And let's face it, how ready can you be for that kind of devastation. I mean the sheer breadth of Gustav is estimated at 900 miles.
All eyes on NOLA and all prayers accepted. The upswing is that College Football has officially kicked off so you know, now that LSU has beaten ASU, we can think about things like evacuating the Hurricane path. ;)
Oddly, there is a calm, more than the calm 'before the storm,' and a peace in knowing that the God of the Universe, knows the plan He has for this storm and the outcome. May we rest in that peace and blessed assurance.
Some of our favorite moments and trips this summer included the beach, baseball, being with family, bikes, babies, BBQ.
Here are some of the highlights of glimpses along the way.
My brother, you'll see his family through out, taught me this a long time ago, "It's not where you are, it's who you're with!" And even though we were in some really cool places, ultimately it is those with whom we spent our time that matter most.
Share your Summer with us at Kristen's . Or click the Sizzling Summer Button on my sidebar and join the fun. ;)
It is hard to believe the Tigers are now Second Graders. They are so ready and eager to get started. They have grown a lot physically, mentally and emotionally. I usually do not see it. Lately, I just seem to notice these boys are growing and I just find myself looking across the room, the soccer field, the swimming pool or wherever noticing wow, he has grown.
Raising twins as a stay-at-home mom in a small town where it was Mountain Man and me, things were much of a whirlwind. A fun whirlwind but nonetheless - life went at rocket speed. Does it ever go any differently? We were inundated, becoming parents, nursing twins (did I just say that out loud on the internets!) (okay, yes, in case you didn't know, I am Southern Belle through and through so discussing my nursing days is not something I do say 'in group.') raising boys. Life was busy and full.
Now days life is busy and full.
However, now I take a special note to notice each little thing. So we're running, taking it all in before we officially have two second grade boys we are raising.
Tell me - do you notice? Are your children growing up before you can notice? How do you take it all in?!
Here's another one I meant to post from last night with Wool E. the Durham Bulls Mascot. It's one of my favorite. They love Wool E. and I love seeing them enjoy being kids!
It is amazing how quickly they mature and grow and I am very cognizant of how quickly it all goes. As much as I enjoy each day, as a mother of multiples that are our only children, we get to do this once. So with two children I find myself looking in a mirror. It doesn't slow things down. I don't get another chance, yet I see it twice as we go along.
They will not be amazed with Wool E. forever. And I just heard this conversation yesterday as they were Super Why! which I was so happy to learn about this year. Something educational, word scrambles, etc. The conversation went (to each other):
"Oh, that's 'baby'." Tiger B
"Do you think that is baby?" Tiger A
"This might be too 'baby.'" Tiger B
"But I do like this one." Tiger A
"Oh, Okay!" Tiger B
And they proceeded to watch and enjoy that Super Why! I stayed out of it and let them decide. All along realizing no matter what the choice du jour was, one day too soon, they will deem it 'too baby.'
Then my girlfriend sent this today that just sums up my thoughts on enjoying each moment:
"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." -
-- Mark Twain
Dance, love and sing with your loved ones today - live like it's heaven on earth! Because until heaven, it it!
Last night, Mountain Man surprised us with tickets to the Durham Bulls baseball game. What fun! And it was the best game. It went into extra innings. And then we won! Nothing like real excitement. The Tigers loved it and even got a foul ball. We spent the last few innings down by the dugout which was a blast.
They also got a photo op woth Wool E. the Mascot. And autographs on their gloves!
More family fun as we savor Summer until school starts right after Labor Day. I think a swim day is in order.
On the Twin front, can any of you twin moms hear me, or moms of many close in age. Or whatever sounds similar and lends its hand to overcoming the odds. When the foul ball came slowly rolling by right in front of us, Tiger B just gingerly leaned over the short wall and picked it up and started to throw it to the Coach on 1st base. He said, "Oh, you keep it!" To which TIger B was thrilled and said, "Yeaaa, Thank you!"
The only problem, is that Tiger A had gone with Mountain Man for a restroom break. Tiger A felt so bummed out because he did not get a baseball. We explained most likely over-explained that it takes two to throw a baseball, so it was for he and brother. It took using a lot of positivity to get him on board that it had been an awesome night and win even if we didn't come home with two balls.
It is the paradox of Multiple Moms, and Moms of singletons try to explain how it works, however, it seems that with our fraternal twins, they seriously prefer to be alike on many levels. Just this week, they chose different Star Wars LightSabers and in the end - you know what they came home with - identical Light Sabers.
