Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Baptism

Every night before bed, we all pile up on Xander's bed where each child has picked out a story to read. We read those, a Bible story and then we pray together.

May 31st was a typical Saturday night in our house. The kids had both picked out stories and we read those. Then it came time for the Bible story and Xander said he wasn't interested (Amelia Jayne has yet to be interested and is often wandering the room looking for something to destroy play with). I had decided long ago not to push it, so I told him we'd read it another night. He immediately changed his mind and needed (read: whined incessantly) to read the Bible. Okay, I said, but you need to make up your mind and not be wishy-washy about things.

In the middle of the story about John the Baptist baptizing Jesus, Xander said, "I want to get baptized. Can I get baptized?"
I said, "Well, yeah. You can. We'll talk about it later. Let's finish the story."
Xander said, "Let's talk about it right after the story."
"Okay," I said.
As soon as the story was over, Xander asked if he could be baptized just like Jesus was. I asked him if he understood what that meant and he said he did. I told him, "But being baptized is a big commitment. It means that you're telling the rest of the world that you want to follow Jesus and do what He asks you to do. You're making a commitment to Jesus that you love Him and will obey Him."
He looked at me with this funny expression on his face and said, "Well, yeah. Of course that's what I want to do."
I asked him if he loved Jesus and if he wanted to always follow Him. (By now he was getting slightly agitated, like I wasn't really listening or understanding, but I just wanted to be sure he knew what he was saying.)
I told him that God loved him so much that He sent Jesus to earth to live and die so that He could forgive all our sins and we could be in relationship with God our Father.
Xander said, "Like John 3:16 says. For God so loved the world that He gave his only son. That whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Like that?"
With tears in my eyes I said, "Yeah, buddy, like that."
He said, "What does that mean?"
"What? Perish?"
"No, perish means to die. I'm talking about the other parts."
We sat there and discussed John 3:16, dissecting it piece by piece until he understood the whole thing. He sat looking at me with furrowed brows, asking questions and soaking in my answers.
I asked him if he wanted to pray and thank Jesus for being his Savior and friend. This is what he prayed:
"Dear God,
Thank you that Jesus lives in my heart. Thank you that He died for me. And thanks for taking away all that yucky sin. In Jesus's name, Amen."

It was one of the most mind-boggling, emotional and exciting moments of my life.

I used to be skeptical. I'll admit it. When people would tell me they became Christians when they were 4 or 5. I didn't really believe you could know or understand enough to follow Jesus at that age.
I was wrong. My son showed me how easily a young mind that is so smart and so free from the world's degeneracy could so easily accept the gift that God gives through His Son. I have no doubt in my mind that Xander has given his life to Jesus. I am so proud and so amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit. God has something great in store for that little man. I am so privileged to be part of it.

For your Wednesday

My husband was laughing so hard that he couldn't even read these out loud to me.

I found this on pinterest and think it's a good reminder...
I love this!

I ran across this site recently and couldn't help but laugh at the comics on there.

I already knew this, but I wanted to share in case you didn't. Reading to your babies is now recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics. It's about time!

This is a cool new resource that someone from work shared with me. Especially nice if you have young children, but I enjoyed it, too. Who doesn't like to be read to??

If you love Charlotte, NC, (and who doesn't?!?) take a look at this list. Come visit me and we'll start marking things off the list!

Psalm 27 has been on my heart for awhile now. Take a look at it and let your soul rest in its truth...and bring you peace.

I've something similar to this before, but I think it's been updated. Seriously funny stuff.

What a great way to end this post. A note of encouragement. Finish strong. Be brave. I may read this post every day for the next month or two until it sinks in. I want to catch that little moment and hold tight. Be encouraged today, friend, to be who you are. And let it shine!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July funnies from the littlest Littles

Oh, my kids. They make me laugh every single day. And sometimes they bring tears (of joy and love, and many other emotions, honestly) to my eyes. Here are some of my favorites from this month:
 
Daddy: I missed you while I was at work today.
X: I'd say that, too, if I were you.
___________________________________________

AJ: Is I handsome?
Me: You are beautiful!
AJ: I know!
__________________________________________
 
AJ (talking to granddaddy who doesn't hear particularly well, especially from a high-pitch little girl): I wet.
Gd: Yes, you're red. Your shirt is red.
AJ: no, I wet! You listening to my words? Listen: I wet!
___________________________________________

