Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

It's Christmas day...and here I am sitting at home with the stomach flu!! Yuck! Definately not the way I wanted to spend my day...but I had an amazing Christmas eve and Christmas morning with Max! I held it together long enough for Max to open his gifts - but was in bed the rest of the day. Max is hanging out with his Daddy...opening gifts from the Toy family and getting spoiled, I'm sure!!

Just wanted to talk about Christmas for a few minutes...I got an awesome devotional from Rick Warren again - and feel like I have to share part of it:)
As this precious day comes to and end, Mr. Warren warns us to remember that it's "not about you."
He says "It's not about you. That's exact opposite of what our culture says. Our entire culture says "It's all about you."

"You'll never find satisfaction and significance by living for yourself because God didn't wire you that way. You were made for God. There will always be a hole in your heart because you need something greater than yourself. You need God's purpose. You've tried everything else. Why not try God?"

So this Christmas, don't let it become about you...don't focus on what YOU get, what YOU look like, what YOU eat, how sick YOU are (that one's a reminder for me)...but put the focus on GOD and his precious SON!!
I'll leave you with a few pictures I have taken within the last few days:

My family
Max and his Uncle Clay

My little spiderman!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

God's embrace...

My heart is just singing today...I can't stop thinking about the awesome sermon I heard this morning at church. It was just one of those sermons that put me at ease, calmed my heart. I just love when that happens!! I have been going to the Odon Christian Church lately with my family, and it just feels like home. Richard, the preacher, is the father of one of my best friends from high school - Beth:) He always puts things into perspective for me and I just seem to "get" everything he always hits home!

I'm going to try to summarize what Richard said this morning...because it meant so much to me and I want to share it - but just know that it was so much better in person:) Richard directed us to Matthew 1:23 Listen! The virgin shall concieve a child! She shall give birth to a Son, and he shall be called "Emmanuel " (meaning "God is with us").

Richard said that during this Christmas season we should know that "God is with us," and accept his embrace. When someone hugs you, it isn't an embrace until you put your arms around them and hug them back. That's what God wants us to do, he wants to embrace us and have us embrace him back. That's what it means for God to be "with us..."

Then Richard started talking about some of the difficult times we go thru and how God is still with us. I am also gonna try to do this in the same format - only with things that pertain to me and my loved ones this Christmas.

When it feels like you don't have a friend in the world...and lonliness overtakes you - just remember, God is with you.

When addiction has torn apart everything you have ever held close to your heart - just remember, God is with you.
When you are faced with January approaching and the possibility of no job, nothing to support you - just remember, God is with you.

When the balance in your checkbook is negative and the bills are piling up - just remember, God is with you.

When you've lost someone that held your heart...that lifted you up and held your world together - just remember, God is with you.

When you are sick and growing weary...not sure what tomorrow brings - just remember, God is with you.

When you are left here on earth to deal with an unexpected death of someone who was so important in your life that you don't want to face another day without them - just remember, God is with you.

Accept God's embrace...let him really be "with" you this Christmas season and everyday after that - He is waiting with His arms open.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hands off my mom, Santa!!

Tonight I was in the kitchen making cupcakes and my mom was flipping thru the channels on the T.V. to find cartoons for Max. She stopped on one channel and said "Oh look, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus!"

Max yelled "Where?"

He thought my mom REALLY saw me kissing Santa...I thought that was so cute:) I think he was a little jealous!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful heart...

Last night I got a chance to meet one of my friends for dinner at Los Bravos - it really did my heart good to sit down with Andrea, catch up, watch our kids interact, and talk to her about some of the more serious stuff in my life. It's crazy to me that we haven't really been friends all that long...about 4 years, but she is just one of those people who just "gets me." Everytime I talk to her, it feels like we've known each other forever - I can talk to her about anything and I know that she will listen with an open and honest heart. She doesn't judge me, doesn't look down on me, she just takes me for who I am - and I LOVE having a friend like that.

