Monday, March 31, 2008

Our attempt at a "cousins" picture

Brenly Alyssa- 4years old /Baylee Caroline- 8 months old/ Avery Ray- 14 months old

Family Gathering

Yesterday we met our family (Chad, Ronni and Baylee and Dad and Teresa) at Carabba's after church. Ray couldn't go because Turkey season opened this weekend, so he was tromping through the woods. We had a great time together and Ronni had her camera so she took some pictures. After we ate, We decided to take the girls to Portrait Innovations and get a "cousin" picture taken...OH MY!!! Avery decided that she was NOT in the mood for taken pictures. She was highly mobile and WOULD NOT sit still. So we did get ONE picture of them together...Maybe we will try again soon!

Friday, March 28, 2008

The "Planner"

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord," plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jer. 29:11

If any of you know my oldest daughter you know that she is very much a planner. She needs to know schedules, the outfit that she is to wear the next day (or the next week) the menu for the night, events that might take place during the weekend, who will be in attendance, etc...

A conversation of ours might go like this:

Bren: What are we doing tomorrow

Me:Going to Neicy's (the babysitter)

Bren:What am I going to wear?
Me: Jeans and a t-shirt

Bren:What shoes am I wearing with it?

Me: Running shoes (because clearly they are not tennis shoes, b/c she doesn't play tennis, however she does run really fast in them...making them running shoes!!)

Bren: What are we doing after Neicy's?

Me: Driving home

Bren: After we drive home, what are we going to do?

Me: Eat dinner

Bren: What are we eating?

Me: Tacos

Bren: After we eat Tacos, what are we doing?

Me: Are you serious that you need to know what we are doing after we eat dinner...Tomorrow night...Lets worry about that tomorrow and focus on eating dinner TONIGHT!!!

So now, you understand that she MUST know every detail to be able to function and she is only 4, for cryin out loud!!! However I KNOW that is how she is and when she doesn't know ALL the details, she tends to get nervous and act up! So to avoid all of that behavior, I make sure that she know everything there is to know about whatever is at hand...Most days it wears me out that she can't just be 4 and not care about ALL the details in life. Why can't you just be a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of girl, go play, have fun...enjoy your day! AND THEN IT HITS ME...Am I not the EXACT same way...Like Mother, Like Daughter!! Do I not get so frustrated when God holds out on me and won't give me ALL the details about our life. It would be a lot easier for me to know, where I need to work, where Brenly needs to go to preschool, if we should buy a house or keep renting, to buy a car or not to buy a car...If only I had all these details worked out, Life would so much easier or would it? God knows all those answers, but doesn't seem in a hurry to reveal them to me...because it's just not necessary I suppose! When I need to know...I am positive that he will fill me in...Until then, I feel like my heavenly father is saying the same things I say to Brenly...Don't worry about ALL the details, go play, have fun... enjoy your day.Let me worry about hose things so you don't have too! "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matt. 6:34.

Thank you God that you know ALL the details of my life and will reveal them to me in time...Until then help me to enjoy life...and teach my baby girl the same!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


"Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn't here! He is risen from the dead!" Luke 24 5-6.

What a wonderful day! He is ALIVE! and for that we are eternally grateful! This Easter we really focused on Brenly understanding why we celebrate at Easter. No, she doesn't fully grasp the entire concept (but who of us can completely grasp it?!?) but she knows that Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to die on the cross for our sins, so that we may live in heaven with him...FOREVER! Praise the Lord! We had a very busy day, but we had fun! After waking up at the crack of dawn (because we live in the sticks) we found that the Easter Bunny had been by and left some goodies for the girls, we found all the eggs that he left for them and then immediately had to start getting all decked out in our Easter attire. We went to church and heard an amazing sermon on the power of the Resurrection! After church we went to eat and then came home to yet ANOTHER egg hunt! A busy day...but a very important day! One that reminds us never to forget how much God loves us...that He sent his son to be lifted up so we could be drawn to Him. Killed so we could live. Beaten so we could win!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More "Incredible" Moments

Uncle Chad and Aunt Ronni
Uncle Richie, Riley and Luke
Aunt Christy, Riley and Avery
Daddy and Brenly playing putt-putt
Avery riding on a big green frog...not so sure about all that!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An "INCREDIBLE" birthday!

On March 16th, Brenly Alyssa turned 4 years old...and since we already had her birthday party we decided to take her to Incredible Pizza after church! We, along with the Willard's and the Deaton's met to experience this place for the first time (none of us had been there before) and I have to admit that it was pretty "incredible" We ALL had lots of fun and can't wait to go back again! (when we save enough money to go :) and next time Avery with be visiting with family and friends...she wasn't much of a fan!