X: I love you. You're my best mommy.
Me: Aw, bud. Thanks! You're my best son.
X: You're my great, great, great mommy!
Me: You're my great boy.
X: Did you mean great, great, great boy?
Me: Yes. Yes I did.
___________________________________________
 
After AJ did a puzzle -
X: Well, good job! Look at you! How'd you get so smart?
___________________________________________
 
AJ: I love you, Mommy. We need a family hug. 
(We hug.) 
AJ: That's enough.
__________________________________________
 
AJ: Jesus loved those people in that story you read tonight.
Me: Adam and Eve?
AJ: Yeah, Adam and Eva. They was in the spell book.
Me: The Bible?

(We might be watching just a little too much Sophia...)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emory Tate Durkee

This post is long overdue, but I'm just now finding the courage to write it.
I'm still in shock, tears clouding my vision as I write this.
Remember this post I wrote 19 months ago? And this one rejoicing that he got to go home?
On July 4th, little Emory went to his forever home. He's with Jesus now and for that, we celebrate. But oh, how hard it is not to see him anymore, for his mom and grandparents to no longer be able to snuggle with him in their arms.
I am so very saddened for the loss and pain they're going through.
I am thankful that his family experienced joy through Emory. I'm glad they got even 19 months with that precious little boy. He has left such a void that only God can fill. But in his short little life, he transformed every person he met.

 
 
I think David's aunt Karen said it best in this facebook post she made just after Emory's death:
"This is a post to a dear friend that I have not seen in years that wanted to know if there had been an accident, then I thought how many people do not know what happened so I am going to tag all my families page. Emory was born 10 weeks premature with Esophageal Atresia & Te Fistula. He had a 15% survival rate. He was not suppose to be able to sit up or ever walk and he could have had brain damage they did not know. He had a perfect little brain. His two extra ribs & curved spine were to be operated on at around age 5. But his biggest problem at birth was his tiny lungs that never developed. He had a lot of breathing problems. My boy went through everything with a huge smile & devilish laugh. He passed away in his sleep at our place in the mountains where we had all gone to celebrate the 4th. He slept in our room up there in his port a crib. We put him to bed at 8 had the video monitor on him & as usual he never made a sound, such a heavy sleeper, always happy at bedtime he would grab his pooh shaker smile at you & put his thumb in his mouth & lay down. When we went to bed at 10:45 Mark went over to look at his boy rubbed his back & felt no movement then our lives fell apart. Ame did CPR until help arrived, the hospital worked on him for 1 1/2 hours then came out & told us he had been gone, before we even found him. He was the light of all of our lives and the 100's that have prayed for him since birth. At the hospital we had the prayer chains going and wanted another miracle. It is so hard for us and our questions why now God, but when Mark got up this morning he said we had the greatest miracle of all and that was 19 months ago. We had the most precious, special 19 months with our boy and our hearts are broken. We do not know why, but in his short time on this earth he made his Mom into a great woman that changed her life, brought her back to our Lord and made us proud of her as a single Mom who raised, supported him all by herself with her family, he was Everything to Ame and all of us. My precious Mother passed away 2-28-14 and Emory was her boy, so she was there to welcome him and show him all his relatives he had never met and one day we will see him again. We need continued prayers please!" 
 

I have a renewed sense of love and joy for my own children. Honestly, I haven't been able to rock my baby girl without crying. I kiss my son's head and breathe a prayer of thanksgiving that I've had this time with him. And I remember that my children belong to the Almighty. They always have. They're on loan and I will thank Him for each moment I have with them.


 
I hear this song now and immediately think of Ame.

Please keep the Durkee family in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vexillology

If you watch Big Bang Theory then you know just how awesomely ridiculous Sheldon Cooper is.  Here's an example of the hilarity that is Sheldon Cooper:



I share this because a) it's hilarious, and b) it reminds me so much of Xander, I just can't help but share!

My son has become obsessed. With flags, yes, but even more so with countries. He's been very interested in flags and countries for a few months now, but lately his enjoyment and excitement has increased.
David has been prepping him over the past few weeks for the World Cup. He got a sticker album for Xander which makes Xander's day every. single. day. He loves opening up those packs of stickers and finding where they go in his book. I mean, he will behave and keep it together all day because he knows if he does he gets a pack of stickers. Amazing.
Xander is really in love with countries and flags, not really as much in love with soccer...although I think he's coming around. He's watched quite a few games with his dad and me, and even convinced his babysitter to turn on the games. But I digress.

