have already named them. One is Brownie and the other is Angel. And, the boys have taken every box we had in the garage to make them a house on our front porch. The boys went outside as soon as they woke up this morning and one of them has been holding a kitten since 7:00 am!"
"Oh, great" comes from Reid with a defeated sigh.
(For those of you who know my history with animals, "Sissy" for instance - then you know that I am certainly not excited about having a pet.)
After I hang up the phone with Reid, in walks Mason. He looks at me and says, "Mom, you know what? Finding these kittens reminds of the Little House on the Prairie episode. You remember? Laura finds a stray dog, and her Dad lets her keep it!"
So much for Little House on the Prairie!
"Mmmmm....Hmmmm....Well, we are not keeping them." I reply as firmly as possible. In my mind I am remembering my morning devotion that actually said "I shall only pass this way but once, therefore, any kindness I can show to fellow man or animal, I shall do it." (I have never read this Quaker Saying with the word animal, but it was there - in black and white! Geez!) Not a coincidence!
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I am seeking to find a home for these animals. A few people express interest in taking one kitten, but there was a tug on my heart to keep them together. I even heard about a "No Kill Shelter" where I could take them to be adopted.
By Friday they had spent every night on our front porch in their homemade box-home. The boys played with the kittens before breakfast every morning and neglected their own chores to do so. Weston even rocked Brownie to sleep in our front porch rocker!
So, by Friday, I know that - I am going to be vulnerable and honest here - brace yourself - I know that if we could not find a home for them then we would end up keeping them ourselves. (Yes, you read it correctly.) Oh, it gets even better - even Reid agreed!
However, on Friday I receive a phone call.
(This is where the HERO enters the story.)
My neighbor Rhonda calls and says that HER FAMILY WILL KEEP BOTH KITTENS! Praise God! So,
1.) Both kittens will stay together. (I'm so relieved!)
2.) The kittens will be next door so the boys can play with them. (I'm so thankful!)
3.) The kittens will keep the names the boys chose for them. (So special for them!)
4.) We have no financial responsibility for them. (I'm very happy!)
5.) We can watch them grow up while they protect our home from mice. (hee-hee)
Seriously, it was an answered prayer. We actually did pray and thank God for finding them a home.
Now I am even more grateful that they belong to Rhonda. This morning there was cat puke on our front porch! We just have to train them to stay over there now!

Dinner with Friends

On Wednesday night, two of my favorite people came over to have dinner. :)

Becca and Jess entered my life a little less than one year ago. We have formed our own "Titus 2" group. The three of us meet on a consistent basis to walk through life together and provide encouragement, accountability, and friendship. My role is supposed to be "mentor" (Yes, I know that is a scary thought for some of you out there.) However, these two incredible women have taught me so much themselves! It has been such a blessing to have them both in my life!

On Wednesday, we got together and prepared an amazing dinner: Lemon Grilled Salmon, Smashed Potatoes, Pan Fried Asparagus, Homemade Rolls, and Blackberry Cobbler! Jess was introduced to salmon, asparagus, and blackberry cobbler FOR THE FIRST TIME! Whoa, has she led a sheltered life when it comes to gourmet cuisine! Ha-ha! Anyway, you can judge by the plates - EVERYTHING WAS A HIT! We hope to make it a quarterly event!

Even the boys cleaned their plates!

After dinner we headed downstairs to do our book study. It was an AMAZING time together. God's presence was exhilarating! We had such a precious sharing time that I had to commemorate it on my BLOG!

Becca and Jess - May we never forget such a heartfelt evening! You both are precious to me!
Thank you for your friendship!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

She Could Be...

For Becca

Dried up.
Hunched over.
She could be a flower.
Straightening up.
She is budding now.
Standing tall.
The beautiful fragrant blossom.

Praises abound that you have bloomed in your rocky place.

God is so good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seasoning - Evening What's the Difference

We bought some new seaoning for steaks and burgers. (Canadian Steak is the name.)

The first night we tried it, we covered our burgers with it to make them tasty!

