Friday, April 27, 2012

Is That Wedding Music I Hear?

Eleven years ago we walked into Faith Baptist Church for the first time and that night a friendship was kindled between Justin, Jeremy, and Even.  It's been a good friendship.  One that this mama is proud of her son for having and one that has been iron sharpening iron.  They are all a blessing and I am thrilled to have known them and their families. 
Jeremy took the plunge and married his little sweetheart, Ashley.  Their wedding was the most God-honoring wedding I have been to in a very long time!  Everything from the songs of prayer and submission to their wedding vows was all based on the Word of God.  It was beautiful!   
Hannah and I were honored to sing a song in the wedding while Bruce played the guitar for us.  We sang How Beautiful (the body of Christ) while the wedding party entered the sanctuary.  It was so different and so sweet.  
But I was able to have my camera ready and snagged a few shots.  :0)
My handsome son ready to stand up for his buddy. 
Me with the groom...Can you tell I'd been crying?  I was a blubbering mess.  It hit me that Friday night and I didn't stop crying until Sunday.  I'll be a wreck, should Justin ever tie the knot. 
I think this is the FUNNIEST picture.  The look of gloom on Justin and Evan's face was priceless.  They were genuinely happy for Jeremy, but they looked as happy as two goats stuck in a mud pit.  LOL
 The wedding was lovely and everything went off without a hitch.  Well, actually, there was a hitch...Ashley to Jeremy, that is.  :)  She was a beautiful bride and her smile, that day, could have outshined the sun!  When they turned to be pronounced as Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy H, she flung her hankee in the air and said, "Whooo!"  :)
 The small wedding party.  haha
 Pastor Goodman with the newlyweds.
 They had the reception at the Western Sizzlin'.  Which was totally awesome.  Full entree, salad, and dessert bar.  Of course, they had the cake set up in one of the banquet rooms they had reserved.  After all was said and done, it was time to say goodbye and wish them well on their honeymoon. 
Once again, Justin caught the garter.  I got tickled at that, because the last several weddings he's been to, he catches the garter. 
 They decorated the truck with powders, silly string, toilet paper, and other crazy stuff.  It was cute when they were finished.
They had a great time on their honeymoon and showed up for jubilee Wednesday night.  We were all happy to see them there.
I pray they have many happy and blessed years together from now until forever. 
You can click here to watch a video of Justin's speech to Jeremy and Ashley.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Murfreesboro, 2012

We arrived at the hotel that afternoon and rested in our rooms for a while before heading down stairs for devotions.  Which, by the way, is one of my most favorite times of this trip.  I enjoy the personal time with our youth group and hearing from some of our young preacher boys.
Mrs. Janet ordered pizza and had it delivered, so we ate before devotions and also celebrated Maddie's birthday with a giant cookie, ordered for her that morning.  I'm glad she had a birthday, because it was yummy.  LOL

After supper and celebrations, we heard from four of our boys.  Brother Troy...
Brother Jeremy....
And our youth Pastor, Brother Johnathan.
Each of them spoke on standing for the Word of God and not giving into things the world has to offer.  After devotions and prayer, we broke up for some free time and some of the kids gathered and sang songs for quite a while.  It was a blessing to hear them singing songs about their Heavenly Father and Heaven, all while being looked upon by people coming in and out of the hotel or watching and listening from their balconies.
Normally, we head to Middle Tennessee Baptist that Friday morning, but Brother Hutson had cancelled that meeting time this year.  We did not find that out until later Thursday night.  The kids were disappointed so we asked the hotel staff if we could reserve a meeting room for the Friday morning and we had our own meeting.  I think I enjoyed that better than anything that weekend.  It was wonderful!  God really touched some hearts.  Pastor preached to us, the kids and adults gave testimonies, we sang...  it was wonderful! 
Friday afternoon, after our own little meeting, we took the kids to a mall area where they were able to eat lunch and do a little shopping before the evening service.  We returned to the hotel and got ready for that.  Couldn't wait to get there!  I must admit that I was a little on edge and praying the Lord would intervene and put to rest some things I was worried about.  It is no secret that I am quite protective of my church, my Pastor, and our youth.  I'm not going to spout how spiritual and perfect they are, because they're not.  They're all flesh and bone, just like the rest of us.  But they do try.  And the Lord does work in their lives and I've seen first hand what He has done in some of their hearts I never dreamed He could or would do.  By the time meeting started, He had let me know that everything would be fine and I knew the Lord had answered that prayer before we had ever gotten out of Shelby!  He is good!!
When we got there, we took our seats and our youth gathered around the alter to pray.  What a blessing! 
We heard from Middle Tennessee Adult Choir.  I LOVE their choir!  They sing the old time way with the power of God on them!
 We also heard from Brother Tony Hutson's daughters.  I like to hear them sing too.  Their voices are so close together it's unreal.  I can never make out who is singing what.  LOL  Doesn't matter though, because they're just really good.
 Brother Hutson had all the Pastors and preachers to come sit in the choir.  It was different and it was a blessing to see those men of God sitting up there, enjoying and getting in on the services.
Brother Mark Stroud was there.  One of mine and Bruce's all time favorites!  That man can lay it down, I'm tellin' ya!  LOL
Heard some good singin'....
And some good testimony too!  Brother Hutson asked Brother Philbeck (Pastor of a local church here in Kings Mountain) to testify on old time religion.  It was very good.
And then we heard some preachin'!  I had never heard from Brother Broughton before, but I think he was a favorite among our youth and me too.  He was very good. 
 And then we heard from our Pastor.  He preached a sermon we've heard before, but I got some new things out of it this time, and it was things that I have been able to apply to my life.  Did I mention what a blessing this meeting was?
We had Saturday morning meeting and then made our way back down the mountains of Tennessee to home.  I enjoyed every moment of the trip. 
Had a great time and already looking forward to next year!  The good news is...  Pastor Goodman and Brother Hutson have been working on a meeting just like this one, right here at our church, in August!  I am so excited about this!!  It's been in the works for about a year and a half now.  Lord willing, we have some GREAT preachers lined up and looking forward to some AWESOME meetings! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Harry's Birth

