Friday, December 30, 2011

New blog.

I am starting a new blog today. It is for my kiddos. It is very basic and may even be a bit boring, but something that I have been wanting to do. I am making it private, but would always love to have visits from friends and family. I will keep this one as well, for the handful of folks that keep up with our family here. :) We will probably only do our major family updates on this site. The other blog will have a bit more of a personal touch for my little ones. :)

If any of our friends or family would like to visit mine and the kiddos blog, just let me know. I will send an invite. The link is here


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas and Advent 2011

This year's Christmas and Advent was a wonderful time. Dand'un filled the children's days with special activities and treats. There were 24 gifts to open. Each one was something special. We had muffins to bake, cookies to cut out, gel sticks for the windows, movies to watch. Just lots of activities that she put a lot of thought into. It was really a treat for the children and for us.

 We also did a few random acts of kindness for some strangers. It was a lot of fun leaving money on drink machines, buying coffee for the person in line behind us, and giving cookies to our mailman. Our favorite reaction was the middle aged gentleman at Starbucks. He was almost speechless when Annalise handed him a gift card for his coffee. It made me smile. I didn't really take any pictures because I didn't want the children to have the idea that we were doing it "for show." But, it was a real treat for me to watch them. 

We were able to spend time with our Mobile family at Miramar Beach. We all rented a HUGE house together and had a great time eating, and believe it or not swimming. :) It never got over 60 degrees or so, but the kiddos (and Jake) were not going to miss opportunity to swim in the Gulf or the pool. It is always a gift to spend time with our family... especially at such a beautiful beach.

                                                            Cold, snotty G Coy.
                                                               Sweet Auntie Kara.

Okay...still more Christmas pics to add. Gingerbread house, gifts. etc...I will get them on here sometime. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A few pictures.

Here are just a couple of pictures before I start posting all of the Christmas/Advent pictures. I am sure I will get all of that on here before 2013. ;) Our kiddos love their stick horses. A lot of times we just have one of something because it helps them to learn to share. And, we just do not have room for 3 of everything. But, there was a constant "waiting line" (aka fighting) about the stick horses. So, Annalise and Gabriel's birthday presents in 2011 were stick horses. Those horses get a lot of exercising. :)

And, I love this one of Annalise. We use Usborne's Living Long Ago as part of our history lessons. We were reading about European fashions from 350 years ago. Did you know that Europeans used masks and little stick on "tattoos" to cover scars and blemishes?? I didn't. :) But, we made some "tattoos" for our faces and attached them with flour and water. The kiddos had a great time and I loved this picture of sweet Annalise.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My new favorite..

Thank you, sweet Lindsey A.  I LOVE JJ Heller. This song is one of my new favorites. :) The lyrics are so fantastic. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Our funnies from the week.

Gideon has a new super hero that he has created. It is Superhero Missionary. He flew around the house quite a while Tuesday evening demanding that we all stop worshiping other idols and worship "THE ONE TRUE GOD"!!! (said in a booming voice) Afterwards, he decided that I needed to be the Old Testament Israelites that were constantly following their neighbors pagan ways. He would jump out from around the corner shouting "Aha!! You must worship the ONE TRUE GOD!! I will now have to punish you!! :) :) I am very anxious to  finish up the Pentateuch in our Bible curriculum and move on to the New Testament... and talk about grace. HAHA!!

And, this little beauty requires no explaining. Nothing cuter than a masked snotty toddler.

Gideon the marksman.

Gideon has discovered a new love...shooting. His Uncle Pete has loaned him a beginners rifle that is perfect for little guys. He has had several shooting sessions with it and I have to admit that he is getting pretty good. His cousins were over on Thanksgiving weekend and they had a ball shooting together. :) One of the many perks of living in the woods. Dand'un and Grandaddy were able to stay with us over the long weekend and it was wonderful having them here for several days. We love when they are at arms reach instead of 4 hours away. :) Grandaddy helped Jake burn the huge brush pile that was left from some clearing Jake did last year. So, that is the smoldering pile that is in the background. Oh...and I love the hand me down boy scout shirt Gideon is wearing. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Gabriel!!

Gabriel had his 2nd birthday last month. Since he is still little, we all picked his theme for him. We had a manly mustache party and it was just too fun. We had lots of fun with all of the fun ideas we found on Pinterest. I am not very creative on my own, but we found tons of ideas to copy-cat.

