Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Conley Scout || 11 Months

My little blondie brother.  Full of spunk & curiosity.  He never tires of exploring the world around him one pump knot at a time.  And I thought Cam was my hot dog show out child.  Nope.  
I'm afraid big bubba ain't got nothing on this little spunky peanut.  

Keep in mind...I'm behind-he turns 12 months old AKA ONE YEAR on the 25th!
Weight: 25 lbs 5 oz. lbs
Birth: 7 lbs 14 oz
Heigth: 29.5 inches

whats new...

he's mr. run around, getting into everything, loves steering wheels, putting everything in his mouth, toilets (eeeewww), doing things he's told not to, eating, macaroni, BALLS, baths & splashing, making a dash for a near target while attempting a long walk, opening and closing slamming cabinet doors

  busting his head (maybe that's a love-hate), when Cam rough houses, laying still for a diaper change, not being upside down or free to wiggle in the floor,  baths when it involves head washing, when the person feeding him takes too long, being in the car seat all day, getting his face wiped

play & cognitive development
Taking two to three steps, moves from object to object, speed crawls like nobody's business.  Still a hard knock life for this little fellow as he is hitting his head on everything veeeerrryyyy often.
We are getting close to two top teeth!  A lot different from bubba, as he didn't get ANY teeth til after he turned one!

We are about 75% table foods and the other percent baby/puree foods.  He loves macaroni & any kind of bread.  He wants to hold everything he eats-despises when people try to feed him.  He nurses every night & when I get home from work...slowly weaning himself, just as Cam did...but the night time business may be a problem!

We are on to something I think.  I began a schedule of putting him to bed at 8:30 & though I have to fight for it some evenings-he is starting to give in & get on a schedule!  Boy, does that make life easier for the both of us:)

ten month photo dump

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Testimony || Victory Over Doubt!

God laid it on my heart quite a while ago (talking probably two years) to share my testimony here.  I typically never share my content on Facebook because I kind of feel like I am talking to myself when I blog.  Almost like a little diary.  I'm a quiet person & knowing that others are reading is both gratifying but intimidating at the same time.  I feel like my regular readers are not people I know on such a personal level & I can just share everything & not really worry about what or how I write.  But today's post is one I felt like I needed to share.  With those I know, & those I don't.  Rather than put it off any longer, I decided that the Lord gave me my experience for a reason & I need to share it with others.  Perhaps it may be to encourage or impact one of you in one way or another so- here it is.  

My personal unique story of redemption, peace, mercy, & grace.
I am one of those kids who spent every Sunday & Wednesday night of my life in church.  Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday night.  Every bible school.  Every church event.  I was there.

Does that make me perfect?  No.  Does that make me saved?  No.  

Does it make me blessed?  Yes. 
I would go so far as to say that being raised in church was a wonderful blessing.
But I would also say it has caused me to have a lot of confusion.  A lot of doubt.
Kind of sounds crazy, right?

All my life- from the time I was tiny to a teenager, all I can remember is wanting to be "saved."  I mean it meant I got to go to heaven!  Of course I did, right?
As a little girl learning all about Jesus, I was amazed at learning how much he loved me.  I loved him too.  I mean, really loved him.  When I was asked in Preschool who my best friend was?  I said Jesus.  I was serious about it, you guys!  I often long to have that child like innocence again.  I loved to draw.  You know what I drew?  Jesus.  Jesus on the cross.  Jesus walking my recently deceased pup.  Jesus walking in Heaven.  You name it.  I thought about Him all the time.  

You can probably ask about any person that knew me then at all & they'd be my witness!

My mom was one of the camp leaders at a program our county held for older youth called "Well Spring" & I hadn't even started Kindergarten yet.  Given that my family was very involved in this camp, I was of course right there with her through it all.  One day, my mom was making some salvation bracelets to hand out to the ones who may be saved during the camp.  "I want one!" I begged.  You will have to wait until you are saved & then you can get one!"  Oh, how badly I wanted one of those bracelets.  
Silly I know, but keep in mind I was 5, yall!

At the end of the week, they had a skit where the Devil came out & made a bunch of people in the crowd go to hell.  A lot of talk about salvation & here again...I wanted to be saved (& I also wanted that cool bracelet!).  I went & got my mom, she went up with me, & we prayed.  The preacher drug me up on stage to announce to the crowd what had happened to me & I said, (just as he'd instructed) "I got saved."  I was also humiliated because I never talked in front of anybody.  EVER.
Saved from what though?
I had no clue.  

Then, as I got older-I learned about Hell.
MAN did I want to be saved then.  But saved from what?
I had no idea.  I didn't understand anything.
I just knew I wanted to be saved.

Years of doubt.  Years of struggle.
I went up to "try" to be saved again twice in Bible School.
I was sincere.  I know I was convicted.  But I had no idea what salvation really meant.
I went up, cried, someone prayed & went through the Romans Road with me.
I truly believe & see now how God was planting seeds in my heart.