As we set Braden's plate in front of him, he said excitedly, "Mommy, I see the evening!"

What Boys DON'T Need to Know

Last night at dinner, Mason asked an interesting question which led to some hilarious discussion.

He asked, "Mom, which one of us stayed on the bottle the longest?"

Well, what could I say? I simply told the truth. "Well, Mason, you and Franklin didn't take a bottle. I nursed you. You drank milk from my..." (I pointed to my bosom instead of using the word. Uncomfortable, I guess.)

Disgusted, Mason and Franklin both looked like they would throw up.

In my mind, the word "nipple-sucker" kept coming up. As precious as it was to nurse them as babies, it was just plain WEIRD to be talking about it with my 10 and 9 year old boys! WEIRD!

Mason, flushed and embarrassed, said with conviction, "Ugh! Mom, I didn't need to know that!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Walk for Wishes

I love my crazy and passionate friend Diana! I have had so many NEW life experiences with her! Last night, I had yet another NEW life experience! The older three boys and I spent the night inside a minor league baseball stadium as part of a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation.
Diana's daughter Carly has a rare disease - juvenile myositis -and she has been a recipient of a WISH. Carly actually got to spend a day modeling in New York City! Isn't that so cool?

We all had so much FUN! Andrew went with us, and he even won a PRIZE! We got to meet several WISH children, WISH volunteers, play games, have our faces painted, eat sandwiches, roll down the big hill, have all-you-can-eat cotton candy, all-you-can-drink Starbucks Coffee, hug on Carly, have fun with Lindsay, meet the Make-A-Wish Bear (hmmm...who is that?) and - my favorite part of all - we got to sleep in the Winston Salem Warthogs Dugout - until 4 am! (Ha, ha Diana!)

Seriously, we had a great time! It was wonderful being part of something so dear to a precious friend! Diana, you are priceless! Thank you so much for your incredible friendship!

Sleep in a dugout...a new life experience...yeah...that's what friends do!

Homesick Franklin comes Home

Franklin just could not make it another week away from home. After camp, he called to say he really wanted to come home. Unfortunately, Reid and I did not get the messages until nearly midnight on Saturday. We felt like we could earn the award for being the worst parents in the world! We felt soooooooo bad!
Reid drove over to High Point early on July 15th and brought him home. Weston and Braden were so excited. They spent the afternoon "forking" the yard with a sign that said "Welcome Back Franklin" and a very special sign that read "We hope you feel better!"

We were all happy to have him home!

Franklin's Football Birthday Party

Franklin celebrates turning NINE with a FOOTBALL BIRTHDAY PARTY!
This year Franklin wanted to celebrate his birthday with a Football themed party. Although we were celebrating with a friends a little late, it did not spoil the fun.
On July 7, sixteen boys filled our backyard for an afternoon of football and fun! One thing is for sure, a game of "duck-duck-goose" is not a nine year old boy's idea of FUN! However, Coach Beebe (aka Dad) indoctrinated the boys with some "conditioning" exercises...

Butterfly stretches - ouch! Glad they are limber!

Sit-Ups with "team counting"

Ugh! Eli has had enough!
Weston perseveres! And nine...and ten...and eleven...
Coach Beebe demonstrates a diamond handed push-up. Correct form is needed! Franklin follows well!
Running with HAPPY FEET!

Pulling out your hamstrings! Getting ready for the BIG GAME!

The boys had a BALL - literally - playing a game of football in the field behind our house! I have no idea which team won, but if you asked any of the kids I am sure they could tell you!

After the BIG GAME, Franklin and the boys came in for a homemade birthday cookie and snacks! Then Franklin was blessed with lots of fun gift to open!

The five three year-olds, played with me while the older boys played football. We did play "duck-duck-goose" and these boys LOVED IT!

