November 18, 2014

Conversations with a 4 Year Old

November 18, 2014

You never know how your conversations with a toddler will turn out.  It is seriously one of the joys of parenthood – random conversations.  Claire is full of randomness, just like her momma.  She has quite the imagination and you never know what she may say.  Earlier this week, while using the potty this was our conversation:

“Mom, when I get older will I have a house of my own and have to move out of our house”

“Claire, one day you will find your handsome prince whom God has set aside for you and you will fall in love with him and get married and you will want to Make a home of your own with him.  You and he will live together in your house, but Mommy and Daddy’s house will always be your house and you can always come home”

“Well… I don’t think I want to leave.  I don’t know how to drive”

“Claire we will teach you how to drive when you get older”

“But Mom!  You have to teach me how to use that curling iron first!”

Ba ha ha!  She cracks me up!

Earlier in the week she saw a tow truck with another truck on the back and wanted to know what it was.  I did my best to explain to her what a tow truck was.  She then says:

“Mom, when we get to heaven will we drive there… or will we fly?”

I sat in thought for a moment and before I could answer her she said …

“oh I know, God will just hold our hands and take us there”

It was really one of the sweetest moments ever.

Then today she topped it off by saying, “is this the end of the world?” I was thinking she meant this moment in time and then she clarified – “no, Tennessee – is Tennessee the end of the world?”

The Tennessee lover that I am wanted to answer her “yes!” ha ha.


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August 22, 2014

K5 Collage

August 22, 2014

Here it is!  I think this is going to look awesome framed and hanging in the playroom!


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Healthy Habits & Hoarding

I am a hoarder of my children’s school work.  I am trying to cut down on my hoarding and still enjoy their art work so I am working on a collage.  I went through and took photos of each piece they did last school year.

This beauty made me smile!!!


Running is not Colton’s favorite thing by any stretch, but I LOVE that Chris and I are instilling healthy habits in our children.  He sees us run and exercise and even tries to join in from time to time.  I LOVE it!!  I’m looking forward to the days when I can stand at the end of the finish line cheering this little runner on!

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August 21, 2014

This Boy!

August 21, 2014

Beckham has changed so much this summer.  He has grown into a fun and feisty little man.  He loves to “wrestle”… if you are laying in the floor he is on you in a second.

I love that he was carrying around Claire’s Doc McStuffin doctor tool in his pocket.


Beckham came walking in the kitchen about 2 weeks ago like this … I seriously cracked up.  He was ‘hiding’… “where’s the baby!?”  So funny that he could pull the shirt up all by himself! 

He has discovered hiding and hide-n-seek and loves it.  He will put his hands over his eyes and say “two two two” – like he’s counting.


I just love this face!!


These were Colton’s sunglasses when he was B’s age.  Beckham loves them – when he puts them on he says “I see you!”


Notice the pink?  That’s his “yaya”.  It’s a Pampered Chef spatula that he would not let out of his sight for weeks!


This boy is sweet and wild and we love him so much!!

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August 20, 2014


August 20, 2014

Today was a total success!

Claire of course loved everything.  She was so tired and hungry when I picked her up.  Colton only goes half a day this week so we picked him up right after playtime.  He was hot and sweaty, but said he had a great day.  He said, “I think my teacher is really nice mom!  I think 1st grade is going to be GREAT!!”

Here are more pictures from drop off.  Daddy does drop off unless he’s out of town or has an early meeting.  It is out of his way to take them to school, but he does it anyway.  I think it is a special time for the three of them.


Of course no one, but Colton was being cooperative with the goodbye hugs.


school 3

I love that these kiddos have all been together since K3.  I pray all the time that the Lord will help them to form good, Godly, and genuine friendships that last a lifetime!


Little miss in her classroom … she never knew I was there.


Beckham was saying “school… sissy”.  He was NOT a happy camper!  When we got back in the car he cried alligator tears!  My three are so attached to one another.  As soon as we walked into the house he said, “where’s sissy!?”.  He was thrilled when we picked her up.  Then when we went to get Colton he gave him a big hug!


Love my family … even if they do make me bonkers sometimes.

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First Day of School–2014/2015

It is so funny how much children raised in the same home by the same parents can be so different.  Colton and Anna Claire look so much alike, but their personalities are as far apart as the east is from the west. 