We were so happy to have sweet cousins and Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Amy, and Grandmama come celebrate our G-Coy with us. We are so thankful for him. He is such a bright, energetic, and really just hysterical little boy. He brings joy to all of us everyday. His brother and sister are so proud of him and they do such a good job in taking care of him. We love you G-Coy. We love watching you learn and grow. We are thankful that you belong to us.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our News Writer..

I am so behind on blogging. I have pictures from Gabriel's birthday and Thanksgiving weekend, but, this was just too cute to wait its turn. :) Gideon has been writing tons of newspapers lately. We love it when he reads them to us, so I decided to make a video of him reading one of his latest editions. I have no idea where he got his "news anchor voice" since he has only watched the news once or twice in his lifetime. :) I feel like I need to apologize for the condition of our table. I would give an excuse for the mess, but is like that all of the time. We just eat around it. ;)
Goodbye, sweet Grandad. There are no words to express just how much we love you ... We will miss you forever.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Day in the Life of Nyabwire

A Day in the Life of Nyabwire

If you have a minute, please click the link above to watch a very special video.

If you are not sponsoring a child through Compassion International, please, please consider it. It has been a tremendous blessing to my family. Our little girl, Malia Toris, is a huge part of our lives. I have never felt such a strong connection to someone that I have never met. My children's hearts are always with her. Her birthday is in January. She will turn 6. She and Gideon are almost the same age and his connection to her is greater than I can express in words. I signed up for Compassion because I thought we could help her, but it turns out, she has helped us in ways that I cannot explain. We truly feel she is part of our family. If you want to change not only a special child's life, but your own as well, I challenge you to consider Compassion. I promise you won't regret it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Report card time.

We turned in our first official report card for Gideon. Hard to believe our little guy is so big. He received all Os for "Outstanding". I know that his teacher is somewhat partial, but he honestly deserved it. He has done so well and I am thankful. I am trying to have a relaxed attitude this year because I understand that things get a little more serious in first grade. So, our biggest goal is just learning to "love to learn". I recently discovered Pinterest. I LOVE it. We have been making all kinds of  things and trying lots of  new recipes. It is kind of like swapping ideas with friends. It is like a social network without the drama of Facebook. (Sorry Facebook...I still like you...most of the time.) The kids had a blast making Mayflower ships with their hand prints (thanks, Pinterest). Too cute!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

A morning of riding.

We love taking care of our neighbors, Mr. John's and Mrs. Anna's horses when they are at the Lake or traveling. This past weekend, we decided to take advantage of Molly's sweet disposition. It had been a while since she had been ridden, but fortunately I am married to quite a cowboy. After Jake exercised her, she was all ready. The kids had a wonderful time playing and riding.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Fall!!!

Fall is my favorite time of year at home. The leaves are so beautiful particularly in the morning. :)

The below is the poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. I love it and I am trying to become more familiar with it since it will be Gideon's first poem to memorize later this year. Isn't it beautiful? :)

THINK that I shall never see 
A poem lovely as a tree. 
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest 
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast; 
A tree that looks at God all day,         5
And lifts her leafy arms to pray; 
A tree that may in summer wear 
A nest of robins in her hair; 
Upon whose bosom snow has lain; 
Who intimately lives with rain.  10
Poems are made by fools like me, 
But only God can make a tree

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Peter Enns Article.

My sweet husband sent this article to me this week. "Why It’s Good to Doubt God" It is just too good not to share. It is long, but so worth the time to read.

Monday, October 17, 2011


I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

And that is dying..

~Henry van Dyke

We will miss you ,sweet Kim.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Love is..

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8
Thankful for all of the unfailing love that I have in my life and those that I hold dear. Love never fails...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jake's Skydive

Jake was able to go skydiving with his Dad, Jeremy, and Caleb. The skydive was to celebrate Caleb's birthday. It was a second tandem skydive for Jake and he loved it. Happy Birthday "Cabob"!!

Field Trip

Gideon had his 4th field trip last week. Whew!! The school year just started and 4 field trips already. His Da was able to go with him this time and they had a wonderful time. It was an educational river walk through the Cahaba River Society. Jake said it was wonderful and Gideon came back tired, wet, dirty, and smiling. LOVE IT!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

One more post for the week. :)

I had to share our funny from this week.

Gideon : " I cannot decide if I want to be a fireman, a paleontologist, a magician, or a music composer when I grow up."

Annalise : "I cannot decide if I want to be a ballerina, a mermaid, or a princess when I grow up. "

Gotta love those inherent differences between girls and boys. :) My children make my heart sing. Now, does anyone know of a university that offers a major in "being a mermaid"?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Driveway fun.

