Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Poop and a Pot of Coffee

Zeke has really been doing well with his transition to potty training. I think we are in week 3 or 4 (I've lost count) and he only has the occasional accident.

I feel like I have posted several times about my girls so I wanted to include some recent funnies on my little man Zeke.

Some cute things he currently says at 2 and a half years old are:

"Where's my lanky?" that is "Where is my blanket?"
"See that pippopotimus!"
"I can't want that mommy."

Oh, I just love it! I don't even correct him because it will happen soon enough on its own.

Yesterday, we were at home most of the day and I could tell that his tummy was bothering him. I had asked him repeatedly if he needed to go potty but he promptly told me, "No. I can't want to go potty mommy."

I kept bothering him but finally I just accepted that he must not need to go.

My mistake.

Not even 20 minutes later he comes waddling into the kitchen and I knew from his weird walk that he had dropped a bomb (as Shep says) in his big boy underwear.


I was so frustrated. I had just asked him repeatedly......but accidents do happen.

He was ready to get into clean pants but I still wanted to teach the lesson to him that this poop belonged in the potty. I carefully removed his underwear and we discarded the poop and then he flushed.

Well somehow in this whole ordeal I had to scratch my nose.

Yep, you guessed it.

Poop managed to make it into my nostril. I could see it in the mirror and I could smell it. But my hands were dirty and Zeke's rear end needed cleaning so my nose would have to wait.

Finally the drama is over.....Zeke is cleaned hands get nose gets cleaned and Zeke goes down for a nap.

My next thought was something so unexpected.
"I wanted a cup of coffee."

Lord, I am becoming my mother.

She always wants a fresh pot of coffee. She swears it just makes her feel better.

So....that is exactly what I did.

I made me a little pot of coffee and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, I am not hard core. I still like my coffee to be blond with highlights.:0)

Oh the joys.........

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spectacles and Stitches

This past week has been busy.

We finally finished celebrating Ava's birthday( I love making the occasion last for a while, don't you?)

An unexpected gift Ava received was a pair of spectacles. Yes, I know they are glasses but I needed another "s" word for my cute blog title.

We knew that she was gonna need glasses soon but she never had complained about not being able to see well. So, we were just putting it off. I knew that was no longer an option when Ava put on my dad's glasses and exclaimed, "Momma, things don't look wuzzy anymore!"

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!(Bad mom alert!!!!) I called the doctor minutes later and made her an eye appointment. Bless her sweet heart. I don't think she had complained because she didn't know any better. She had not been able to clearly see ALL that she was missing out on!

Man, there is such a spiritual parallel there but for time's sake I must push through....


Now to the second "s".

This past Saturday I hosted a 31 party at my home. Shep, being the awesome husband and father that he is, took the kids on a field trip to Stamp Creek. They had a ball. Until Caroline's chair fell off the bridge (only about a foot above the water) with her strapped in and hit her head in the perfect spot and just the perfect way to require stitches.

Only 3 stitches but scared us all to death. This is the second time in 6 months that Caroline's head has been the target of an injury.

She is doing fine. She is such a tough little thing but I just can't help but wonder if the enemy is not behind this in some way.

He wants to destroy, distract, and discourage God's children in any and every way possible.

We boldly proclaim our belief that God is going to gloriously heal our girl. We don't back down and we don't apologize for what we believe God has told us.

I think this makes our enemy furious.

Do I believe that he would attempt to harm our girl to possibly destroy her or our faith? Yes
Do I believe that he would attempt to harm our girl to distract us from a God-focused life? Yes
Do I believe that he would attempt to harm our girl to discourage us? Yes

Spiritual warfare is often a taboo topic but I take it very seriously...

If the enemy has been allowed to touch Caroline then I must trust that God intends to bring good to us and glory to Himself.

Ephesians 6:11-14
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when (NOT IF) the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Favorite Spot...

Isaiah 65:18 says, "Be glad; rejoice forever in my creation!"

I don't know about you but just looking at these fresh springtime flowers makes me certainly
want to praise the One who gives life to all things!

This is my favorite spot.

We added on to our deck about 2 years after moving was the best thing we ever did.

We love hanging out under the pergola and we use it all year long.

As I backed out of the driveway this morning I made a mental note to come take a picture for all to see. The Carolina Jasmine is just plain showing off!

The picture doesn't really do it justice. The yellow bursts of color are breathtaking and there are butterflies everywhere! (that is just an added bonus)

I will be posting on other topics soon....Caroline got stitches, Ava got glasses, etc....but today I just wanted to focus on something rather beautiful, easy and uncomplicated.

God your glory is on display for all to see, take in and enjoy! If only we would just stop and really look. I felt Your joy today as I took in the view of these flowers. I know that sounds silly but I see You in all of Your handiwork. As new life comes forth and shows off ~I am reminded of new mercies that You give us each day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

She turned 6

This girl of mine turned 6 years old today.

I remember choosing her birth-date when I was pregnant with her. We knew I would be having a c-section so I got to choose her day. I loved choosing St. Patrick's Day!

