Blessed Day

We longed and prayed for the day she was born. And then, she was born again.

Alyssa has such a sweet, tender and sincere heart and made the decision that she wanted to be obedient to God’s commands and wanted to follow Him for the rest of her life. There has been an old school thinking from my background that has told me, “she is too young or she doesn’t fully understand.” Well the truth is, she doesn’t fully understand and neither do I, right?  Baptism is for the new believer. And I had to put my CofC thinking aside and let her just believe. The Bible tells me, that is enough.

We were able to celebrate this day with most of our family, but definitely missed the rest. Lots of cousins, lots of silliness and lots of smiles. Thank you so much to all of you who have poured into Alyssa. We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for her.


1st day of school

4th Grade


Success! I think that sums it up. I was really worried about Megan getting out of bed, but she was a champ. For 4 years, the house has been quiet as Alyssa slips out of her room and reads with me in bed before getting dressed. We have tip-toed around in TN and especially in this small house now, trying not to wake anyone else. Well, this year all of that changed. The lights were on, getting ice from the fridge iwas not a big deal, the house was awake and ready to go!

We left everyone with smiles and ready to start the day. Not sure what I will do with my little buddy for the next 2 years, but we started with traditional welcome home cookies to share over the thoughts from the first day.




Alyssa’s 9th

We will skip right over the fact that I have a 9 year old and focus on the birthday party. I was very thankful that Alyssa had a few friends that she wanted to include in her celebration. She wanted a simple and easy swim party. She actually wanted me to make her cake too, which I loved. I tell Ethan that if I die young, make sure they know and see pictures of all the cakes that I made for them. I spend hours the night before each party perfecting their own special cake. She picked out the colors and a big #9 on it this year.

What can I say about Alyssa Mae at 9. She got into a cowgirl kick and wanted a hat for her birthday. Nana and Papa took her to pick one out and she came back with a matching belt. I thought it was very cute, but where exactly do you wear such things? And I guess she needed a shirt b/c the F4J tshirt really doesn’t say cowgirl to me. She did well in 3rd grade. She made all As and Bs, made a few good friends, participated in Girls on the Run and the talent show, and continued with piano lessons. It is good to see her step out a bit more each year. She has become a bit more “mothering” to Audrey and Megan and plays well on their levels. She is helpful, when she wants to be, and dramatic and emotional. But at the end of the day, her hugs are genuine and sweet. She always wakes up with a smile and a ready attitude. She is a good influence on her friends and I pray already making an impact on His kingdom. More photos.

Texas Awesomeness

I have seen bluebonnets for years. In the spring, they would cover the sides of main highways to and from cities we would travel. But this year, they are everywhere. And not out in the country, but right here in the neighborhood. For weeks, we have enjoyed the sight of fields of blue and orange.  We attempted to get some photos tonight. I really felt confident. I didn’t bring rewards, I just knew they were old enough to do this. HA! They tried… But you know what, we got what life is right now and this is enough. Enjoy some Texas awesomeness. More

Valentine’s Dance

Ethan had the chance to take all three girls to the Valentine’s Dance at our church. I thought he may just want to do the older girls, but he was all in. And of course, with all three going, I just had to go shopping. I took Megan and Audrey one day and Megan went straight to her choice. She tried it on and twirled in the dressing room like a bride. No doubt, it had to be bought. Audrey’s was really my choice, but she is still compliant enough to like it. I took Alyssa one night and got a good glimpse into our future. She didn’t like what I picked and I certainly didn’t like what she picked. How long can we hold off the teenage years? We finally headed to the dressing room with about 5 dresses. One was itchy, one twirled good, one didn’t twirl, wrong color – you get the idea. She was actually trying hard to pick the one she knew I liked, but in the end I let her choose.

Dressed, tights, hair x 3 and they were off. The girls had a blast and danced the whole 2 hours, Ethan said. Megan walked into the room and headed straight to the front to dance by the big speakers, while Alyssa hung by Daddy and shared a few dances together. One of many special nights to come with the privilege of three girls.

