Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt #2 - Easter Sunday

Mom and Dad really know how to do an Easter Egg Hunt. First, you fill the eggs with money. (Yes, money - lots of loose change!)

Second, because the eggs are filled with money - the older children are very motivated to find them! These pictures are of Zach, Weston and Mason RUNNING to find the hidden eggs!! Go get 'em boys!

Third, the eggs are hidden on all of the property - about five acres of land! This photo shows Dad standing at the top of the hill, and all of the specks at the bottom are the cousins searching for some loot! This translates into the kids searching for eggs for a LONG time - it's not a three minute Egg Hunt!

Fourth and finally, all of the kids find LOADS of eggs!!
Everyone enjoys a pleasant Easter afternoon!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt #1 - Easter Sunday

After church we enjoyed a potluck luncheon with our church family. After the lunch there was utter chaos as our children were set free for the Enormous Egg Hunt! For being such a small church, we have a LOT of children!

The kids ran out the door, and were pleasantly surprised to find the well hidden eggs...Now, really! This was called the "dump the eggs and call it an Easter Egg HUNT!?!" Ha-ha! Peppermint Patti's contribution to the Egg Hunt was the adorable "Cross-shaped" eggs! (Patti -that was a compliment and it did not involve organic eggs!) In a later picture, you will see a child hanging from a tree b/c the eggs were hidden on a high branch! Hilarious!

The boys all enjoyed the hunt, but more than anything they enjoyed being with their friends! Sadly, this will be Mason's last Egg Hunt at church. Next year, he will be in Youth Group b/c he will be in 6th grade. Pardon me while I catch my breath!! Oh, my!!

Precious friends, precious memories, a precious day!

He is risen - He is risen indeed!! (I LOVE typing that!!)

Easter - Thirteen Years Later

I missed sharing our "thirteen-year" anniversary with you a few weeks ago! That's right, Reid and I have been married for THIRTEEN YEARS! It is hard to believe. When I saw the picture above, I thought it looked like a wedding shot! (Thanks, Jess!) See, I'm still mesmerized when I gaze into his eyes!

We are still as much in love as we were when we said "I Do." And, we still take some "smoochie" pictures - as you all know! Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Reid and me from this Easter Sunday - thirteen years after we began our life as a married couple!

(For those friends out there who do not know how to perform a "smoochie" shot - please take note of the above picture! Ha-ha!)

Reid gave me a very sweet gift for our anniversary. He gave me an electric mattress pad cover! And, I WAS EXCITED ABOUT IT! Yes, we know we are getting older! (Would I have ever thought I would be excited about something to heat my side of the bed?!? Oh, my!?! My age is showing?!?) We are still deeply in love - and enjoy life together! That's what counts!

Here are two pictures taken a few days before our anniversary. Reid is wearing a band-aid from where he needed five stitches from a ruckus with one of the boys. (Not really!) Just a few more cute shots of an older married couple!

I'm so thankful for my amazing husband of thirteen years! I'm looking forward to many more years together!

Some of My Buddies at Church

For all of my friends who are not here in K-ville, I wanted to introduce you to a few of my friends at church! Here are some sweet women that I know you would all enjoy as much as I do!

First, I'd like you to meet my friend, Peppermint Patti. (That's my nickname for her - it's really just Patti.) She is so much fun! Ummm, I'd share some of our funny moments, but some things are better left unsaid. After all, many who know her perceive her to be a Godly woman! She recently celebrated her 43rd birthday - or was it 42? She has talked about starting a BLOG...and she continues to talk about it. :) (Sorry, couldn't resist) Finally, she is currently performing daily exercises to help her with her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with regards to her Calendar. I'm so proud of her! :-)

Second, I'd like to introduce you to one of the most amazing women I know. This is Betsy. She is the mother to three boys, three girls, one dog, three cats, five chickens and a duck! I'd nickname her "Farmgirl From the 1800's." I honestly think Betsy would have loved to live in a little house on the prairie! :-) She is a wonderful mother and wife, and she is a dear friend! We have fun laughing about the antics of our children, encouraging one another in marriage and motherhood, and enjoying the conversations we are able to have without interruption. :) She is beautiful inside and out!

