Monday, November 30, 2015

Tree Time

Before Dad left on Saturday, we were able to visit the Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm to get our tree.  This was the first year most of our little ones showed more of an understanding and excitement.  They also were thrilled to help decorate.....and break a couple of ornaments.  They ask if we can sit and just look at the tree with all the lights off.  We decided not to do much in the way of decorating this year since we don't know how long we will be in this house, but simple is just fine for me this time! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Sean had received an email a couple of weeks ago informing us of a free game for military and their families for the military appreciation game - UT men's basketball versus Army.  We were going to take the kids and go, however, the Lord had other plans!  On that email Sean had received, there was a place to nominate your service member, which I secretly did! And he was one of 3 to be selected out of many amazing other stories!!!!!  Soooo, he got a parking pass, which was right next to Thompson Boling Arena.  He got two tickets to the Ray Mears Courtside Grill- they had a full Thanksgiving buffet and then hotdogs, nachos, popcorn, desserts, sodas, water - all for free.  We ate there before the game and then we were also allowed to come back during halftime.  it was like our own FREE concession stand!  He also got 2 courtside tickets.  And finally, he had his name up on the JumboTron and they announced him and the other two veterans over the PA and had them stand and they showed us all on the JumboTron.  Looking silly no doubt!  lol It was an amazing night!  One of the other vets that won had his service dog with him at the game.  He is a double amputee.  I am proud of my husband and thought he deserved it, but I didn't think we would actually win.  I know there are a gazillion other military men and women deserving of it, as well! 
Our seats - one row behind the players!

And look no glasses!  Sean got contacts last week.....just for me!  :)

Kiddos back at home with Courtney Green and Josie Bates.  The girls were such a blessing to us to watch our blessings.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gratefulness and His Will

As I laid in bed last night and this morning, feeling grieved in my spirit and emotionally drained, two things came to me.  One, is gratefulness, which is perfect for this holiday season any way.  God has blessed us with so many little things and so many big things, as well.  God is good - ALL THE TIME.  In the BAD.  And in the GOOD.  And I really do have so much to be grateful for:  Jesus, salvation, His word, Heaven, prayer, His guidance and protection, health, my family, friends, USA, church, TN, new baby, my job, food, clothing, shelter, freedom, safety, and on and on I could go. 

The second thing that came to my mind is God's timing.  His will.  His guidance.  His ways.  All above mine.  All higher than mine.  My mind has been consumed with the who's, what's, when's, why's, and how's.  And when I'm not thinking about it all, then I'm researching and looking.  On the Internet.  In the paper.  On street signs.  You name it.  You see, it is NOT my timing or my ways or what I think is best or MY plans.  And I CANNOT do it without Him.  I'm not smart enough to figure this out on my own.

And my thoughts were confirmed because as I meditated and prayed, I thought about how while we would be cleaning the house today, I would be listening to Dr. Charles Stanley, as I do every week while cleaning.  And I was thinking about how I really hoped his two messages would be made just for me.  And do you know what?  One was on God's will and the other one was on gratefulness!!  Don't you LOVE how God does these sorts of things.  Oh how He LOVES us so. 

Sean has not gotten any job offers, only rejections.  He finally heard about the last two yesterday, which were both no's.  We aren't waiting for any more answers right now.  How discouraging right?!  It's been months and months of waiting for answers.  Hopefully YES answers. 

The house we rent is back on the market.  I can see the FOR SALE sign glaring at me through our window.  So, we will be showing the home and waiting to see what happens, as we did for all of 2014.  I WANT to find a new place and move out of here NOW so we don't have to do that again.  But the LORD whispers wait.  Ever so softly.  Besides, where would we find the money to move? 

Which brings me to THAT topic.  MONEY.  I can look at it as we don't have hardly any OR I can remember how truly BLESSED we are and that he will take care of us and that it's OK to rely on Him.

We had, had OUR GREAT BIG plan.  Come December, Sean is graduating, he will be starting a new job, we will be moving, and we will be having a new baby.  And we thought we prepared ourselves for what could be some real major stressors otherwise.  And yes, Sean is graduating and yes we are having a baby, but the rest of it has become known as PLAN B. 

