Monday, June 28, 2010
Yes, it is Monday. Has been all day and will be for a few more hours. Instead of filling you in on my recent mishaps, I'll fill you in on what my little darlings did NOT do. Remember, just take out all the NOTs to find out the truth. If you would like to read more Not Me, Monday posts, head over to MckMama's and check them out.
During the Baby Dedication on Father's Day, Carson did NOT turn around in front of the entire congregation and punch his big brother in the stomach. My children are much better behaved than that, especially in church.
My boys have NOT been hanging out in their tightie whities most days of the week. Carson, well, he most certainly did NOT wear only his underwear outside Saturday as we had customers at our yard sale. My children only go outside fully dressed and would never be half naked in front of complete strangers.
Colin did NOT talk about planning our funerals today. He is NOT that deep for a 7 year old. He did NOT request that "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" by The Temptations be played at his daddy's funeral. I had to convince him that although I didn't know what a rolling stone was exactly, it probably wasn't appropriate to play at his daddy's funeral. Whew!
Carson did NOT argue with me at Chick Fil-A about the fact that his chicken nuggets were not nuggets, but just chicken.
He finally ate them and decided that they were NOT better than McDonald's.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Favorite summertime memory....Oh, what to choose???? I can't choose just one, so I'll pick four to share.
As a child, I always felt I was Pa Tootsie's favorite grandchild. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't, but he always made me feel that way. Pa always had a way to make us feel special. What I remember most is how he would stash away our favorite treats for when we would come to visit. Anytime of the year, we would find peppermint sticks or rootbeer candy, but during the summer, we could always count on finding banana popsicles in the freezer. I loved watermelon as a kid (still do), and Pa Tootsie would buy me a watermelon and I'd get to come to his house and eat it with him. I'll never forget the summer he pulled out snow that he had put in Ziploc bags for us. You can bet we were the only kids in town having a snowball fight that summer! When Pa Tootsie passed away in the summer of 2006, I knew my kids would never get to enjoy those same treats from him. However, I remind them often of those times when we share a watermelon or banana popsicle.
In the summer of 1998, I went on vacation with my boyfriend and his family. When we finally arrived at the condo we would be staying at, he and I rushed down to the beach to watch the sunset. As we watched, he told me how much he loved me and I reminded him how much I loved him. Then he got to squirming around. I asked him what he was doing and he told me that his underwear were riding up. Little did I know that as I continued to watch the sunset, he was holding an engagement ring out in front of me. He asked me to marry him and I said yes (I still hadn't seen the ring and we had always talked about getting married, so I thought this was just one of those times). He asked me again and I finally saw the ring. I cried yes and we kissed. We will celebrate our 11th anniversary this year.
A few years after we married, my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family. Shortly after that, we were pregnant and found ourselves living with his parents after we bought a house that needed remodeling. Nine months and 52 pounds later, it was the middle of July. It was hot. I was HUGE. Our house was....not finished. Now don't get me wrong. I love my husband's parents dearly and I was very appreciative of the fact that they invited us to stay with them, but I was ready to get into our home and have that baby. I remember being in bed one night (did I mention I was 9 months pregnant?)praying, "God, please don't let me have this baby yet. I can't be living here and have this baby. I have to be in my house." Well, let me tell ya, God answers prayers. Even though there were countless times I thought I was going to go into labor at Lowe's, I didn't. We moved in on a Monday and I went into labor that Thursday at noon. My dear sweet Colin was born just after midnight on July 26, 2002. We welcomed him home a couple days later with our next door neighbors (my mother and father in law) there to greet us.