Colton was up this morning a few minutes before seven.  When he knows he has to get up at a specific time its like his body automatically wakes him it.  He was all smiles and did not seem too nervous.  This changed when we arrived on campus.  We jumped back into our school routine quickly – use the potty, brush teeth, tame hair, get dressed, attempt to eat breakfast and etc…

Claire who is normally our early riser did not wake up until I opened her door.  She woke up however, very exuberant!  She was so excited and her excitement lit up the house.  We planned to leave at 8am and by 7:30 she was asking if we could go because she wanted to meet her teacher!!


They both were happy (in their own way.. ha ha) to pose for a few pictures.


Like I said – two very different children.  They each show their excitement very differently.


My house is very quiet (Beckham is taking a random morning nap) and I almost do not know what to do with myself.  I miss hearing them sit at the dining room table playing with Legos.  School pickup is soon and I am expecting full reports on a marvelous first day!

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August 19, 2014

Full Circle moment–Last Day of School

August 19, 2014

This summer I have made every conscious effort possible to not talk about the upcoming school year.  But here it is and I can no longer ignore it.  Tomorrow has been on my mind a lot and made me remember that I did not even blog about the last day of school for last school year!  Ooops.

May was a rough month – we all, but Chris had the flu.  As you can see in these pictures Colton was still not himself.


Chris was out of town on a business trip for their last day and oddly enough missed their first day of school last year too.  On the first day last year I remember driving them with such anxiety.  Instead of movies or music in the van we prayed.  Colton prayed, Claire prayed and I prayed.  It was one of the sweetest moments ever.  I remember so specifically praying for their safety and for their hearts.  Praying that God will soften their hearts to his word and that His timing would be perfect in their lives.

We spent the last day drive just as we did the first day drive – praying.  However, the prayers from myself were prayers of Thanksgiving.  The tears streamed down my face as I praised the Lord for all He had done in that school year.  He kept my children safe and my sweet Colton gave his life to Christ.  What more could a momma ever ask?  I was so happy to have that FULL CIRCLE moment.


Claire loved K3 soooo much and was upset every time I would mention the last day.  “But mom I will miss Mrs. Shannon so much!”  Colton – well he loved his teacher and friends, but he was excited about being home with Momma every day!


Colton is definitely my lover… He loves on everyone… and sometimes his sister will even love on him!



Of course we had to get a teacher with one of her favorite people in the world!


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August 7, 2014

This Guy

August 7, 2014

I'm exhausted. In that terrible on the verge of a nasty meltdown mom of a newborn kind of way. You know, if you are a mom – you’ve been there.  But then there is this guy...

This guy has had a hard week too.  Yet he comes home and takes over.  Allowing me to have some time to myself.  Time to decompress.  To gather myself and make it through the rest of the day and night.

I love this guy.  I love him to the moon and back!!!  I am certainly not deserving of him or his selfless love, but lucky enough he's My Christopher! 

Honestly, I wish every gal in the world was lucky enough to have a husband like this guy!



I have taken the 100 days of happy challenge and this is day #1 … today I am happy because I have this guy!!!

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August 4, 2014


August 4, 2014

Last week a very important man in our community suddenly passed away.  I did not know him very well, but many in the community did.  The nice words and stories that have come from those whom he had impacted have been so astounding.  He really made an impact on so many and has left an incredible legacy for his children and grandchildren.  This has had me thinking about my own children and what type of legacy I would want to leave for them.

When Colton was a newborn I wrote an post in our old blog and I wanted to share it here because it still holds true for all of my children.

The original post from September 9th, 2008 when Colton was only 3 months old:

I had someone recently send me an email and ask me, “How would I like Colton to serve the world?” It was really a thought provoking question and shamefully so I don’t know if I had really thought about it prior to being ask. I always knew that first and foremost I wanted him to be a great man of God! I pray everyday that he will be saved at a very young age and that no matter what he does in life he will serve the Lord. I don’t want him to be a servant of the “world” or of “man”, but a servant of the Most High Priest! So I got to thinking... what else do I want for him??? Here is a little taste of my response to the email.

That he is compassionate and appreciative. Compassionate toward others and appreciative of the world around him and the opportunities that has been afforded him. I want him to also be responsible, gracious and humble. Courageous enough to start new adventures… I hope he strives to be excellent in all he does, but the realty is that he will fail… he will fail many times – and when he does I pray it will make him a better man, a better person, a better Christian. I hope he will learn that his failures do not and will not define him, he will be known by what he does after he fails. I pray that he will have resilience to overcome adversity and that he will be tolerant of the world around him, but in the same regard that he will never compromise his beliefs. I pray he will have strong convictions and that he will follow them. I hope he is a leader and not a follower, a lover not a hater. I want him to be successful, but not according to the standards of the world. And I want him to always, always to be dependent only on God… not on me and not on his own father, but on our great Heavenly Father who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us! Chris and I will ultimately let him down, but God will never let him down.