Here is my precious friend Tracie. Here life is in transition now being a mother of FOUR! She is loving being Abel's Mom and having him home with the family! She is also pretty wild and crazy. I'd nickname her the "Do-Wop Dancer to Christian Pop Songs." (The girl dances to anything!) She is always an encourager and has walked with me through some difficult moments. Our time together lately has been less than either of us would like, but I'm looking forward to life slowing down for some "Tracie-time!" I'm thankful for you, friend!

Well, this is Tracie and I with some strange weirdo who just had to get in the picture. I bet he was a Phi Delt at UT!?! Who knows! I hope he doesn't have a serious job like being a mortgage broker or something?!?
Fianlly, here is my precious and pregnant friend, Jess. She is due at the beginning of May with their first child! I am so excited because I'll get to be a babysitter! (Pray for me as a babysitter though b/c she is expecting a girl and I have no experience in this arena!)

Jess has blessed my life with love, laughter, friendship and encouragement since God brought us together nearly two years ago! I'd nickname her the "Giggle-Girl!" Jess has the most adorable and contagious laugh! I love it!

I've been blessed to see Jess grow and desire to be all of the woman God desires her to be! What a blessing it has been to walk life together over the past two years!

Unless God works a miracle, I will not be carrying any more children. I just HAD to pose for a belly-shot! It seemed to be fitting!

God has richly blessed my life with some wonderful women within our church body. AND MANY, MANY OF THEM ARE MISSING FROM THIS SHORT BLOG!! (Although they are probably glad they are not in the above pictures!) I'm looking forward to deeper relationships with these women and others over the coming months!!

Thanks friends, for always letting me be silly and transparent! Thanks for letting me be ME!

First Thing Easter Morning!

Easter morning begins with all of us going through the house saying, "He is risen!" "He is risen indeed!" He is risen!" "He is risen indeed!" After we rejoice in the reason we celebrate this wonderful day...the boys get to open their Easter baskets. They enjoy the simple, but fun treats that they find! Pringles, Glow Sticks, and new lifetime flashlights go a long way! :-)

We've never introduced the Easter bunny as the giver, so the boys are thrilled with the treats from Mom and Dad! It's always sweet to hear a "Thanks, Mom!" or "Thanks, Dad!" The boys enjoyed their happy surprise. The baskets certainly set the stage for a wonderful day!

Reid was his happy self at 6:50 am! As you can tell - it's still dark outside! Reid is always up early - and he is a "happy camper" in the morning! Notice there are no pictures of me from this time of day! Thank you Jesus, for being the True Giver, and giving us HOPE on this Resurrection Day!
He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Reflections

It's a little late, and I am just reflecting on the blessing my Lord gave me when he willingly laid down his life on the cross for me. For me...

My sin drove the nails. So often, I remember that Jesus died for "our sins." How often do I personalize it and remember it was my sins? Not often enough. Oh how grateful I am that Jesus loved me enough to pay the price for me.

On Good Friday, I went to the service at our church, and then to another. I reflected on the suffering of my Lord. When I sang, "Wondrous Cross" and "Amazing Love" I truly felt the price that was paid when Jesus willingly endured all the pain and horrific cruelty he went through...for me. As I knelt to take communion, I could hear Jesus whispering "this is my body which is broken for you..." For me...

After our church service I went to Wendy's (my sis') church. She was going to be performing a dance that she felt God had given her to share. It was a powerful service focusing on the seven final statements Jesus spoke from the cross.

At times, the service was graphic and unsettling as I watched images from "The Passion of the Christ" movie. Even the imagery used by the two pastors was graphic. It was almost as if I traveled to the cross...and watched my Savior be beaten, tormented, mocked, scoffed, whipped, bruised, wounded, spat upon, and forsaken by the Father he had been in communion with since before the beginning of time. What horror! It made me feel sick inside...a groaning in my soul.

When Wendy stood up to dance. She portrayed the suffering of Christ. Her face grimaced as Jesus was pierced, and her expression was mournful as the nails were driven. As Jesus was lifted up, her body shook. As Jesus hung on the cross - her face was searching upward...Where is my Father? Where is my God? It was obvious Wendy was feeling everything she was expressing. (I am getting tears again just writing about it! It was sooooo very powerful!)

