Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Few Quick Halloween Pictures

So I just went back and looked at my Halloween posts from the last few years, and every year I am hardly able to get a picture of the kids.  I always forget, or the camera doesn't cooperate, or the kids don't cooperate.  This year is no different.  But, for family's sake, here are maybe two pictures that I snapped, with a flash, in my dark kitchen, at the end of the night, when all of us were exhausted.  But, at least we have it on record, right? 

It's Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion, minus her ruby slippers (she had already taken them off).  John did not wear his hood all night, so no one could even tell he was a lion (the same lion costume he wore last Halloween).  I talked him into wearing the hood for the picture when I told him he could roar like a lion; he quickly jumped on it, then.  I should have thought of that earlier!

Our costumes are usually determined by whatever Ellie, Luke, and Andrew (the cousins) have been the previous year or years.  That lion costume is a size 4t, though, so we may have another year or two of wear ahead of us ;) 

Ada was fired up about Halloween this year, and she asked at, oh, about 8 am if she could go ahead and put on her costume.  The answer was no.  She then proceeded to bounce through most of the day (literally).  We trick-or-treated with friends in a neighborhood with more houses than ours, and it was mostly a success.  There was one house, that was overly decorated for Halloween, if you know what I mean ;), and the lady answered the door with a very scary mask on.  She quickly took it off, when she realized our group consisted of really young kids (Ada was the oldest), but the image was cemented in Ada's brain.  We had to add that to our list of things we have to pray about.  When we pray, Ada prays for no bad dreams every single night, and she asks Scott and I to pray for the same thing, and then she gives us a specific list of things she doesn't want to dream about that we all have to list in our prayers.  It's become a sort of joke between Scott and me, especially when a new one is added.  Recently Charlotte's Web was added to that list.  How could Charlotte's Web produce a bad dream?  Wilbur's impending death, I suppose?  All of that to say, the masked lady was added to the prayer list tonight.  It gets longer all the time.

So, another Halloween in the books.  And I just snagged a reese's cup from one of the candy "buckets" so a great night for all of us ;)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Patch: Take One

A couple of weekends ago, the kiddos and I headed to Scottsboro for the weekend.  And in an odd turn of events, my sisters and I were all in the same place at the same time--that is rare these days as we are all scattered from here to there...  Taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather, we headed to a local pumpkin patch, and my sisters took about a million pictures.  See below...

(Today we went to a McDonough pumpkin patch, so I will post even more pumpkin patch pictures later!!  Get fired up.)

 (youngest sister, Kate, with Abigail--Ann's youngest)

 (next sister, Sarah--she and I share the position of middle child)

 (oldest sister, Ann, with her kids--L-R--Andrew, Ellie, Abigail, and Luke)

You've gotta love a pumpkin patch in the fall ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

More Processing...

I said in my last post that when I first began to think about moving into this rental house--when I first presented the idea to Scott--my main goal was to provide some stability for my children.  It felt like we were in the middle of a storm and we just need to find a place to take cover until it all passed. 

However, as the dust settled around us, as Scott grew accustomed to his new job at Home Depot and we realized it was absolutely an answer to the prayers we had been praying, and as we began to revisit our goals of getting out of debt and saving and giving, I began to pray a lot that God would change our view of what was normal for our family.  After Ada was born, all I could believe was that what was best for us as a family must be a house in a suburb where we would be as comfortable as possible.  That is the only thing I could see. 

And of course motherhood changes us.  And time changes us.  And the realities of life change us.  And I read lots of books and met lots of people and had lots of conversations that began to change me. 

And I began to think that maybe, just maybe, God wanted a little something more for our family than just comfort.  I don't know...maybe?  That maybe comfortable didn't really have anything at all to do with it. 

A while before Scott lost his job, it may have even been a while before we started praying for a new job and things got so crazy "up in the Moore house," I read Radical by David Platt.  I loved what it said, and I found myself nodding a lot and underlining and agreeing, but what was I to do with that?  It was a Christmas break, actually, and I had more time to read as we were visiting family, and I had no responsibilities at night once the kids were in bed--it was during that time that I finished reading the book, and I began to pray/think--often my thinking and praying blends into one, where I don't know which I am actually doing--and I remember thinking, "I want to be on board with this, but our house is in the way.  What can we do?"  Well, God took care of that, didn't he? ;)   (Not that owning a house gets in the way of Platt's ideas in the book, just that our particular situation of owning a home got in our way of David Platt's ideas in Radical--are you following me?)