Last night as we caught up on what is going on with the "me and Gil' situation - she truely listened to me and I knew that she understood...she knew my heart. Tonight I found a verse in the Bible, and it made me think of the "Christ-like" friendship she offers me. 1 Chronicles 28:9 says ...serve Him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. Andrea knows the motives behind my decision, but even more importantly - Christ knows my motives, and that is all that matters.

This post is a "thank you," an "I'm so grateful for you," and a "what would I do without you" to Andrea:)!! I'm sooooo thankful she is there for me during this season of my life!!

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas is in the air...

Hi everybody - hope everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit!! I know we are around here - last weekend we had our first family Christmas gathering...Santa even showed up:) Things have been going good here, I'm just super busy at work (tomorrow I am covering a second grade class - pray for me:)!!
Max had another ear apt. with Dr. Moss in Jasper - and they have decided that he needs a second surgery to put tubes in, because recently the Dr. and I have both noticed significant hearing loss. Max is constantly asking me "What, mom?" and sometimes he has to ask 2 or 3 times in order to understand what I'm saying. Also, if I'm upstairs and yell for him, he never hears me. It is soooo scary to me to think he might have to deal with hearing loss for the rest of his life - I just want to do EVERYTHING I can to take care of this sweet boy...I never want to let him down!
Here are some pictures from the last couple of days...
Max getting into the Christmas spirit and helping decorate Nana and Papa's house!

Max sitting on Santa's lap during the Christmas party - he was terrified, even though Santa was just Nick E.:) Max caught on pretty quick!
Max and his sweet cousin, Nick Coy...they are two of a kind!!
My grandma Grace and my brother Clayton Lee...

Me and Max at the Christmas party - Max has the craziest look on his face!
Max and Nick - Max's present from Santa was an Iron Man mask! Just what he wanted!!

Me with my cousins Chasity and Lauren, Jess had to leave early:(!

Max eating his cookie after decorating it - at Chas's annual Cookie Decorating Party!!
All the kids after decorating cookies: Nick, Max, Hannah, Katie, Emily, Molly, and Maddie!

Well, that's enough for tonight - time to snuggle into bed with my little man...Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I have had a really rough week - times like these remind me why am I sooooooo thankful for God's forgiveness! All week I have struggled with being patient. I have been "short" with my family and with Max...lost my patience and said things I don't mean. Patience has always been something that I didn't have an overwhelming amount of - but it seems that with a 3 year old, all the stress of my marriage falling apart, and money being tight has just put me into overload. I just seem to let impatience take over, and it ends up ruining my whole night with Max, or my family. I know it is something I have to address...and something I can't do on my own. So I turned to the Bible and found some scriptures about patience. Here is what I found:
Romans 15:4-5 - For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:12-13 - Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

These two verses are going to drive me during the next few weeks as I work on being more patient!! If you know anymore verses - please let me know:) I need all the encouragment I can get:)!!

I have to go, but before I do - I have to share a couple pictures from tonight. My brother, Clay, was in Evansville tonight for school and brought home some donuts and a cute hat from Krispy Kreams for Max:) Here they are - aren't they cute??
Uncle Clay and Max with the yummy donuts:)!! My little donut man in his jammies!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Break...

What a cozy day:) I'm sitting here blogging, snuggled under the blankets, eating chili and watching the Colts game. Me and Max are thinking about a nap in a few doesn't get much better than this:)
My family has spent most of the break helping out my brother while he builds his new house...ok, I haven't helped much - but the "men" in my family have:) I'm just the photographer - ha ha!! Here are a few pictures of Cole's new house going up!
Here is my brother in front of the house he's building:)!
Putting on the tin for the roof...

Both my brothers working on the roof... Me and Max watching the progress (but Max doesn't want to smile for the camera)!!I'm sooo happy for Cole because he has been waiting to move out on his own for awhile now...and he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel:)!!