Wendy had shared in a phone call her knees and feet were severely bruised from practicing this dance so much. The "big sister" in me said, "Well, be sure you take some ibuprofen before you dance tomorrow." She replied, "No...don't you see? It's made me realize this is what his body was like when he endured this. He was bruised and in pain. It's made me understand even more what he went through for me." For me...

I've been trying to remember over this weekend what Jesus did for me. Willingly. Tonight I realized that when Jesus was crucified, everyone who loved him waited in mourning until the reality of the empty tomb was realized. I am sure they grieved. I am sure they sat in shock after all that they had witnessed and heard.

However, I am blessed to know the end of the story even as I reflect on Christ's suffering. I KNOW Jesus came back to life. He is risen! He is victorious over death! Nothing can hold him in the grave - nothing could hold him on the cross - nothing! He is risen!

I rejoice with believers around the world and celebrate our risen Lord!

The hope that I have is that Christ is risen...for me. And for you. And for anyone who chooses to believe in the risen Lord Jesus Christ!

Christ the Lord is risen today - Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say - Alleluia!
Death IN VAIN forbids him rise - Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise - Alleluia!

He is risen! He is risen indeed!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Snapshot (Or Several) Of The Past Few Weeks

I haven't really BLOGGED much lately. I spent so much time writing about our great experience with Mathiang that I am a little behind. Here are just a few - yeah, right - photos from the past two weeks in the Beebe home. Here are some of the happenings:
1.) Reid got hold of the clippers again. He gave the boys nice hair-cuts! Notice the reflection!?2.) The boys have a room "swaparoo" every four months. The boys change-up who they are sharing a room with every few months. We've found that this helps them to build strong relationships with all of their brothers instead of paring the same two all the time. Right now, Mason and Franklin are sharing a room and Weston and Braden are sharing a room.

We haven't done anything to their rooms since we moved in, so we decided to let them paint their room the way they wanted - orange and white! The two teams that will be represented are the Tennessee Volunteers (Franklin) and the Baltimore Orioles (Mason). The color is bright orange - like my voice, right Tracie? - and it looks very fun and cheerful! I'll post a finished photo once everything is on the walls! Rob E. gave the boys some, in their words, "AWESOME" Tennessee posters! They had a great time doing it! However, my hubby's the true hero b/c he scraped the ceiling and did most of the painting! And, I painted my own decorations on the wall as well - even the power T!

3.) We enjoyed a nice day at the park recently after a field trip. It was a great day to be outside and hang out with some friends! That's Cindy and Anna on the bench! Colby Grace was with us too! Avery and Aidan were with us b/c Tracie wasn't feeling well. Our van was LOADED!

4.) I've had a teeny-tiny bit of time with Baby Abel! I've posted about him before. Our friends Ted and Tracie adopted him from Ethiopia. Isn't he simply ADORABEL (wasn't that a cute spelling - AdorABEL!!) Anyway, he's doing great and loves being in with his family now.
Don't freak out when you see the picture of Mason holding Able. Reid did cut ALL of Mason's hair off. And, NO, I didn't let him walk around for a day with his head half-shaved. Unlike a few years ago when we brought the Beebe boys to church with "Mohawks." Hair is not one of the battles I choose to fight. It always grows back!

5.) We enjoyed a field trip to the Oak Ridge Museum of Science and Energy and saw the mad-scientist Mr. Beakman. Evidently, he's quite a "big deal." Since I do not watch much television, I really didn't know who this guy was. anyway, he did a great science show for the kids - with lots of experiments. When he asked for volunteers from the audience...who do you think went on stage? Of course!

6.) While we were at the Museum, the boys figured out how they make most of the pictures for Ripley's Believe It Or Not?!? It's all with a mirror, my friends! (However, it still weirds me out to see the boys looking like this!!)

7.) We ended our day at the Museum with a class about the Human Body. Most of the kids in the Human Body Class that I teach at Co-op were there. They enjoyed pulling the organs out of Mr. Stuffy! Too cool!

Well, this has only been a snapshot of about one week - more to come later. Lots happening at the Beebe house! Hope all is well with you!! Please don't have nightmares about Mason's haircut or about the strange faces of the boys in front of the mirror! Ha-ha!!