All of this still rings true.  I now need to put these words into action and do a better job praying more specifically for not only the needs of my children, but for their future.  I myself need to be more compassionate, appreciative, courageous, and Christ-like and I know if I do my children will see it and emulate my actions.  Lord, help me to be a better example to my children so that I too can leave them legacy to be proud of.

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July 27, 2014

12 Years

July 27, 2014

About sixteen years ago I met a handsome young man at church.  He was full of life and vigor.  He made a relentless pursuit for my heart and for twelve years I have been able to call him, “husband”. 

The need to publically brag on my husband is not something I feel I have to do, because his wonderful character known by many.  If you know him, you love him.  He is the most selfless person I know… always giving and never asking for or expectant of anything in return.  He makes me want to be a better person.  He is an amazing father, husband, brother, son, and friend.  I feel like the luckiest chick on the planet that he is MINE… all mine!

Twelve years ago he made the promise to “love me as Christ loves the church”.  I can say without hesitation that he works daily to do just that and I hope that he feels the same way of me.

Happy 12th anniversary My Christopher – I love you to the moon and back.


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June 28, 2014

Tennis Lesson #1

June 28, 2014

I have been really excited to get Colton started in Tennis lessons.  Finally at six we feel like he is ready.  These are photos from his first lesson this spring.


The instructor was so patient with him and did a wonderful job with positive feedback.  Something that Colton’s thrives on. 


Colton seemed to pick it up quickly and he really enjoyed himself.


Of course little Miss and baby B wanted to go and explore while brother played.  These steps were too tempting to pass up.  Isn’t that building so beautiful!?


Seriously we are so blessed with this amazing view virtually in our back yard.  We have access to a beautiful college campus.  I had lessons yesterday morning and watched the sunrise over the ridge as I played.  It was so beautiful.


I’m excited to see how Colton grows and develops with this sport!

I foresee a lot more tennis in our future.

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June 27, 2014

Wild Child

June 27, 2014

This girl is wild … and we love it.


Most of the time.  Smile.

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Goals & Beast Mode

Last year I ran a Summer Solstice Half and loved it!  My girlfriend Christine and I ran it together and had so much fun.  Well… we ran the first three miles together and she left me in her dust.  ha ha.

Chris volunteered to help me on one of my long runs.

7.5 miles – 83 and SUNNY!


It was seriously one of the hardest runs ever.  I think I stopped six times in seven and half miles.  We were both dying from the heat.  Chris amazed me though – he had not ran since our half about eight weeks prior.  He did so good… He’s a beat I tell you!

I had every intention of repeating my efforts this year, but was a slacker on my training.  Then I did too much too fast and hurt my ankle.  Once I said I was not going to do it I felt so relieved.  Funny how that works sometimes.  I have my eyes set on some bigger goals for the fall and next spring.  I’m hoping to keep myself healthy so I can get there!

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June 26, 2014

Sunday–Light at The end of The Tunnel

June 26, 2014

I love this little dude!  He is so much fun!  Even when he will not behave in Church on Sunday.


Sunday has become work and a day of anxiety for me.  Sad, but true.  I mostly blame myself.  I have never been able to leave my kids in the nursery.  Colton has always done really well in church so I never had a reason to leave him.  As a baby he would generally just take a nap during the service.  Claire was not quite as good as Colton, but we managed.

Beckham was born in November – right in the middle of flu season so there was no way I was going to put him in the nursery.  So now – he cries … not just cries, but is uncontrollably upset when I leave him.  He is almost 20 months old and too rowdy to make it through an entire church service.  We generally make it through the song service and then its out we go.

Yes – full of excuses I know!  The fact is I’m a Stage 5 Clinger Mom and I am paying for it now!

I do realize there is light at the end of the tunnel and one day he will sit quietly right beside momma.  For now I will enjoy these sweet little rotten smiles.


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May 27, 2014

Silly Goose

May 27, 2014

I have been trying to clean up my pictures on my computer because they are taking up a ton of room.  Not to mention I get trigger happy and end up with four pictures that look basically identical.  I love going through all photos.  It is amazing how much everyone has changed in just a year or even six months – like this photo.

