Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brandon & Adriana's Wedding

Brandon (Brian's youngest brother) and Adriana's wedding was last weekend and it was so beautiful and perfect, I've been trying to get all my pictures together so I can post them all at once. Avery was a flower girl, along with Adriana's younger sister, Isabella. And Tatum helped me hand out programs in the foyer before the wedding and they both did a super job with their very important tasks. They both got "princess" dresses and I had fun braiding their hair and making it fancy with little flowers in it. Laney and Tara (my neice) got matching dresses and bows for their hair too. They all looked so pretty! I really think they thought the night was all about them. They owned the dance floor. Tatum twirled in circles for at least an hour straight, just watching as her dress flowed all around her. Avery loved dancing with Brian. Laney just ran all over the dance floor and she & Tatum ran around the dance floor like a choo-choo train, just laughing their heads off. At one point the choo-choo train fell over on top of each other and Tatum must have hit her eye pretty hard on the back of Laney's head because within 5 minutes, she had a huge purple shiner! I tried to get some pictures of it but they never show up as dark in the pictures as it really is in real life. Anyway, the wedding and reception were a lot of fun and we are all very happy to have Adriana as part of our family now!

The two princesses
Avery asked Brian if he would marry her real quick before we left for the wedding. So we had a short wedding ceremony in our gameroom.

The blushing bride and her daddy... er, groom

Flower girl pose

I wish I wasn't in the background... it would've been cute of the three of them. oh well.

GiGi and the girls

Avery lost her second front tooth at lunch the day of the wedding. i was so excited because I had secretly hoped it would fall out in time for the wedding so we could get cute pictures of her with her two front teeth missing. That morning I checked it and it wasn't loose enough to pull, so I gave up hope. Then at lunch she bit into her Bagel Bite real hard and that tooth came right out almost by itself. So here she is without her two front teeth.
My mom came in town to play the piano for the wedding, so here's NaNa with the girls before she had to head back to San Antonio. I loved the songs she played for the ceremony... Canon in D and Ode to Joy... two of my favorites!

Tatum's hair before the wedding. By the end of the reception, I think only one of those poor flowers was still hanging on. I did Avery's the same way. I must say I loved the way it turned out.

Tatum showcasing her dance skills. She is so fun to watch because she could care less who is watching her or what anyone else is doing. She dances to the beat of her own drummer and she gets out there and does her thing. I just sat in a chair and stared at her for half of the night because I wish I felt as free as she does... there's something beautiful about a person who is completely unaware and uninhibited by what anyone else thinks.... just feeling it on the inside and following her heart. That's Tatum and I love that about her.

My little neice Tara... she's not too sure what to think about her three crazy cousins but I am glad that she is getting used to Aunt mel and letting me hold her. She & Laney looked so cute together in their matching dresses and bows, but I did not get a single good picture of them together. I'm sure one of these days they'll be best buddies.

The beautiful bride and handsome groom

Here's the picture of the purplish color on her cheek toward the end of the night. It was also pretty swollen. By the next morning, it was a full fledged black eye and she was pretty proud of it too.

Grandad dancing with the girls

Tatum and Laney on the dance floor

Avery and Brian dancing

This week we also celebrated Brian's 33rd birthday! Which also marks the 10 year anniversary of our first date! I still can't believe he wanted to spend his 23rd birthday with me, when we hardly knew each other. But he did and I remember that day like it was yesterday. I always remember thinking in my head, "I don't know if I'll marry him, but I'm pretty sure I will never want to break up with him." Nine months later we were married! I hope and pray Brandon & Adriana will look back 10 years from now and be more in love with each other and more thankful for each other than they could possibly imagine right now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Avery's Salvation

So here's the story from tonight. It's pretty long, but I wanted to record all the words and conversations so we can always remember it. If you want the short version... Avery asked Jesus to come into her heart tonight!!! Glory to God!

So once the girls were all up from naps, we got out the play-doh. We don't do play-doh very often so they were very excited to get it out and start playing. After a few minutes, Laney got up from her chair and walked over to Avery's chair and starting grabbing at her things. So Avery pushed her to the floor and yelled at her. I, of course, yelled at Avery to come over to me and tell me why she pushed her. Avery was out of control angry that Laney was, at that very moment, sitting in her chair and playing with her play-doh, and completely oblivious to the fact that she was making Avery so upset. I waited until she calmed down and I prayed for the words. I told her that Laney just wanted to see what she was doing because she wanted to be a big girl too and do big girl things... she wasn't trying to be mean or to be annoying, she just wanted to be a part of what Avery was doing because she thinks Avery is so great. I asked her if Jesus was the big sister, would he have treated Laney that way or would he have done something different.... like teach her how to play with play-doh and show her all the neat things that big girls can do in a loving, sweet way. She agreed that Jesus would have done that, so I asked her if she wanted me to pray for her to have a loving, sweet heart toward her sisters. She did, so we prayed together.

After that she did a good job being patient and kind... until about an hour later when I was ready for them to pick up and eat supper. We have had major issues lately with her ignoring what we ask her to do and us having to ask her three or four times before she actually does it. Anyway, I asked her at least three times to get washed up for supper, and she ignored me so I told her if she chose to ignore me again and I had to ask her more than once to obey me, I would spank her.

