Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Relax God is in Control

This was the bumper sticker that I saw on my way to work yesterday morning.  This is after I prayed to God asking Him to guide me and asking specifically for him to answer a particular prayer that I want.  But at the same time that if that answer isn't in His will that my heart would be changed so that my desires are His desires.  I even asked that He would allow someone or something to speak to me to further confirm that I am inside of His will.  HA...sort of funny how He works and speaks to us huh? I need to relax and just trust instead of trying to work things out on my own!  He speaks, I hear.

I mentioned before that I am doing Priscilla Shirer's Jonah study.  It has been A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!  It has been a study that has had great impact on my relationship with Christ and has changed my view of God's plan for my life.  I have learned that when I pray 'Your Will, not my will' that I am just saying that because I am supposed to .... and have had a change of heart in really believing and being ready for what God's will may require of me.  I have to be quiet and still in Him to hear His voice.  And when I do hear His voice...The Voice of Truth...am I being obedient?  That is where I am.  Listen.  Obey.  And the obey part is sort of hard for me.  Because I often time will think that obeying can be just agreeing with God but not necessarily acting on what I know i am supposed to be doing, or not doing.   I will know what He is saying/guiding me, but I will not do exactly what He is asking but maybe just enough to justify that I am not being disobedient.  But the truth is that I am scared, nervous, and frankly not trusting in Him.  Shame on me!  Doing nothing is being disobedient.  I

One morning last week, I woke to the song The voice of truth, by casting crowns.  It was as if this song was speaking directly to me [which obviously it was].  That I am not being faithful and that I am doubting and trying to do on my own.  I want to be faithful and take that step out of my comfort zone [which I don't go to easily or often] into the direction that God wants me to go.  By doing that and taking that step in complete faith...it will be for His glory!  That is what I want.  I want to have the confidence that what I am doing and where I am going is what He wants me to be and that it will be for His glory.  It starts with obedience and being willing to trust that He is in control!  I just need to relax [in quiet] and allow Him to speak and guide me.  It sounds so easy and I am honestly not sure why is it such a struggle.  God is so good and it is so neat to see His hand and how He works in my life, I am working to relax and put Him in the drivers seat so that I can let go and let Him!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This week I flipped my off day from Friday to Monday.  So, I decided that Collier and I would head out for a zoo adventure before the heat of the day took over.  This was Collier's second trip to the zoo.  I wasn't sure how into it he would be.  My biggest goal was to get him to play in the water area (for those not in Alabama, our zoo has an area that shoots up water from the ground and lots of bubbles and the kids can run and play.  perfect for cooling down in this Alabama heat).  I just knew that he would love it since he has taken to the water so much this summer.  I was very wrong.  He wanted nothing to do with it.  Which is really fine with me, I just know that he is missing out!  But we did get to see lots of the animals, ride the train (he loved the train...it was his first train ride and loved hearing the whistle), ride the carousel  twice, and did lots of running.   I thought that it was a fun morning and enjoyed my time with him.  I had to be really silly in the car on the way home to keep him from falling asleep.  Needless to say he took a long afternoon nap!

All of that after our weekend trip to Eufaula.  He got quite a treat to go fishing with his Popoo and Uncle Ryan and Daddy....Daddy bought him his very own fishing pole so that he would not try and use the big boys.  That was a really good plan since before the weekend was over it was just about broken, thankfully Justin had the right tools to fix and repair.  We are working really hard on understanding that everything can not be slammed on the ground like a hammer and NOT be broken.  I am not sure why or how he is so rough...but he in deed is!  And as I am reminded in my memory verse he is 'God's
masterpiece' (Ephesians 2:10)...indeed he is, this Momma just needs to have Godly wisdom in teaching how to be gentle!  He loved riding in the paddle boat  - I even took him for a paddle in it!  Great exercise, although I am not as comfortable in the water as it is back in a slew (is that how you spell that? do you know what I mean?)  and Justin saw a little alligator the day before cruising around....I was more than concerned about his momma being around.  Although Justin assured me that it was no longer in need of its momma!  I was not so convinced.  So I basically went in circles in front of the dock in case I needed to make a quick escape! Thankfully that wasn't necessary, either way Collier loved it.  We did go swimming over on an island where there are not alligators and Collier went 'uder wader' twice and did really good both times.  He is so very comfortable in the water and I am also thankful for