Still haven't downloaded pics from Murfreesboro due to spring cleaning. It's been a great week for this and I've enjoyed it. I have to say that I have a ton of trash that needs to be carried off on the deck and a ton of other things I need to donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army. If the Salvation Army will pick it up, that's where it's going.
Hannah and Harry have been with mom all week and both got sick with sinus junk on Monday. Harrison did good after a couple of days, but Hannah is still sick. I have an appointment for her tomorrow morning, but she said she doubted she'll need to go so we'll see about that in the morning.
Anyway, other than my babes being sick it has been a productive week, I think. i am ready for them to return home. I've missed them!
Anonymous requested to hear about Harry's birth and start to life, so here it is....

I had an early morning appointment April 10, 2000. When I got there, my entire body was swelled up and my vision was as though i was looking at things under water. I had a splitting headache and felt miserable. Just six more weeks to go and I'd be better. Wait...six whole weeks? 'Fraid so.
I had only been in the examination room for a few minutes when the doctor came in. She shut the door, turned the light out, with the exception of a small lamp, and told me to lie down. I remember thinking, "Well, this is new."
She told me that my blood pressure was so high she didn't want me to move and that we were going to have a baby today. That two nurses were coming in to dress me and take me over to the hospital, which was attached to my OB office. So they dressed me, lifted me into a wheel chair, and off we went. My husband and older two children following behind me as I cried all the way to my room.
After several hours of monitoring, they put me in an ambulance and took me to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte. When I got there, there were five doctors waiting for me, each with their own little staff of nurses.
Last I heard, my blood pressure had reached 271 over 248. I have no idea if it got higher than that and, quite frankly, I really don't want to know.
One by one, the doctors came in for an ultra sound and each one had the same disturbed look on their faces as they viewed the monitor. Their eyes would become increasingly larger and their neck would extend as though they were trying to figure out, just what in the world, they were looking at. That wasn't scary at all. (rolling eyes.)
To be honest, that's about all I remember, except when they first rolled me into my room, my daddy had already beat the ambulance there and was sitting in a chair in my room waiting for me and praying. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing this was one time he took advantage of having a car with blue lights and sirens.
They had me on so many drugs I don't remember a whole lot of Harrison's birth except them waking me up every now and then to push. Bruce's face was the first one I'd see when I opened my eyes and he would always whisper he loved me before I would go back out.
When Harrison was finally born I did wake up and beg Bruce to follow him out. His lungs weren't fully developed yet and his little cry was so weak. But they wouldn't let Bruce back until they were finished doing what they had to do to him.
Six weeks early, and my preemie weighed more than I did when I was born on time. He was six pounds, nine ounces. If I had gone six more weeks, he would have been huge. He was the biggest baby in the NICU. I remember looking at him next to the tiniest little people I had ever seen and thinking what a miracle each and every one of them were!