Monday, March 17, 2008


YEA! My husband is now a graduate of Police Academy and we are all living at the same place at the same time! I know it sounds silly, but really we have all be in different places at different times since last September...So this is kind of a big deal! We had a great weekend! We left Thursday night and got to eat dinner with Ray and 3 of his buddies from Police Academy. It was funny to hear them talk about all their "stories" from the Academy. It was neat to catch a small glimpse of what Ray has been doing for the past 10 weeks, through their stories about each other! Ray and the others had to leave to spend their last night in Donelson. We woke up and left to meet him at Police Academy at 10:00. The girls were soooo excited to see daddy. Brenly was especially excited because she knew that graduation meant that daddy was coming home and would never have to leave again...well he'll have to leave some, but nothing like the past 10 weeks! Graduation was a little long only because I had a squirmy 1 year old that I was trying keep quiet (a near impossible feat) Ray got his certificate and we have never been more proud of him! It has been a long road, but it has definitely been worth it all! I'll leave you with a few pictures. Enjoy!

The girls seeing Daddy for the first time!

Ray recieving his certificate :)

She LOVES her Daddy!

The Family!

Proud Parents of an Officer!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Light at the end of the tunnel~

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith" 2 Tim. 4:7
"I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Jesus Christ is calling us" Phil 3:14

I can't believe that I am finally writing and it is the end of 10 weeks of Ray being at Police Academy. It has been a long road, but one that I would travel a heartbeat, because of all the blessings that have come from it! Don't get me wrong, I never mentioned easy, nor did I mention fun. But it has been a road that was necessary to get us to this point in our lives.
I am so proud of Ray and all that he has accomplished over the past 10 weeks. It has been amazing watching him turned into the man that I dated in college. He has risen above challenges that seemed impossible, he has gained confidence and self esteem (a long awaited answered prayer), he is happier now than he has ever been in his life! I have never been more proud than I am at this moment to say that he is my husband! We have grown as a couple and as a family, and I can't be more grateful for that! The girls cannot wait to have daddy back on a daily basis, doing things together as a family. It has been hard for me to watch Brenly struggle so much with all the changes going on, but in the long run it will make her stronger and she will realize the importance of being together! God has given us all the courage and the strength to make it through these 10 weeks and I cannot wait to watch him graduate on Friday! Ray, I love you with all my heart and I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished! Welcome Home!

Monday, March 10, 2008

What I missed?!?!

1. I BARELY missed getting out of here due to the blizzard like conditions that apparently hit Memphis after I left...
2. I missed out on seeing my girls faces, when they saw it falling from the sky, covering the ground...
3. I missed seeing my husband getting my girls ready to run errands to the cleaners, Walmart, McDonald's, etc...
4. I missed seeing him take not just one of my girls, but both of them to the bathroom at McDonald's...
5. I missed seeing him try to talk Brenly into going into the boys bathroom, all the while Brenly was in large discussion on why she shouldn't be in there...
6. I missed him holding Avery on one hip, while placing toilet paper on the seat, picking up Brenly and putting her on there so carefully as not to knock the paper off that he had so delicately placed...
7. I missed Brenly & Avery trying to make a snowman out of the snow that was already melting on Saturday afternoon...
8. I missed a phone call from Brenly, so she had to leave a message telling me that Daddy knocked down some of my decorations...
9. I missed Brenly telling Daddy that she needed to sleep on my side of the bed so that she could take care of him for the night...

Although I had a wonderful time in Charlotte with my good friend, I did miss out on lots of funny things...But most of all I just missed being with them. I certainly take for granted on a day to day basis how much joy and laughter my family can bring...I learned this weekend that although it is good to get away, it is better to get back home- where I belong!!

Such a short time, but a friend for life!

I had such a great weekend! My time with Chrys was short but it was so good to be able to reconnect with her and catch up with what is going on in her world! While we were visiting, we were discussing how long we have been friends and realized that we have been friends for 20 years...AND we only lived in the same city for 1 1/2 years! How amazing that God could bring someone in your life for such a short period of time, yet allow them to be a part of your life forever! We relived old memories and made some new ones! I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to hang out with her before she becomes Mrs. Chrys Riley! (on April 17th in Hawaii) I pray that God will continue to bless our friendship, allowing us to look back over our life and see how good friendship can be when you have God in the middle!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weekend Getaway!

