Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Justus' Varsity Debut

Friday night was the beginning of Highschool Football for us here in Brantley. We opened the season by hosting a Jamboree. We played our "playoff rivals" Sweetwater first in a 2 quarter test. They were picked #1 in the preseason poll for class 1A, but we beat them 14 - 7!!! The next 2 quarters were played by Sweetwater against Maplesville. And lastly, the night ended with Brantley playing Maplesville for the last 2 contested quarters. We also won against them, 7 - 0!!! Way to go Bulldogs! Justus had a great game on offense and defense as you will see in the video I'm posting. He is #9.

The game was really fun and I am SO looking forward to this season! The boys had such a good time; it did not take them any time to crash out after their bath! I'm also posting a slide show of pics so you will see them, too.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Room With a View

I have told several people I would begin posting pictures of our new home, church and community. This may take a while, but hopefully not too long! :) I will not wait for it all to be perfect, that way you can see how things improve as I finish projects. As I prepared for this move, I told myself I would be patient as I decorate and set up, so that I can do things just the way I like them. I had a big yard sale before we moved. I have to admit that is one thing I like about moving... getting to clean out the clutter!!! Also, I am trying to modernize our decor a little. We have had some things since we were married almost 19 years ago. Some things I cannot part with, but more than anything I'm trying to simplify!

So with that said, today I thought I would start with 2 "areas"...views of the outdoors from different windows and our "outdoor" room, aka the back porch. If you know me at all, you know that I am a lover of the outdoors and the beauty of nature. This may sound silly to some, but I really have missed pine trees! I know that pine straw is a nuisance in the fall, but they are so much a part of the South and I missed them greatly! As you will see and much to my delight we are surrounded by them! They are not actually in our yard, but there is a "grove" right across from our front yard that we can look through to see our neighbor's pond. (Another delight!) To look out towards the back yard there is a thick forest of young pines across the highway. God is SO good!!!

Secondly, I am posting pics of our back porch, which I L-O-V-E!!! Richard and I both have already taken advantage of it for having our coffee and quiet times with the Lord in the mornings! We also celebrated Wesley's birthday out there. I was very happy to get a couple of really nice plants on clearance at Walmart to make it even nicer! I'm sure we will be enjoying this "room" more and more especially when the temps begin to cool down!

View from our formal living room picture window into our front yard.

View from our dining room (formal living & dining is combined) out towards the church

Sun Rise out our kitchen window which faces our back yard

Same Sun Rise a few minutes later

Daytime view out kitchen window

This view out the kitchen window shows my peach tree which is just on the other side of our back fence. It was LOADED with them when we moved in.

My Back Porch {see my beautiful plants! :) }

As you can see, it is VERY roomy out there and I love the ceiling fan!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wesley's Week

This has been ONE week for Wesley!!! Of course as my last post indicated, he had his birthday last Wednesday and we celebrated with weekday pancakes just for him! That night at church just before we left, he fell into a wooden child's chair in the nursery right in front of his daddy. At first we didn't think it was too bad but by Friday it was very swollen and bruised. So, we took him to a pediatrician that was recommended to us by some of our church members. Richard actually took him and he really liked this doctor. He is in Opp which is a familiar place to Richard as he served for 2 summers during college at First Baptist Church there as a youth minister. Dr. Bang (pronounced Bong) did think that Wesley's mouth might be getting infected so he prescribed him an oral antibiotic and gave us some salve for the exterior lip/cheek area. He also did a thorough check up and decided to give him Nasonex to go along with his Zyrtec for his allergies and gave us some eye drops because his eyes were starting to run from allergies, too. He also thought one of his tonsils was swollen. By Saturday evening the swelling in his cheek had gone down, but the bruising is probably going to take a while because it is still there.

On Saturday evening we invited our friends, Ashley and Wendy Kilcrease, their baby girl Marley Kate and their two sons Jake and Luke to come over and help us celebrate Wesley's birthday. We grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and had cake and icecream. We ate out on our super nice back porch and the boys really had a great time playing all over the yard. Wesley got lots of fun presents and he especially likes his "Little Einsteins" conductor's wand that plays music that he got from Grandmama and Grandaddy! He is already humming new tunes he has learned from it.