And then, I read Trusting God by Jerry Bridges.  And that was life changing for me.  Life Changing.  As I began to live in the reality of who God is, and how I can lie back and rest in HIM even when everything around me is absolutely going nuts.  I can rest in Him.  David, in the Old Testament, literally lay down and slept, slept!!, when his own son was tracking him down to try to kill him, because David understood who he was resting in.  We can let go of the fear and the worry.  He is bigger, so much bigger than me and my view of things.  And that means that it is better for me to say, God just show me what you want for our family.  I let go of all of it.  Show me where you want us to live, even if it so very different than what I always pictured.  Even if it doesn't look like the American Dream.  Or even if it does.  Just please show me your will for us, not mine. 

So, here we are at a sort of crossroads, or even a restart.  It feels like (even though I don't believe this is how God works at all, but it feels like) we are back at the starting line, and God has hit the rewind button, and he is saying, "okay, let's try this again..."  And to be honest with you, I sometimes feel frozen.  I want flashing lights--voices over the intercom--BIG MAJOR signs telling us where to go next.  We just so badly want to get it right this time.  Which, of course, falls under not trusting God.  I want some rules, I tell you.  Give me some rules to follow.  That I can do with the best of them.  But, I keep hearing that God really isn't about the rules and us following them, because at the end of the day, we just can't get it right--even if we think we can.  So, we are praying a lot and let's be honest, I'm wringing my hands and analyzing every single little detail in hopes that I don't miss out on some "secret message" from God about where to go from here.  And I think this time it's less about making the perfect decision and more about free falling into who He is and his promise that he will say, "this is the way, walk in it..." so even though, right now, we can only see a few steps ahead of us before it gets dark again, we'll just take those few steps and trust that the next steps will follow and so on and so forth.  And I just cry out to God to search our hearts--reveal the hidden motives--the things in me that want to take my family and hide us away in some comfortable place, instead of facing the reality of what God is calling us to do in light of the Gospel and His Kingdom and this world.  I want to hear his voice, I want to be open to whatever he might want from us, even if it gets uncomfortable.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Though I feel like I have been living in a perpetual writers block since we moved into this tiny refuge of a house, I read over at Gypsy Mama's site, and I am encouraged to keep on writing anyway

And in these moments when I think, "what is there to write?"  And I am reminded that I am writing to process, and this life that I have chosen, or that has chosen me--this life of laundry and meal plans and never ending budgeting--this is the very existence in which God shows himself to me.  All of the time.  And I want to remember what he shows me, and so I write. 

I remember that day over a year ago now.  Scott had lost his job, in the aftermath of a crazy year of strange financial twists and turns that left us in a bind even before he lost his job, and we were placing all of our hope in a job interview with Rubbermaid.  From our perspective this was how God was going to "step in" and save the day.  Forgetting that God had never, not for one second, "stepped out."  All of the crazy hoopla of the past year, had, of course, been right smack in the middle of his sovereign plan for our lives.  Regardless, we were hoping for that job.  We had it all figured out in our minds.  How Scott was going to get that job, and everything was going to get back on track, and this was our ticket out of this mess. 

But Scott didn't get the job.  It was a loud slammed door in our face.  And then silence.  And I was wracked with sobs one afternoon on the phone with my dad.  When I could hardly even talk because I was just so stinking tired.  But, of course, my dad gave me a pep talk.  My mom too.  A good dose of truth.  And I wiped my eyes, and I remembered that God was, indeed, sovereign over this life.  And that day, I was driving through downtown McDonough, and I saw a tiny little house with a rental sign out front.  I wasn't looking for a rental house.  All I knew was that we could not afford our mortgage--we could hardly afford it when Scott did have a job.  And I saw that house, and a thought began to form in my mind.  Passing, really.  Just a little thought, "I bet we could afford that house."  And then, I drove home, overwhelmed, not really sure of our next step in this process.  And a plan began to take shape.