For days my vision was horrible and, from what my mother, former pastor, and Bruce said, my face was pretty well distorted from the medications I was on. I couldn't see to make my way down the corridors from my room to the NICU. My mom was taking care of older two children, daddy had to work, Bruce had to work, and my in laws had gone on vacation a day or so after he was born. So, needless to say, I was by myself and no way to get to my baby without the help of bothering nurses, who were already short handed. Most days I would just lay in my bed and cry for him. I wanted to be with him so bad. I think that time in my life was the absolute loneliest time in my life. Bruce would come up in the evenings after working fourteen hour shifts and I would be so happy when he walked through that door to take me to see my baby.
The next hardest thing we had to do was leave our baby at the hospital and come home over forty-five minutes away from him. That was the quietest ride home and I think we both cried all the way as we held hands.
He had some really tough nights and turns. It was like a roller coaster ride. One day he would be doing marvelous and the next we would get a call that he had a bad time of something and they had to do "this" for him. It was scary and I still couldn't drive yet to get to him. Bruce was supervising and his time of leave wasn't up for a few more weeks. It was HORRIBLE! But then we got a call from the hospital and they wanted to see us. So we went up and they had moved him from NICU to another nursery. He was doing very good. We were happy. He looked wonderful laying there without all those tubes. It was nice to be able to pick him up without permission.
After several days there, we got another call that he was ready to come home. So while Bruce was working, mom drove me to the hospital and we picked up my baby boy to bring him home. I was thrilled to be sitting in the rocking chair facing the front door. When Bruce walked in, we were the first ones he saw and he smiled from ear to ear, knelt down beside us and we cried a little bit again.
By the way, I had lost fifty three pounds within three days after his birth. That's how much swelling I had. The troubled looks on the doctor's faces was because my placenta, which should have weighed, on average, four pounds, ended up weighing four times that. Yep, a whopping sixteen pounds. They had never seen that before. This was one of the reasons I had to have him naturally and they refused a C-section. They really weren't sure what it was. But it was completely covered in blood clots and calcium deposits. They were amazed that Harrison had survived as long as he did in the womb and that neither of us had died. God. was. good.
Around six months, I believe it was, he came down with the Rotovirus. For thirteen solid weeks, my baby lay lifeless on my chest. I thought he would surely die in my arms. I had him to the doctor several times and each time they told me to take him home and keep doing what I was doing. So I did. I would pump him with pedia lite to keep him from becoming dehydrated. I bought every flavor/color they had and alternated between feedings. No sooner would he begin to drink the orange flavored, his diaper would be filled with orange color. The same went with all the colors. It was crazy. Without him being sick, we went through forty-two diapers a week. During those thirteen weeks, he was going through approximately five times that much. We were changing his diaper every thirty minutes to an hour. He was such a sick little guy. But God saw him through that. He had literally spent thirteen weeks with me holding him in my arms, sitting in a chair. Then one morning, he looked up and just felt better. I was so glad that ordeal was finally over.
When he was in the hospital after he was born, there were some things they found and he did require surgery around eight months. This was another ordeal this mama could have done without. The thought of him going into surgery, for what he was going in for, was very frightening for me. It was a long several hours that day and I was never so glad to see him wake up and smile.
So Harrison's first year was a rough start. But he sure has made up for it, let me tell ya! What a character he is. God brought him through all these things that first year and I know He has something very special for Harrison. He's a special person and I can't wait to see what the future holds for my baby boy. Well, he's not much of a baby anymore. But you know what I mean.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Birthday and Spring Cleaning

I'm spring cleaning this week.  yippee.  I mean YIPPEE!! 

I shipped the two older ones off to mom's house for the week for their spring break and thought I'd take the time to declutter and dedustbunny the house.  I started in Hannah's room.  So far, so good.  The boy's room, I keep avoiding.  You know, because they're grub worms.  But I know when it's finished I will be so happy and so will they.  And just a thought here...  is it too much to ask my youngest to put dirty clothes in the hamper and not back in his drawers?  I'm sure my child is the ONLY one that does this.  Right?  LOL  Ohhh, gotta love boys.  All joking aside, I'm enjoying the quiet cleaning time.  It's been nice.