Believe it or not, one of our favorite places to play on our property is the driveway. It has some great sandy spots with wonderful soft sand. I LOVE sand. It is just very relaxing to play in. Oddly enough, I am not really a beach person. Go figure!! I have wonderful memories of playing in those same sandy spots with Dand'un, "Auntie Kara", and "Uncle Cabob". Now I get to play with my own littles. :) The kids must love it, too because they are always asking to walk down the driveway. It can take us a pretty long time if we are just getting the mail. Just too many adventures on the way.
                                                     Sandcastles and "digging for jewels".
                                                     Is this the cutest little guy or what??
Hope your day is happy. If you have a minute whisper a prayer for my sweet Dad (well, actually step dad...but, I don't like that word.) He is in the hospital and our hearts are worried.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Still catching up.

Since the beginning of school, the kids and I have made lots of crafts. I have just recently started enjoying crafting. I have always enjoyed sewing and knitting, but until I had my children, I did not consider myself a crafter. But, it is a joy with little partners. :)

This one was just for Mama. I just thought it would be so fun..and cute. And, it was both. :) Even Gabriel helped with it. 

Proud of his cauldron. This was a during our few days of studying the Vikings.
Baking soda volcano with homemade clay.

A little climbing action for the big boys. :)

My fellas working on a little climbing. LOVE...

Blogging...not so much.

I have to be the worst blogger ever. I won't even try to catch everybody up with pictures now. Maybe later?But, we had a wonderful and busy summer. We made a trip to our nation's capital and a couple of the first settlements. We had a great time. The rest of the summer was spent being lazy, playing in the creek two or three times, trips to grandparents , trips to the Lake, vacation Bible school, and summer reading programs. We had a great time, but were definitely ready to settle down for school and regular routines. We are enjoying all of our curricula and are learning how to learn together. The children are good partners and I hope that they feel the same about me. Although, to be honest, I know I have work to do. Lately, I have been praying that God will help me in loving my children and accepting them fully the way they are. I am very blessed with children that want to please their Mama and Da....almost too eager to please. To be honest, I think I sometimes take advantage of their eagerness to please us. And, sometimes I feel as if I am not hearing them...not allowing them to be who they want to be. I am trying to let go of my ideals and make way for the adult they will become. I want to be a wonderful role model...not a bully. I am asking God for grace and wisdom to love AND respect my little people everyday.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DIY Tree Lamp blog

Jake and I have been wanting a cool floor lamp forever. Just never have found anything that we like enough to spend the money. I love this one and I love the idea of making it ourselves. :)

DIY Tree Lamp blog

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Call Us the Sickies

Good gracious!! It has been an interesting month and a half. Lots and I do mean LOTS of germs around here. All three children and Mama had bronchitis. So, we had plenty of those nasty junky coughs that make other mothers look at you and cringe. I knew what they were thinking, because I always think the same thing when I hear other children coughing like that. It is something along the lines of ..."Why do you have your children out in public while they are coughing like that?." And, I know that I shouldn't have had them out in public. But, I felt so sorry for my little people. It is tough being sick day after day. It just helps to get out a little bit. Next up was the dreaded "fever virus". For those of you who may not be familiar with the dreaded "fever virus" it is the term that doctors use when they do not want to say "Your child is burning up with a fever, but I have no clue why". Poor Gideon really suffered with this one. His temperature got up to 104 degrees and was the only one that we took to the doctor. Of course, you know what our pediatrician (whom we love dearly) said...."It is a fever virus." :) Immediately following the week of fevers, all three started coughing and having runny noses AGAIN!! So, that brings us to our current status of three nasty colds, and two ear infections. One boy on antibiotic ear drops (thank goodness for tubes!!). And, one boy on oral antibiotics. Prayerful that this is the end of a very germ filled spring and that we will enter into the heat of summer healthier and less germy. Of course, all I can think about is the little girl that my children played with at the doctor's office today...who happened to have a full body rash. At least a rash would be something new, right? ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011


Look what we have!! Blackberries and LOTS of them. We are so excited. Unfortunately, the Franklins have been....ahem....lazy this year. So, no garden this year. BOO!! But, we have been blessed with tons of blackberry bushes. We are so thrilled, because while we always have some scattered around the property, we have never had this many in one spot. And, they are just a few feet away from the front door. Cannot wait for blackberry pancakes and cobblers. YUMMY!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding Joy in Sorrow

We are completely grateful that our home and the homes of our family were untouched by recent storms. Unfortunately, there were many that were lost in the storms last night. It is completely overwhelming to think of all the loss, but we must find joy despite the sorrow. I am going to hug my babies close today and find joy in their smiles.