Friday, December 17, 2010

Birthday Girl!

Hope turned three this past week. All the sudden she seems just so big, asking for a haircut -and to my horror holding her scissors up to her head during craft time. Using bigger and bigger words, playing "big kid" games. I'm just not ready for it. As is my custom (read, since I'm horrible with baby books), here is my letter to her.

Happy birthday, Pumpkin Pie!
You're three! Just as you learned to put those pesky two fingers up on one hand, three has come to bring new challenges and new joys.
You are getting so big. You talk constantly. A friend from church sent a you a birthday card and you jumped up and down with it saying, "It's stupendous." I love the words you come up with...most of the time. :) You love to tell jokes and play word games with people. Although you are beginning to think it's a little to babyish for you, you still play along with the animal sounds that I love to hear from you.

You have gone from telling us Breeley is "kind of like a baby" to being a wonderful big sister. You love to play with her and make her laugh. You are so patient with her when she pulls your hair. You are a good little sister too. There are times that you get into Ty and Becca's things, but you are so generous with your own toys. You have a giving attitude that is a wonderful thing to see.

You love people. After two shy babies, you were certainly a change of pace. This year as we did the Christmas production at church you made new friends everywhere. Running around and handing out your "energy" to the weary adults brought a smile to so many faces. You are good at that, you know? You bring smiles and laughter wherever you go. Even when the smiles and laughter are at your over the top fits.

You have decided you don't need preschool. When I sit down to work puzzles or help you learn colors and counting you tell me no. After all there is more important stuff to do like math and reading. :) You especially love it when the "big kids" have a school project you get to join in. Like the Advent count down chains we made. Your proud grin in this picture makes me laugh.

You hate to be inside, but equally hate the cold. Unfortunately for you, we live where winter is a very cold reality. However summer is your favorite time of the year. You love to swim. And you have no fear of the water. That keeps Mama praying overtime in the summer. You still love bugs, especially ladybugs. Grammy and Papaw just gave you a little stuffed ladybug and I don't think it left you side except for bath and dinner time for a week.

Your favorite books this year have been The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where's the Green Sheep, and Winnie the Pooh books. You love to go visit "Papaw's" library. He loves it when you come see him at work too.

You and Daddy have an amazing bond. You're two peas in a pod, really. I love the way he laughs with you. It reminds me of how he and your uncle used to laugh together with Grandma Bishop. You are truly a joy bringer.

Hopey, I'm so proud of you. I love your heart for others, your generosity, and how much you want to please God. I can't wait to see what God has in store for your sweet little life.

I love you,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Belated Thanksgiving

Doug and I headed back to my hometown over Thanksgiving weekend. While we spent the actual day with his family on the other side of our state, we decided to go 'home' to see my family and especially my oldest sister and her family while they were 'home' as well.

Can I just say, it was crazy. Fun. Full house. Lots and lots of kiddos running around, shrieking, giggling, fighting, playing, deciding who was spending the night with whom. Staying up way too late. A baby way off schedule (thankfully she's very adaptable). A wood burning stove getting delivered...sort of. A birthday party squished into the middle of the chaos making crazy fun even crazier fun. And then came Sunday. I got up tired...and a slight bit grouchy. One kid had a icky stomach and I almost stayed home from church with her.