Last week was a big week.  Wednesday was Harry's birthday.  He started the celebration Tuesday night when his brother and sister camped out with him on the trampoline.  Which was a big deal, let me tell ya.  It was a rather chilly night, but they all seemed to survive. 
Since Bruce works second shift, I decided to have the grandmothers over for lunch, Wednesday, and we were able to celebrate as a family.
 The items requested for his menu was tacos and Spanish rice.  So tacos and Spanish rice it was.  And it was pretty good, if I do say so myself. 
Harrison likes the game Angry Birds.  So I decided this would be a fun cake for him and I was right.  He loved it.  I did too, actually.  I have a thing for Angry Birds also, in case you didn't know.  I kept the pieces from the cake and I'll make my own Angry Bird cake when my birthday rolls around.  You think I'm kidding, don't you?  :)
  We had a great time with the Grandmothers, but then it was time to say goodbye to them and see Bruce off to work and get ready for Patch and church.  I had asked Harrison's Patch teachers if we could bring cupcakes, chips, and drinks and they said it would be fine.  So after Patch class was over, they were able to have those things for a snack. 
Hannah made orange supreme cupcakes with cream cheese icing.  She piped icing through the bottoms of the cupcakes so there would be cream in the centers.  From what I've heard, the children were pleasantly surprised. 
 Hannah loves to make things for Harry's patch class.  She's such a good sissy.
 We have a tradition in our home that when you turn twelve, you get your first set of house keys.  So when the grandmothers left, daddy was off to work, and sissy was making cupcakes, Harry and I went to our local hardware store and had his keys made.  When the two older ones turned twelve, Justin picked out UNC keys and Hannah picked out tie-dye.  Harrison chose Green Bay Packers.  That's my boy, right there!!   
 After church that night, he went home with my mom and spent the weekend with her, while Bruce and I headed to Murfreesboro, Tennessee with our youth group.  Of course, Hannah was with us, and we were blessed to know that Justin was able to get off work and attend the meetings there with us as a sponsor.  I have a lot to tell about our trip and I'll share that soon.  I haven't downloaded my pictures from the trip yet and I have a ton of things going on with spring cleaning.  So I'll get to it when I take another break sometime this week.
I love my boy, Harry.  He has a great sense of humor and keeps us in stitches most of the time.  He had a rough start to life, but seems to have taken a good hold of it now.  He's taller than his mama, and I'm pretty sure by the end of summer he might be as tall as his brother.  Wouldn't surprise me one bit.  I no longer purchase clothes or shoes from the children's department.  This is kind of a bitter sweet thought.  I've always enjoyed my babies growing up.  And I'm proud of all three of them.  I just wish they could stay little for a little while longer.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Monday After

After Easter, that is.
Before Bruce and I went on our date Friday, we stopped and visited with both of our mothers for a while and took them some beautiful tulips. They opened up so pretty and there were several colors in them. I loved them. When they die, I might go get the plants and replant the bulbs. I wonder if they would come back next year. Anyone out there know?
Saturday, Bruce took the kids to the trade lot to walk around a little bit while I did some errands. For some reason my brain was malfunctioning all day. No sooner would I get home I would remember something I forgot and had to go back out for it. This happened, I know, four or five times. It was very frustrating. I made a couple of apple crisps. One for my sister in law and brother and one for us. They were really good. I'll share this easy recipe soon. You will love it, I promise!
It was a long Resurrection day, but it was sooo good! God showed up in both services and we had a time, let me tell ya!! After the morning service, we went to my mother in law's for dinner. It was good to see everyone. My niece Britt and her family wasn't able to make it and we missed them. But it was good to see everyone else and have some laughs together. Brother Johnathan preached the Sunday evening service and did a spectacular job. I love to hear that boy preach. He has been the acting youth Pastor for a while and has done a great job. We are so proud of him and Mrs. Jennifer and are so blessed. We love them bunches!
After the morning service I was asked to take some pictures of a couple of families outside. My friend, Missy, and her family was one of them. This was just so funny, I had to share it. See the goofball in the back? Yeah, that's "big Chad." He's such a dork. But Missy loves him, so we tolerate him. haha

And check out Faith's literal hair bow. Missy found a tutorial online on how to make a bow with your hair. It turned out really cute.

I do love this family. LOL


Today has been an extra long day, I think. Been busy doing school work, editing pictures, making CDs, meeting clients, working on picture orders, cooking lunch, cleaning a house, doing laundry.... I really don't need more hours in the day. Just more energy.

Just finished icing my knee and now I'm shutting it all down and going to bed!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter

Well, here we are wrapping up the first week of April, can you believe it?? I can't!

I've had several photo shoots recently. One for the granddaughter of a friend who wanted to surprise her daughter with the pictures, one for some missionaries going out of our church, and one for a young nursing student that graduates soon. They all turned out beautiful and I'm excited for them to see their pictures.

I've done something to my knee. On one of the shoots I bent down and when I did I heard my knee pop. It didn't hurt or bruise, but ever since then it snaps and swells throughout the day. I've been icing it and taking ibuprofen when I need it, but I think I'm going to have to go to the doctor. I don't want to, but... you know how that goes. So pray that I'm better soon! We have a trip coming up with our youth soon and I sure don't want to have to put up with a bum knee on that trip.

Bruce has been studying to get his CDL so he can start helping drive the bus when they need another driver. He's been talking about it for a while and finally getting around to it. We've been trying to get Justin to do the same. I'm sure he will eventually.

So tomorrow is Easter. The day we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. I am looking forward to being in church tomorrow and singing songs about Him raising from the dead and hearing the message that God has given my Pastor to give to us. It will be a beautiful day, for sure. After church we'll go to my mother in law's house for Sunday dinner with the family. Looking forward to some time with them, a little rest, and back for evening services.

What are your plans for Easter?

I hope you all have a good Easter and remember that, although bunnies and eggs make the day fun, it's all about an EMPTY TOMB! Praise God, He got up for me!!