And in PLAN B there really are no plans.  Yes, I did ask my job if I could switch from 16 hours a week to 32 hours a week once I get back from maternity leave, which most likely I can.  That's if Sean doesn't have a job by then.  And yes, Sean still will be looking.  And in the meantime, he probably will try to find a little something to bring in more money, like delivering newspapers or something.  And I did email my supervisor to see if I could possibly start looking towards doing my job at home after baby arrives.  But we know the above is TENTATIVE at best.  We know priority #1 is making sure our family is cared for.........through Jesus! We will focus on making sure we have our bills paid, our tummies are full, and we are warm and safe. 

And in PLAN B we stay here in this house and we remember to be grateful for the shelter the Lord has provided.  In plan B, we hope this house sells for the owners and we cross that bridge when we come to it.  We may be here until then or we may not.  AND in plan B, I stay off Craig's List searching for our next home (which is fun for me!).

Sean and I do not know what is going to happen or when it's going to happen or why it hasn't happened.  But we do know God loves us.  We do know we fervently pray for his will to be done.  And we do know we need to be grateful.  Patient.  Grateful.  Patient.  Living in the moment and soaking up all of God's mercy and grace. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gatlinburg Westgate

This is not part of the vacay; just my little girl!

Thursday we went up to Gatlinburg and stayed at Westgate Resort overnight as a gift from a family member to Sean.  We had a 2 bedroom villa.  The kids loved it! We all really loved it.  The resort had putt putt, heated outdoor pools, an indoor waterpark, restaurants, arcades, shopping, a spa, and on and on.  This was me and the hubby's bedroom. 

Had wanted to use this, but we ran out of hot water after bathing all the kids!

The 3 boys had their own room, which they were very excited about. 

And their own kitchen.

And their own bathroom.

Smoky Mountains :)

Putt Putt

Infinity pool or is it affinity pool?  I'm not sure.  I just woke up and hadn't had coffee. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Soon to be my new BF

We just purchased a 3 in 1 exercise machine off Craigs List as an early Christmas present to ourselves.  It's brand new.  See, still in the box.  It's an elliptical, stationary bike, and I think recumbent bike.  We got a pretty good deal.  I'm excited to start using it if all goes well at my 6 week postpartum checkup! :)  I've wanted an exercise machine for a long time!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rest of Vet's Day

Eating some free pizza at a little park

We attended a Vet's Appreciation Dinner at UT's stadium and got to tour the locker room and meet Smokey!  The kids were scared of him and hiding!

Fancy locker room, eh?!  I envisioned a high school locker room or something from the movies!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veteran's Day

And a HUGE HUGE thank you to all our vets and their families!!!!! 

Some of the things we are going to enjoy today........Sean will get a free haircut at Great Clips and a free lunch at Little Cesar’s.  We are also going to get a free car wash at Simonez.  And last but not least Starbucks is giving a free brewed coffee to vets and their spouses.  :) 

There are plenty of other businesses doing things for vets today so take your vet somewhere and treat him or her to a nice meal or any of the other things that are going on! 

Also, at 9 a.m., get on Westgate Resorts website and try to win a free 3 day, 2 night vacation.  Well, don't try too hard, since it is limited to 2500 vets and we want to win ha ha!!!!! 

Here's one of many sites that lists today's discounts:

At that site, you can also sign up for a monthly e-letter with discounts for vets and families. 

I can’t say enough THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 

And of course thank you to my husband!  Love you babe!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Happy 240th Birthday!!!

When we told Andrew to tell his Daddy Happy Birthday, he did.  And now he's been talking about Daddy's birthday all day and how he is going to have a cake today that looks like a beach.  I'm afraid he's going to be a little disappointed....and confused!

clementine pumpkins

Cute edible craft from No Greater Joy magazine

The kids enjoyed it!

Including big kids :)

And a couple of cute pictures of Andrew and Hailey holding hands