"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Thank YOU, Abba!!!

Thank You for the storm! Thank You for making a way! Thank You for loving me! Thank You for washing me clean through this storm! Thank You that the lightning and thunder are breaking me down and giving You the freedom to mold me as You see fit! Thank You for the rain that You have brought into my life. Thank You for loving me enough to bring the storm and to take the time to revamp this old piece of pottery that was useless! May I only be usefull through Your strength! Father, I need You. Thank You for bringing me this far. I know the storm isn't over and this won't be the last storm I will walk through, but I thank You for being right beside me the whole time and cheering me on and beckoning me to come closer. Thank You for calling me to be Janie Beth's mother. Thank You for calling me to mother Josiah, Katie Jo, Eli, and Joy Schelle. Thank You for calling me to be Joey's wife. Thank You for calling me at all to do anything! I never could have imagined all that You have done in me. I needed a Savior more than I could have ever realized. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for Janie Beth and the amazing journey she has brought me on. Neither can I put into words how thankful I am that You were gracious enough to lend me Joy Schelle to raise. Thank You for the journey Joey and I, and the kids, are on with the evangelism ministry and whatever else You have in store for us. We can't imagine the wonderful things You have planned for us. In the storm it is hard to see, but I will look back to the rainbows You have provided and I will believe. Thank You for loving my family and bring us through this storm. Make us what You want us. Make our desires Your desires. May we be a family after Your own heart. May we fall in love with You! Thank You for always being there for us! You are the same yesterday, today, and forever!!!! You are great and mighty!!! You are awesome!!! THANK YOU!!!!! Please break my chains completely and set me completely free. Thank You for Your grace! Thank You for Your mercy! Thank You for being I AM! You are all we will ever need. Thank You for my family! Thank You for calling us deeper! We knew it wouldn't be easy, but it is blessed, even if the blessings are different than expected. May we never miss one of Your blessings!

Lord, break this fallow ground. Circumcise my heart. Be big! I want to sow bountifully so that Your kingdom will reap bountifully!! I love You, Jesus, shine through me.

Thank You, Abba!!! Thank You Jesus!!

9 Months Old

9 months! It is one of the "big" milestones in the first year. Hard to believe it has been that long. Joy Schelle is still a sweet happy baby. She talks more now, but it is a quiet little voice. She is sitting up great and manages to move about a tiny bit while sitting. She does roll around some too. She isn't crawling yet, but you are working on figuring out how to get from sitting to laying. You roll around a ton in the bed before going to sleep. I believe you are practicing new tricks. :) Last night you actually stood up while leaning against the stool. I was amazed because you wouldn't stand up for the longest time when we were holding you up. You stood there with your bootie sticking out like you were trying to sit down! It was so cute!! (really wish I had a pic!) You are still nursing and getting bits of banana or apple.

You have a great big smile! You are a precious little girl. The last couple days you have hugged me tight when I picked you up. I LOVE it! We are so blessed to have you in our family.

Here are your pics from the last month.
9 months old

 She still  doesn't reach the floor. :)
 Love Nana's bed.
 Love these tiny feet! They are still a size 2.
 Having fun at Nana's while Mom and Dad went out.
 Watching the Braves at Nana's
 She was having a ball with the covers of Eli's pallet at Nana's.

After loading these I realized that every one of them is at Nana and Poppa's house! Can you tell we have spent lots of time over there this summer. LOL There has been quite a bit of swimming going on, and we spent most of the last week there because our a/c was broken at home.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Long Lost Picture

Yesterday I was pulling up the internet to let Josiah play on pbskids.org, and Eli saw a long lost picture we didn't know was lost!

I had a blog up that I wanted to write some things from and this picture was on it.
He exclaimed, "Is that Daddy a long time ago when he was a girl"? LOL!!!!!

The night before we were at dinner and Eli said the blessing. These are his words, "God, please let this food go somewhere. Amen"

A bit later at dinner that night I was singing that God has a plan for us. Joey says I wish He would show us. To which Eli replies, "but He isn't". HA!