I am making final preparations to fly to Charlotte, N.C. in the morning to visit a good friend of mine from middle school! I am so very excited to have a girls weekend, no husbands, no kids, no snotty noses, no whining, etc... I haven't seen Chrys in about a year and a half and that was when we had a layover in Charlotte. She came to the airport to hang out with us for about 2 hours. Before that, it was at our wedding, almost 6 years ago! So I am looking forward to spending some time with her, catching up on each others lives, remembering the good ole' days, and enjoying some "me" time in the process. At the same time, I am a little sad about leaving Ray and the girls, but I am positive that after the goodbyes in the morning that I will be just fine! So pray for me as I travel (as they are calling for SNOW tomorrow...I mean the one day in the year that I will be traveling, for cryin out loud and snow is heading our direction) that I will make it there and back safe and sound...AND enjoy some "me" time while I'm there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Listening Ears

Tuesday night is gymnastic night for Brenly. She takes at RiverCity Gymnastics after receiving it as a gift at Christmas. The first night that she started she really struggled to pay attention. Coach Alana told the class that whoever listened the best would get a bracelet at the end of class. After an hour of instruction, it was time to award the best listener a prize...IT WAS NOT MY CHILD! She had a real hard time listening. There were so many other things going on in the gym that she could not focus on her coach. Although the coach was giving her specific instructions to follow, her mind was wandering...far from where it should be. The coach knew that for her to be safe, it was imperative that she pay attention and LISTEN. So every Tuesday night before class starts, I ask Brenly if she has her listening ears on. She quickly replies that she has them. Tonight after I checked to see if she was wearing her listening ears, I quickly thought about my listening ears...Do I wear my listening ears all the time? Do I listen to my instructor (God) and pay close enough attention to get all the proper instructions so that I will have a safe and rewarding life? HUH, the answer is probably not as well as I should. I get so distracted with what is going on in the world around me that my mind wanders far from where it should be and I miss out on all that God has planned for me! SO tonight my prayer for myself is that I will have listening ears, always paying close attention to the One who knows me best and wants whats best...My Father in Heaven!

Teachable Moment

A few weeks ago I was on the Internet and ran across a video on Youtube that was from "The Passion of the Christ" and it has the song "New Again" by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans. It is a very vivid depiction of what Christ suffered for all of us to have eternal life! (Go watch the video @ ) In the midst of me watching this video, Brenly walks in and asks what I am watching...Rather than turning it off, I quickly sit her in my lap and try to teach her about Easter and its real meaning...That Jesus died on the cross for our sins and then on the 3rd day He arose to heaven so that we can live with him forever...She kept watching the video and commenting on all the "bleed" (not blood) that she was seeing. I assured her that, yes, he did bleed, but when he got to heaven he had no more "bleed". Now to last night...We were putting up Easter decorations at Gran and Papooh's house and again felt the need to use this moment as a teachable one. I asked, "Brenly, what is the real meaning of Easter?" She stood there for a moment and looked at me. I said, "Jesus died on the..." and she said "Cross...and had bleed" Obviously, her watching the video made a pretty big impression on her because she couldn't get the "bleed"part out of her head. Which isn't all bad! She needs to know that Christ suffered for OUR sins, and the reason he had "bleed" was because of us! Anyway, we got past that and I told her that Jesus went to heaven and that is where we will be one day...With Granny in heaven and all the many others that we can't wait to be reunited with! I pray that even at her young age that she will try to grasp the REAL meaning of Easter and not just the eggs and the bunnies! I pray that for all of you as well!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Girls Night Out!

CJ being Jealous that he couldn't go with us to see Diego!The girls with their Jaguar Masks!
Kim and Lil' Kim (aka Brenly)
Misty and Lil' Misty (aka Maci)

I suppose that I should've written about our girls night out first..because it was Friday night before the birthday party...however I didn' this is out of order! Friday night we had tickets to go see Diego...I mean we could've gone to see Rascal Flatts, but who needs them when we got to go to the Orpheum and watch Diego and Dora save Baby Jaguar's growl!!! It was fun! It is amazing to see the girls faces when they found out where they were (we told them it was a surprise not until wee walked into the Orpheum sis they know where they were going!)So neat! Anyhow...So the Girls Night Out was a huge success...for Brenly and Maci at least!

A few pictures of the birthday girls!

What a weekend!

What a wonderful weekend to celebrate a birthday! Not just one, but two of them! We had a joint birthday party for Avery (who turned 1 on Feb. 9) and Brenly (who will turn 4 on Mar. 16th). This year has been a crazy one for us! Ray left for Police Academy on Jan 6th and was only able to come home on the weekends! With that in mind, we figured that one party would be easier than two! So that is what we did! And it was wonderful! Jesus gave us perfect weather, we had over 30 people that love us enough to drive out to Bolivar (in the middle of no where!) to celebrate with us, great food, great fun!!! I can't believe that our babies are now 4 and 1! The years have flown by and I am so grateful that they are in our lives! Both of them have given us so much joy...I have no clue where we would be without them! God has also blessed us with such a wonderful family...not just our immediate family, but with friends who have become family over the years! Thanks so much for being in our lives and loving all of us the way that you do! We all have an amazing weekend...and now I am in desperate need of a nap!!