It all started a few months ago at school. As you know, Xander attended preschool at a church. Inside their main entrance was a very tall ceiling, probably 3 stories high, which was filled with flags. On one of the walls in this entrance is a huge map of the world. Xander used to marvel over the flags, and then one day he got interested in looking at the map. He would ask me about different countries and we'd talk about it. He loved that each country has a flag. We would come home from school and look up different countries and what their flags are. He now he has many map and flag apps on the iPad.

Let me tell you - this kid now knows his geography better than I do. There were countries I had never even heard of! And he not only knows them, but knows where they are. It baffles me how much of this knowledge he has retained. He remembers everything! He can match a country with its flag in a second. He can tell you where a country is and which continent it belongs in.

He freaks me out, he's so smart. He's teaching me so much! Man, I love him!

I guess I just have to surrender - to fun! ;)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Saturday breakfast

I know I alluded to our Saturday morning breakfasts in this post, but I thought I'd share about our new tradition. It wasn't really an intentional tradition, but I love it. It is honestly one of my favorite times of the week.

On Saturday mornings we eat breakfast together. It's as simple as that. David usually gets up and makes us breakfast - typically pancakes. It oftentimes involves bacon (because our daughter could eat her weight in bacon). But sometimes I make muffins or sausage balls or some other yummy breakfast-y goodness.

And we all sit together at the table. I make the kids wait on us before digging in because I'm a mean mom. We all sit down, say our blessing as a family and eat. All while laughing, talking over each other and enjoying the togetherness of it all.

I think I cherish this time so much because it's rare that the four of us are ever at the table together. Our schedule makes it tricky when the tinies are hungry at 5:30 and David doesn't get off work until 6 meaning he doesn't really get home until closer to 7. The kiddos are typically in bed no later than 8, so waiting to eat until he gets home is really not an option.

I used to long for dinners together as a family. Now I realize there's no use in wishing after something that doesn't work for us. We just make our own family time. If Saturday mornings are what we get then that's what I'll take. We do try to have "family movie night", we enjoy church together and we do our bedtime routine most nights as a family. I'm so thankful we have each other.

Maybe one day we'll reevaluate and see if those dinners will work. Until then I'll eat my pancakes with my family, smile and laugh and give thanks for the time we do have together.

Wonderful weekend

What a packed weekend we had! David's birthday was Friday, his Dad's 60th birthday was Saturday and then Father's Day on Sunday + a celebration for David's sister, Becky, whose birthday is today! Whew!

I worked on Friday, but was able to meet up with David for a birthday lunch date. I really love doing that! It's so nice to steal away for an hour in the middle of the day, during the week, with my man. We ate at Tupelo Honey CafĂ©. If you're ever in North Carolina, Greenville, SC or Eastern Tennessee, you have GOT to check this out. It was delicious! We'll definitely be going back there.

The kids and I worked hard to make David's evening fun. We got his favorite Mexican food, wrapped presents, made cards and had so much fun being together. We had planned to celebrate him on Saturday morning, but the kids were too excited to wait. Xander couldn't wait for David to open the soccer jersey we got for him...in fact, he whispered it REALLY loud so that David already knew what he was getting before he opened it. Too funny! Both kids are so excited about birthdays right now.

We got up Saturday morning to have breakfast together (have I mentioned that this has become one of my favorite times of the week?), this time a breakfast of sausage balls - David's favorite - before we packed up and headed to the lake. We celebrated David's dad's birthday by boating, jet skiing, swimming and playing in the lake. It was so fun! The first trip we've made to the lake this year, and hopefully not our last (though our summer is quickly filling up!) We grilled out, sang Harry a special 60th birthday song, and enjoyed hanging out together.

On Sunday we went over to my mom's to celebrate David and Becky (and Harry again). It was a nice lunch with the fam. I hated that not everyone could be there, but it was a fun and relaxing day, playing outside and visiting.

I'm very thankful for my family. I'm thankful for the dads in my life and the sweet memories we're continuing to make.

We're gearing up for another exciting trip - the Littles' are headed to the beach on Friday for two whole weeks! And the summer whirlwind continues...

(And I'm loving every minute!) :)