What would we do without Eli!?!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Curriculum 2011-2012

When people ask me what our curriculum is this year I think I need to ask them how long they have to listen. LOL We are a hodge podge this year.

Devotion: Leading Little Ones to God

Bible: AWANA
         Bible Stories A-Z
I am trying to coordinate all of this and really use it, not just memorize the verses.

Character: Peacemaking Skills for Little Kids
               Our 24 Family Ways

Josiah: Primary Language Lessons & reading aloud
Katie Jo: My Father's World 1st grade
Eli: learning one letter a week using the Bible Stories A-Z

Josiah & Katie Jo: moving to Singapore we think. It is on its way in the mail.
Eli: recognizing at least 1-10

Science Wiz Chemistry: Solids, Liquids, Gases (lasts about 4-5 wks)
My Father's World science (Usborne books)

Planning on taking a month and doing a study on "Little House in the Big Woods"
Taking a couple weeks and going a Highlights Top Secret Adventure
(no science during these studies)

Drawing with Children
Crafts here and there to do with Bible story
Thankful notebooks
Life Skills (chores)

We will not do every subject every day. The devotion, Bible, and character are definite daily activities. We are planning on utilizing Burritt Museum come the fall as well. The last week and a half we have found a good routine that is working for the time being, but I am sure it will change as the year goes. :) We are growing this year and that takes the ability to go with the flow and change. :)

2011-2012 School Year

Our school year kicked off July 6. Josiah is in 2nd grade; Katie Jo is in 1st grade; and Eli is in Pre-K. Joy Schelle is just along for the ride. :) She tends to nap during school. We have been in full swing the last week and a half.

Saturday began some allergy issues for me, so I am trying not to talk much today in hopes that I will be much better on Wed. No that isn't a typo! We aren't doing school on Tuesdays until next week because I am doing a Bible study. So, I am here typing since the kids are playing well together and it doesn't require talking. :)

I am really excited about this year! We are trying to lay our foundation for our family; not only in the basics of phonics and such but also spiritually and characterly (new word LOL). One of the main character traits we are hoping to conquer, at least in small steps, is self-control. :O Along those lines is obedience also.

When I went to my trusty white board to see how to accomplish this, God amazed me!

We started in 2 Peter1:5-7
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to irtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

So, obviously there are a few things we have to go through in order to get to self-control. It isn't first on the list!

What is faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the eveidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Where does it come from? God, Jesus
God has dealt to each one a measure of faith Romans 12:3
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith Hebrews 12:2

What is part in instilling faith in my children? How?
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17 
Immerse them in Scripture!!! Hide it in their hearts.

What does it mean?
conduct that agrees with what is morally right

What does God say?
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3

God has given each one faith and He then wants us to walk worthy.

How do we know how to walk worthy?
In Ephesians He tells us with lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, bearing with one another, and trying to keep unity and peace. That is a tall order!

How do we learn how to do those things?? In comes the next word in the list...

grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18

GROW! That is our word for the year, and this is our verse for the year!!! I just stood in amazement at how God brings everything together! He called us to this before we even started the school year. He knew that we would need to lean on this verse in multiple ways this year. In order to build our foundation we have to grow.

How do we grow self-control? The Holy Spirit grows it!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Do I have a part?
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20
I must crucify my ego!! It is not "I"!

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 24:16
I have to deny myself.

Self-control is self-denial! I am yeilding to Jesus and allowing Him to reign in me. This is not an easy task! It is a long task that will last my entire life... which leads to...

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1

We are to run the race with endurance. We can look at those who went before us and finished well. This verse leads right into Hebrews 12:2 that God showed me at the very beginning of this journey in His word. Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

I am to look to Jesus! I am to look at the joy that is set before me! What is the joy set before me?? Taking up my cross of discipling my children; of breaking down my walls and denying myself in order to be Jesus to others. I am praying that I will run this race with endurance so that my children may look to me as a witness that went before them that they can look to. I pray that they will live lives full of wholehearted faith and devotion in Jesus totally in love with Him! May this be true of me as well!!