It just seemed like it would be fun no matter how old you were to celebrate your birth on St. Patrick's Day while donning something green.

Today we celebrated the joy she brings to our family.

She is an amazing helper to me.
She loves a great story.
Being outside is as good as candy to her.
Reading has become her latest adventure.
She desperately wants to please us.
She cares so much about the needs of others.
She talks often of Caroline's healing.
She bosses her little brother around but secretly adores him.
She lights up at the sound of her daddy's voice.
Her grandmama can do no wrong in her eyes.
My lap is where she still likes to land and that suits me just fine.

Ava's favorite color is purple.
Ava's favorite candy is skittles or m & m's (depending on her mood).
Ava's favorite activity is watching a movie as an entire family.
Ava's favorite fast food is Chick-Fil-A nuggets (not so much the fries.....what is up with that??)
Ava's favorite mom cooked meal is Chicken Pot Pie. (she asks for it weekly)
Ava's favorite movie at the moment is Hercules.
Ava's favorite Disney princess is ALL of them....she doesn't discriminate. If they wear a crown and a dress~ she loves them!
Ava's favorite game is Memory...although she has caught the "BOP IT!" fever.
Ava's favorite person......hand's mom.

Thank you Father for this little life. Ava Ruth Helton is a joy to our family and we desperately need Your help to raise, nurture, teach, mold, and encourage this girl in Your ways and Your truth. We desire that she would follow Your path for her life and not to bend to the pressure to cave in to what others may want her to do. We ask that she would be bold, courageous, and passionate about you God. Keep her heart tender so she will be compassionate toward others. She is Your child God and we consider it a privilege to raise her. We ask for favor on her life and good godly friends to surround her. Keep her and bless her always....

Monday, March 14, 2011

It's good being a girl...

This past weekend was not for the faint of heart.

It seems like we had something to do every hour and we even lost one to boot. (Thank you daylight savings:)

This weekend offered ample opportunities for emotional highs and lows....I attended a special birthday party...a late night prayer session....a dear friend's grandmother's funeral.... and a surprise reception honoring my mom.

This is why it's good being a girl.

I tease my sweetie endlessly about the ease in which women multi-task. I actually feel that I am at optimum work output when I can do and accomplish several jobs at one time.

Well, this weekend I was on emotional multi-tasking overdrive.....I went from laughing to crying and back again several times!

Friday night was the birthday celebration of a little boy just 2 days older than my Ava. His family is as dear and near to me as my own flesh and blood. I don't believe I have missed a single birthday event in his life. His mom and I were pregnant together and I have great memories of late-night games of spades, serious cravings and weight gain, and wonderful walks in the sod farm that was close to our homes. He and Ava have reached every milestone together....first smiles, first tooth, first crawl, first stand, first steps, and now they are close to rounding out their first years in kindergarten.

After leaving his party, I headed over to spend some time with a sweet sister in the Lord who lets me think I mentor her. Our crazy schedules have not allowed for much time to meet, talk and pray. I absolutely eat up our time together. Her passion for Jesus is so stinking contagious and I wonder what in the world I ever bring to the table in her life. Anyway, after giving each other updates on life we hit our knees and began interceding for one another and specific needs that we felt lead to pray for. Oh how our sweet Savior came and met us right there on the living room was awesome and emotionally a good kind of way.:)

Saturday was absolutely gorgeous here in Georgia. We got to enjoy a teasing taste of early Spring time weather. D (my other dear friend) and I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed over to the funeral home. Our sweet friend's grandmother had passed away and we wanted to just be some faces in the crowd to make her smile.

We sat on the back row (like all good friends should) and took in the view. As the funeral began we kind of absorbed the somber mood ourselves. I hated that because it was such a pretty day and I didn't really know this woman but I couldn't just sit there and be super happy when others around me wore the appropriate funeral face.

The Lord must have answered the prayers of my heart because this funeral soon shifted to one of the most entertaining and funny funerals I have ever attended. After the minister spoke a few words, he opened up a time for family and friends to share stories of their lost loved one. Like I said I didn't know her but from all I heard I think I would have really liked her. Not to mention I see some of her antics and personality in my dear friend who was her granddaughter. Can we say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?!?

The stories were hilarious. I mean really hilarious.....

It felt kind of surreal and unnatural.

Laughing til we cried at this woman who seemed to live life with gusto! She certainly left her mark on this world those who loved and knew her. As D and I left we talked about how we want others to remember us and how Ms. Mary would have been happy with her farewell from this earth. Her family remembered her in fitting style and I don't think she would have had it any other way!

As the weekend came to an end Shep and I attended an afternoon surprise reception for my mom.

Her first Bible study is going to be published! We are so proud of her and her obedience to God's call on her life. It was a wonderful time for close friends and family to encourage her and applaud all of her efforts. She is currently in the process of writing her second bible study and I can't wait to sit at her feet and have her teach it to me.