If I had I would have missed God speaking directly to me. The sermon that Thanksgiving Sunday, preached in the church I grew up in has been on my heart so heavily these past few weeks. The message my dad preached has touched me deeply. The scripture was Psalm 116 -
"I love the Lord,for he heard my voice; for he heard my cry for mercy,
Because he turned his ear toward me, I will call on him as long as I live.
The cords of death entangle me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was over come by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD, "LORD save me!"
The Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return to your rest, my soul, the LORD has been good to you.
For you, LORD, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
I trusted in the LORD when I said 'I am greatly afflicted'; in my alarm I said 'Everyone is a liar'.
What shall I return to the LORD for all his goodness to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his faithful ones.
Truly I am your servant, LORD. I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.
I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the LORD.
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD - in your midst Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD."
I've heard God speak to me in a still small voice.
I've had Him speak to me in ways I couldn't miss, but never would have expected. Like the time I was begging Him to let me know that He really loved me. This sounds really, really odd but He called me "sweetie". Yep, that was unexpected.
Then there has been time when I expected to hear His voice. I waited with eager anticipation for it, and instead there was blessed silence. I felt Him. It was the closest thing I've experienced to a heavenly hug. Silent and present. Something I often need from Him.
And then there have been times where I got a spiritual slap. Even more unexpected then some of the thoughts I've heard were the times I got a little too audacious with the LORD. A few years ago I was praying for a miracle for my brother-in-law. I was mad. Mad that Jim had cancer. Mad that loss was a part of life. Mad that my mother-in-law was sick. Mad. Mad that God would let this happen. Mad that sin had to be a part of life. Mad the the world He had created to be beautiful wasn't looking so rosy. Mad that I was dealing with post-partum depression and couldn't just enjoy my baby girl.
And I told Him.
And He told me.
"If you just want someone to do what you ask, go get a dog."
That has stayed with me as I've walked with Him. And now there are new bumpy roads to walk. Roads that I would never choose to travel. But I'm on them. And He's with me. What's even better is He's before me and behind me.
As my dad preached that Sunday, he read this Psalm. He talked of our need to praise and thank the Lord no matter our circumstances. That thanking him and praising him opened the way to the throne room. That thanksgiving and praise sometimes just have to be a matter of the will.
But what had the hairs on my arms standing on end as God spoke to me through my earthly Daddy was this. Matthew 26 tells of the night before the crucifixion. After Jesus had eaten the Last Supper with his disciples they "sang a hymn." Psalm 116 is one of the hymns. To read the Psalm and know that the One who died for me sang praise to His Father before being betrayed, beaten, mocked, spit upon, nailed to a cross, and left utterly alone humbles me. If He could thank His Father and sing praise to Him, no matter what my life circumstances are, I can too. I get to choose. I pray He gives me the grace to keep praising Him. To keep thanking Him. To press close to His wounded hands and pierced brow so that I can remember, so that I will never forget - He alone is worthy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
"Give THANKS to the LORD for He is good.
His LOVE endures forever."
Praying wherever you are you will have a blessed, joy filled Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things That Make Me Laugh

Tyler went with Doug to help build the set for our church's Christmas production. He was so excited to be big enough to help. Doug told me later the man in charge asked Ty to show him his hands and declared them "working hands." Tyler said, "Yeah, I've got country feet. I can run on gravel."


For penmanship Becca was supposed to be writing the names of her favorite songs. "S" was the letter of the day.
"Helling Ran" anyone?
Tyler was working on spelling and was having trouble with woman and women. I tried to explain. "You can spell man, right? You can spell men, right?" He nodded affirmatively. Woman/ women is just like those words but with "wo" on the beginning." I love when I can see understanding dawn on their face. And then I derailed. "It's because God created woman from the man's side." The look on his face was priceless. "But,...aren't they just born now?"

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


~ Another voter registered by Acorn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tired and Sick and Random

Need I say more?

Sorry I'm way behind on blog hopping, friends. I try to read when I can, but don't always have time to comment. Maybe you've guessed it (or you know me), I'm a perfectionist. It bugs me to not use capitols or punctuate properly. Not that my posts lack typos, just that I hate them. And feeding a baby and typing don't exactly go hand in hand. That and "nak" is not universally understood, I've found.

So, as I said we've been sick. The colds are taking out family members one at a time. I started it so I am trying to not me grumpy with the kids. Although if I had a dollar for every time I've said "Blow your nose! I don't want to pay for another ear infection." I'd probably have enough money to pay the doctor's bill.

Speaking of doctors bills, have you heard of Samaritan Ministries? This wonderful group is our family's health care choice. The ministry revolves around the Biblical principals for bearing the burdens you are able to carry and helping others carry the burdens they cannot. For example, going to the doctor for an ear infection while pricey is not beyond our means. Having a baby is a different level of pricey! :) When major medical needs (bills) are present, this community of believers shares the need. It is such a blessing to receive the notes of encouragement and know that our family is being prayed for.

To our favorite family members in the south (You know who you are!), Doug and I miss you! We can't wait to head to FL again and swing by. We're keeping our fingers crossed that the timing will work out.

Does anyone know how to get rid of the floating deleted picture button on my blog? I have no idea what it is even from. HELP!!!! please. and thank you. (so much for caps, right?)

This school year is flying by. We took our annual trip to the apple orchard and the Feast of the Hunter's Moon - a French and Indian trading post reenactment. Fun days! I'll try to post pictures soon. Here is an orchard picture I couldn't resist throwing in!
Ty is flying through his math and Becca is developing so quickly with her creative writing. Does anyone have ideas to keep a preschooler busy. Hope loves to do "school" but wants it to be "big kid" stuff. She doesn't want to do "baby" learning like colors and shapes. She loves to draw circles right now. I don't remember the others doing that. And this is Breeley's most recent accomplishment. (Well this and rolling, but she's my fourth and I don't have pictures of that yet.)

Our family is taking part in our church's Christmas production. It's fun. And overwhelming. Watching the kids practice and seeing them grow is so worth whatever sleep I lose. I'm hoping Breeley and Hope make it through all four performances without a melt down. We'll see. :)

And last, but most importantly, would you pray for my sister Megan's family? Her husband Jim has cancer that is continuing to grow. They are fighting illness on several fronts and I know would greatly appreciate your prayers for God's grace to cover them. Thanks!