The way we handle it, we let them chose to be alike on matters of toys or the color of a polo. Yet, we always encourage their differences and let them know how they truly do excel at different things. Until later, we try to enjoy these moments that are surely fleeting where they just want to be like their brother. We don't want to push differentness any more than we would alikeness. But when there's one baseball from the Bulls team, you know, ya'll just have to share!
How do you handle it? Southern Grits and Tidbits how do ya'll handle it with your boys? Anyone else? Moms of Singletons - we really are open to your suggestions too. It's just that most often Twins - well, it's a whole different world. One wonderful world for sure!
Keith and Kristyn Getty are the huge buzz here right now. The Irish Couple, Keith and Kristyn Getty of Getty Music were in concert here. We were really blessed with their awesome music and worship!
Can I just say "Amazing!" Look here at the Getty Music website. This couple is gifted and really brings it to the Church - the body of Christ worshiping Him in unity.
Here's what their website says:
"Who is creating the next generation of hymns for the Church? And greater still, has the unique formula of the hymn been abandoned on the back pew of the praise & worship movement? Irish composers and artists Keith & Kristyn Getty don't believe so, and they're on a mission to revive the art of hymnody for a new generation.
"There are two reasons we write modern hymns," explains Keith. "First, it's to help teach the faith. What we sing affects how we think, how we feel and ultimately how we live, so it's so important that we sing the whole scope of truth the Bible has given us. The second reason is to try and create a more timeless musical style that every generation can sing, a style that relates to the past and the future."
I love this. We all know the "praise and worship movement" has been a fun, refreshing music of our generation. I love "the greats" - Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mercy Me, and on. Yet, the hymns of old are becoming lost today. Also, as the church finds their way in the music of contemporary and classic hymns there sometimes seems to be no mixing.
An all of nothing if you wish - one or the other - traditional hymns, or a rock band. So what our community loved about Getty Music is the mix. The classic sound of hymns written for today. For example, it was powerful when they ended the concert with eveyone encoring to "Power In The Blood!" That's an old hymn some may recognize and yet it had such a wonderful beat and rythm they had the packed out venue with overflowing on our feet - singing, clapping, dancing - did I say these Baptist, Southerners were d.a.n.c.i.n.g.
And the heavens rejoiced. Here are the lyrics to the youtube of "Jesus, Draw Me Nearer!" which moved me more than any song since my husband sang to me at our Wedding ten years ago. And that's Power!
"Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer"
Music by Keith Getty; Words by Margaret Becker
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.
May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.
Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.
Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34"Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?"[j]
35"Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?"[k]
36For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
When I talked about losing my Daddy here, the scripture above is one of the ones that makes me see His thoughts are way beyond mine and I need to trust that with all I've got!
And I do because "We sorrow not as others who have no hope."
Meet the family!
For some reason I liked these little people. Mountain Man really does wear the halo. He is more than I could have asked or imagined, And my Tigers, the Big Cats have become Tiger and Cheetah . Are we detecting a little individuality here!
School starts in two weeks so we are living it up. Lots of swimming, tennis - can I just say sports - family time, too.
Tomorrow I will let you know about the awesome, positively wonderful concert we attended this week. Until then, we're off to the Olympics. Go Gold!
In fact, five of us did. My parents were married almost 25 years had created a beautiful family of five children - eldest son and four girls - when life life took an unexpected turn for all of us. Ages 8 to 23. It was truly the epitome of "here today gone tomorrow."
When you have the brilliant, hero, Christian family-man, unmatched trial Attorney, friend, father, gregarious, hilarious, ...infinity father we had, life ends for a while - it does. Because of my Heavenly Father, life does go on and well. It takes a while for children to take in a seeming adult lesson.
We didn't expect it, didn't see it coming and clearly wished it hadn't. Aside from the fact that "I know whom I hath believeth" and the parallel fact that that He whom I believe in has my best interest in mind at all times, I still wonder how we would have made it. Stephen Curtis Chapman said it best, (no comparisons at all of child losing parent to parent losing child - both are the darkest of grief) when SCC said, "The only thing worse than our tragedy is to walk through this tragedy alone without God and bitter."
A hearty Amen to that these years later. SCC said it a little differently but resonates the same sentiments my mother has held since the day she lost her husband. "How do people do it without the Lord?" She has been a Rock and example these through these years.