The GRAND FINALE of the party was the Obstacle Course! It went around our house and had several jumps, and agility ladder, a push-up station, and lots of running! They boys were so competitive!
Big John put all of the younger boys to shame and represented the adults well! He completed the course in less than fourteen seconds! It was a day FULL OF FUN and LAUGHTER! After the party was over, Franklin enjoyed playing with his new toys. He received some water guns, and called me to my bedroom window to read the note he had sprayed on the driveway! Oh, how I love the simple gifts from a child's heart! What a precious way for Franklin to say "thanks" for the party! That's my nine year old! That's my Franklin!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Braden's version of a clogged potty

Braden called upstairs this morning to announce, "Daddy, our potty is FOGGED!"

Reid and I just about fell over laughing!

Camp Lurecrest

We got to talk to Mason and Franklin this morning as they left Camp Lurecrest and headed to High Point for a week with Andrew.

In Mason's words, "IT WAS AWESOME!"

They both loved camp. Mason talked nonstop about tubing, the zip-line, the big swing, etc... Franklin talked nonstop about being the FIRST one to try all of these "cool things."

It was great to hear their voices and know they were okay. Mason said Franklin got homesick two nights and crawled up in the bunk with him. I was so thankful that they were there for each other. Wonderful memories made with a brother and best friends.

I can't wait to hear more about it! God was so good to provide this gift for our boys!

Friday, July 13, 2007

To Be Set Apart

Over the past week, I have begun a spiral of emotion regarding homeschooling our three oldest boys. The best word to describe the emotion is "overwhelmed."

I have been examining curriculum, thinking of planning our days / weeks / year, looking into different Co-ops, offering to teach classes within the Co-Ops (Why?), etc... Meanwhile I have been involved in planning Women's Ministry Events, attending meetings with regard to planning, and wondering the areas in which I should serve in the church for next year. Currently, there are four areas I am slotted to serve for the upcoming year.

And, this is simply calendaring my own commitments, not my husband's or my children's activities.

Yesterday, I recognized that in all of the hustle and bustle of ME planning MY LIFE...what is being left behind is my family. MY FAMILY. That is supposed to be my PRIMARY ministry according to Scripture.

I spent some time in prayer this morning - literally, on my face - beseeching God for some answers. Where does He want me to serve? Am I yielding to His Desires or am I trying to dictate what I want to do? Is homeschooling our boys His Desire or mine? Where is my fleshly pride entering the picture? Can I truly serve Him with wholeness of heart if my life is so scheduled I do not have room for spontaneous service? Are my life choices a reflection of my deepest longing?

After a time of prayer through tears, do you know what God said to me?


I didn't hear from Him. Actually, in the state of my overwhelmed mind, I believe I couldn't hear from Him. How sad. It breaks my heart.

As I finished up my Quiet Time this morning, I was looking through some folders for some music to give to someone from last year's Women's Retreat. I found a poem I had written last November while on the retreat. In it, I believe I found God's answers to my questions. For He already spoke to me with regard to my questions, and my life currently is not a reflection my heart's deepest desire.

Here was my prayer last November. God's answers for my life are woven in to the words. Read on...

Life is such a busy ride...
How I long to just abide.

Lord, engage my mind.
Lord, engage my heart.
My lifelong prayer
Is to be set apart.

Lord, please guide me
In the ways best to use my time,
So that as it slips away
As one with You, my heart will chime.

Please resonate Your Will in my life
Every hour of every day,
Praising You for slivers of Your Glory,
Found in so many amazing ways.

Give me Your filter for commitments
And life's activities,
Making sure my time with You
Comes before all of these.

And, when I am debating over "good things"
Help me to always "choose the best"
Above all, precious Lord,
Making sure I make the time with You to rest.

Lord, engage my mind.
Lord, engage my heart.
My lifelong prayer
Is to be set apart.

When daily life and daily chores
Seem so redundant,
May I choose to live
The Life Abundant.

Lord, I ask not
That easy would be the road.
But, I do ask You to keep my heart open
To all You have to show.

Refine me Lord,
Give and take in ways You see best,
In all of life's circumstances
I choose in You to rest.

Lord, engage my mind.
Lord, engage my heart.
My lifelong prayer
Is to be set apart.

Cut anything away-
Peel the layers off-
Anything that hinders me-
Lord, in the name of Jesus, please just take it off.