I was thinking about the heat and the weather and was starting to complain about the amount of heat that we had and suddenly our troops and soldiers popped into my head.  I need to be more thankful for them and the fact that they are in horrible heat and circumstances that I can not relate to yet they do it so that I can have freedom.  I am so thankful for those men and women.  I am praying for them today!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

On the radio one night this week a DJ asked people to call in and share what your dad has taught you.  Without hesitation I would have to say that the one thing that stick's with me from my dad is to 'be a leader not a follower' [I didn't call in but thought about it since the response were a little crazy].  This was the permanent phrase that my dad would say every time Chris or I left the house.  I think that this is an awesome life lesson, especially now that I have Collier and have a strong desire for him to also be a leader and not a follower. My Dad is awesome, fun and has a sincerity for those around him like I have never seen before.  I am thankful that I have a good relationship with my Dad.  I am thankful that he has always been there for me and more than willing to go above and beyond for anything that Chris and I need...this hold true even to this day.  I am thankful that he is healthy.  I am thankful that he loves my baby as much as he loves me.  I am thankful that he love the Lord. I am thankful that he lives so close.  I love you Dad and thank you for being such a wonderful father to me!

One of my most favorite things about being a parent is when Collier is doing something new or funny and Justin and I make eye contact with one another and laugh or share in the wonder of what he is doing.  I love to watch Justin with Collier and to see how they interact together.  In the mornings I usually get Collier out of the bed although Justin handles most everything else from that point until we leave the house.  But when I walk into his room he immediately ask for Dadda.  Honestly Collier is quite the Daddy's boy and will sometimes not allow me to do things that he only wants Justin to do - anything from sitting on the couch with him to fixing his sippie or even just playing with a particular toy.  He loves his Daddy and I do to! I love being a parent with him, I love being his wife, I love laughing with him, I love him, more and more every day! Happy Father's Day Justin!

I am also greatly blessed with two Father -in-laws!  I couldn't have asked for better in laws and these two men are extra special.  Collier adores them greatly and I am so thankful for them!  Happy Father's Day Popoo and Buzz!

Most importantly I celebrate our Heavenly Father.  A Father who is faithful when I am not.  A Father who love me unconditionally, even when I am not so lovable.  A Father who loves me enough to give His only Son to die on the cross so that I can have eternal life.  A Father who gives me hope that there is more to life than what is on earth. A Father who disciplines out of love, as I am one of His children.  A Father who can make a masterpiece out of the mess that I create.  A Father who forgives my sins.  A Father who I have [physically] never seen yet He fills me with His Spirit.  The Alpha, the Omega, the Beginning, the End.
Father God, I praise you for your love and for your forgiveness.  Thank you for all of the Dad's in my life, for the impact that they have had on our lives.   Thank you Lord for calling my name and that I heard Your voice and answered Your call.  Thank you for the family, friends, job and blessings that you have given to me.  Allow me to continue to hear Your voice and be obedient to all that You ask of me.  May I bring glory to you in all that I do!  In Christ Jesus, Amen!

Friday, June 17, 2011


Collier is such a little worker bee.  He loves to help and he loves to work on a task given to him.  Here are a few of his favorites:
 This has been his latest, he loves to put away the clean silverware from the dishwasher.  We are working on putting the correct utensil in the correct slot because it is a bit of a disaster when he is done. 
 Anything involving water is FUN.  He loves to water our plants. 
Vacuuming, he never misses a chance to help.  
He L.O.V.E.S to use the blower and will melt down in a fit when we put it up.  He does this mostly with Nammie and Pops.  Although he doesn't look happy at all, he gets very serious in each of his tasks. 

This is another recent task.  Spraying and cleaning the windows.  He shakes the Windex up to complete bubbles and then sprays and wipes.  Anything involving soap/spray, a brush and water is tons of fun.  I need to put him on cleaning my car and we'll be set!
mowing the lawn.  He is more than glad to help mow the lawn in one of two ways

You would think that we were slave drivers, but he actually wants to help.  If we don't let him help he will pitch a huge toddler fit. He would actually rather do one of these things than play with any of his toys! I am still not sure how or why that we even buy him toys.  Plus, I figure it is never to early to start 'chores'. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Big Boy Stuff