The first years after losing my Daddy, I honestly did not want to talk about it. Too hard. People who didn't know him wouldn't "Get him" by my words. People who did were able to talk about him before I was. The talker that I am, thankfully there were counselors, family friends and mainly the Lord is faithful to His own. I stand amazed at His hand in my life,
It is fun to be on point today and saying what I have to say on this day.
Thanks for 'listening' and reminiscing. I'll leave ya'll with the poem my Daddy helped me pick out and recite in 8th grade.
by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
To the icon and first man in my life - I love you Daddy!
Charlotte's Web: A Play by Scholastic
Wilbur: You’ve chosen a hallowed doorway in which to spin your webs. This was your mother’s doorway. She was loyal, brilliant, and beautiful, and she was my friend. So to you, her daughters, I pledge my friendship forever.
Narrator 1: Wilbur loved his new friends, but he missed Charlotte, too.
Narrator 2: But he knew that being friends means that no matter where life takes you, you carry a piece of that friendship with you. Then you pass it on!
It is an emotional week of reminiscing our awesome heritage here. As we watched Charlotte's Web and I was reminded of how powerful family and friends are in our lives.
These words above that end the book/play remind me of the amazing friends of my father and our dear Grandmother through these years, I've been blessed by the friends of my father. And our Bisabuela whom we just lost last year at age 97. It's a priceless gift.
It's the biggest tribute to a life well lived!
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Go Michael Phelps! Well, like you - we too woke up to a new Michael Phelps on Sunday morning! New records, history and all things American! USA!
This coming from a girl who slightly, every so slightly recalls the Mark Spitz Olympics Record Breakers that Olympics of long ago. It is fun to live both of these phenomenons.
Carolina Mama will take it a little bit further, I also was on the Nadia Comaneci cheer leading quad as well. In fact, my little sister and I ended up in the best Gymnastics school in our state after watching this Olympics.
She can also dream of being Dorthy Hamil except in south Louisiana that is a tough dream. So my ice skating went as far as The Plaza in Lake Forest - the premiere ice skating rink 'in those days.'
Then there were the Wimbledon Days as you have been reading here, I am passing on my Wimbledon dreams to the Tigers.
Dreams dreams. A girl can dream. She can even dream big.
A lot of my dreams have come true - they just do not include many sports beyond college or in a huge say, Olympics arena.
One dream come true was "My Marine Corps Marathon 2006!" It was a lifetime dream to finish a Marathon and you know what, "I am a Marathoner!"
Dreams do come true!
What's your dream? Are the Olympics inspiring you this summer? What are you watching/your favorite Olympic Game?
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.I John 1:5-7
We have managed to keep the reading alive through our active, traveling and sports- filled summer. Some days reading flows right into a 'quiet time.' Dare I say 'naptime' to the Tigers.
We are also really enjoying reading aloud to the boys the "Chronicles of Narnia" series. It is so good. Carolina Mama who spent a lot of her girlhood reading Nancy Drew and Little House on the Prairie is truly taking in the Narnia series. I would highly recommend it for family read aloud time. Intriguing for all!
Just take in the pictures above if you have ever asked if the Twins are different or alike? Fraternal or Identical? These reading pics say it all.
Our boys are miracles. At times they are one, at others they are polar opposites. It has been a joy like no other to raise our twin sons and witness this magic each day.
Tiger A - loves his sleep, loves imagination, and is very easy going. Loves motion - thus the need for his sleep. It's full on once those feet hit the floor.
Tiger B - loves to greet the morning dawn, ;) prefers reading than napping, loves perfection as much as possible. Loves order on his desk, reading,etc. Honestly, do boys sit and relax reading like this!
Let me know what your children do for reading and rest time. And please share how different your own children are from one another. It is fascinating.
Tennis Camp went well! Private camp - with Mama Coach went surprisingly well. Even with Adult Racquet's! The Tigers are somewhere in between the Junior Racquet's I just purchased and my, yes my, Over sized Prince which I love.
I am really jazzed about the balls for beginners that I found. The density is set so that the ball can be hit appropriately while learning and not swing off to the next state. Sounds like I wouldn't mind just playing with these.
The boys loved playing with the drills I had learned at my private tennis lessons years ago. It is funny how they think like multiples. I try to focus in on individual instruction and they do so much better when I talk 'in group' to them. So I resorted to my lesson days. My Daddy would be proud. The boys loved it were asking again today.
