Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend!

For the past three years, we have spent the extended Thanksgiving weekend in Branson with my parents and grandparents. We all stay together in a beautiful condo and just relax and do NOTHING! :)
Yesterday I spent the morning cooking for the family. My grandma hasn't felt wonderful in a long time and doesn't do well to be up and on her feet for extended periods of time. My Mom has been sick for months now and we still don't know what's wrong, but she isn't able to do much. So, that leaves me! Yesterday, I got up bright and early and woke up my brother and grandpa to come help me get things together. We had a wonderful lunch and then Landen and I took a long afternoon nap--pure bliss!! I look forward to this weekend all year long because we get to spend uninterrupted time with my family. My kids love it because they say it's like spending the night with the grandparents and Mom is here too!
I couldn't decide if I was going to get up this morning or not and go shopping. It's been snowing here and it's SO cold that even shopping didn't appeal to me (something MUST be wrong??)!! So, I stayed in and hit the internet sales! :)

At Grandma's funeral Wednesday, the whole family on my Dad's side was together. It was so nice. I don't know the last time all 6 cousins have been together--maybe 20 years?? So sad, but true. Grandma would've loved having all of her kids and grandkids together or Thanksgiving! We took several family pictures (I'll post them when I get home). I tried so hard to not cry when I read the poem. I didn't make it though. I think I got about two lines out and then started crying. That started a domino effect of tears. I looked down and my Dad was just bawling. So, I pulled it together and finished the poem--for Grandma. I am going to do my best to stop by Grandpa's house on a regular basis and take him some homemade food and just visit. I know he would really like it.

I am so thankful for where I am in life this Thanksgiving....and what I mean is that I have such a blessed life and a beautiful, beautiful family. I have three wonderful kids that are truly the light of my life. I have an awesome husband who loves me and can't wait for the rest of our lives to unfold together. I have a great job and a place to lay my head at night. I have some sweet friends that have shown me what great friendships are all about! And most importantly, I have a wonderful church that allows me the opportunity to worship God and hear so many great messages about him and his love. I couldn't be more blessed and more happy. So, thank you Lord, SO much for everything!
I hope everyone has such a great Thanksgiving weekend! Enjoy your family!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poetry for the Service

Tonight at the family visitation, my Uncle approached me and asked for a big favor. He had a poem that he really wanted someone to read at the funeral tomorrow. When everyone tried to think of who could get up and read it, I was their first choice. He told me, "if anyone can do this, it's you." I knew it would mean so much to him and I didn't hesitate to say yes. He was my grandma's oldest son and I wanted to make sure I did something special for him. Here's the poem. Please say a prayer I make it through the poem without crying!

Mothers Never Die--They Just Keep House Up In The Sky

When we are children, we are happy and gay
And our Mother is young and she laughs as we play.
Then as we grow up, she teaches us truth
And lays life's foundation in the days of our youth.
And then it is time for us to leave home
But her teachings go with us wherever we roam,
For all that she taught us and all that we did
When we were so often just a "bad little kid"
We will often remember and then realize
That mothers are special and wonderfully wise....
And as she grows older, we look back with love
Knowing that mothers are "gifts from above".
And when she "goes home" to receive her reward
She will dwell in God's kingdome and "keep house for the Lord"
Where she'll "light up" the stars that shine through the night.
And keep all the moonbeams "sparkling and bright".
And then with the dawn she'll put the darkness away
As she "scours" the sun to new brilliance each day.
So dry tears of sorrow, for Mothers don't die.
They just move in with God and "keep house in the sky".
And there in God's kingdom, Grandma watches from above
To welcome her children and loved ones with her undying love!

Such a sweet poem and great reminder that she has taken her place with the Lord. Thanks for the prayers and sweet words. They are so appreciated.

"She was spunky and stubborn..."

