Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Dressed Up with a Place To Go

Dear Long Lost Friends and Family,
Please do not have a heart attack, but I have actually posted on my blog! Enjoy these latest pictures! I miss you all! I doubt anyone is checking this blog anymore b/c of my long absence. However, if you are still checking in, please leave me a comment. It will help motivate me to write! I hope all is well with everyone!
On Oct. 31, we had a place to go. It was the night of the annual Outreach at the A-Team Headquarters. I wasn't sure how to dress up. Therefore, I created my own character with some of what we had at home. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tacky Woman 2008!"
The boys with their friends. Jimmy Hendrix, Cinderella, and a UPS driver all smiled for the camera!

Oh my goodness! That's some BIG HAIR, Dude! Maam, you have some big hair and some big lips! Oh, my!

Beautiful girls at the Outreach!
Our youth group got together to host an Outreach event in a local neighborhood. We had lots of games, popcorn, cotton candy, and goodies for the kids.

Each family tried to come up with something creative to do with the trick-or-treaters who stopped by. I decided to share the gospel message with the pumpkin.

Although my outfit was a little frightening, the children loved hearing the "story." In fact, when I finished sharing with one little girl, her sister walked up. I wasn't going to tell it again, but she looked up at me at stated, "You need to tell it again. My sister hasn't heard it!" At this point, her mother was standing behind her listening intently! It was very cool!
(Here's a link for the Pumpkin Parable we shared with the kids last year.)

Bobbing for apples with dry ice smoke!
My friend Rhonda surprised us and showed up to share the evening!
Best buddies!
Okay, this picture totally cracks me up! People called me a "floozy," and said I looked like a fortune teller. I was "Tacky Woman," I tell ya! Cindy convinced me to go home with her to the little house on the prairie!
Two Norks - Nerds + Dorks
The Gangsta' Girls! (I'm looking forward to reading their articles in the TC newspaper!)

Letter Sweater Mama with Cleopatra Daughter!

Ummm...I'm not sure who she is....Tacky Woman, maybe? Oh, my!

A Cheeto! With orange eyeshadow! It ain't easy bein' cheesy!
What an adorable Pirate - Ahoy there, Matey!
That wierd Tacky Woman and her son!
The Detective and the Army Dude!
Happy Hippy!
It's a cowboy! No, wait. It's a sherriff!
Football Mania!

We really missed son #2 tonight. He's away on a special weekend with his Dad! I hope he's catching lots of fish!

If you want to take a walk down memory lane, here a few pics from last year!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Completing My Parental Experience

Now I know there are prideful people out there who would never publish a blog on this topic. I'm sure there are parents who would never admit to going through this fun adventure. I'm positive there will be many people who will be scratching their head as they read this thinking, "Why am I scratching my head?"

Yesterday, I took Braden to the doctor for a deep cough he's had for a few days. The doctor - whom I'd waiting 1 hr and 35 minutes to see - told me that Braden has a severe sinus infection and the drainage is causing the cough. Feeling relieved that it was nothing worse, I asked one more question...

"My son has been scratching his head a lot. I've looked for little critters, but haven't found anything. Is it just dry skin or something?"

The doctor saunters over to Braden, looks at the back of his head, and announces, "Maam, your son has" - I can't believe I am typing this - "HEAD LICE!"

"WWWWHHHHHHHAAAAAAATTTTTT?? You've got to be kidding me."

"Nope. Not kidding. Come have a look."

I looked into his hair and saw two teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy objects against his scalp.

As the doctor points to them, he informs me, "These are lice, Maam. Don't panic. We see this a lot."

I'm thinking - Well, you shouldn't be seeing this on MY child!

He looked at me. Then he told me something I will never forget. "No parenting experience is complete without one battle with head lice."


I've shaved heads, stripped beds, washed everything we own, trapped pillows and stuffed animals in plastic bags, and even treated myself with lice medication - just in case. Yes, we treated EVERYONE in the family! Whew!

Our home is NOW lice free! I hope and pray we NEVER have this parenting experience again!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Asking for Prayer


Would you please pray for our family? We have experienced some hurt recently over things that have been said about us that are NOT TRUE! Please pray for God to reveal HIS truth and that He would be glorified.

In my devotional, Streams in the Desert, God has spoken directly to my heart with the following entries...

August 14th
Isn't is glorious to know that no matter how unjust something may be, even when it seems to have come from Satan himself, by the time it reaches us it is God's will for us, and will ultimately work to our good?