The summer of 2004, my life changed forever. You see, my husband and I had been church looking. We had gone to a couple and found ourselves at Calvary Baptist Church. That Father's Day, Dr. Copass would be doing a baby dedication. I wanted to participate with Colin, although he was almost 2 years old, and no longer considered a baby. I kept trying to call Dr. Copass at his office, but either I got no answer, or Peggy the secretary would tell me that he was not there. Then the Friday before Father's Day, I had some errands to run in town. I was trying to decide whether or not to go by the church to see if Dr. Copass was there. There was this battle going on inside me: one part insisting that he would not be there and it would be a waste of time and one part urging me to just give it a try. I was at the post office and the church was just 2 blocks away. I decided to give it a try. He was there. When I talked with Dr. Copass about the dedication service, he asked me something I never expected. He asked me if I were a Christian. Immediately, I began crying. There was his answer, no I wasn't. He asked me a few questions about what I knew and believed about Jesus. Evidently, I knew the right answers because the next thing I know I am praying and surrendering my life to Jesus. In that instant, I felt different. The battle that had been going on inside me earlier was over. I know knew what it was about. Satan knew what was going to happen to me if I went to the church and didn't want me to go. But because I decided to "give it a try," Jesus won the battle for my soul that day. I'll never forget that day. Every decision I have made in my life since then has been based on that decision to give my life to Jesus. Without this day, I would not have been burdened about the fact that my 80 year old grandfather who was dying of lung cancer was not a Christian. I prayed for his salvation and God answered that prayer. Without that Friday in July, my marriage would not be strong like it is. God is the center of my marriage. I seek his guidance in being the best wife I can be for my husband. My husband would not have been pushed down the aisle (that's what he says it felt like) when I joined the church. Without that glorious day, my children would not know the love of Jesus. Colin would not have surrendered his life to Jesus and my two other sons would not be learning of his love and how to live like Him. Without that day, I would be who I am today.
To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Carson: But Mama, she's gonna wanna hold the baby!
Mama: Well, she's gonna have to.
Carson: Well, she's gonna have to give him back!
Colin to Nanny's answering machine: Nanny, we just went to see Toy Story 3 and it was great. If you have any questions, just call us back. Thank you. Bye.
Carson tossing the cat: Mama, the cat is all wet.
Mama: I know. Carter just spit up on his back.
Carson getting out of the car: Mama, can we go upstairs?
Mama: No, honey. You'll go upstairs for children's church.
Carson: But I want to go upstairs to your class.
Mama: My class is downstairs. We aren't having Bible school anymore.
Carson: But Mama!
Mama: But I love you.
Mama: I love you.
Mama: I SAID I LOVE YOU!
Carson: I'm still not talkin'!
Colin: So, how do I look, Mama?
Mama: You look good, Colin.
Colin: I ain't never looked this handsome before!
Picture two brothers being hog wild in the middle of Wal-Mart and a mama that has had enough.
Mama: Stop, boys. You better start acting right.
Oldest son gets the hint and tries hard to behave. Middle child doesn't make it easy.
Mama (eye level with middle child): If you don't stop right now, I'm going to spank the fire out of you right now.
Carson (in his famous high pitched voice): HA! HAAA! SPANK THE FIRE OUT OF ME!
Hilarie: Carter is taking a good nap. I bet your mama would like for you to do that.
Carson: Do what?
Hilarie: Take a nap.
Carson (in that same high pitched voice in the middle of Pizza Hut): A nap? HA! HAAA!
My favorite of all time....
Colin, angry because he didn't get his way: HEY! NO FAIR TO CARSON!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Each Father's Day, we have a Baby Dedication service. Dr. Copass explained that the father is the head of the household and the maturity and faith of the family is his responsibility, and that is why he chose Father's Day for this service. There were 5 babies dedicated today. Here are some pictures from today.
We really missed having Jeffrey there for the service and not being able to celebrate Father's Day with him. I was glad to hear that he was able to speak with some boot camp soldier's during a service this morning. We can selfishly want what we want, but God is using him in a wonderful way. I am very proud of him.
Happy Father's Day Jeffrey.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Here are some videos of the kids singing during the closing ceremony today.
Colin and Jacob
Colin and Coach Mark
We appreciate all of Mark's help this season. We hope he and Michael are back next season.
The Cubs (most of them anway)
Colin and Michael
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Monday after VBS, Hilarie and I took the kids to Pizza Hut for lunch.