On Monday and Tuesday we took him to the public school here to be tested again for speech therapy. As in Texas he had to be evaluated to see if he is eligible for speech therapy offered by the speech therapist in the public school system. We will not know anything official until next week, but she was very encouraging that he would be eligible. She is the therapist and I really like her. I think Wesley did, too. She also said that she would probably work with him and another preschool boy together. I will update more when we know for sure what he will be doing and what his schedule is.

Lastly, we are all having issues with our sinuses but as I said in the beginning of this post, Wesley was already having trouble on Friday. On Monday afternoon we tried to let the boys play in the sprinkler for a while after school. It was windy, but the rain had let up so we let them. It was probably not a great idea as Monday night Wesley's symptoms seemed to worsen a lot. All day Tuesday and today he has continued to get worse with lots of nasal and upper respiratory congestion. Also today he has not stopped coughing despite taking a prescription cough and decongestant medicine. Strep and flu is going around, but he is still on his antibiotic and he has not had any fever, so I just don't really know what it is. I'm sure his throat is sore as much as he has coughed! We didn't take him to church tonight because we didn't want him to cough on everyone there. I am really hoping he gets better soon! He has had a rough week!!!

These pics are of his party, his sprinkler play (Graham didn't play because he got cold) and his mouth injury:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Baby - Wesley!!!

I cannot believe that Wesley is 4 years old today!!! He is one of the greatest joys of my life! He is such a comic!!! We called Justus silly when he was a baby, but Wesley really is the epitome of silliness! He loves to make silly faces and to make silly sounds! He cracks us up on a daily basis! I'm really afraid he will be the one who I get called to the principal's office for once he starts school. He is also my most mischievious child! He is always getting into stuff, pushing buttons on machines and appliances and he has been the one to draw and write on walls, furniture and floors! (As evidenced by some of my posts on here!) :) He loves to play outside! He loves to play with his brother, Graham, and gets so excited when Graham comes home from school. He likes to go for walks and learn all about nature. He likes playing with all his Hotwheel cars and with his Thomas trains. He loves to race and will always ask for something to eat or drink and then say, "I'll beat you!" as he takes off running to the kitchen! He is a good eater and he loves milk! He may not know all the words, but he knows the tunes to SO many songs and he is ALWAYS singing! I love that about him! He is SO HAPPY so much of the time! Lately he has been singing "If You're Happy and You Know It!" I love it! He is very imaginative and loves to pretend! He is also very observant when we are driving somewhere and always gives us a narrative as we drive along..."Look, Mama, cows! Look, Mama, corn! Look, Mama, the American flag!...and so on!" He lights up the room when he enters it! Although he loves his mama's attention, he loves to give his affection to his daddy! He is a daddy's boy for sure! He loves to eat tomatoes and cucumber with white ketchup (Ranch Dressing). He is our late night owl and our late sleeper in the morning! He does not jump out of bed, but likes to lie there and take his time chillin' out! When he does get up, though, he is ready for breakfast...usually Poptarts, but he LOVES pancakes! So, even though pancakes are usually our Saturday morning specialty from Daddy, Mama made him some special just for his birthday! We will have a party, soon. All the details have not been worked out yet, but when we do, I will post the pics from it. So far, though, he is quite content with his birthday breakfast!

My Beautiful Baby Boy!

Happy Birthday Pancakes!

Thank you, God!

Mmm Mmmm!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fishing, Football and Back to School

I really wanted to post these sets of pictures separately, but I was afraid that some would be looked over if I did it that way. So, I am posting all together but I will put a description with each set of pictures.

The first set is of our first fishing "trip" since we arrived in Brantley. A week ago Saturday Richard took the boys "all the way" across our road and down a short path to our neighbors pond to fish for bass. Having the genes that I do from my daddy, I of course could not stay behind long, so I joined them a little later. We had lots of fun and Richard even caught one - about a 2 pounder. He fileted it and now it is waiting in our freezer to be added to for a good fish supper some evening, hopefully soon! I wish I had taken more pics...I didn't even take one of the prize catch! :( Graham really took to casting and I have a feeling he may end up being the angler in the family! He really enjoyed it! Wesley doesn't have a rod his size yet, but I have a feeling with his birthday coming up, that won't be a problem much longer! He may have been part of our probem, though, as he did not stop talking the whole time! :) Justus enjoyed being out there, but he's the kind who doesn't stay at it long if the fish aren't biting! Anyway, it is a beautiful place and we are so grateful to our sweet friends and neighbors Andy and Lindsay who have given us an open invitation to fish anytime!