(My sis and niece visiting Bree in the hospital.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Octopus with Shoes - By Tyler Bishop

One day I saw an octopus in the shoe store. It bought four pairs of shoes. One pair was big tall boots. Another pair was very small dress shoe. And one pair was yellow, blue, white and orange. The last pair was very well fitting and they had a sticker on them. The stickers were so big it only took one sticker to cover all of his shoes.
I said, "You have very nice shoes. They are the best shoes in the world."
The octopus said, "Thank you. You have very nice shoes as well."
He said, "I am going home to the ocean. Where are you going?"
"I am going to my house also. It isn't in the ocean. It is in the city."
"Why do you need shoes, anyway?" I asked.
"Because the ocean floor is very dirty and sharks and other animals that want to eat me will grab onto my shoes instead of me." He answered.
"Goodbye," I said. "Hopefully when I take my tour in the ocean then I might see you again."
He said, "Goodbye, I am going home to the ocean. Hopefully I'll see you too."
One day I went into the ocean to look for underwater life. I saw the octopus with shoes. I asked, "How well do you like your shoes?"
"I like them very well," he said. " They never get dirty because I live the water."
And his shoes lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Four Months

Guess what? Your four months old this week!

Oh, don't look so worried. I know Mama keeps telling you not to grow up, but it's really alright.

We'll have fun and celebrate this milestone. Yes, your dress is just perfect for the occasion.

What's that? You want to know what you're doing these days? Let me see, you're the smiliest baby I know. You rarely cry. You love to scoot yourself in circles. You love to hold your soft blankets and suck your thumb. And just the other day, we heard you laugh out loud. Blowing bubbles is just about your favorite past time.

Yes, just like that!

I know! I blinked in surprise when I realized all you are doing too.

We haven't forgotten. There's no need to look so serious. We're going to be having a big party soon. It will be here before you know it.

I can see your starting to get a little excited. That first taste of ice cream is coming soon.

Yes, baby. I can see you are all girl. Ice cream is certainly something to smile about. Wait until I tell you about chocolate....

Monday, October 11, 2010



You're eight and one half today. I didn't get a birthday letter done for you this year, so your half birthday will be the day.

You are growing fast, kiddo. I didn't realize how fast until I went to get your fall clothes out. Your jeans that fit last year, no longer do. Your shirt sleeves are short, your shoes squish your toes.

You're learning fast. You excel at math. Counting came quickly and easily - math seems to also. Just the other day you asked to take your flashcards to play with during quiet time. I cannot believe how well you are reading this year. You have known it was a struggle for you, but you never gave up. I think this has been your first big struggle in life. Before this so many things came easily to you.

I remember being shocked when you walked at 9 months. Thank goodness you didn't start climbing until you were closer to two. Unfortunately that's also when we had our house roofed. I don't think I'll ever forget the feeling of finding you most the way on up the ladder that day. :) You talked early too. Just like your dad. Grandma used to say he was born talking.

You are incredible in your role as big brother. So good, sometimes I think you forget that Daddy and I can do the parenting part on our own. You and Becca are pals and cohorts in many of your endeavors. You love on your little sisters too. Hope is big enough now to pester you and you are learning patience with her. Breeley is at the perfect age for you. She lights up every time you walk into her line of vision. And she's not big enough to get into your toys.

You love to read your Bible. Like most boys, you love the stories of the wars of Israel. But there are stories that you fall in love with that I would never expect. Like the story of Esther. As I read and reread that with you I wonder what it is you are thinking about.

I am so, so proud to be your mom and have a part in the work God has prepared for you. Be strong and of good courage, sweet boy. You will need it in this world. I pray you will continue to shine like the stars pointing to the Creator-Savior-God you love so much. I love you, Ty.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

That Lousy Tooth Fairy

Becca had a little accident last week. While Doug and I were at Bible study, she fell and bumped her front teeth. Which, by the way, were already a little wiggly. She didn't mention it, and I didn't notice until the next night. Her teeth were barely hanging on. After a quick dentist visit showed that her permanent teeth were right under the surface, they told her to wiggle away and they'd be gone in no time.

My daughter doesn't do wiggling.

At all.

So, it wasn't until her cleaning the next week that they came out "one their own." You know, the old, the floss got stuck trick. :)

She came home with a cute little box and, without telling me, put it expectantly under her pillow. And waited...for two nights. And that lousy tooth fairy never came. I'm going to show her grace though. There was a crying two year old who kept waking her up and making it very difficult for her to stop by the first night. Or the curious eight her old who really is trying to prove there is no tooth fairy and stayed awake most the first night.

The second night, there was no excuse.

Needless to say, it was a bit of an exasperated Becca (who isn't sure she wants to believe there is a tooth fairy) who when asked how she slept last night answered, "Well, there's something weird going on. I put my tooth under my pillow for the last two night and nothing's there."