Elementary “Talent” Show

I was so proud to see my once shy, stage-fright daughter, walk across that big school stage, sit down and play without a mistake. She was slightly hesitant when I suggested she sign up for the talent show. We simply filled out the form together and she put it in her backpack. I told her if and when she was ready, she could turn it in. Next day…she turns it in. She did great in the audition, the dress-rehearsal and the night of the show. Now that she has conquered the stage, I can’t wait to see what is next for her. VIDEO

Nana and Papa were able to come watch.

Christmas Programs

Alyssa did not have a traditional piano recital this year. She is taking a different kind of piano class at school and they just invited the family to watch some of the songs the class was working on. It was informal, but anytime to watch her play is worth it. I have high hopes for her piano playing in the future.

I have been  impressed with Audrey and Megan’s school. For picking it out based on location, I think I did pretty good. Megan and Audrey have been singing the cutest Christmas songs the last few weeks and we finally got to see it in action. Well, Megan preformed, Audrey just stared…alot like last year as I recall. But I had my fingers crossed waiting for Megan’s class, and I am pretty sure I had a big, proud smile on my face for a solid 15 minutes. Pictures don’t do these type of things justice, so you will have to watch the video.


I am sure there will be a day when one of them doesn’t want to dress up, but they all love it. Each girl picked her own idea. Well, not Audrey, she had to be what fit at that age. Maybe next year… Alyssa choose a cowgirl and Megan is Toki Tori. As usual, Ethan came up with the ideas and I implemented. We were both thrilled with how her duck turned out, and she was a hit at many doors. It was not the Halloween that we had grown accustomed to in TN, but we had a good time. We walked around the neighborhood with our next door neighbors and their kids. They have been a great support to us and seem to match our personalities well. We had a bet going for the number of times Audrey would fall through the night. I think they know our kids better than us, because he won. 3 falls in one night – that’s Audrey. The night ended with a monsterous pile of candy that no one could possible eat, but I let them take a stab at it last night. More

Orphan Alyssa

Alyssa had her 3rd grade musical tonight. I love to watch her on stage. Not because she is showy, but because she is just confident enough to be up there. One year, she may even ask for a speaking part. She had been singing the tunes to Annie for weeks and we had fun watching her preform. Even Megan was singing along.

Beginning 3rd Grade

I love to go back and look at school pictures. I take one on the first and last day of school every year and it is amazing to see the changes. Even though I see her everyday, I look at this picture and can’t believe how big she is. Today, we ventured out together to a new school with new traffic and learned how make our way through the school. She told me she was nervous all morning, but you would have never known by the way she walked into the classroom. We met up with some other 3rd graders and her teacher before the bell and walked together to the cabins. I think they are trying to make portables sound cool. I was trying to take pictures and she was giving me the “no more, mom” look. I ignored her and at least got one last sweet wave before she walked in. No matter how big she tries to be, she is still my sweet one who loves her mama.

We all did well today trying to get in the swing of the school routine. Megan and Audrey played well. The difference this year is her school doesn’t bus any kids. Which means for the first time, I have to do the car rider line. I don’t mind too much having to sit in the car, today was 30 min before I got out of traffic, but the problem is dismissal is 2:45. Right in the middle of Audrey’s nap. And it’s not just occasionally, this is everyday. As Alyssa adjusts back to school, Audrey and I will be adjusting this nap thing.

The girls and I waited in the car, watching the hustle of other parents wondering where and how Alyssa is going to make it to the car. As I am pulling up to the school, I see her walking down the sidewalk toward the car. It was such a good feeling to see her face. I didn’t realize how much I had missed her til I saw her. She had a good day and got along well with a couple friends which is what we continually prayed for. So we are back to schedules, said goodbye to summer and thankful that Alyssa’s first day was successful. And we celebrated like every first day – with cookies!