August 15th
There is no way of learning faith except by trial. It is God's school of faith, and it is far better for us to learn to trust God than to enjoy life.

The lesson of faith once learned, is an everlasting acquisition and an eternal fortune made; and without trust even riches will leave us poor. --Days of Heaven upon Earth

"Why must I weep when others sing?
To test the deeps of suffering.
Why must I work while others rest?
To spend my strength at God's request.
Why must I lose while others gain?
To understand defeat's sharp pain.
Why must this lot of life be mine
When that which fairer seems is thine?
Because God knows what plans for me
Shall blossom in eternity."

There is no way of learning faith except by trial. It is God's school of faith, and it is far better for us to learn to trust God than to enjoy life.

"If you long to go through the daily exchanges of life with the kind of tact that never inflicts pain, then you must be prepared to pay the price for a costly education - for like Christ you must suffer." - Frederick William Robertson

August 18th
Believe God's word and power more than you believe your own feelings and experiences. Your Rock is Christ, and it is not the Rock which ebbs and flows, but your sea. --Samuel Rutherford

Keep your eye steadily fixed on the infinite grandeur of Christ's finished work and righteousness. Look to Jesus and believe, look to Jesus and live! Nay, more; as you look to him, hoist your sails and buffet manfully the sea of life. Do not remain in the haven of distrust, or sleeping on your shadows in inactive repose, or suffering your frames and feelings to pitch and toss on one another like vessels idly moored in a harbor. The religious life is not a brooding over emotions, grazing the keel of faith in the shallows, or dragging the anchor of hope through the oozy tide mud as if afraid of encountering the healthy breeze. Away! With your canvas spread to the gale, trusting in Him, who rules the raging of the waters. The safety of the tinted bird is to be on the wing. If its haunt be near the ground--if it fly low--it exposes itself to the fowler's net or snare. If we remain grovelling on the low ground of feeling and emotion, we shall find ourselves entangled in a thousand meshes of doubt and despondency, temptation and unbelief. "But surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of THAT WHICH HATH A WING" (marginal reading Prov. 1:17). Hope thou in God. --J. R. Macduff

When I cannot enjoy the faith of assurance, I live by the faith of adherence. Matthew Henry

August 19th
Does Sorrow lay his hand upon your shoulder,
And walk with you in silence on life's way.
While Joy, your bright companion once, grown colder,
Becomes to you more distant day by day?
Run not from the companion of Sorrow,
He is the messenger of God to thee;
And you will thank Him in His great tomorrow -
For what you do not know, you than will see;
He is God's angel, clothed in veils of night,
With whom "we walk by faith" and "not by sight."
Thank you for reading/praying. Consolidating this in one place reminds me that this is all for my good and for His glory.
Sometimes, in my weariness, I desire to have a "break" from being a pupil in God's classroom. God's refining process is difficult; even painful at times. My prayer is to walk well on this current path. May my words be guarded. May I hold fast to God's promises, and not believe false assumptions. May I - as Ted said on Sunday - strive to be "gloriously known" by responding as Christ would.
We are reading Little Pilgrim's Progress to the boys. As little Christian travels from the City of Destruction toward the Celestial City, he meets danger along the way. He must scale the Hill of Difficulty, escape from the Giant Despair, defeat the Enemy Self, suffer for the King's sake in Vanity Fair, but never stop pursuing the Celestial City.
It's where I find myself - continuing to climb as I trust the Lord to lead the next step. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for continuing to mold me, strip me, change me, help become more like you.
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Isaiah 41:10

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Guatemala Pictures - FINALLY

I am starting a BLOG for the Guatemala trip. (I'm finally trying to do it!)

Anyway, I am trying to put together a few slide shows to encapsulate the trip. Who knows? If I am ever blessed to return to this beautiful country, I will add more pictures!

Here's the address:

This is a work in progress, so keep checking back. I'll be posting lots more over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guatemala Countdown!

Friends -

I'd be grateful for your prayers. Our flight takes off for Guatemala in the morning at 6:00 am. However that translates into leaving my house at 3:30 am to get to the airport at 4:30 am! Oh my! Please pray for my strength and stamina for the duration of the trip. One night without sleep can really throw my body into a tailspin! Whew!

However, with all the things I could ask you to pray, the most important is this... Please pray, first and foremost, that our great God would be glorified in all things on this trip and behind here at home!