That lousy little tooth fairy.

Being the "good" Mom that I am I encouraged her to clean up her room and we "found" the money had "fallen" off the side of her bed.

It's a really good thing someone else I know has had problems with her tooth fairy before. Otherwise I'm not sure I would have known where to look. ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Homeschool Quote of the Week

Becca was reading her word problem aloud. "If Rose and her mom want to play a game that needs four people, how many more people do they need to play the game?"
Before I could say a word Tyler said, "Her dad and brother."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sigh, Sniffle, Sob

Breeley is three months old.

It's just not fair that there isn't a pause button for little babies. I so want to capture this time with her, bottle the new baby scent, keep that skin so silky-squishy soft.

Sigh, Sniffle, Sob...

Breeley has outgrown all her newborn clothes and most of her 0-3 month sleepers. I want to forever remember her being small enough to curl up on my chest. Her head small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. I want to feel her little fingers that are too small to curl all the way around mine.

It would be so easy to want her to stay tiny forever, but there is so many wonderful discoveries with her growing up.

She was only two weeks old when she flashed her first grin. Now they come so quickly.

Just in the last few weeks she recognized me from Daddy. And loves to hang out with Ty, Becca and Hope. She even let Becca rock her to sleep the other night.

She loves her toys now. Her frogs and butterfly toy bar is a favorite: for both Bree and Hope. :)

She and Daddy so much fun at bath time. Daddy has the patience to let her play and play. She even tolerates a few splashes when Daddy is around.

She hates the pool. I think it's the whole wet diaper thing. As soon as I put a dry diaper on her she's fine. Thankfully Grammy and Papaw have a portable swing we kept poolside for her.

And last but not least, she has the most adorable fat roles. I love lots of dimples and chub and she has it! Dimples at on the fingers, elbows, knees. Rolls on the legs, arms and wrists. Pure baby kissing delight. :)

When I get done putting away those newborn sleeper and pulling out the big 3-6 month clothes, I'll go kiss me some baby fat and thank the Lord for my healthy, growing girl.

Somebody pass the Kleenex, please.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Logical Mind of a Two Year Old

Me: "Hope it's time to go to bed."

Hope: "I NOT going to bed"

Me: "Yes, Hope, you are going to bed."

Hope: "I AM going to bed."

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I'm Becoming One of Those Moms

It all started innocently enough. Browsing a popular mom blog and seeing her gorgeous baby wearing skills. Then I started looking around and found other mom's blogs. When I stumbled across Four Little Men and Girly Twins and saw her wearing her twins I decided to look into it a little more. My only experience with baby wearing was a Snugli. I have nothing against the brand, but it did not work for me. A homeschooling friend of mine started talking about wearing her little ones in a homemade wrap. Since she had literally worn her old wrap out she made a new one and gave me one of the extras.

(this is the only baby wearing picture I have. bleh!)
She showed me the basics; that was enough. I am so in love. Wrapping makes it possible for me to grocery shop with all four kids and only one cart. It's so nice not to lug the car seat to the mall, store, or fair. No strollers to mess with either. I'm on my way to addicted though. :) I'm a saver by nature, but when it comes to stuff for my kids it's a different story. My poor husband needs to be forewarned. I could easily spend a lot of money on this stuff. After all, look at the money I'm saving. No stroller..... um, I'll work on that list. ;)
Now I just need to work on eating with her in this. Breeley was covered in powdered sugar after I tried to eat a funnel cake at the fair last month. Oops! :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Something to Think About

A friend posted this on facebook.

"You do not have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body" - C.S. Lewis

Friday, August 20, 2010


We all have gotten colds this week.

Hope first, then everybody but Breeley. I commented to Doug, "I sure hope Breeley doesn't get this cold."

As Doug was answering Tyler broke in, "I hope I lose mine."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I miss blogging, but

10. I have one and a half bushels of tomatoes and a half bushel of peaches spread across my kitchen and dining room waiting to be preserved.

9. I went "home" to spend time with my mama while my dad was on a mission trip. (THANKS MOM FOR A WONDERFUL FEW DAYS!!)

8. I haven't downloaded any pictures from my camera for two or was it three weeks.
*Over 300 pictures.*

7. Two kids in VBS + One kid with a fever + One husband working tons of hours.

6. The zoo is so much fun in 90 degree weather.

(Can you guess which exhibit?)

5. The 4-h fair is really fun on the first cool night in weeks.

4. Breeley has decided to only nap if someone is holding her.

This is one of my favorite pictures.

3. The summer reading program at the library.

2. School is about to start.

1. I'd rather be cuddling her

or tickling her bare toes

braiding her hair

watching his latest stunts,

or hanging out with him.