Tuesday, November 20, 2012

God's Toolbox

Tonight, Jacin gave me an incredible gift: TIME ALONE! After dinner, Jacin played with the boys while I took a hot bath. It was so nice to have some quiet time by myself without someone else following me into the bathroom! When I got out, I threw on a tshirt and shorts and sat down on my bed under the fan for a few minutes. It didn't take long for Bird to find me.

BIRD: Whatcha doin Momma? climbing on the bed with me
ME: I'm sitting here under the fan cooling off.
BIRD: Me too. I hot, too. Whew! wiping his forehead
ME: Ok. You can sit here with me.
BIRD: K. Hey! Whas tat? pointing to a mole on my lower leg
ME: It's just a brown spot on my skin.
BIRD: You need a man-daid? (AKA bandaid)
ME: No, it's not a hurtie. It's just how God made me.
BIRD: Yeah. God made me, too. You know what he has in his box?
ME: What box?
BIRD: God! What he has in his tool box! raising his voice & getting frustrated that I can't understand his question about God's toolbox 
ME: Ohhhh. God's toolbox. No, what's in it?
BIRD: Scissors. They sharp! Not touch it! They just for God. And colors. He colors us, too. Yeah. I go tell Daddy! he jumps off the bed to go tell Jacin about God's toolbox

What an imaginative little guy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

In My Tummy

On the way to preschool the other day, Bird and I had a very interesting conversation about God. It went something like this...

Bird: Momma! See that house? God built it.
Me: Yes! God made everything, that's true.
Bird: Yep. He made me. And he wikes (likes) me!
Me: Oh yeah! God thinks you're awesome!
Bird: Ummhmm. And you know where God wivs (lives)? Up there... Pointing at the ceiling...
He wivs (lives) in heben (Heaven)... Nodding his head, obviously very proud of himself...
Me: You are exactly right!
Bird: Aaaannnd... Pointing to his chest.... he wivs (lives) in my hawt (heart). And in my tummy, too... Patting his tummy
Me: In your tummy? Really?
Bird: Exacy (exactly) right. And a doctor can get him out if he needs to.

Precious and pretty funny. And did you notice that Bird's comments are much more verbose than my responses? That's because the kid talks 90 miles an hour in the mornings. He gets started and just can't stop! It's like he has to make up for the silent hours he spent sleeping! Not sure where he got that...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Thankful Tree

Each morning, after I get everyone settled,  I sit down and eat breakfast while I read my Bible. For the last 2 weeks, Bird has been bringing his little Bible to the table and sitting down with me. It's rare for him to sit still for more than a few seconds, so I've been trying to take advantage of this time with him. I've been reading him verses about being thankful, and Thursday I asked him, "What should we thank God for?" Bird replied with quite a long list of the people and things he wanted to thank God for. This made me want to make some sort of visual reminder of all God's blessings. After searching Pinterest for some ideas, I decided to make a Thankful Tree.

Bird and I gathered branches and acorns outside and then traced and cut out paper leaves. When Jacin got home we sat down at the table, read some verses on thankfulness, and let Bird tell us what he was thankful for. As he listed things, I wrote them down on leaves and he hung them on our thankful tree. We wrapped it all up by praying and thanking God for His many blessings. It was a fun and special activity, and Bird loves seeing our Thankful Tree displayed in the kitchen.

Thank you, God, for your many blessings!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sleep Schedule (yeah, right!)

When Bird was 6 weeks old, he started sleeping through the night. Levi is now 14 weeks old, and I’m still getting up several times each night to feed him. To be honest, I am past ready to sleep for 7 straight uninterrupted hours. To help nudge him towards this sleeping-all-night milestone, I’ve tried to put Levi on a stricter schedule during the day. One popular book suggests feeding the baby every 3 hours and adopting an “eat, play, sleep” schedule for each 3-hour cycle. For the past week, I’ve tried my best to adhere to the “eat, play, sleep” schedule, which (according to the book) produces a content and sweet-slumbering baby.