This is a high calling, but the calling of motherhood is high! It is a calling of self-denial. This journey through the word that God started me on as I was seeking to teach my children ended up teaching me and showing me what I need to do. The best way to teach my children is by example. This growing will not be easy, but how beautiful the garden will look when it is Jesus flowers that are growing instead of Michelle flowers.

I don't know what all God has in store for us this school year, but I know He is going to grow us all in the grace and knowledge of Jesus!

Thank You, Abba, for the privilege of teaching my children! May You continue Your good work in me and mold me. Break down the walls around my heart. Thank You that Your burden is light and Your yoke is easy. I choose today to deny myself and take up my cross. May You help me. May You lead me. May You bless this new school year. May You plant seeds and water them and grow them as we learn more of Jesus and hide Your word in our hearts. I give this year to You. Thank You for the many blessings You are going to bring our way. May we use them to bless You. I love You! Thank You for loving me so much. Thank You for meeting me and talking to me through Your word! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Here is my summary that I hope to put up somewhere so that I remember all year what God has taught me.

Faith --> live morally right --> by learning about Jesus --> have self-control to walk worthy --> endure the race --> looking to Jesus

Sunday, July 3, 2011

18 Month

Hard to believe that I just typed "18 months"!!! I can just imagine how cute you would have been toddling around our house at 18 months. I do wonder what your laugh would sound like and how your hugs would feel. I also wonder just how amazing it is up there in Heaven! I can't begin to imagine how wonderful it is. I would never ever want to call you back from there. But, I do long to hold you again and hug you and kiss you and tell you "I love you". You are etched forever in my heart and you are on my mind each and every day.

I will say that I am doing well. I am happy and blessed! I still have days that are sad or hard, and circumstances that are hard. I even have moments within a good day that might take my breath away. But, overall I am in a good place. You, Janie Beth, have made me appreciate what all I have. I am amazed that God gave you to me. I am amazed that God gave me your 4 siblings to raise. I am amazed that God gave me your Daddy to walk through this life with. I am amazed at the many blessings God has and continues to give me. You have swelled my heart to overflowing, Janie Beth!

Thank You, Abba, for chosing me to be Janie Beth's mommy! It is a hard hard road to walk, but it is a road that I get to walk with You. It is a road that molds me into what You want me to be. It is the road that You have chosen for me. It is the road that I am called to, and I know that You will equip me for whatever You call me to do. You, Lord, are changing me! It is painful and hard, but necessary. Without Your calling to be Janie Beth's mother I wouldn't know You like I do, and for that I thank You! Thank You for blessing me. Thank You for getting me through the last 18 months and for continuing to get me through each and every day. It is by Your grace that I awake in the morning and lay my head down to rest at night. I love You! May You continue to break down the walls around my heart and mold me into the woman You have called me to be. May You continue to bless Janie Beth's journey through my life! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

6-8 Months

I have totally fallen off the ball and haven't put up Joy Schelle's update in 3 months! :O I am going to do my best to recap because I hope to print this out in book form one day. :)

6 Months
You really didn't start much new during your 6th month. You were still laid back and just a go with the flow kind of gal. You were getting close to sitting up, but hadn't gotten there yet. You love sleep!

You had bananas a couple times, but that is it. You weren't sure at first, but you got the hang of it.

Here are your 6 month pictures...
 Looks like she is saying "cheese" :)
 This is how well it went getting her monthly picture with Little Janie. LOL

 Going after the bear.
 Hair after bathtime. :P
 Eating bananas

7 Months

You had your 6 month check up at 7 months. You were 16 lb 1.5 oz and 26 in. You starting sitting up well, and you could roll over if you wanted to. :) You were amazing on the car trip to New Orleans!!! You are my nice round snuggle bug. Your demeanor is still just sweet and calm. You are still a Mama's girl!!