My Dad has always called going to the bathroom 'Big Boy Stuff' when talking with Collier [not that it is a common topic, but when Dad has a little shadow and needs to do 'big boy stuff' that is what is is known as]. So, now we are deep into doing big boy stuff.  I am thrilled and more than thankful that we are doing really good.  He had one accident last weekend and it was really my fault - I didn't hear him calling my name and I don't think he could hold it any longer and he went standing in the hall way.  Huge puddle!  Other than that, no accidents.  He calls my name [or daddy or nammie or whoever is around to hear him] points to his tee tee and says pee pee and takes off running yelling 'hurry hurry' and laughing because I am running behind him.  All of this to say that he goes #1 and #2 with no problems.  When we are outside he likes to 'go outside' and does pretty good.  I am slightly fearful that one day he is going to poop while standing up going outside... I have been warned that since he started so early that he may revert and I am just praying that will not happen.  It is nice to not have to deal with diapers and even nicer to not have to purchase them:)

So, the tricky part to all of this has been our trips to the lake.  Four hours in the car and area's that don't have an exit or somewhere to stop at the moment that he announces that he needs to go 'pee pee'.  Here is what has happened the last few times.  We stop at the next place we can find [see below regarding public bathrooms] and he won't go or won't get on the potty. When I ask him if he needs to go potty he then says no.  I ask why in the world he told me that he did?  No response from him.  We get loaded back in the car, get on the road and he immediately says he needs to go again.  This has resulted in a few side of the road stops, which is always interesting.  I have even put him in a diaper for traveling, but I can't bring myself to say well' just go in your diaper' because I don't feel like stopping again.  But then again, I wonder if it isn't some sort of ploy to get out of his car seat!  Either way, I have to take his word for it and I usually have this conversation 'Do you REALLY need to go?  If I get you out of your car seat, you need to go pee pee.  Do you need to go pee pee or poo poo? are you sure you really need to go?  Don't just say it and then not go when we stop'.  The results seem to vary and I can't seem to make sense of it at all.

I am now horrified of public bathrooms because he feels the need to touch EVERYTHING in there....I walk in saying don't touch anything and his hands seems to slide and glad over everything but the floor.  It makes my stomach hurt, I tell him to put his hands in the air, I wrap the seat in toilet paper and then he refuses to sit on the potty!  Great.  I still make him sit for a minute and he squirms all that he can off of the seat which by now has no more toilet paper protecting his sweet hiney from the horrible germs from who knows what!  I have had a few success public bathroom stops but I think that I like the side of the road better.  And so I am considering removing the stop at the next convenient place...unless it is ChickFilA or Publix or something I know is clean..and he is just going to just become really good at going outside the car.  I think that I may turn these responsibilities over to Justin.  After all, it is Big Boy Stuff and who would be better suited than Daddy?!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lake Adventures

We are lake people.  We love the lake and that is where we usually spend most of our summer time!  It may be that both of our families have lake houses which provides perfect weekend trips.  I wish that they were a little closer, but I'm not going to complain because it is always worth the drive to spend time at the lake.

Last weekend we had friends down with us.  It is lots of fun and so wonderful to have willing and wanting help with Collier - they have two girls [ages 10 and 12]!  I got to enjoy more adult time with friends which makes for a perfect weekend.  I didn't take my camera out until Sunday, so I only got a few pictures.  It was a weekend filled with water, boats and sun.  I think that I get wrapped into being sure that Collier and Justin get lathered and sprayed with sunscreen that I forget to lather myself.  All of that to say we soaked in a lot of rays this weekend.  [One of the guys I work with informed me I was starting to look a little mexican, NICE! I need to invest in some 50SPF and keep is on me the rest of the summer] We enjoyed swimming a lot, it was so hot at times that we didn't have an option but to stay in the water!  Boat rides and even a few knee board trips for one of the girls.

I think that I mentioned before that Collier has been jumping from the back of the boat platform to us in the water.  He is so funny as he counts down to jump.  He jumped to all of us and even had fun jumping at the same time as the girls.