I submit myself to You,
For You to use Your lance-
So that I may come before your throne,
With all my heart - just dance!

The places where you take me
May seem to difficult and so dry,
I praise you though, O My Lord,
For I know you hear my every cry.

The waves of your mercy
Overwhelm me 'til I am overcome.
Lord, keep me safely in Your arms
Until Your work in me is done.

I pray You will hold me
In the shadow of Your wings.
Knowing You are giving me Your strength
To face this very thing!

This- that has been brought before me
And laid into my lap,
Thank you for the unfolding of Your Word
That will be my Guiding Map.

I know you are always with me
Because of you, I'll never be lost.
As I grow closer to your, Sweet Father,
I can't believe Your cost.

As David prayed to You
One thing I will seek and I will ask
To abide with You all my days
And, in everyday life, in your beauty to bask.

Lord, engage my mind.
Lord, engage my heart.
My lifelong prayer
Is to be set apart.

Father, without You, I know -
I am nothing, I am just as dust.
I want to know You more
For every piece of me to trust.

My heart's desire
For people to see,
Is so much more of You-
So much less of me.

I pray the weight of this world
To simply fade away -
For my full, abundant, joyous life
To be found in You today.

That I would live that way again tomorrow-
And not be found sliding back.
Continuing to be fully alive,
Because I have You, there is nothing I lack.

Lord, my desire
Is to deepen my roots
I long to live a life
That continually bears Your fruit.

So, Lord, please engage my mind.
Lord, please engage my heart.
My lifelong prayer
Is to be set apart.

Dear friends, please pray for me that this prayer would be evident in my life.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Trail West Family Camp - 6/23 - 6/30/07

Our family recently enjoyed one of the best Christmas gifts we have ever received. My parents gave us an incredible gift to help us take a family vacation to a Young Life family camp in Colorado. In total, there were 19 of us. Mom, Dad, their 3 daughters and spouses, and 11 grandchildren. We had an incredible, adventurous time together! What memories!

Here is a glimpse into the fun we experienced at Trail West Young Life Family Camp in Buena Vista, Colorado...Read on...

We flew Southwest Airlines to Denver with a brief layover in Kansas City. Our family received quite a bit of attention in the airport. The boys LOVED riding on the plane. They were thrilled with take-off.
These 2 pictures tell a story. You see, Mason received his FIRST pair of glasses the day before we left. (A $225 pair of glasses.) We stopped for a short bathroom break on our way to Trail West at a tiny store with a plaster dinosaur in the front. We then headed down the road about 1 mile for lunch. We ended up at this stop for 1 1/2 hours b/c Weston fainted in the bathroom. It was a touch of altitude sickness, but it hit him hard.
As we prepare to leave Mason can not find his glasses. His $225 glasses! I am trying to remain calm and patient. We search the place where we stopped for lunch. No glasses. We search the bathroom. No glasses. We search the parking lot. No glasses. We finally decide to go back and look at the place where we stopped earlier. AND EVERYONE PRAYED! We prayed that God would help us find his - $225 - glasses! As we pull into the parking lot with the plaster dinosaur, lying in the middle of the parking lot in Mason's glasses case complete with his new glasses! Oh, I was so grateful for the answer to my prayer. It honestly was a miracle that they were not damaged! God is so good to hear even the smallest request!
Our family finally made it to TRAIL WEST! We were so excited. Mason and Colby Grace had designed a "family shirt" for all of us to wear. Each family had a different color, ours were light blue!
The Cowboys and Cowgirls from TENNESSEE have arrived!

Everyone loves a hug from Papaw! Franklin in his "un-cowboy hat."Weston enjoying cousin time! Franklin started his 9th birthday with a precious homemade card from his cousin Zach. He brought it over at 6:00 am!
On Franklin's birthday morning we headed out on horses to our Cowboy Breakfast. We had to stand 10 ft. from the cook and literally "catch" our french toast on our plate as he tossed it into the air. Franklin was the Trail Leader b/c it was his birthday. We also got to go whitewater rafting down the Arkansas River on his birthday, but I don't have photos - Sorry!
Franklin celebrated his NINTH birthday while we were at Trail West. He had a GREAT birthday - complete with party goods carried over from Knoxville and a special birthday cake from the Staff at Trail was COVERED WITH CANDY! Aresha - our favorite server - brought him his cake complete with 9 candles!