Claire is such a silly goose sometimes and Beckham loves her so much.  This picture is true evidence.  Gotta love ‘em!


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May 17, 2014

Nostalgia & A Robe

May 17, 2014

I am extremely sentimental… to the point that it is sometimes annoying, even to me.  I remember when my iron bit the dust a few years ago and I was so sad.  Why you ask? … well because we received it as a wedding gift.  So silly I know, but I remember who bought us that iron from our registry.  I am just sentimental like that.  I remember purchasing a diaper changing pad for a friend and telling her “whenever you change your babies diaper you will remember that we purchased this for you”.  I guess I am a weirdo… ha ha.  I just remember stuff like that.  It helps me to remember to think about others and to think about the.

Just this week Beckham broke our tooth brush holder.  Normally this would not be a big deal, but once again this was also a wedding gift from a sweet friend of mine.  Someone whom I still adore.  It makes me sad.  You would think though after 12 years I would be immune to it, but nope… nostalgia – that’s what gets me every time.

When I went to college I remember two specific things that my mom sent with me that I still have.  A purple laundry basket and a long cotton robe.  A few months ago the handle on the purple laundry basket broke – I was so sad.  Why?  Why on earth would that make me sad?  It was the one thing that took me back to a normal (whatever normal is) place with my childhood.  The other thing was a robe.  She insisted I take this robe.  It wasn’t new… it was hers.  My dad bought it for her when she was in the hospital giving birth to my little brother.  It is 22 years old now… and I wear it weekly.

My sister in law got married a few years ago… Chris and I were both in the wedding.  I left my robe in the hotel.  I debated for a while on whether or not to call and have them ship me the robe.  Long story short; I currently have the (25)

The robe comes with a significant amount of memories.  Some of which I would like to forget.  It reminds me so much of my dad due to the fact that he was the original purchaser of the robe.  I loved my dad.  Really I did.  From the mind of a child he was a great dad… almost perfect.  From the mind of an adult you see the mistakes, the failures, the selfishness.  It is painful.  It causes heartache.  Heartache sucks – for lack of a better word.  It hurts.  Who wants to hurt?

As I write this I am asking myself, “why”… “why are you doing this”???   Why are you spilling these intimate details of yourself?  My dad has been physically gone for almost five years, but he has been gone for much longer than that.  To go from “daddy’s little girl” … to “daddy’s pride and joy” … to “who are you?… ” … is painful.  It sucks and quite frankly I want to burn this robe.

I feel like even now after almost five years I get these small moments to morn the loss of my earthly father… and at this moment I am mourning.

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May 9, 2014


May 9, 2014

Easter Sunday I stood outside the dressing room listening to Colton talk to his Daddy.  “Dad I know Jesus is in my heart, he’s there forever and there is nothing that can ever take him away”.  Oh, it was one of the most precious moments ever. 

When Colton told me a month earlier (the first day of Spring) that he had ask Jesus into his heart (at school) I was so thrilled.  Part of me though was a tad envious that his precious teacher was the one who got to lead him in a sinners prayer and not me or his father.  As I stood there though, outside of that room, I know the Lord was giving me the gift of hearing my sweet son proclaim his love for our Savior.












Chris waded the waters with Colton and our Pastor.  He offered up the sweetest prayer of thanks and gratitude.  It was such a full circle moment for us.  Chris was baptized here by the same pastor as a child and myself as a teenager.  This is the church where he proposed and the Pastor who officiated our wedding.  Such a great history.IMG_7175

There is no experience quite like the birth of a child.  My birth experiences were almost magical and surreal.  I have never experienced the presence of God like I have at the birth of my children.  Easter Sunday though was amazing watching the “rebirth” of my oldest son.  I lack the ability to put into words just how I feel, how full my heart is.  IMG_7184

As he went back into the dressing room Colton said, “Oh I cannot wait for Claire to get saved and baptized Dad”.  What a true testament to the work of the Lord.

We were so thankful that so many of our family were here to share in this great day!

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April 14, 2014

Work Hard

April 14, 2014
Chris and I love to to listen to James MacDonald.  In one of his sermons he talks about the importance of family values.  He tells about his middle name “Sherwood” which was his grandmother’s maiden name.  He says that his grandmother, an apparent wise woman, use to say to him “James, you’re a Sherwood and Sherwood’s work hard”.