Robeez had these winter boots on sale. Too cute! I know it is 95 degrees outside, but a girl has to plan ahead!
BIG, HUGE, BLACK ants have attacked one of our trees out in the front yard. We are eventually going to have to cut it down before it falls.
This is the reason why I've slept on the couch a couple nights this week.
Look, even Carter does it!
Before trophies were handed out Thursday night, we caught a glimpse of a special treat from God in the sky. I wish I had a picture of me, Hilarie, and Julie taking a picture of this. I'm sure it was a strange sight.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
I told them the story of when I started kindergarten, a reporter from the Franklin Favorite came to my class to ask us what we wanted to be when we grew up. My response was published in the issue as, "Natasha says she wants to work at McDonald's."
The next year, though, I began my life long dream of wanting to be a teacher. The older I got, that dream continued, but I added to it the plan of getting married and have 3 kids: 2 boys and 1 girl.
Well, evidently, I was wanting the same things as God wanted (except I still don't have that little girl, but that is ok; I probably wouldn't know what to do with a girl at this point!). God, however, had other things planned for me that I didn't know about. I would never have thought I would be as active as I am in my church. I love it, being able to reach out to others for the Lord. I would have never thought I would be a deacon's wife. What an awesome responsibility! And now to be the wife of an Army Chaplain?!? It is unbelievable to see how God is working in our lives.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you" - this is the Lord's declaration - "plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."
Isn't it wonderful that God has planned our lives? Not only planned them, but planned them for good. He doesn't want to bring us pain and leave us without hope.
Part of God's plan for us all is for us to have a relationship with Him. After visiting Zacchaeus, Jesus said in Luke 19:10, "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost." God has planned for all of us to be saved. But we have to realize it is our choice. When we don't choose Him, God cannot carry out His plans for us. We must open our hearts to Him and surrender our lives to Him.
Have you done that? Are you allowing God to carry out His plans for you?
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
If ever I saw God care for me, it was today.
This morning, I got a call from my dad that my grandmother had passed away. In that moment, God took care of me. Yes, I hurt, but He let me know it was ok. He assured me she is now where she needs to be, with Him, no longer in pain, never to be sick again. What a blessing and how comforting to know that my grandmother is with Jesus (and back with my Pa)!
I had to make it through VBS this morning before being able to tell Colin about his great-grandmother. I knew he would be hurt. God helped me use the right words to tell him and to comfort him.
This evening, while the big boys were with their Nanny, I decided to head to Target to find something to wear to the funeral home. Upon leaving the store and getting the baby in the car, I hear a man yell, "Ma'am! Ma'am!" Looking around, I saw a man approaching me. He broke the news to me...I had a flat tire. Can you say, "On the brink of total meltdown?" Fighting back tears and between phone calls to Sue and Birbie at home and Jeffrey in South Carolina, I watched as these 3 good Samaritans replaced my flat tire with my cute (NOT) little, lifeless spare tire. They gave me strict instructions on what to do next, and I thanked them over and over again. I couldn't offer them anything other than a thank you.
I very carefully drove next door to Wal-Mart in hopes of getting my flat repaired and returned to its proper spot on my car. I pulled up to the tire center...They had been closed for 50 minutes. I teared up, but was determined not to let this get me.
So I very carefully drove to Speedway to get air in my tire. I pulled up and to my dismay, it cost 75 cents. Remember how I couldn't offer those gentlemen anything? I didn't even have money to buy air. Come on! It is just air? How can you charge for air? So, I grabbed my wallet and my babe in his car seat and managed to get inside. The clerk (probably 17 or 18 years old) asked if I needed help. Boy did I! I asked him if I bought something with my debit card if I could get cash back. He informed me that their debit machines don't allow cash back as an option. You've got to be kidding me. I teared up and said, "I only need 75 cents to put air in my spare tire because my other tire is flat." This kid pulls out his wallet and opens the register. He changes out the dollar and hands it to me. I thanked him over and over again and cried on the way to my car.
I aired up my tire and drove very carefully and slowly back home with my cute (NOT) little tire.