"All things" on the trip being our encouragement to the missionaries, the relationships with the teachers attending the seminar, hearts being open to the teaching on abstinence, for our ministry at the orphanage to reflect the love of Christ to the children and workers, the relationships within our team, for unity within our team, for us each to have a willingness to "give up, give in, and give over for the sake of the rest," for our health and safety to be given a "hedge of protection," and for our willingness to stretch, trust, and grow during our time in Guatemala.

"All things" here at home being Reid's strength and endurance as he fills the role of Mom and Dad, the boys to enjoy their time with their Dad and to be helpful with the chores around the house, for the gracious women who have offered to help with the children while Reid is at work - please pray for their strength as well, for Reid and the boys' health and safety, and for some lasting memories to be made while "Mom" is gone. May they enjoy their time without Mom reminding them to do their "reading time" and limiting their time on Wii. Ha-ha!

May our entire team return with a deeper relationship with Christ, and a deeper understanding of His love for all nations. It's so cool to think that I'll be meeting some of my brothers and sisters that I will spend eternity with in heaven. Wow! That's amazing!

Thank you in advance for your prayers for me and my family!

Oh give thanks to the LORD,
call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:1-3

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Yesterday we had a SURPRISE Birthday Party for Franklin! Here are a few photos from our fun day at the pool! (This is my first attempt to post a slideshow directly to the blog! Let me know how you like it!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First Swim Meet

Before I begin this blog I must share a question that I have been pondering for over a month. Here is the question...
Will I ever again be able to type a blog entry and post pictures on the actual day an event takes place?
All of my blogs currently begin with..."A few weeks ago," "Several days ago," "A while ago," "In yesteryear..." Okay, not that bad, but you get the idea!

That being said, let me begin this long overdue blog...

Several weeks ago, the boys competed in their first swim meet. Here are a few highlights of their first swimming competition...

Weston awaits his first event. He's excited and nervous...

Weston takes a beautiful dive into the water...yes, that is a dive right now for Weston!
Weston finishes strong and happy!
Franklin waits for his next event.Franklin dives in to swim the anchor leg of the Free Relay! Go, Franklin, Go! Another nice start for the boy who "didn't want to swim!"
Franklin stroking freestyle to the wall.
Mason patiently waits to approach the blocks.
Swimmers take your mark, BEEP!
Mason smiling through the backstroke!
Mason gulps some air during breaststroke. Gulp, gulp!
Unfortunately, Braden couldn't compete due to his broken thumb. He still had a wonderful time signing "I love you" to his picture-taking Mom! :-)
It was a GREAT first meet. To be honest, I had forgotten how long the meets last. We arrived at home after at 10:30 pm. It was a late - but fun - night!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mamaw's 90th Birthday Luncheon

My Mamaw recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Our family got together for a luncheon in her honor before the BIG party with all of her friends. (Blog entry later - I hope!) The celebration today could stand alone because it was so special!
Connie, Heather, and Allyson did a beautiful job decorating the tables with picture representing Mamaw's life.
Connie even had a special "Family Tree" cake made that had everyone's picture on it! Amazing!

We opened our time together with - what else, but - a family prayer. The circle filled the room!After our wonderful lunch, all of the great-grandchildren performed something special in honor of Mamaw. Heather's children sang Allison Kraus' "Going to the River to Pray." Henley and Danford did a beautiful rendition of "Happy Birthday." Yes, there was a little "arm-twisting" for that one! Ha-ha!Our boys would not agree to singing, so they performed an amazing Magic Show! Braden ended up with the quarter in his splint! Oh, my! Colby Grace, Caleb, and Camden read a beautiufl poem that Colby Grace had written for Mamaw. It was an acolaid about her lemonade! Finally, the Tate boys ended the show with some help from their cousins...There's a Bear! Where? Over There! Where? Over There! After the humor of the children, there were a few tearful tributes to Mamaw. Nearly everyone spoke - even my New York city cousin (that's for you, Hunter!) We all shared stories about warm memories with her. My favorite was when Wendy talked about wearing my Mamaw's shoes to church b/c she forgot to pack hers! Too funny! When I spoke, I read a blog entry I had written about her in April. And, yes, I cried! Imagine that?
After all of us had our say, Mamaw got to say a few words! (I think she liked that!) Her wish for all of us was that we would have the kind of family she has been blessed with. God is so good!

Mamaw has been a wonderful mother and grandmother to all of us. We are so grateful for her life! It was a joy to come together and celebrate her life! God has blessed her with a long and full life!