Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"All You Need Is A WILLING Heart!"

Just a normal Tuesday with my wonderful gym family! Normal because it's always a great feeling to be with them!  But a little better than normal today because as I was looking around the room... I noticed new people, I noticed so much how different we all are-Different ages, races, sizes & places of where we are in our fitness journeys.  But what was more than clear to me during this wonderful time with these wonderful people was.... 
All you really need to be here... is a WILLING HEART!  You show up!  You GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT!  You put your heart into it! It doesn't matter what you look like, It doesn't matter your age, It doesn't matter how much you sweat... what kind of workout clothes you wear... whether you got a tiny hiney...or extra junk in the trunk.  What matters is YOUR HEART! If you come to class with a WILLING HEART.... things will happen!  Endorphins will soar!  Your instructor will push you!  Your friends will encourage you!  You will reap the benefits of exercise and a healthy life!

Ya'll know my thoughts are deep...I don't know why or where they come from sometimes...but I just have to let them out.  Our WILLING HEARTS to come give it all we got this morning wasn't all that filled my head.  I thought about our Hearts for Jesus.  How All We Need Is A WILLING Heart for the Lord.  That's all we need.  That's all He wants. If we give him our HEARTS things will happen!  You will reap the benefits of loving God and serving Him.  Grace & Peace & Forgiveness & Love & Everlasting Life!  

That sounds like something I am for sure WILLING TO DO!!!!  Are you?  I pray right now that you are!  It starts in your HEART!  



Quite a few of us that stayed after and took a quick pic.... Love these people.  Some of them don't even know that I do.  But I do!  I love that they are all willing to be there and give it all they got!  They are an encouragement to me!  




Thought this was just too happy not to share!  


So true!!! Life does give back!  



"You got 30 seconds.... give it all you got!"   I have heard that more than once from our awesome instructors.





I believe we love him in our heart and it overtakes our soul and mind because it is so wonderful!  It starts with a willing heart!

Doesn't matter what we all look like in the picture above.  It matters that we are making choices to feel good and be fit! But I mean.... We Are Looking Pretty Fine!!!  :)





He will guide your heart if you give it to him!



I know what I want to do!  

Take your heart.... make it willing!  Give it to all things you love that are good!  

We need a STRONG HEART to run the race God has set before us!  

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Thank You Lord For September 19th!!"

Another long post.... But it's been a long time coming and now has more meaning than ever before!!!!!❤️

So it was September the 19th..... Two young high school kids went on their 1st Date. ❤️Mike & Joy❤️ 
Who would have ever thought that date would have led to a Marriage and then 2 daughters and and a family full of blessings and life in Tennessee?

Thirty something years later.... Mike, Daddy, (Michael) passed away too soon from this earth. 

Life goes on as it does and on September 19th a new baby was born. Gunner Michael Orange was born in Texas and was named after his PeePaw that he never got to meet. πŸ’™
Gunner's family grows even more totaling 4 children for his mama & daddy to care for in Texas. That's a lot of mouths to feed and care for. We are so thankful that Mama gets to stay home and care for the children and keep them bellies full and cow licks slicked down for school!
Daddy has a wonderful job that allows him to work from home.

 After Daddy being with that company for over 10 years.... The company gets bought out and lay offs and restructuring takes place. Daddy takes a bullet. What a shock. Thankfully his company takes good care of him and things are gonna be ok for a while while he searches for a new job. Thankful for sweet family &a friends who prayed and kept us going even with so much "unknown"! ❤️
Finally after 4 months...he gets "the offer"... With a start date of:
September 19th!!!

With grandchildren galore, MeeMaw is hanging on for the "Joy" ride that this life has to give. She loves to visit Texas when she can to see how much her grandchildren have grown and have some family time with them that's Texas Style. She is full of life and love for many. However, she works full time and takes care of her elderly mother. It doesn't give her a lot of free time. She has a great job working for the state of Tennessee but needs a change. She needs to be closer to home and be able to be off earlier to help with all that she does for her mother. She spends over a year in a position she doesn't enjoy hoping for something to open up. It finally happens. While she was in Texas visiting.. She gets the call!!!! Her start date will be September 19th!!!!

Is their any correlation here????????
September 19th Mama & Daddy's 1st date!
September 19th Gunner Michael is born and named after Daddy... His PeePaw!
September 19th Nathan's new job he really needed- starts!
September 19th Mama's new job she's been waiting a long time for- starts!
She finds out when she is in Texas!
 (With Nathan... With Gunner Michael... with Me!)

