Mason’s Christmas List 2014

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Mason is 5 years old, about to turn 6. He is huge and has just grown out of all of this jeans. His tennis shoes are getting tight, too. He wears a size 7 in clothes and a size 2 in shoes now.

Here is his list in his own words.

1. I want a new Wii game. ✔️
2. I want a Hot Wheels set. ✔️
3. I want a new Lego City set.✔️
4. In want a Lego Movie Lego. ✔️
5. I want a “Chima” Lego, like in my comic book, and I want a Ninja Lego.
6. I want a new Lighting McQueen car.
7. I want a new stuffed animal.
8. I want a new Iron Man costume.
9. I want a new bat minton set with a net.
10. I want a new Match Box car.
11. I want The Avengers movie.
12. I want movies about Bugs Bunny and Tom and Jerry. ✔️
13. And I want a volleyball.
14. And I want a new FSU football jersey– #80, Rashad Green!
15. I want a paint maker that makes colors.
16. I want some new sweat pants. ✔️
17. I want a board game. Minneapolis game….. I just figured out he means Monopoly! Lol
18. I want an FSU hat.

Miss Julia’s Christmas List 2014

Mommy, all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth!” ~Miss Julia

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Each year, I have the kids make a Christmas list. My friends and family have asked me to do it for them this year so that they can help me shop for deals and save money.

Miss Julia is presently 4 years old and wears a size 5 or 6 in clothes and 10 in shoes. She really needs some new boots, and I’ll probably get them in an 11.

Here is her list in her own words.

1. I want a new Dolly. I want dollies and a doll house.
2. I want a new dress with red and pink sparkles on it.
3. I want new bracelets and necklaces.
4. I want my little own cup.
5. I want another pink dress-up box.
6. New underwear with candy canes on it.
7. New pajamas with Cinderella and Ariel
8. Bubbles that I can blow
9. Bubble bath
10. I want dark pink lip and light pink lip gloss.
11. I want a new Elvis movie.
12. And I want my very own castle! 👸

Prayer

This Sunday morning as I lie here in quiet, anxiously waiting for my babies to return home, I am thinking of all the words of encouragement and prayer I have received over the past two-and-a-half months. These have sustained me.

One of the kindest, most powerful things you can do is to tell someone you are praying for them. Then actually do it. I do not do this enough, but I am going to really focus on building my prayer life and being an encourager of others.

Prayer works, Praise Jesus! I am a testament to that.

I am also blown away by the number of former students of mine who have reached out to me in love, faith and support. Nikki, Anna, Sheila, Taylor, Maddie Dee, AJ, Kaitlin, Lauren, Kyle, Brandi, Ashleigh, Brooke….. The list goes on and on, reminding me that being in the classroom is exactly where God wants me to be.

Then This Happened, Today

I woke up to lots of love and well-wishes again and realized I choose happiness.

As my Bomba always said, “There are worse things than being alone.”

I choose my children and peace and quiet in a home filled with laughter and joy and non-violence. I choose the possibility that I can find true, unconditional love for once in my life and a best friend who is loyal. I choose hope in the fact that I can find a partner who does not make scenes in public or snap at a kid in church for coughing too much, because she has cerebral palsy. I choose one who knows when to disconnect from the evil lures of social media and who always tells the truth.

I choose to set an example for Miss Julia that a man can never talk ugly to her or not support her in her career or non-career choices. That he should not ever lay a hand on her in anger.

I choose to be an example for Mason in the hopes that he will treat his future wife like the gift from our Lord that she will be; that he will know to leave his family and cleave to her in making a Godly home.

I will wait on a man who loves and actively worships Jesus Christ and whose family is stable and loving.

Or I will be alone and be content in being a mom to two of the most beautiful children God has created on this earth.

I choose to follow my Savior who is merciful and who heard my cries of despair. Thank you, Jesus, for answering my prayers for freedom.

I choose faith and claim Psalm 46:5 as my own.

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Home is Where the Heart Is

When I get stressed and frustrated with life, I head home. Only I don’t pine for tiny Hilliard. I miss Amelia Island, on the other side of the county, where I grew up going to the movies and beach and Fort Clinch and spent so much of my youth making happy, joyous memories. Since my Mom’s ashes were scattered in the river that empties into the ocean, the coast makes me feel connected to her. If I could end up anywhere, Fernandina Beach is where I would be.

The kids and I recently took a trip home for the night and spent the day at the beach. Aunt Krissy and Uncle Noah were up from Coral Springs and wanted to take the kids fishing.

But first, we had to eat shrimp. Lots of it, at The Crab Shack.

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Fishing was so fun and relaxing. God has blessed me with the best friends who all LOVE my kids.

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Just look at that fish!! He was so proud!

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Miss Julia was content playing with the slimy bate and flirting with Uncle Noah. 💗

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Afterwards, we went for ice cream downtown and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

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Of course, no trip to the island is complete without a run on the beach. Heaven!

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A Little Bit Stronger {My Personal Goals for this New Life}

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Sara Evans’ “A Little Bit Stronger” got my mom through her nasty divorce three years ago, and now it is getting me through mine.

Last night, while at dinner, my friends Jami and Bryce encouraged me to set goals for myself. Personal goals. Goals that are not about serving others or about my kids. I have been in constant thought about this since then, and am surprised at how hard it is to think about myself.

What is it that I need and want out of this crazy, beautiful new life?

It’s like I have been set free and I can finally breath, but I don’t exactly know which way to go as I take my first step forward.

Here are a few things that I came up with, though this truly is a draft, I think.

1. I want to work on building my retirement. Money comes and goes, but I want to make decisions for myself that are financially sound.

2. I want to travel. A lot. I want to go out west and to Europe. I want to roam and explore.

3. I want to invest in a nice camera and take photography classes.

4. I want a forever home. I don’t have to have a mansion, but I would like to have a larger home in a nice neighborhood that my kids will want to forever come home to with pride.

5. I want to become an educational administrator and/or professor. God has called me to the purpose and promised this will be fulfilled.

6. I want to fall in love again. I want close relationships with in-laws and to have a mother to honor and cherish. I want a huge family.

7. I want to learn how to cook.

8. I want to cook Thanksgiving dinner all by myself.

9. I would like to learn how to sew.

10. I want to write a novel or a short story.

11. I would like to grow and maintain a vegetable garden and learn how to can and preserve.

12. I want to study the Bible from front to back and become better disciplined in prayer and worship.

13. I will reclaim my last name with pride.