I am so completely humbled and blessed to have a mother who seeks God so diligently and passionately. She has never felt worthy of the calling of a writer but has stayed consistent to doing what God has asked of her. I have watched as every insecurity she deals with has surfaced to stand in her way. In spite of them all she has persevered and overcome in Jesus name. She is truly a remarkable woman.....and she is also my biggest fan! How is that for cool?!?

So as Monday settles me into the routine of another week I am happy to get back into the groove of steady emotions instead of heightened ones. However, I wouldn't give anything for the pride, love, respect, sorrow, joy, vulnerability, anticipation, and raw realness of all I experienced this weekend.

It was good being a girl!

I can only say that because Shep would have hated the roller coaster ride but I threw my hands up and enjoyed every thrilling rise and fall!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My first batch...

In our family Shep has always been the premier "biscuit maker".

He makes them from scratch with flour (Martha White), buttermilk, and he cuts in the shortening....which he says is the most important part.

I have always been happy to let him make them. After all, I get to enjoy eating them.

The truth is I was always too scared to try.

How silly is that?!?

I was seriously intimidated over making biscuits.....from scratch.
(I still have this stronghold of fear with fried chicken and making chicken-n-dumplings from scratch)

Anyway, I asked Shep to show me what to do.

He walked me through each step.

So, my skills were put to the test when I decided to make them for guests this past week. I had settled on roast, potatoes, corn, and peas and biscuits just sounded so good. The only problem was that Shep would not be there to walk me through the process. I was on my own.

Well, all I can say is "they were mighty good."

I was so proud of my accomplishment that I had to take a picture. My very first batch of biscuits...homemade...and just shy of almost 13 years of marriage.

Maybe I'll attempt home-made bone-in fried chicken in another 13 years.....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Limping along...

I am over the half way mark of my second journey through the "Patriarchs" bible study.

It is even better the second time around and God has had plenty to say in spite of it being a re-run to me.

We have made it past Abraham and Isaac and we are settling in to enjoy some deeper study on Jacob.

As I think about these men I am amazed that God chose us.

They were so far from perfect.

They were plagued with the same kind of sins that I battle...they lied, cheated, stole, deceived, and tried to force God's hand yet He never wavered from His end of the bargain.

He had chosen them to be the beginning of His story and that was that. He had cut covenant and there was no turning back.

Amazing God.....amazing that He risks his reputation on people like us.

Anyway, I just finished studying Jacob and the night that he wrestled with God. I found an odd sense of peace as I read about a chosen man of God wrestling through the night with the One who created him, loved him, and pursued him.

Have you ever done it?

I have.
I do.

I fight the very One who makes me whole.
I fight for my way.
I fight His will for me at times...wanting to pick and choose what I think I can endure.

Well, Jacob wrestled with God and came out with a limp. God had purposely chosen to "touch the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched" (Gen. 32:25). The bible goes on to say that "he was limping because of his hip" (Gen. 32:31).

God's man.

..........................................................with a limp.

Beth makes a wonderful point so I will quote her, "sometimes God will wound his own child to make him walk differently....".

Has God allowed you to be wounded so that you will walk differently than those around you??

Has He let you endure pain so that you might grow in compassion?
Has He let you endure loss so that you might find contentment in Him?
Has He let you experience disappointment so that He came provide strength to overcome?
Has He let you walk for days, weeks, months, and years in the desert to show you that perseverance must be learned?
Has He wounded you with pride, unmet expectations, hurt, or doubt.

If He has allowed it, then rest in knowing He has a purpose.

Much can be gained through hardship.

I have my own limp.

I hate it sometimes.

But it makes the good in me rise to the surface.....and pride must surrender.

Therefore, my limp is the very evidence of His great love for me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fingers Crossed...

Thought I would take a break from the "heavy topics" of late...

Un-forgiveness is quite a task and the Lord and I have been hard at work. For those of you who have texted, e-mailed, or called to thank me for sharing those last blog are most welcome.

I am all about learning from others. I believe the body of Christ could be more equipped and ready for the enemy if we would be real with our struggles, pray for one another, and learn how to avoid pitfalls.....especially from others' mistakes.

OK. Enough of that for now............................................................................................................................

So it seems my little boy has turned a corner.

I have been gently encouraging him to potty. Doing the typical training things like putting him on the toilet first thing out of bed and last thing before bed. He has seemed kind of interested but has offered no commitment. Wanting to have success, I have not pushed him much at all. He has seemed fine to go or not go. He didn't really seem to understand the full concept.

Yesterday I decided to strip him down to the basics and let him go about his day "commando style" at home. (no underwear for those of you not around the male gender)

It was like something just clicked in his brain. Without the diaper or pants, his body became more aware and he went the whole day accident free. :) Most of the time he would come alert me and let me help him. We would smile, high-five, hug and cheer in celebration. As the day progressed, he would even venture to his own bathroom and go by himself.

S0 today I sent him to his pre-school with big boy underwear. I did send in several extra pairs of pants and underwear just in case he had an accident....BUT I am happy to report that he didn't have an accident!

Oh~ so proud and excited for my little man!

Now just keeping my fingers crossed that the corner has been turned!

If only my bad habits and strongholds could be overturned in a day or two....