I knew that what I wanted most was stability for my children--to be at home with them, just like always, to sit together around the dinner table each night, just like always, and to begin our homeschooling "journey" just as planned.  And a voice kept ringing in my head, "that tiny rental house might provide all of that."  So I called, just to find out the price.  And how many bedrooms.  The details, if you will.  To find out that a move into this rental house would reduce our square footage by more than half.  But I kept thinking, does that really  matter?  Does size really matter all that much in the long run?  There was much unknown at that point.  But what I did know was that a friend had provided an "hourly pay" job for Scott, which was a gigantic blessing, it was what was keeping us even slightly afloat, and I knew that even if that was all the job that God provided for a while, we could still afford the rent in this house.  And then, I began to get phone calls about options for me to bring in some money--tutoring, childcare, etc. etc., and I knew that if we pooled all our resources and cut way way back on expenses, and the biggest thing of all, moved into that tiny little rental house that happened to pop into my mind that random afternoon, we were going to be okay.  God was beginning to direct our steps, just a little bit at a time. 

And we ended up here.  It's been a refuge.  A place to catch our breath, regain our footing, begin to process and evaluate and figure out where to go from here.  It's been a gift. 

At times I haven't been thankful.  We are on top of each other all of the time--nights are tricky because noise travels all over this house, and it's often that Ada ends up in our bed and one of us "grown-ups" on the couch or her twin bed.  But we have survived, and not only that, we have learned what it feels like to live within our means.  It's been such relief.  In other words, God has answered our prayers.  I often wish for more space, I won't lie.  And I have complained, out loud, a lot.  Ada knows, she will say it, "we" just need a bigger house.  She didn't figure that out on her own ;) 

Ironically, the apartment we were living in when Ada was born had more square feet than this house.  The apartment that is only three minutes from where Scott now works.  It's crazy how life works.  How it comes full circle.  I was in a state of post-partum something, panic?  after Ada was born, and I was absolutely convinced that to be proper parents, we had to buy a house.  No question about it.  We needed a house, and we needed it fast, and we ended up in McDonough, GA in about two seconds.  Now, I am a big believer in God's sovereignty, but I also believe in sin and stupid mistakes, and it's a mystery to me how all of that works together, but I know this--It feels like we shouldn't have bought that house.  It also feels like God has done so much in our lives during our time here.  Really BIG, GIGANTIC life lessons have been learned.  And I, we have made dear, dear friends.  McDonough will always be special to me.  So, how all of that works together, I don't know?  But it is funny to think that we are going back to the place where we started.  This time with two children, and we are very different people than we were back then.  And I am sure more big, gigantic life lessons are ahead.  And I am sure more big, gigantic mistakes will be made.  But, at the end of the day, we just cry out to God to direct our steps, to "fill us with the knowledge of your will that we might walk in a manner worthy of you," and we praise him for his mercy and grace and provision. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Just Rambling


It's Friday night, and Scott and I are doing our usual--absolutely chilling out on the couch.  Mindless television.  Diet coke.  This is the life, I tell you.

I don't really know what to blog about.  There are things happening in life, but for some reason, I have become more reluctant to blog every detail.  It gets shut up in my head, and I can't figure out how to get it out.  I used to be a bit more free here on my online space, and I feel like I'm closing up a bit.  I don't know why...anyway

The main things that are happening are the baby steps that will eventually lead us to the big giant step where we move away from here, away from this tiny little house that has turned out to be a refuge after two crazy, life shaking years, and move up to the "northside."  It's looming ahead of us, and it looks like I get to be emotional about it for the next half a year.  I know Scott is thrilled about this :)  Especially since Ada is emotional right along side me.  Such fun ;) 

I don't want to do these next months, to be honest with you.  I don't want to try to find another house, another church, pack up, say good-bye.  I don't want to deal with any of it. 

Maybe I will process a lot on this blog over the next six months.  That should be fun for everyone ;) 

I didn't even log on here with plans to blog about this; it's like my fingers on the keys have a mind of their own. 