Last night me, Mom, Max, Clay, and Gabe went to the North Daviess game to watch Logan play - they won by lots and Logan did an awesome job - I'm super proud of him too!! Anyway, on the way home, Max had Mom and I in tears (literally) from laughing so hard because he was singing every word to several Taylor Swift songs. He kept saying "T. Swift, baby! Hit track!" Then he knew every word!! It was sooo cute! After the last song he goes "Man, I love that song!" it was so funny - he makes my life worth living!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


It is Thanksgiving Day and I have soooooo many things to be thankful for - but today has been upsetting for me. too. It is the first Thanksgiving that I'm not running around trying to make it to all the different family gatherings...because I am only going to my side of the family. I took Max to the Toy's this morning so that he could have Thanksgiving lunch with Gil's family.

Everytime I see Gil my heart breaks...breaks for the man he could potentially be. Several years ago Gil had the world in his hands. He has had several wonderful jobs, he has an amazing family, a beautiful home, a wonderful personality, a wife, a sweet son...and he let it all go because of his addiction. Today when I saw him I was just so upset. He talked about how awful his job is (night shift at Purdue), he is exhausted, no money, and alone. It makes me so sad that drugs had such an overwhelming effect on him - it ruined his life literally. He has no home, no family, no money - I know he is hurting so much. I can't believe the reality of things on this Thanksgiving Day.

I just want to run to all the high school kids, shake them, and tell them they HAVE to stay away from drugs...or any other type of addiction that could steal away everything that God has in store for them!! It goes downhill so only takes one time, and suddenly your life is halted. I want people to know that once you become addicted, nothing else matters. You will put anything and everything aside to feed that addiction. You won't care who you hurt or what is broken in the process. You become a totally different person and everyone around you begs for you to stop...but you are too far gone by then.

This Thanksgiving my heart is so thoughts are so nagging -but I am so blessed by my Father and I'm not forgetting that. He has surrounded me with family, friends, and best of all, Maxwell Carter. Without them - I have no idea where I would be and how I could deal with this broken relationship. I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving Day - love you!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tippy the kitten... make a long story short - I had my 1st "hunting" experience this weekend and instead of coming home with a dead animal - I brought home a new pet for Max:) Max is now the proud owner of a gray kitten named's his first pet and he's super excited. All he wants to do is hold the poor kitten (and the kitten would love nothing more than to get out of his grasp). It was a really great weekend and here are some pictures from the weekend:

Me in my new hunting gear - look at that camo coat!!
Max with his new kitty - Tippy...

Pretty proud of his sweet kitten...

That's all for now - the Colts game is coming on and we're munching on pizza - yum:)!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Everyday I get a devotional thru email by Rick Warren called "The Purpose Driven Life Daily Devotional." A couple of days ago I got one called "Sharing Your Life Message" - and it really made me think about my life and the lessons I have learned. Part of the devotional said: "While it is wise to learn from experience, it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others. There isn't enough time to learn everything in life by trial and error. We must learn from the life lessons of one another. The Bible says "A warning given by an experienced person to someone willing to listen is more valuable made of the finest gold." (Proverbs 25:12)

When I started thinking about my major life lessons - I realized that maybe what I've learned could help someone else, or at least make someone think before they make the same mistakes that I have. Here are just a few...I'm sure there are many more, but I will share just a few. I wanted to not only think back about the last couple of years, but my whole life. So here goes:

1. When I was in the 6th grade, I had the biggest crush on a boy named Greg Dean. I mean one of those laugh at everything he said, blush when he walked by, prank call him at sleepovers kind of crush;)!! At the end of our 6th grade year, he told everyone he was moving. Yes, you guessed it, I was devastated! That summer, he moved, and I knew I had missed my chance to tell him how I felt. My cousin, Zach (one of Greg's close friends) told me later that summer that Greg had really liked me and wanted to "go out" with me before he found out he was moving.
Greg and I have kept in touch ever since - we wrote letters back and forth thru high school, visited each other in college, and then he ended up teaching at a school very close to here. We look back now and think about how funny it was that we both had crushes and didn't know it, I'm just glad I got the chance to tell him about it!!
LESSON LEARNED: Never put off telling someone how you feel - you might lose your chance! If you love someone - tell them! If you are holding a grudge against someone - confront it! If you want to tell someone thank you for the influence they've been in your life - let them know! There might not be a second chance.