They were very enthusiastic, it is just the photo shoot afterwards was not top of the list.
So with the new Junior Racquet's, we'll be playing more tennis Friday and/or Saturday.
We do have a "play date" planned for tomorrow - this one a double - friends with a boy and girl 7 and 9. Gracious friends, two on two. Ahhh, no tears of being left out. (yet. ;)
Here are some more pictures from our lovely time in Charleston. The first is "my Rainbow Row from the Bicycle!" Really, I shot lots of these from the camera as we rode around downtown. So my Rainbow Row is just that. It is a bit longer and more visible when the foilage is not so immense. Here it is live.
The next one is Mountain Man and Me on the beach - Sullivan's Island. We walked along the beach and reminisced - a bit - it was hot and we were ready for Charleston and the adventures that were waiting there.
Next is City Market live. This lady was gracious enough to let me capture this moment. They do some impressive work.
Mountain Man doing what he does most days - leading me! Thank heavens! To be a mountain man, he is more than a Southern Gentleman! ;)
Finally, Carolina Mama and breakfast in bed! @ 9am hear ye! Complete with our Antibellum Poster Bed. Nice! The canopy brings memories gone by. All was quite enjoyable.
The breakfast in bed sans twin boys was a treat. From the look on my face, I am stunned and waiting the entrance of the Tigers or this is Carolina Mama unplugged - first wake in the morning - pre-coffee, lipstick, i.e. not awake! I love those breakfasts in bed where Mountain Man and the Tigers all land in the bed with me, the breakfast, etc. However, this peaceful little private breakfast was just what Mama needed.
Mountain Man never thought he would hear it - Carolina Mama requesting the quiet in our room at times. Complete quiet. No radio, television, wi-fi, etc. The sound of silence... the same girl that some years ago at college in this same state would say to her mama, "Mommy, the library is so quiet it gives me a headache." Somebody has grown up!
Happy 10th Anniversary begins...!
Tell me about your Anniversary Celebrations and traditions? And how many years?!
p.s. I didn't notice until viewing this post, that I slipped back into those sorority days of pearls and a tee shirt - our daily attire back then. Not so much today with the Tigers. The tee shirt maybe....
We're back from a get-away to Charleston! What a delightful city! And romantic for us as we celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary! wahoo!!
Mountain Man really spoiled me. It was a real treasure to spend time with him just us - unplugged. We called the Tigers at bedtime to say Good Night and it was great to know what fun they were having with their cousins. Mountain Man and I got to celebrate and reminisce our Honeymoon in Bermuda. We had some gloriously similarities to our Honeymoon and our Wedding in New Orleans.
Charleston was a nice to parallel to our New Orleans Wedding.
It was a joy to spend our time alone and to be with family, too. My precious niece and nephew (in-love) took complete charge of the Tigers so Mountain Man and I could recharge and be a couple again in this wonderful city! All of that twenty-three year old energy was put to good use with the Tigers. What a blessing to us!
Our official 10 Year Anniversary is next month so we will keep celebrating. ;) More details then! ;)
Please join This Is The Life and me and the many others with the most amazing perfect Blog Directory Listing Around the World as we "Blog Around the World 24/7!" Debbie is really creative with this one. Go check it out!
We're providing the Sweet Tea - bottomless. So go - see you there.
Okay, these two are really learning Chess well. That's all thanks to Mountain Man. Then I believe we'll let the Tigers teach Carolina Mama. This was fun. At our local cafe, there are some older men who are regulars playing Chess. They get all set up and the Tigers have noticed. So when Mountain Man taught them the skills, this day as we headed out for lunch. They wanted to bring their Chess Set and host their own Chess Tourney.
Enjoy me wearing my lovely Calvin Kleins Tiger Glasses from I think High School. - there's a "Fro' Me To Yo'"! :) I am not ready to talk about my little 'accident in the ocean' with my brand new, awesome, real, Astronaut glasses. Complete with my custom clips.... Wearing the CKs from years gone by will 'learn me' as we say in the South.
On a brighter note, see the Egg Toss Game in our own backyard. It is amazing the joy they have in the small things. I think that is one of the beauty's of being a mom every day Getting to wake up and be there, be present have those moments with my children that make our day.
Seven and a half years later, I still am in awe that I "get to do this" everyday! God's plan is the ultimate!