Franklin had to go up front b/c it was his birthday. He had to do the "cha-cha-cha" as we sang "Happy Birthday to You, BOOM, Ching, Cha-cha-cha!" Colby Grace went with him to boost his confidence!

In typical Young Life fashion, the staff at Trail West was able to put together a program each night that was multi-generational for enjoyment. Our family's youngest was 3 years old and the oldest was 64. We all LOVED it! We laughed until our sides hurt, sang songs very loud, clapped on - and off - the beat, and just had a GREAT TIME! The night was followed up with a "talk" for the adults inspiring us to live for Christ in all aspects of our life.
Mason loved "Club-time."

Hiking Cottonwood Pass along the Continental Divide. Elevation 12,176 ft. Cold, dry air. I am in jeans and a sweatshirt and Reid is shorts - typical! The beauty was breathtaking!

Braden loved the snow on top of the mountain! At the end of JUNE! Mom and Dad with their 11 grandchildren. 10 boys and 1 girl. All on top of the Continental Divide in Colorado! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Our family made it to the top!

Trail West had a barn with all kinds of ranch animals. Baby bunnies, ponies, chickens, and billy goats. The kids loved petting them. All of the billy goats in the barn had duct-tape on their horns so they wouldn't "butt" anyone. It was rather funny to see! Just another use for duct tape!

Weston's pony ride! He loved it!

Cowboy Wesley and Weston! Colorado Cowboys!
Braden's FIRST ride on a pony! He was so excited!
The beauty in incredible. Reflecting God's majesty on Earth!
Franklin loved playing in the pool. I was able to snap a few shots because the gameroom wasn't in the water! Ha, ha! On Thursday morning we spent a day at Young Life's Frontier Ranch lounging in the pool and playing on the water slide.

Loving on their Daddy!
Mason navigates the Water Slide at Frontier Ranch. It is FAST AND FURIOUS!
Reid guides Braden down the slide with a few bumps and splahes along the way!
Dad, Mom and me going down the ENORMOUS Water Slide! Wendy took the photo of me. It was out-of-focus b/c she was laughing so hard! She heard me screaming all the way down. Imagine that??Franklin spent most of his week in the gameroom playing pool and ping-pong. He made a lot of new friends, but it was hard to locate him whenever I wanted to take a family picture!
The Super Hero of the week was Marshmallow Man - "You think I can't, but I know I can!" His stunts were AMAZING he wasa ble to "knock down a wall" and "poke his head through his fingers." Wow! Franklin is missing from this picture b/c he the gameroom.
Trail West had a very challenging ropes course. It consisted of a triple-tiered ropes course, followed by a zip-line. Both located 35 ft. off the ground! Only INSANE people would attempt such a course. For example, the Beebe family. Reid, Mason, Franklin, Weston and I all completed the course. Yep, the third picture is me showing off my cellulite dimples.

Mom and Dad BOTH completed the course. Ages 60 yrs. and 64 yrs. respectively. There was even a 79 year old man who did the entire thing! Amazing! Just proof that you are only as old as you feel!
Believe it our not, that little boy ringing the bell at the top of the wall is WESTON! Can you tell by his smile that he is proud of his 35 ft. climb? He completed the ropes course, zip line and rock climbing wall with NO FEAR! And, he chose to climb the ADVANCED WALL!

Weston finds - Weston Pass Road in Colorado
Wes and Braden enjoy their time on stage during our nightly session.
Well, of course. Reid and I had some "gentle - lip-to-lip ONLY" kissing in the mountains! (I am looking forward to when he gets the metal out of his mouth! Ha,ha!)
Our neighbors had "forked" our yard for our home arrival. What a wonderful welcome home surprise!