2. When I was in junior high, I was in my mom's bedroom one day looking for a book to read. I came across this "journal" and of course being the curious person I am - had to sneak a peek. What I found surprised me very much! It was a journal about me and my brothers when we were very little - just day to day things that happened and how much she loved us. At that moment I started to comprehend the bond between a mother and her babies.
LESSON LEARNED: Document the love you feel for your child, one day they will read what you've written and begin to understand just how much you love them. I began journaling the day I found out I was pregnant with Maxwell, and have continued to this day. I have 3 journals full (for his 3 years of life). I know one day he will find these and begin to read them - and know that I put him first...that I loved him with my whole heart, and the way only a mother can love her son.

3. Probably right around Jr. High again...I began to realize just how important privacy was. If you've ever been to my parents house, you know that as I was growing up we never had doors on the bathrooms. My dad built this beautiful log house...but for some reasons never finished certain parts of it. One of those parts were the bathroom doors. With two younger brothers - there were times I yearned for privacy! I remember hanging up blankets with push pins to cover the door:)!! In the last few years - my dad has FINALLY put up doors to the bathrooms!
LESSON LEARNED: Some things are just meant to be kept private. There are many things that I believe should be between me and God - that's it. Yes, I'm pretty open about things (I have a blog for goodness sakes)...but I rarely lay it ALL out on the line - there are things about my life that are only shared with my heavenly Father!

4. I've always had a "timeline" for my life - and wanted to follow it no matter what. When I was a senior in college, I met Gil. Not to say that I didn't fall in love with Gil, because I did - but I overlooked some of the qualities he had and some of his morals - because it was "time" for me to meet the one (according to my timeline). I wanted to get married, get a good job, and have I feel madly in love with Gil - the blinding kind of love, and put some of my hesitations aside. Looking back - this has been a huge life lesson for me!! I wish we would have addressed those isssues then, instead of ending our marriage now because things have gotten out of control.
LESSON LEARNED: God has a timeline for my life - and it is perfect. No timeline I can ever come up with will compare with His - and more importantly, it will fail. He is the only one who knows the plans he has for me, and from now on I need to leave it up to Him!!

Ok, I think that is enough for tonight - just take a minute to think of "life lessons" you have learned and what you know now that you wish you would have known sooner:)!! I would love to hear yours...maybe I can learn a life lesson from you:)!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Baking cookies with my baby...

Hi everyone:) This weekend was amazingly relaxing...Friday night was spent baking cookies with my little man - chocolate chip, of course:) They ended up being yummy and were gone within 24 hours:) ha ha - sweets don't last long around my mom and dad's house!! Here are a few pictures from that evening...

The rest of the weekend was filled with snuggling under the blankets, watching movies, eating popcorn, taking naps, and just doing "nothing" which is the best type of weekend there is!! Here comes Monday again - can you believe it??

Monday, November 10, 2008

My little man is growing up...

Yesterday was Max's 3rd birthday - I really can't believe it! It seems just like yesterday that I was cradling him in my arms, and today when I went to pick him up I couldn't believe how heavy he has gotten! I wanted to share some pictures that I took at Max's party last night - it was pirate themed because Max loves Captain Hook on the movie Peter Pan:)!! Here are some of the decorations - we had eyepatches & swords for the kids, also candy and pirate playing cards:)!! Max couldn't believe that I was giving him cheesy popcorn for supper - it was soooo funny!
Max loved his cake toppers - especially since they were fighting with swords, he is such a boy!!! Blowing out his candles!
Braylee and Brynna Knepp enjoying the cupcakes for dessert:)!! They are such cutiepies!!Max got lots of cool presents, but one of his favorite gifts was from his Uncle Cole, a bow with a deer target:)!! Me and Janae enjoying the party:)!! All the kids getting ready for the hayride... Max enjoying the hayride - but it was freezing!!!!!!!!!!!! My cousin and her son, Lincoln...they are adorable! My beautiful cousins Jessica and Lauren!!
It was definatly a successful party - I am soooooo blessed to have wonderful family and friends who spoil me and Max both!! I love you all so much - thanks for helping us get thru this crazy time in our lives!!