But no peace.  I couldn't take it anymore.
Then.  I was 14 years old.  Fresh from earning my learners permit & heading straight for high school & my teenage years.  I was as legalistic as they came growing up in church- trying to be everything I was taught to be.  You can't sin- you can't do this or that & be a Christian.  I was almost trying to live under the law-which of course you can imagine I failed horribly at!  Years of confusion & struggling to understand God's plan of salvation.  God never intended to leave me there.  He never gave up on me or lost patience in my ability to understand.

  That Wednesday night, the preacher talked of sin & Hell.  He brought all of my sins out before me in his message & helped me to see the wrong in my life that would lead me straight to Hell without the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.   He preached Hell hot to the point that my gum had dissolved in my mouth I chewed it so hard.  I was wiggling in my seat, sweating bullets, waiting for him to just be quiet!  I also remember a youth choir of girls from a home had came to sing.  They were crying & praising the Lord & I knew more than anything I wanted the salvation they had experienced.  The kind I could praise God over.  Shed tears over.  Finally be at peace with.

I was the first in the alter that night of our youth revival.  Our current preacher was the one who came to pray with me.  He asked me what was wrong & I told him I didn't know if I was saved or not.  I really had been confused.  "Oh, you're just like I was!" 
Wait, what?!  I thought.  Someone else had these problems with getting true peace?  
I know the Lord was planting seeds in my heart all along with my previous experiences, but I hadn't come to understand it all yet.  But that night, I asked for Jesus to not only come into my heart- but also to forgive me of all the wrongs I had done in my life & to finally let me be at peace with my salvation. 

Was I at peace just yet?
I wish I could say that my peace never left.
But I can't.  Satan crept in.

I was on cloud 9 after I accepted Christ as my savior that night.  The feeling was unlike anything I had ever felt.  But thats just it- you can't always go by feeling.  And you can't go on "milk" for the rest of your life as a Christian.  I had no "bread" in my life.  (This may be vague if your not Southern Baptist, reference) Yes, I went to church & Sunday school every time the door was open.  I prayed too.  But not enough.  Not in a way that I found myself growing in a personal relationship with my Savior.  I didn't read my bible because, well I didn't know how to!  I know that's one thing my church is working on right now & rightfully so!  Once people are saved, we need to find out how to help them grow-to make disciples out of them!  In my own experience, I had no clue what to do with my new life other than try to "live right."
And that will about kill, you guys.

Years went by & the devil crept in once again.  Trying to steal my joy & peace & discourage me from stepping out to do anything for Jesus that required faith.
You know, I will be raw & real with you.  Somedays, this girl didn't or still doesn't feel saved.  
It's not about feelings.  It's about fact & what happened when you give your life to Jesus.
  Jesus died on the cross for me & the wrong I did & will do.  God was calling me the night of the youth revival.  I was under true conviction & I understood what I wanted to be saved from.  I recognize(d) my sins & believed in Jesus-his death, his burial, & resurrection & his ability to forgive me.  And he did that night.  I am saved.  But Satan's greatest tool with me is worry.  He knows just how to make me useless in a world where the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few.

And I'm not going to lie to you.  I was ashamed of my doubt.  I was scared to death to be honest with anyone for years about my struggles with it.  I thought every one that was saved never had a doubt & for some, that may be true.  But one day, I found out that SO many people experience doubt at one point in their life one way or another.  Some people may have really been deceived & need to be saved (just as I did in my younger years) but others doubted their true salvation.  I have learned not to be ashamed.  To talk to other people about it.  God gives us each other to learn from-not to be deceivingly perfect.  So much of my early life, that was sadly the picture I received from others.  No one ever taught me about what to do if you doubted or shared their experience with me.

The older I get the more I learn about my salvation & I can see myself growing in the Lord.   I have learned that when the devil attacks never be ashamed to pray, read God's word (something I have neglected for most of my Christian life) & ask for God to help you.  Wherever you may be.  At home, at work, at school, at church.  Call out to God. He is way more powerful than Satan could ever dream to be.
GOD has my soul in HIS hands:)

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is this:
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." 
Phil 2:12

I pray that I work out my salvation in fear and trembling everyday of my life.
It is the most important thing I can leave this world with & never to be taken lightly.

Another thing God gave me one night as I was driving & I will hush! :)
The Devil was fighting me hard & I started praying & a song came to mind.
"Father will you please look & see if the blood is still there?"
And he said, Son now don't you WORRY.  For the blood is there to STAY.
The winds may blow & the rain may fall but it WON'T JUST WASH AWAY.
The blood will stand the raging storm.
It's been applied with love & care.  Safe, secure, you can rest assured that the blood is still there."
The song is one that describes the events during the plagues of Moses when the first born son was to be killed if the lamb's blood was not found on the door of the home.  The first born son was worried.  He knew the lambs blood had been applied (but he was like ME & was worried it wouldn't be there when the angel of death passed by).  

THAT WOULD HAVE TOTALLY BEEN ME.  Please check & make sure it's there, dad!  It could have washed off & then what??  This is my life we're talking about!  (Oh ye of little faith, right?)  Talk about powerful!  It gives me chills right now in how clear God spoke to me through that song.