So after supper, we sat down to watch their favorite movie, Sweetpea Beauty (the VeggieTales movie) and all was well until it was over and I told them to go upstairs and get in the shower. Avery ignored me so I told her I was gonna have to spank her because she chose to disobey. She hates spankings more than anything and threw a huge screaming fit, but I still put her over my knees and spanked her. Afterwards she ran and hid behind the recliner and screamed and cried for another 5 minutes. Praise the Lord Tatum and Laney were busily reading and playing together in the gameroom so they weren't in there with us.

Finally, Avery stopped crying and I told her if she was done crying I needed to talk to her. So she came over to me and sat in my lap. I asked her if she was angry because she didn't think she deserved a spanking. She said she was angry because it hurt. So God reminded me of the Bible verse that all punishment is painful at the moment, but in the long run it is good because it makes us learn to do the right thing. So we talked a little more about that, then I felt the Lord telling me to share the gospel with her.

Rewind a few weeks... she is doing Awana at our church and the first verse she had to memorize in order to get her vest is John 3:16. We spent alot of time talking about what that verse means over the past few weeks and it is truly a blessing to hear her say it now because she knows it by heart without even having to think about it. Anyway, back to today, I decided to share the gospel with her and just see what her response would be. So I told her Jesus loves her and wants to come live in her heart and help her to do what's right. And If she ever wants Jesus to come live inside her heart, all she has to do is pray and ask Him and He will come live inside her and help her do what is right. She looked up and told me, "I want to pray and ask Jesus to come live in my heart." I was super happy but hesitant because I didn't want it to be me putting the idea in her head if she didn't really believe. So I asked her a few questions...
Me:"Do you believe that you are a sinner?"
Me: "You know all of us humans, Mama, Daddy and everyone comes into this world as sinners, and we are seperated from God. But God loved us so much, what did He do?"
A: "He died on the cross to forgive us of our sins."
Me: "He sent Jesus to die for our sins so that we can be friends with God again and He can help us to do what's right."

I waited a minute and thought I might have lost her, so I just asked, "What do you think about that?" I was pretty sure she was probably deep in thought about play-doh or some other random thing, but she looked right up at me and said, "I want to pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart." So we did. We kneeled by the couch and and I prayed a few words and she repeated them after me. She told Jesus she knew she was a sinner and she needed Him to come into her heart to save her from her sins. She asked Him to come in and be her Savior. Then I told her if she had anything she wanted to pray to Jesus, to go ahead, and she prayed "Thank you for coming into my heart and helping me to do what's right. Amen." (Looking back, I am amazed that Tatum & Laney did not come into the living room once that whole time. God is in control!)

So we went upstairs for their shower and right when she walked in the bathroom she said, "Mama, I want to get baptized." Seriously? I was shocked but so thankful b/c I was hoping the Lord would confirm for my heart that she really understands what she just did. So I said "Yes, Jesus does want you to get baptized to show the church that you believe in Him, so I'll call the church and see when they can do it." She was very happy about that. (Incidentally, we had baptism last Sunday and it was a super emotional goose-bumpety type of service, where people were invited at the end of the service to come forward and change into the church-provided shorts and t-shirts and be baptized right on the spot. Our pastor emphasized that baptism should be 1) after salvation and 2) at your first opportunity. So probably about 20 people got up from their chairs in their nice church clothes and went up the front to get the shorts/t-shirts and go get changed, then they all came through and got baptized right there on the spot. Needless to say, church ran pretty late last week, but I'm pretty sure no one minded.) Anyway, I don't know where Avery heard that she should be baptized after she's saved, but somehow she knew it. She also started using a very sweet, gentle voice for the rest of the night and tried super hard to be sweet. When we were saying our prayers before they got in bed, she prayed, "Dear Jesus, thank you that you washed away my sins and thank you that you made me kind and loving just like Sweetpea Beauty. Amen." After she prayed, she told Tatum that Sweetpea Beauty has Jesus in her heart just like her.

My thoughts... I am so thankful and humbled that God allowed me to bring my child to His throne and help her to enter into His family. What a huge privilege that I got to be a part of helping one of His chosen ones to learn about Him and make the decision to give her life to Him. I am so excited and a little nervous at the new responsiblity of having a sister in Christ in my home who is watching my every move to see what a Christian does. To Him be all the glory.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


tatum is in a stage right now where she does and says so many cute things. i often describe her as our rollercoaster because she can go from happy to sad faster than any child i've known. she wears her heart on her sleeve and you can tell what she's feeling by just one look at her face. there are good sides and bad sides to this, but one of the good sides i've noticed is her sensitivity to the Lord and her faith in Him even as a 3 year old.

When something is scary to the girls, Tatum is always the one who says, "we don't have to be afraid because God is with us."

She asked me this morning on the way to church what a palm is. So I showed her my palm and told her God has a huge hand and he is holding her safe in the palm of His hand. I closed my fingers tight over my palm to show her how God is holding her.

So today when i went in to wake her up from her nap, it was thundering outside. we sat there and listened to the thunder for a minute. She said she was afraid of the lightning. I told her we don't have to be afraid of the lightning because we're safe inside our big strong house. Then she sat up and said "I'm not afraid because God has me in his palm."

I know her 'faith like a child' is so precious in God's sight. She's pretty stinkin' precious in my sight too.