“How has that worked?” you ask. Well, the majority of the time, the designated “play” time in the schedule looked like this:
Obviously one of us isn’t too keen on schedules. After several days of this, I was distraught. I’m doomed! I’m going to be sleep deprived for the rest of my life! This kid is never going to sleep through the night! Crazy thoughts like these ran through my mind each time Levi deviated from the prescribed “eat, play, sleep” schedule, and gradually my exhaustion and (admittedly dramatic) exasperation threatened to push me over the edge. I cried out to God: I’m doing everything right! Why isn’t he sleeping for more than 3 hours at a time, Lord! I just want a normal night’s sleep! Am I a bad Mom because I can’t get my baby to sleep through the night? And in the midst of my silent whining, a verse came to mind and stilled my bitter and frustrated spirit.

Psalm 37:23-24 says, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.” 

This Scripture promises that when my life pleases God, he will direct and establish each step of my life, planning them out in advance, making them firm, and directing them in accordance with His will. And when (not if) I stumble, I won’t fall or fail because the Lord is the one supporting me and sustaining the path underneath my feet. So maybe I shouldn’t sink into total desperation after all. Perhaps our inability to stick to a strict schedule doesn’t spell complete failure. And perhaps someone bigger (and more sovereign) than me is controlling our schedule each day. Since God is ultimately in control, I think I’ll relax a bit, smile more, worry less, and just shrug it off when things don’t go as scheduled. After all, the Lord is even directing Levi’s steps on the path towards sleeping all night. God is the perfect Father, so I should probably trust His schedule instead of mine.

Lord, help me be patient and flexible as I wait. Remind me that you paint a much bigger picture than I can ever see. Help me to trust you joyfully, even on sleepless nights.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012


It's the beginning of November, and that means the beginning of the Thanksgiving season! What a great time to stop and take stock of all the many blessings God has given us.

I have SO MANY people and things to be thankful for, but just to name a few...

My Hubby

Yesterday, Jacin celebrated his 33rd birthday. I am so thankful for him and the husband and father he is to our family. It never ceases to amaze me how patient and loving he is, even when I'm crabby and frustrated. He works hard every day, and then comes home from work ready to play with the boys. Love him so much!

My Jackson Bird

My little Bird has turned into such a funny little man! He loves preschool and enjoys singing the songs he learns there (like "Winky Winky Star," AKA "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"). Tractors and trucks are favorites, and he can often be found sitting in front of the window in his room playing with his blocks or tools. He likes to take things apart and "fix" them. For example, I was in the shower the other day when Bird busted in the bathroom, dropped an AC floor vent into the shower, and announced, "I fixed it, Momma! Yay for Jackson!" Potty training is still an adventure in progress, and is always a topic of our nightly prayers. Hot dogs and chicken nuggets are still the go-to lunch staples, but Bird will also gladly eat apples or grapes for snack and "Greenies" for dessert (which are frozen green peas - shhh! Don't tell!).  I pray that God uses my little bundle of energy Bird in big ways for his Kingdom.

My Little Levi Bug

This little guy has a smile that just takes over his entire face. When Jacin or I talk to him, he absolutely lights up! We call him Bug because he is such a snuggle bug! Despite his stomach issues and his fondness for middle-of-the-night snacks, Bug is a very happy and content baby. He is very strong and can already hold his neck up and sit up for minutes at a time in his Boppy chair. For entertainment, Levi enjoys watching his big brother play. My little Bug has just stolen my heart, and I cant' wait to see he and Bird become close friends & playmates. Even though he's only 3 months old, it seems like he has a sweet, laid-back disposition, and I pray that God draws Levi's heart close to His own.


On Sunday night, we carved our family pumpkin. We picked a simple design in an attempt to make the process as short and painless as possible. It's difficult, though, to keep a tool-lovin' 2 year old in check once you get out the pumpkin carving set. The carving took twice as long as it should have because Jackson kept stealing the carving knives, pulling on Jacin's arms, and climbing on the table saying, "I help you, Daddy!"
Not too thrilled about touching the pumpkin's insides.

"I do it, Daddy!"

My 2 little pumpkins


Levi's not too sure about this...