In other, much more happy news, I, unexpectedly, got to go to the preview night of a consignment sell the other day--I was tagging along with friends who were actually consigning their stuff, and I got lots of Christmas shopping done--American Girl Books, the entire Chronicles of Narnia, Box Car Children, a Woody Costume for John, McQueen bedroom slippers, a wooden dessert set for Ada--it was great.  And I also snagged this beauty--that was my "big ticket item" at 10.00!!!

I was picturing loads and loads of smocked dresses, which wasn't really a realistic picture, but I was glad to at least walk away with one good deal on a smocked dress, especially since Ada needs Sunday dresses right now.

And let me close by saying this, (going back to the original subject) overall, big picture, I am excited about our move to Smyrna.  Scott's job is an answer to prayer that we prayed specifically for over a year.  It seems that God is very clearly moving us back to the Smyrna area.  I have no doubt that this is a good thing for our family, and I believe, from what I can see with my limited view point, that we will be able to settle there for a while, and I like the north side, I do.  I like Smyrna.  There was a time I mourned over leaving it behind.  I just don't want to do the transition years.  This one, when I know we are leaving, and the next one when we all have to adjust.  It's uncomfortable, and what can I say, I like comfortable.  But, at the end of the day, if you press me on the issue, I am excited about what the move means for our family.  I am excited about the big picture.  It's the millions of little details that overhwelm me.

Monday, October 8, 2012

School Continues

Guess what?  I found an exercise accountability partner, so that is working out well, and keeping me on the right exercise track.  Just in case you were wondering.

And we are still homeschooling, and I am still having to apologize to Ada a lot for my impatience.  Oh my goodness.  I thought teaching high school was hard.  High school has nothing on teaching someone how to read.  Especially when that someone is my child who CAN NOT focus for the life of her.  Today, when she was supposed to be sounding out three little letters, her eyes were scanning the room, looking everywhere but at the page, and then with her eyes still no where near the word, she just blurted out a word, as if she pulled it out of thin air, which I suppose she did.  And that is when I keep losing the battle to bite my tongue, as I remind her to just LOOK AT THE LETTERS ON THE PAGE.  As a perfectionist when it came to school, it's a bit hard on me to discover that my daughter does not take after me in that way.  I have a sneaking suspicion that were she in high school, striving to achieve a particular grade would not keep her up at night.  I just keep praying that I would see her as who God created her to be, to see past all of my humanity and mess of a heart to see all the strength in this particular personality--all the strengths of being this particular kind of student. 

When we are both a little weary of the battle, I can always count on a blank piece of paper and some crayons.  Now that, Ada jumps all over!!

The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx "guarding it."  I read to her from the Story of the World, and she drew a picture about what we were reading.

And then they decided to do a few interpretive pictures?  Ada said, "do a silly one..."

"a scared one..."

"a tiger one?!?"

and "a fish one"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Accountability, anyone?

Good Monday afternoon, everyone.  Is it pouring down outside your window like it is mine?  Cozy and dreary all at the same time. 

I am writing/blogging (feels like I am writing an email) to ask if anyone out there would like to be my exercise accountability partner.  I have cancelled my gym membership because we signed Ada up for ballet, and I would rather her to do that and put my gym money in savings rather than join another gym (I wasn't thrilled with the childcare situation at the gym where I was going, and I am trying my best not to join another one).  All of that to say it is so hard for me to motivate myself to work out at home.  Exercise is so essential for my mental health--it is amazing the difference in my mood when exercising regularly vs. little or no exercise, but for some reason, it's the hardest thing in the world to make myself stick the dvd in the dvd player.  I think the gym works because people know if I haven't been there.  The lady at childcare would actually say, "I haven't seen you in a while," and that is all I needed to hear to get my rear end in gear.  No one is holding me accountable inside these four walls. there anyone out there who also wants to exercise and needs accountability?  If so, please email me--lbrmooreatgmaildotcom (insert symbols for me for at and dot).  I already emailed two of my friends here, but I thought it might be even more beneficial if there was someone who also wanted to be held accountable for exercise...just email me...or even leave a comment, either way.