I read that description of her when I visited her memorial page. I just smiled to myself--so true. And now, you know I come by it naturally! My grandpa told me some stories of him and Grandma during the last couple of days I have been over there. Things I never knew. Stories about how they met--she was 14. Stories of when they married--she was 17. And reminders of how they just celebrated 59 years of marriage. Sure they've had their ups and downs, but they truly had lifetime of love, joy, and family. There are so many things about her I'll never forget. When I married Kyle several years ago, she gave me my Grandma Jones' hope chest. I think that gift meant more to me than anything she could've ever given me. I still have it to this day--it's a prized possession and gets special treatment (especially when we move!). Today, it means even more to me. Grandma also left her Bible at my house years ago and I never got around to getting it back to her. I asked my Grandpa yesterday if he would let me keep it and he said yes. I'm gonna put it in that hope chest next to her Mom's bible. What an awesome gift to pass to my daughter one day.
Some of my favorite memories are playing Rummy (cards) with her. We would play for HOURS when I was over there. Grandma's house was always the place where the cousins came together. When I was at the house yesterday I saw so many memories in each room--playing hide-and-go seek in the window seat of the dining room, watching scary movies in the den, playing Legends of Zelda in the living room....I could go on and on!
I've suffered with some horrible guilt since I found out about her death Sunday. You see, at my Aunt's funeral last November, she asked me to bring my kids and husband for dinner sometime. And I had some good intentions to do so. Then, life happened and we got busy and before you know it, it's November. Her death was totally unexpected. She died sitting in her recliner with her two dogs in her lap. My grandpa told me he kissed her forehead that morning when he got out of bed. He was sad because she wanted the yard and house perfect for Thanksgiving dinner and he didn't have it done yet. But that's the wonderful thing about family. The sons were out in the yard today cleaning up the yard...just like Grandma wanted.
Sunday morning at church the preacher talked about all of the things we have to be thankful for that other families don't. He talked about how for some families this would be their first holiday season without their mother or grandmother. I had no idea what had happened to my grandma at that time. They think her time of death was around 10 a.m. That was about 20 minutes before the preacher spoke. Even when I didn't know, God knew. He is always ahead of the game. I remember thinking during those words how hard it would be to enter a holiday season losing a family member. I just pray for my Grandpa right now. Yesterday he said, "I don't know what I'm going to do without her." Broke my heart.
We never know at what point someone will leave our lives. It has been such a lesson in priorities this week. I have spent too many days thinking "tomorrow" for those things in life that deserve "today". Make time for the ones who are in your life. We are not promised tomorrow. I have realized that the season in my life is different. We all know the day will come when we will lose our grandparents and even parents, but we just never realize how soon it will be.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Is this not the cutest little guy you've ever seen? Love this picture of him. Richie sent it to me while I was in Dallas last week...made me smile!


Landen's 2nd Eye Surgery

Poor little guy, but the first eye surgery didn't work. They probed the tear duct, but it is so tight, that it didn't help. So, this time they went in and added a tube to hopefully help with the flow as well as "stretch" the duct area for the future. He'll keep it in for about 3 months and then they will go in and remove--that's if he doesn't rub/pull it out before then. So far, so good. You can see the tube if you get really, really close to him. Looks like a string in the corner of his eye. Otherwise, it's not noticeable. So, hopefully this works! My fingers are crossed!

This was before the surgery--the LONG wait you have until they take him. So hard when you are trying to entertain a one year old. He finally got tired of waiting and plopped down....for about 1 minute. Then he was back at it!
This was after they gave him the versed to relax him before they took him back (I asked her where my dose was!!). He isn't asleep, he couldn't hold his eyes open! He was like a little drunk--it was funny. He was still talking, etc, but this is what he looked like.

This was after we got home and he was eating a snack. Ignore the milk mouth. I took his picture to show the swelling. He was pretty miserable there....very cranky!

Like Father, Like Son

It was Saturday night, the Razorback game was on....and here are my boys. Can you tell they're related?

Jars of Clay and Brandon Heath Concert

I should start all of my recent posts with "I know it's been awhile since I posted, but..." because I am so far behind and never seem to have the extra five minutes to post about stuff in our lives! Last week went to see Jars of Clay and Brandon Heath! Such a fun concert! My husband didn't particularly care for it, but that didn't keep me from loving it! Our tickets were VIP tickets which I didn't realize and so when I got the letter in the mail that we had backstage passes, I was tickled! Their backstage experience was a lot different than I had ever experienced before. They came in and spent about 20 minutes answering our questions and just talking and hanging out. Very neat! Then, they signed autographs. The only disappointing part was not getting our pictures with them. You could stay after the concert and do that, but at that point we had been there for 5 hours, so I knew my husband was starving and ready to get home. But I am so glad we had an evening to ourselves and I had the opportunity to see them! Brandon Heath was invited to Carrie Underwood's wedding to sing and he sang that song for us. It's called "Love Never Fails" and if you've never heard it, go to iTunes and listen! BEAUTIFUL song!

My pictures are loaded backwards--this was at the end of the concert!
Brandon Heath
3 of the 4 members of Jars of Clay--one of them was sick.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Delays aren't just for airline flights....