Here is your 7 Month picture.
 Sitting with Aunt Abby
 She loves to sleep with Baby on her head.
 Playing at Kid's Space

8 Months

You are still a Mama's girl, but you love when Daddy comes in the room or is around! You watch him and get so excited. :) You still have bananas from time to time, but that is it. You started rolling around on the floor, but it is only back and forth for the most part. There are times that you will roll multiple times in one direction. You manage to move about your bed now too. You have mastered sitting up. You have also become quite the chatterbox!!!! You are making up for all those months of not talking. LOL I guess you realized that you couldn't make it in this loud family without putting in your 2 cents worth. You definitely make yourself known! You haven't cut any teeth, but you are chewing on everything. You love the pool!! You will be joining Eli and Katie Jo in the water club.

You hung out with me in the sling the week of Bible School and were our class mascot. All the kids loved you, especially Luke! Thankfully, you hadn't started talking much at that time or you would've been a distraction. You go in the nursery on Sunday morning and all the workers love you. You are our sweetness. I love to squeeze you! You brighten up all our days around here. All of your big siblings still adore you! We shall see how they feel once you are getting in their stuff. LOL It is fun watching your personality come out even more, but it is sad that you are growing so fast!

Here are your 8 months pictures...
With Little Janie (Man, have you grown!)
 My view from the sling. :)
 With cousin Gwyn
 Sportin' my ponytail at the library.

I could just eat you up! You are so cute!! :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Eli is 4!!

First off, I am going to apologize to Eli because he turned 4 on May 21 and I am just now typing his post. :/ Typing just falls further down the list most days.

Eli! Just typing your name brings a smile to my face. You are such a pill and you keep me on my knees, but man I love you, crazy little boy! You are full of energy. You say something humorous every day. You wear your shoes on the wrong feet 95% of the time, and you like it like that. :) Your underwear is often times backwards and inside out. LOL Your attire consists of 3 different football shirts; 2 New York Giants and 1 Alabama. You are going to play football for AL. You love to play outside. You join Katie Jo in the dirt and mud. You start sweating as soon as you walk out the door, but you keep on going. You are Poppa's special helper outside and are sometimes the only one out there talking to him while he grills. You have become quite the swimmer this summer as well! You started out having to hold fast to Nana or Abby, but now you are off on your own in your own little world having an awesome time. Yet again, you have become like your big sister. :) 

You really are sweet, but you have a mean streak a mile wide, especially where your brother and sister are concerned. You love them both and you and Josiah will play really good together, but then you do a 180 at the drop of a hat. :) But, Josiah and Katie Jo are your protectors! They watch out for you. You love Joy Schelle, but being easy is a little difficult for you sometimes. You had to proclaim to her that you aren't mean because she would start crying as soon as you got near her for a while. You ask to go visit Janie Beth quite often and talk about wishing she was here. You sent your birthday balloons to her.

You LOVE Cubbies!!! It starts back in about 6 wks and you can't wait. :) You are also very excited to be considered in Pre-kindergarten. You ask what words are when we are reading. We are going to use Five in a Row, I think, part of the time just so you can be more involved with us during school. You have also started coming to big church with us. You do really well. The other week you did lean over to me and say, "this is taking forever". LOL True Eli fashion. :) You did choir this past year and will do it again in the fall.

I still can't believe you are 4!!!! You are the same height as many of the 3 yr olds in our group of friends, or just an inch or 2 taller. Most folks think you are younger than you are. I like you being short! You are built just like your Daddy, and you act just like him too! AH! LOL  You also aspire to be just like your Daddy.

I pray that the fire that is lit beneath you will turn into a vibrant fire for the Lord! God has amazing plans for you and I can't wait to see exactly what they are. You were my first Rainbow baby after having 2 miscarriages, and you have brought happiness to our family in many ways. We can't imagine life without you. We all love you and your crazy ways!!

Here are some pictures from the past year....

 You became a big cousin when Gwyn was born in Aug. You were always close beside her, and still are.

 You became a big brother again too! :)


 I love him in his suit!
 Is this a foreshadowing??



 He was a trooper going to Dad's shoulder surgery in B'ham! We left the house at 3:30 am. This was around noon or so, he finally crashed!

 Turning 4!!!