I am moved at how these complete strangers took care of me. They could have went on about their business and denied me 75 cents and sent me to fend for myself. They helped me out and I know God placed them there for me. I am very grateful for these people that I'll never see again.
In the coming days, I will have to cast my cares upon Him still. I will be attending my grandmother's funeral without my husband by my side. I'll be ok though. God will give me strength. Jeffrey will be praying for me. That is all I need.
There are so many other times in my life when God has taken care of me.
I'll never forget when our heat went out the December Jeffrey was in Japan. I cried out to God. I told Him I couldn't take my Colin out in the middle of the night to find a place to stay. He took care of me. Minutes later, the heat was back on and worked long enough to get someone to come look at it the next day.
Last year when I was worried about some tenderness I shouldn't have been having under my arms and around my breasts, I was too scared to see about it. Finally, after praying and handing it over to God, I had a mammogram and ultrasound done. Nothing was found and I haven't had the tenderness since then. It seemed as if all God wanted was for me to trust Him. When I did, He took care of me.
I told my kids at VBS today that no matter what is bothering us, we can tell God about it and trust Him to take care of it. I pray that if you are struggling with something today, whether it is as small as a flat tire or as big as the loss of a loved one, financial issues or marital problems, family concerns or job worries, I pray that you will cast your cares upon Him. He promises He will take care of you.
Monday, June 14, 2010
So, in preparation for the day and during the activities, I asked myself that question.
This is me....
I am Natasha.
I am the wife of Jeff.
I am the mother of Colin, Carson, and Carter.
I am the daughter of Jerry and Barbara Murray.
I am the sister of Doug Murray.
I am a fourth grade teacher.
I am a friend (hopefully a good one).
I am a lover of music, yet I can't carry a tune in a bucket.
I am a reader.
I am a writer.
I am a cook.
I am a cleaner, though I don't do it often enough.
I am an encourager.
I am a listener.
I love kids.
I love pets.
I love sunsets.
I love the beach.
I love the mountains.
I love Chicago.
I love living in Kentucky.
I wear bold eye shadow.
I am a bit overweight.
I am short.
I have straight hair that does what it wants.
I have gray hair (and I'm ok with that).
I miss my grandfathers.
I cry at weddings.
I cry singing songs from my playlist.
I cry at church.
I cry watching movies.
I cry watching my children and knowing someday they will be grown.
I laugh too loud sometimes.
I love to laugh.
I love the thunder part of thunderstorms.
I like to eat.
I love the color purple and The Color Purple.
I like to feel needed.
I like to be hugged.
I like to be told I've done a good job, but then I get embarrassed.
I am insecure...sometimes.
I am a homebody.
I like to drink coffee (even at 9pm).
I like my comfy clothes, but I like to dress up too.
I like to have my toenails painted.
I like baseball and soccer.
I am competitive.
I am proud that my husband is in the Army.
I am proud of my children and the compliments they get for being well behaved.
I am proud to be a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
I am a child of God.
Psalm 139:14 says, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth well."
I can be jealous of the way Leslie can sing, but that would be ridiculous. God didn't make me a singer.
I can be jealous of Hilarie's creativity when it comes to drama, but that would be goofy. God didn't give me that talent.
I could gripe and complain about my limp, brown hair that won't hold curl for anything, but I won't. This is the head of hair God gave me and He even knows how many hairs I have (gray ones too).
I could pity myself for the things that I'm not, but I won't. God made me the way He wanted me to be. I was created in HIS image. What could be greater than that?
I had a kid tell me once at school that he was an accident. He totally caught me off guard. I asked him what he meant (duh), and he said that his parents told him he was an accident. What horrible thing to say to a child! I assured him he wasn't. I told him that even though they may not have planned for him that God did and made him a nice surprise (probably shouldn't have said that in a public school, but I didn't really care). We are not accidents. God has planned for each of us. We may not know His plan, but we are to seek it.
Today, I ask you to focus on and praise God for who you are, not be resentful for who you are not. We were created by our Father who loves us and wants us to be a part of His family.