On Wednesday for Halloween, Bird dressed up as a farmer and little Levi Bug was a chicken (until he spit up all over his chicken outfit and had to change clothes). Since Jacin has been working long hours this fall due to light-up season, we opted to make it a simple night. We visited Jacin's family on Rock Creek to allow Bird to do some trick-or-treating at Mudder's house, Granny & Pawpaw's house, and Jackie & Rosie's house. Later that night, after eating several pieces of candy instead of dinner, Bird woke up at 11:00pm and was up until about 3am. Needless to say, I learned my lesson. To Bird's chagrin, the bucket of Halloween candy, which is suprisingly full despite only trick-or-treating at 3 houses, is now sitting out of reach atop the fridge, and the candy is strictly rationed.
Levi the chicken

Daddy with Jackson the farmer & Levi the chicken

With Granny & Pawpaw

Annual Fall Trip to Blue Ridge

Our family is blessed to have a beautiful place up on Lake Blue Ridge, and for the past 5 years, Jacin and I have gone up and stayed for a weekend in October. The last 2 years we have enjoyed spending it with Meme & Rayray, too! This year we went to an Arts & Crafts festival in town, enjoyed "wood tromping," visited Mercier's Orchards for some apples, and had fun sitting in front of the fire.
Family pic

With Meme & Rayray

This Halloween season, Bird has seen a commercial on TV that shows a witch flying on a broomstick. He talks about it a lot and recently told Jacin that Meme rides a broom, too. Not sure where he got that, but we decided it's pretty funny!
Meme & Bird riding a broom

Levi relaxing with Rayray

Yaya's Wedding

What a beautiful weekend it was for Aunt Jayla (or Yaya, as Bird calls her), to get married! Jayla and Chance got hitched on Saturday, October 20th up on the hill at Rock Creek.

The rehearsal on Friday night was up on the hill. Bird played football and Levi cried the whole time.
"Go Long!"

Poor guy. :(

Family Pic up on the hill.

 On Saturday, Jacin and I sang and were also attendants in the wedding, and Bird was the cutest little ring bearer ever. It was a beautiful ceremony and a fun day... except for the fact that I had a stomach virus and Jacin was a bundle of nerves. But it all turned out well, and we're excited for the bride and groom!
The Burns boys lookin good in brown.

Bird & Yaya bustin a move at the reception.

The beautiful bride & her proud big brother.

Pumpkin Patches

It's been a while since I've written, so I have some catching up to do!
In October, we visited 2 pumpkin patches. First, Granny & Pawpaw took us to the Adairsville Pumpkin Farm. Bird especially enjoyed the petting zoo and the hay ride.
Jackson Bird & Levi Bug

The Boys with Granny & Pawpaw

Our fam

Then, Meme & Rayray took me and the boys to a pumpkin patch in Gwinnett. Bird and Rayray enjoyed a train ride, and he stuck pretty close to Rayray since some of the inflatable decorations were a bit scary. :)

My boys

"This one, Meme!"

With Meme & Rayray

Monday, September 17, 2012

Question Quota

Bird is a little question man. He’s very curious and likes to know what’s going on at all times. He incessantly asks questions, like:
Whas tat called?
Whas he doing?
Where did he go?
Whatchu doing that for?

Sometimes his questions stump me. For example, the other day we were talking about God making the ocean. Bird said, “Tank you, God for the ocean!” He then turned to me and asked, “Momma, where did God go?” Now that's a deep thought for a 2-year old! How do you answer that one?

One day, after enduring an especially long stint of verbal abuse in the form of Bird's incessant questioning, I told Bird that I was imposing a question quota for each day.
"You now have a question quota, and today you've reached your limit," I explained.
His response: “Momma, whas question quota?”
Go figure.

Honestly there are many days when I tire of hearing my name called out and wish I could enforce the “question quota” limit or hit MUTE on Bird’s volume button, but I sure am glad God doesn’t do that to me. In fact, Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should call out to God in persistence, never giving up.
Luke 18:1-8
1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up. 2 "There was a judge in a certain city," he said, "who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her. 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she wore him out. 'I fear neither God nor man,' he said to himself, 5 'but this woman is driving me crazy. I'm going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!'" 6 Then the Lord said, "Learn a lesson from this evil judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when I, the Son of Man, return, how many will I find who have faith?"

The Bible says the widow approached the judge repeatedly and finally wore him out! The judge even said, “This woman is driving me crazy!”  Boy does THAT sound familiar! Even though the judge viewed this woman as a pest, Jesus hailed her persistence as heroic. It makes me think that maybe on those days when my patience is wearing thin and Bird’s questions are spewing forth at machine-gun speed, I should turn to God and beg him for grace and compassion. Beg him persistently. He promises to hear and answer me! And maybe I should even start begging before my day (and Bird’s questions) begins! It never hurts to get a head start.