How could you as a parent not love that!?  Since then we developed our own set of “family values” and have them posted on the front of our refrigerator.  As you may guess “work hard” is one of them.  My husband has an AMAZING work ethic.  He works hard, he never complains, he has never had entitlement issues and he loves the Lord.  His parents would not allow him to start a task without finishing it.  This is what I want of my children… no matter what they’re doing in life – do it for The Lord!


This guy is working hard to be the best little T-ball player he can be!  Saturday at his first game of the season he hit his first “coach pitched” ball… this momma was beyond proud!

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April 12, 2014


April 12, 2014

If it is not obvious from my blog, having a third child has left me a little distracted.  My blog – which I LOVE has been the most neglected over the past year.  Something has to give – right?

My days run like a well oiled machine, if not someone is going to be miserable… and usually that someone is me.  I live on a calendar and by a strict schedule during the day.  I feel like I have to schedule not only when we will eat, but when I will do laundry, play with the kids, take my shower, brush my teeth… you get the idea.

Since Beckham was born I feel discombobulated.  Scatter brained.  Its frustrating.  I use to REALLY have it together.  No, really… I did!  I use to be more organized, put together and on my toes.  Now… now I am lucky if I remember to put the kids lunches in the right backpacks or pay a bill on time.  For example, Claire’s ballet school sent me home with a packet of info including instructions on when/where to purchase recital tickets and how to enroll her for next year.  I read all the info while in the car, but  I have NO clue where that packet is now!  It throws me in a panic inside not knowing where something is. 

Last week the Kindergarten director at our school met me at the door when I picked up Colton.  Apparently, I had not sent in their registration info for next year.  They had opened it up to the public and she was concerned about the classes filling up.  I was SO embarrassed!  I mean really… filling out paperwork and sending it back to school with the children should not be a hard task.  Then when I do go to re-enroll them I realize I am OUT of checks!  Not just out in my checkbook, but COMPLETELY OUT!!!  How does this happen?  I know this may not sound that bad to some, but when stuff like this happens over and over – I am so embarrassed.

During the day I am so bad about attempting to multi-task with household chores.  Need proof?  I walked back into the kitchen to this the other day.  This is why you should not try to do dishes and laundry at the same time.  Stick to one task!


Just a few seconds from a complete mess.  Oh yeah, and just a month ago I backed into my mothers car – in – my – driveway!  ugh!  Hello insurance deductible!


Distractions arise and stuff like this happens…


He is always into mischief … just like his little sister.

Oh, but the best is this…. and the thing is – this happens ALL THE TIME!


So what do you do?  I have chosen to laugh… laugh at myself and of course snap photos of the mayhem. 

One day I will have it all together again, right?

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April 11, 2014

My Favorite

April 11, 2014
The past four years I have had several different running partners.  Old friends, new friends, mom friends, and young friends.  Nothing like running with a seventeen year old to make your youth go rushing through your mind like a jet plane!

  Last year Chris helped me train for a Summer Solstice half where I PR’d (2:10)… he did such a good job helping me that I all but begged him to join for the Knoxville Half this year.  Once he agreed to it I signed him up so there would be no backing out!

Chris did the treadmill for his weekday short runs and then on Saturday joined me outside for our long runs.  Every week I looked forward to Saturday morning – it was honestly like a “date night” for us.  We rarely get alone time.  Chris and I together sharing one of my favorite places in the world – the pavement.  The perfect “date”. 

I love to run.  It makes me happy.  I forget about the stresses of the day – the messy house, piles of laundry, my busy schedule.  I just let go and I run.  Sharing it with my favorite person in the world made it all the better.

He even kept me on my toes when I missed my early morning runs due to snow or rain.
I managed to snap a few photos from some of our long runs… I think on this day we were super COLD during our run.
Chris did not enjoy the long runs like I did … I was seriously giddy at times watching him run next to me.  For Chris I think it was more a labor of love.  He ran with me, trained for that half because I wanted him too.  His loving “act of service”.
Race day came… it was so cold!  The week before the race we were expecting 47 degrees at the start of the race.  It was actually in the low 30’s and windy when we started Sunday morning.  So cold!
Not only did we start… but we FINSIHED in record time!  It was an amazing day… and what made it all the best was sharing it with this guy!
Seriously … is there a better finish line than this!?
We did it… hopefully I can convince him to do it again!IMG_1263
Hopefully I can manage to post my full race review soon!!

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