The puppy dog is our neighbor's beagle, Lizzy. She is really sweet and visits us at our house, too!

The next set of pics are of Justus and his new football team, the Brantley Bulldogs. Yes, we are still the bulldogs, but we are GREEN this year! I have to say, I like it!!! Also, I took a pic of the t.v. news reporting that Brantley is ranked #3 in the state in the pre-season poll of Class 1-A. Now you may think that 1-A is not a big deal, but let me tell you that there is a fellow by the name of Anthony Gully from Brantley who was a top recruit to the Auburn Tigers! He is the second fastest player on Auburn's team this season. And, we will see right away if this Brantley team is what they say as we play the #1 team, Sweetwater, in our opening Jamboree! Justus is pumped and is working hard. He probably will not start this year on offense but should get some playing time as he becomes more familiar with their offense. He may start on defense and will for sure on special teams. We are all very ready for FOOTBALL!

Did I mention that 5 out of the 7 coaches here are active members of our church and are just really great Christian role models to these young men!

My handsome Junior!

These last pics are of the boys' first day of school, which is today! I also took a couple of pics yesterday of Graham and Wesley as they were dressed really cute for church! The ones of Graham and Justus out by the mailbox are not of them waiting for the school bus, but waiting for their daddy. We forgot and left the van parked at church last night. We usually walk to church and by habit did walk home last night. We had taken it to church, though, as the sky decided just as we were leaving for church to POUR down rain!

Justus, my Highschool Junior!

Graham, My 1st Grader!

My sweet Wesley!

I took this of these 2 Sunday morning. They do both have their own bed!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Through the Open Door

I know it seems I apologize a lot for not keeping my blog updated....but this time I assure you I have a pretty good excuse!!! I have wanted to sit down and update it, announcing our most recent "BIG" news, but there literally has been no time. So, with that said, I will announce that we have moved! As so many of you know Richard has been called to pastor Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Brantley, Alabama. We left our beloved Hamilton, Texas and Calvary Baptist Church, whom we will miss greatly, on the 15th of July and headed toward the state of Alabama. We had a couple of overnight stays - one in Waco, TX and the other in Mobile, AL and then arrived around 1:00 p.m. on Friday, July 17th. We had lots of help on both ends from 2 extraordinary church fellowships!!! God is SO GOOD and has been SO FAITHFUL to see us through every step!!! It is to Him that ALL PRAISE and HONOR and GLORY is given!!!

Over the next several days and even weeks I hope to post pictures of our new home and new church and new community as well as keep you all updated on what God is doing here in our new field of ministry. I also hope to backtrack just a little and post some events which I have not been able to post due to the busy-ness of the move. As the purpose of this blog is mainly to update you on the life-events of our family (mostly the boys) I will leave you with this excerpt from a conversation I had with Graham (now age 6 and about to start 1st Grade) soon after we arrived here in Brantley. We were riding down the road and apparently his "wheels were turning" and he said, "Mama, isn't it funny how we are still the bulldogs (Brantley's School mascot is the bulldog, too) and we are still Baptist!" (in reference to our former church being Calvary Baptist Church and our new church being Mt. Zion Baptist Church)...out of the mouths of babes! Looks like he may be in for a few lessons on Baptist history and doctrines from his daddy! Ha!

Here are few pics to start you off:

View coming from Brantley (we are 4+ miles out from town)

View going towards Brantley

Our Welcome Cookie from the Ashley Kilcrease family (We have several Kilcreases)

Our Moving truck (that was packed so full, we could not put our stuff from Mobile in it!)

Some of our Mt. Zion "Moving Crew"!

More of the "Crew"! Notice the golf cart in the background. We don't live near a golf course, but lots of folks out here in the "country" use carts and four-wheelers to travel around! :)

Some pics of our new Pastorium - more to come, especially of the inside as I get it all set up!

You can see the church's recreation courts in this view and there is a large playground just on the other side. You can guess who likes this part of our new house!

This is the church as viewed from our front yard.

This a pic I took last Sunday. They were taking pics of our kids to go with the ad for our church in the football team's programs that are handed out at the games. As you can see, we have lots of children and youth and we were missing about 4-5 families with kids that day. They had VBS the week we moved and averaged about 90 kids with 120 being their highest attendance!

Of course Wesley not cooperating, so I had to post 2 pics so you could see his sweet (silly) smile!