Then on Sunday as we were in the water, out in front of the dock.  Collier pointed to the dock and said 'Collier jump'.  I ask if he meant from the boat or from the dock and he said from the dock.  I couldn't believe it.  I think that he had watched the older girls jump so much that he felt that he was big enough to do it too!  We had two other little girls [lake neighbors] that would come over and jump too...he must have felt left out.  Anyway.  I just couldn't believe the he was willing and wanting to do this.  Justin did so good catching him.  He did it about 6 times and even a few times his face went under...he didn't like that too much although it also didn't stop him from doing it again 'more'.  I am not sure if he will do it with out the older girls around, but I hope that he will!  He would get so excited just before he jumped it was cracking Justin and I up.  Needless to say, we progressed rather quickly from the back of the boat to the top of the dock...especially since the water is sort of lower than normal, making the dock that much higher!  I was so proud and it makes me excited to look forward to each new adventure and discovery as he gets older [honestly the becoming a big boy part sort of breaks my heart]

Yet another fun and relaxing weekend at the lake.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It is with a very sad and heavy heart and many tears that I share that my parents had to put their dog of 13 years down on Friday.  I got Abby when I was a freshman at Auburn, my roommate told me about an alumni of her sorority who had a golden retriever who they thought were having pure-bred goldens and when they were born they have various color dogs.  Anyway...they were giving them away.  Chris' roommates sister and I went and got the two golden puppies from the litter to give to our Mom's!  Mom and Dad were empty nester's for the first time and Mom was sad for the house to be so quiet.  When Chris and I came home for Thanksgiving we brought Abby home with us.  Abby has been the most perfect fit for my mom.  She has been laid back and easy going since she was a puppy.  One time she got out of the backyard while mom was working and when mom got home she was laying at the front door...she knew that she had it too good to go anywhere else!  And believe me, she has had it G.O.O.D!  She has been my mom's baby since the day she got her!  She had one blue eye and one brown eye.  She let the grandkids roll all over her.  Matter of fact, Ashlyn said 'babby' way before she said 'Grammy'.  Every time Ash saw my mom she would say 'babby?' to the point that we even thought that was what Ashlyn was going to call mom babby!   

I so much wish that I had some pictures of Ashlyn with Abby because she really loves her.  since Ash was old enough to realize Abby was around she has taken to her; and for good reason.  Since Collier stays with Abby every day, he obviously loves her.  We have tried to teach him to be gentle and easy with Abs in her old age and he finally has resorted to hugs and kisses only for Abby; and of course every now and then he would feel the need to run into her with his lawn mower.  Again, I said that we have TRIED to teach him to be easy.  But Abby wouldn't fuss or complain one bit.  So gentle spirited and sweet nature.  She must be the sweetest natured dog that I have ever known.  Soft.  Cuddly.  Content. Spoiled.  She had really bad allergies and for the past several years my Mom had cooked chicken breast for her, morning and night she has chicken breast chopped up with chicken broth and a tiny bit of dog food. 

It has really only been the past few months that she has gotten worse.  She still wants dinner and food and has a very strong desire to meet anyone coming in the door.  The problem is that her back knees just can't hold up any more.  She has done her best but I think that this week Mom just saw that she couldn't hardly hold herself up to go potty.  We have had to carry up and her down the stairs.  Mom wanted so badly for her to just pass away on her on and NOT have to make this so hard decision.  It just breaks my heart in so many ways.  I just know that she is in doggy heaven and hope that we will get to have her company back when we go to heaven one day [this is just one of the unknowns but I am very hopeful that the animals that we so love and have become parts of our families will join us in heaven]

She is already missed.  I am sad.  I will be sad when I drop Collier off on Monday and she isn't there.  I will be sad on a night that my Dad is out of town and my Mom doesn't have Abby there to keep her company.  Just plain sad.  We would appreciate your prayers this week as life adjusts to not having her in our daily lives....especially for Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Birthday Celebration

Ashlyn turned 4 last weekend.  We celebrated in Dothan with skating, games, slides, cake and a Barbie convertible.  It was such a fun day.  I was shocked when Collier said that he wanted to try on the skates and was even more shocked at how well he did on them.  They locked the wheels to make it easy and he didn't seem uncomfortable on them at all.  I knew that he had  good balance but this just further confirmed it.  He was in and out of the inflatable jumping several times.  And once Ashlyn received her Barbie car he was more than happy to be her passenger!