PCB 2012

Last week we had a fantastic beach trip to Panama City with Jacin's family. Here are some pics:

Levi did great on his first beach trip! He slept the ENTIRE drive down to PCB, and each day he was pretty content to just chill on his play mat while on the beach.
Levi just chillin

Pawpaw & Levi

Jared, Bird & Granny

Bird playing in the ocean

Goggle Man

Family Pic at Angelo's Steak House

Bird enjoyed his time on the beach, too. He dug in the sand with Uncle Jared and played in the water with whoever was up out of a chair. He also spent his time walking around with an empty sunscreen bottle pretending to spray everyone. While indoors, Aunt Jayla (Yaya) entertained Bird by playing the country song "On the Pontoon" (and we were entertained watching Bird dance).

Bird's funny sayings this week:
"Oh my goodness!"
"Hey pretty lady!"
"Yes sir!" (to which Jayla or Granny would respond, "I'm a ma'am!")
"You kidding me!"

We saw some pretty cool critters at the beach this year. While wading in the ocean, I saw a sand-colored stingray. We also saw lots of dolphins and several manta rays. Very cool!

And of course it wouldn't be a trip to PCB without dinner at Angelo's Steakhouse. Jacin looks forward to it all year long! He orders a 1 pound hamburger steak that is apparently incredible. I'll just have to take his word for it.

Thanks, Granny & Pawpaw, for a great trip!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Labor Day 2012

Every Labor Day Weekend, Jacin's family gathers for a family reunion. It starts Sunday night with a cook-out on the hill while Jerry & Uncle Jackie smoke the meat for Monday's big meal. At the cookout, we enjoyed sitting and talking and cooking hot dogs and s'mores. Then, on Monday the extended Burns family gathers at West Union Baptist Church for lunch. It's a huge meal with tons of good food and lots of family.
Cookin hot dogs

Granny feeding Levi

Takin a break with Aunt Yaya

Bird eating the marshmallows straight out of the bag

PawPaw & Levi chat

Happy Memorial Day!

Meme's Birthday

A few weekends ago, we went to Gwinnett to celebrate Meme's birthday. We also celebrated Audrey & Quincy's birthdays, too. It was so nice to have the whole family together, and a great time was had by all!
Bird holds his cousin Tinsley

Helping Meme open her gifts

Great Gran sings to Levi

Quincy snuggles with the great-grandkids

Happy birthday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Daddy's Week of "Vacation"

Have I ever mentioned that I have the best hubby in the world? Jacin took a week of vacation to be at home this past week. It was WONDERFUL to have him home to just be with us and to help out (but I know he needs a week back to work to recover from this so-called vacation!).

Daddy time consisted of...

Lots of cuddle time!
Jacin got up at 6am each morning this week to feed Levi, and then took both boys to cuddle on the couch so I could sleep in a bit.

A trip to the playground!
 Daddy took us to the playground one morning, and he and Bird tried every slide there while I walked with Levi in the stroller.

Lunch Out!
Great Gran had given us a little splurge money, so we went to a new spot to grab lunch - Calhoun Hot Dog House! Bird, of course, was in heaven!

Jacin & Bird played for hours! One day Bird wanted to wear the colander as a football helmet. Daddy rigged up a strap to help it stay on.

In addition to all of that, helping potty train Bird was Daddy's #1 priority this week, and it's been a lot of work. The first few days, Bird did beautifully. As the week has progressed, Bird has lost interest and doesn't like stopping in the middle of play to potty. The accidents have increased and the attitude has gone downhill. I've spent lots of time praying for us and for Bird and claiming Jeremiah 32:17 - "Lord, you created the heavens and earth by your power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you!" We're relying on the Lord and hoping persistence will pay off.

Jacin -
You are the best Daddy and Husband in the world. I so appreciate you taking a week off of work to work here at home. I know it hasn't been much of a vacation for you, but I have loved having you home with us. You are so patient with our boys and so thoughtful towards me. All the time and energy you spent taking care of things this week to give me a break... my love tank is FULL to overflowing! Thanks, Babe. I love you lots and lots!