I spent the first 3 days of the week in Dallas for a regional meeting. I was worn out by the time I got home. I took a red-eye flight Monday morning to get there and didn't land at home until after 10 pm. But, it was a good meeting and I did feel like I walked away a little bit smarter in terms of work.
However, while I was there, I got the call from the bank I had been waiting for....with the information I did not expect. It seems you can have all the money in the bank you need and great credit, etc, however if the appraiser doesn't think what you are going to do is worth anything, then none of it really matters. HUGE setback. I was so sick and anxious with worry all weekend. I DO NOT want to stay in our duplex any longer than necessary. If you know me, you also know I am not a patient person when it comes to stuff like this. I have such a huge "I'll just do it myself" attitude that when things happen that are beyond my control, I freak out. I'm a go-getter and idle time is my kryptonite! I was so ready to just give up on building our house and had decided we should just take advantage of the buyer's market.
But, by the time I landed on Wednesday, Plan B had been put into motion. Thank goodness for friends in low places, a determined husband, and more than one appraiser in the world! Looks like things have a way of working themselves out. Huge lesson for me!
We went to see Brandon Heath and Jars of Clay last night (will post pics/info later) and Brandon said something while he was introducing a song that really resonated with me. I have had so much anxiety and stress lately and it's all self-inflicted. My life couldn't be going any smoother really, yet I can find ways to worry abou tomorrow that completely rob today. I fear the what-if's to the point they paralyze me from being the best Mom, friend, wife, and worker that I can be.
But Brandon talked about how when he went to India, he felt the fear of the unknown set in when his plane landed and heard God speak to him and tell him, "If I can bring you to this place, know that I can get you through it." As soon as I heard that I realized I was completely doubting God to the point it was almost insulting. Where was my faith? My trust? What makes me think I can do it any better? Because I have a feeling if I try to do it my way, it won't be nearly as majestic as what he has in store.
So, I am trying (interpreted "reminding myself every 5 minutes") to remain faithful. I am just going to relax and KNOW that he is in control....not me! :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Another 5k....and the coldest one yet!

The girls got up early this morning for another 5k! It was SO cold! My van said 28 degrees when I left the house...way too early and way too cold to run, but oh so much fun! I finished 5th (out of 13) in my age group with a time of 29.33! I could've finished 3rd if I had run about 20 seconds faster--what a bummer! Laura finished 1st in our age division and 4th overall! Go girl! So proud of ya! Carrie finished 2nd in her age division too! Alyssia ran the 1/2 marathon (not sure where she finished--she was still running when we left. Mer ran the 10k. It was so funny because she started with Alyssia thinking when it looped she would just finish. However, after the 1/2 marathoners left, they started the 10k the opposite direction! Too funny--but she found her way to the finish line and did awesome! What fun--can't wait until the Jingle Bell Run in December!

Happy Halloween!

My kiddos LOVE Halloween and plan their costumes months in advance. Needless to say Weston had a hard time trying to figure out what he wanted to be. So, he settled for a Ninja and looked very cute! Landen was a snapping turtle--very fitting with the TWELVE teeth he has right now! And Kylie was Cruella de Vil and looked adorable! We went trick or treating with one of my friends and her daughter in our old neighborhood and it was SO busy! I have to admit I was glad I didn't live there and wasn't trying to get up to the top of the hill!

The Kiddos!
Weston the Ninja!
"You Know Who I Am? I'm Kylie Faith Cumbie dressed up as Cruella de Vil!" (Kylie's words to an ex-friend of ours when she knocked on their house and trick or treated them! It was HILARIOUS! Love that girl!
Landen the Snapping Turtle

Happy Halloween...for the big kids!

I have never in my life been to an "adult" Halloween party. So, when I decided to go, I was a little nervous and my husband was not excited in the least bit. But, we both had such a blast! I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with one of my friends. Needless to say, she looked WAY cuter in the costume than me! Richie was The Joker. I can't wait until next year--Richie and I were brainstorming costume ideas before we left the party! Too fun and well deserved after all of the packing and moving we have done in the last few weeks!

Officially NON-Home Owners...for now!

Well, it's been a full 2 weeks since I have posted, but I have been up to my ears in moving. We closed on the sale of our home a little over a week ago and life has been nothing short of chaotic and messy since then! We are crammed in a little duplex on top of each other, literally. Kylie and Landen are sharing a bedroom, but we haven't set up the kids' bedrooms yet, so everything is such a mess! We have just put our mattress and box springs on the floor in our bedroom and the closet is SO small that I have two racks in our room and STILL have clothes on the floor. UGH. (Part of this may be due to the enormous amount of clothing I have, I will admit.) I am so ready to get organized, but I imagine that will happen about the time we are ready to move again! If all goes well, we should be able to start building in about a week! Yeah! I am so ready. I am so very thankful for God's timing and His push to put our house on the market in such a "non-marketable" time!