It is always funny to me to hear different people say who our kids look like.  For instance, I get about 50/50 of who everyone things Collier looks like.  And I can see that because I personally think that he is a mix of Justin and I.  Although I think that he does look more like Justin and I am not sure if it is purely looks or if it is also behavior that I think that - his expressions, walk and actions are mostly Justin.  Ashlyn on the other hand is a clone of her mom.  She looks exactly like her mom and has from the moment she was born.  But people who don't know Amanda as well and do know me [especially as a child] often say that she looks exactly like me.  A friend recently looked at her and said that she was looking at me at that age.  It is really funny and quite interesting to me.  I recently had this same conversation with a good friend who I don't get to see very often but she sent me some pictures and I thought her daughter looked so much like her and she told me that everyone says that she looks exactly liker her husband.  Just funny to see the different perspectives.  And boy was that random?   Back to the birthday!

 I would love to hear the conversation between these two.  Ashlyn's older cousin's are in the mule and CH and Ash are in the barbie car and they pulled up next to each other.  Seem to be up to no good.   We kept joking that it will be them driving off and hanging out with real cars before we know it.  Chris didn't find it quite as funny as his girls rode off together!  He is going to be in big trouble when the dating years start!  
Collier hasn't really been sure about sprinklers.  So Chris and Justin tried to break him in.  He did pretty good and was willing to run by it and get a little wet.  Saturday evening it rained at the lake and we practiced running in the rain to get a better feel for sprinklers!  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We had last minute visitors last night.  It was such a treat to have them at our house for a few hours and Collier loved his time with his Mana (aka Mella) and his great-grandparents!  What a treat that he gets to know them and have them as part of his life!

The reason they were in town is that Nanna (Justin's Grandmother, Pam's Mother) was having a procedure done bright and early this morning.  I am not sure if I have all of the details or that I actually understand but I think that her heart is out of rhythm and they are shocking her so that it will be corrected.  We would really appreciate your prayers for God's hand and healing for her.  She is just very drained right now with dealing with it.

They were kind enough to come to our house for dinner.  We were going to go out to dinner but anyone with a 2 year old fully understands that restaurants are more stressful then fun  at this point!  I was glad that they were ok with that and I picked up some kabob's from Zoe's and we were set.  Collier showed them his car that he got for his birthday and how to 'swing high'.  He then worked on a few puzzle's with them and had the best time.  It was a fun evening.  We are just praying that Nanna's procedure will give her the results she wants - giving her her energy back!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

We had a very fun long weekend at the lake with all of my family.  I just love the time that we get with Chris and his family and especially the kids playing together.  Collier has so much fun with Ashlyn and before much longer Hayden will be running around right behind them.  Since this was the first trip to the lake that the water was warm enough for us to get in, it took a little adjusting for Collier to get comfortable with getting in the water.  But no worries it only took a day and he is full speed ahead.  Matter of fact, he is still down there and I have received reports back that he has been jumping off the boat platform to my mom in the water!  I can't wait to see that.  Ashlyn had her very first tube ride with Chris this weekend.  I am proud of her for being brave enough to try something outside of her comfort zone.  She did so good and I know that there will be more tube rides ahead this summer!  The weather was perfect for a lake weekend.  We had lots of delicious food - Chris cooked his award winning ribs and we wrapped the weekend up with a shrimp boil that was just perfect.  Collier loves going on boat rides, which usually ended up relaxing him more than anything else  and being snuggled in Pops lap with his hat was just the perfect way to cruise around the lake.  On the potty front - he only had one accident which happened to be the one night I didn't put him in diaper, other than that he woke up dry every morning.  It seems that we are 100% going in the potty.  Mom said that he has done great and no other accident's yesterday.  I am just so proud of him for doing so good and extra thankful that I did it when I did [even though I was very nervous]and that it has clicked with him.  Thank you Lord!

I am also thankful for all of the men, women and their families that serve our country.  Particularly the one's who have lost their lives serving our country.  It is due to their work that we have the freedom that we do and I am thankful.  But also to those who are currently serving and their families who sacrifice so much for our country! They are real hero's and I love them with all of my heart!

Tonight I am starting Priscilla Shirer's Jonah bible study with a small group of friends.  I am excited not only to get back into a routine of a bible study and being in God's word but also looking forward to the fellowship with these sweet friends.  I am ashamed to admit that I am not good about opening God's word and reading through the bible. I do better when I have structure  and a study that keeps me diving into His word.  Since hearing Priscilla at the Deeper Still conference I have been dieing to try her study.  My Aunt (hi Aunt Jeanie) recently finished it and said it was amazing.  Praying for God to prepare my heart for how this study will impact my heart and life!
My memory verse right now (11th verse through Beth Moore's blog) is Psalm 19:14 'May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer'.