I praise God for his patience with me.  I thank Him for never leaving me nor forsaking me as I slowly learned what being "saved" truly meant.  I thank Him that every time I have an attack from the Devil he gently comforts my heart & shows me that it is well with my Soul:)
There are no other words I would rather hear in this old stinky world!

How's that for a heavy post??:)
I hope this isn't as spastic, confusing, useless, & wordy as it feels.  The Devil has me beat down with it, but I know I am supposed to share it.
I'm a light hearted blogging girl, guys...
but somedays, you just have to bare your soul when God asks you to! 

I hope in some way I can help someone with my story.  I know that I have had such a hard time with doubt for a reason.  Never stop asking God for peace & help.  I believe that Jesus is coming soon & being at peace with your salvation is the MOST important decision you or I will ever make in this life.  Take it seriously!
Work it out in fear & trembling, k? <3  
All my love & prayers,
P.S. if you have no idea what I'm talking about when I talk about salvation...check this out!


Saturday, October 15, 2016

H54F || Week of the Full Moon

Here I am again with High Five for Friday post on this beautiful fall Saturday:)  Oops.  My boys are full throttle right now from day to dark.  I honestly really can't find the time for anything right now.  When I do blog, it is generally late at night when they go to sleep but there has been ONE little problem this week-the full moon!  Currently, Cam's at a birthday party & Conley is...shhhhhh...sleeping!  My little teether is sleeping peacefully!  Ahhhhh, take that full moon!   And this mama is getting to remember our sweet week<3

1.  Liquid Apple Pie.  It's a local thing.  Basically apple cider with a mix of caramel & whip cream-but it is out. of. this. world amazing!  Starbucks does a similar Caramel Apple Cider.  Either way- we totally need to investigate a recipe for this liquid hug to the soul to enjoy from the comforts of home;)

2.  The leaves are in their prime for raking & jumping!   We took a day this week to save some up in pumpkin bags for Conley's party so we will for sure have some for kids to play in.  I ended up letting Cam bury me in leaves this week & then.  He jumped on top of me.  All 55 lbs of his three & a half year old body. 
3.  Got all of Conley's 1st birthday party goods ordered except for the food & his presents from us!  The food is always the struggle for me.  But I'm gonna get it right this time:)  I also must make mention that I am a terrible buyer of gifts.  Do I get something cool or something they need?  Totally talked myself into the needs department this year.  The something cool is his party...the gifts are most definitely going to be a roomier carseat & highchair.      

4.  Christmas card pictures are scheduled!  Can I get a hand raise for who is excited about those Christmas cards coming in the mail soon?  Eeeeep!  I LOVE it!;)

5.  Cam's Pumpkin Art & Our Pumpkin Countdown Fun

Cam has been busy making pumpkin art at school & oh how I wish I had a place to showcase it!  It brightens my day when he brings something home made especially for us!  And the countdown.  We are working our tails off to do something fally & fun every day.  Some days we fail miserably at our todo list, but we just stock pile them for less busy days & tackle them as we can.  
BONUS: Productive week at work!  May have broken ground with a communication need for one of my kiddos & we are hearing t o n s of new sounds from others this week!  Is it the full moon?  Totally rewarding to be a speech therapist this week:)
I live in my car when I work...that would be the PLS-5 in the background.  
Oh, & I should also make mention we officially have all of our Halloween costumes purchased.  Cam made us all try them on & he is crazy excited:)  Okay, okay- as is Mom.  Let me just share, you cannot NOT cry laugh when Cam puts on his Shaggy wig.
What have you guys been up to this week?

+Linking up with Della at Della Devoted, Katie at Cup of Tea, & Tiff at Bright on a Budget for the High Five for Friday link-up:)  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Octobers Past

Here lately, all I can do is think about how quickly my babies are growing.  Everyday it seems I blink & they grow a foot taller, a pound heavier, & a word smarter!  All that thinking has got me feeling nostalgic & thinking of Octobers I figured we'd just take a day to take a stroll down memory lane.

My blog actually began on October 8th...2016 is my 4th anniversary blogging:)
This October was full of blurry pictures, grad school work, Penny dog, & the excitement but uncertainty of the first pregnancy...

This October was full of Cam.  Period.  I was, & still am, in love & obsessed.
I was working at my first job as an SLP in the nursing home.  It was a stressful job, but this baby made it all better.  We had a Michael & Kelly Halloween viewing breakfast party.
Why don't we do that anymore, again??

My how a year changes your baby!  Cam was all walking around & talking like a big kid, I was working at my job in the school system & daddy had just started working off again as of the summer.  We spent our Halloween in Flordia after getting Cam an early Christmas present...better known these days as "Ony."  Things got "a little wild" around Halloween time:)  And these are my favorite family costumes to date!

And then the October of Conley Scout happened & everything changed again!  I would say this year in general was the craziest year of my life?  It was definitely the year of the unexpected.  Aside from all that, I stayed in Knoxville for practically the entire month before I became an official mom of boy(s).

And because this little girl you the girl living inside of me.
She will forever come out in me the brightest during the holidays.  
Okay, now I don't know whether to go & squall or carve a new jack-o-lantern...
  A mixture of emotions!  Happy Humpday, you guys! :)
Long live the happy days of October<3


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