So Today....it's September 19th!!!!
It will never just be Gunner Michael's Birthday.... It will be a day that Heaven Came Down and filled our souls. The Lord takes care of us and even reminds us with days that are only sentimental and special to "us"and ALL CONNECTED to Daddy! 

Thank you Lord for answered prayers. Thank you Lord for providing for our family! Thank you Lord for the gift of Life with Gunner Michael 7 Years ago today.
Thank you for young love that begin with Mama & Daddy years ago on this day. Thank you that even though life ended on earth for Daddy.... His life is now in Heaven with you! 
Thank you Lord for September 19th!!!!


                     We are ready!!!!

So proud of my faithful husband who even in confusing times knows God is in control! We don't have to worry because πŸ’—He takes care of us. πŸ’—
                          CHEERS!
πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰Bring it!!!!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰
❤️An old photo of Mama & Daddy❤️
I wonder if they knew their 1st date on September 19th would have so much meaning 40 something years later???

                      Whoo Hooo!!!
Congratulations & Good Luck to MeeMaw & Daddy!!!!!!


We Love to surprise MeeMaw! 1st day Flowers from her Texas Grandkids!!!! 

Gunner's Birthday dinner choice.... Hibachi!!!!! Yum! Yum! Celebrations started early since Daddy will gone for training.


       Cookie Cake for the 7 Year Old!!!!
            Presents are too exciting!!!!


           The surprises are so fun!!!!!!
Riding Electric Style on September 19th
πŸŽ‰But first...... Let's play HOOKIE!!!!!πŸŽ‰
                    πŸŽ‰No school!!!!πŸŽ‰

     Pancakes & Sausage.... Requested


   A fast scooter ride while Mommy runs along behind!!!! This is fun!!!!!!

Play Hookie and Play Basketball with Mama!!!! This child always says his birthday is the Best Day of his Life!!!!
I just love that!❤️

We Love You Gunner Michael Orange❤️


Sunday, September 11, 2016

"The Middle School Kiss"

Not many pictures on this post.. because this time... just ONE picture causes me write a 1000 words to describe all that is behind it. 

So the first couple weeks of middle school were interesting.  They were different. They were fun. They were eye opening to C-H-A-N-G-E.
It's always harder when you are in the thick of these changing moments, but when you come out of it...the picture begins to have better clarity. 

Middle Schoolers! They have more freedom. They feel older.  They embrace this new beginning and are quite excited for school to start.... so this new experience can begin. Parents are even a little excited for them... because it's neat to watch this stir up some excitement about school in their child. But for us..... after about a week and a half.... As I looked at my child... it was clear.... Even with the new experience and new school and new freedoms revealed... that inside those LONG days with 7 periods & homework...there hung a long, sad middle schooler's face with who knows what going on inside his head?   
WHO IS THIS KID?  
Who took my Smiley Noah away?  Why isn't he smiling?  
Not only did he not smile... he didn't talk.  No details... no stories... barely even an answer to my questions.  Hardly any eye contact or expression.  Annoyed looks and sounds and grumbles.  Eye rolls and not so terrific tones.  I think to myself....Here we go!!!!  
WAIT!  But I'm NOT ready!  I thought it would gradually happen as middle school went on.  NOPE!  
There is nothing that will FIX it immediately.... You can rack you parent brain on what to say or do.  But don't get discouraged if it doesn't work.  It's so hard because you just LOVE them so much and you feel like you have lost something and you don't even know how to begin looking for it.  Not to mention if you have 3 other kids that need you and you can't devote yourself to the one child going through these changes.  You feel slightly discouraged.  
You think to yourself....But Mama's fix everything?  We kiss the boo boos, we bandage them up, We hold a wash cloth on their heads when they are sick, we snuggle with them when they want, we make their favorite foods, we clean up their messes...10,000 times, we hug and kiss them bye, we help them with homework, we entertain them and their friends, we answer hard questions about life and death, we read to them, we listen to them read... even if it's sounding out a 3 letter word and it takes them a minute to do each word, we do it because we want them to be confident....to feel proud....to be successful... to feel LOVED.
We do all of these things because WE LOVE THEM MORE THAN WE COULD EVER IMAGINE!  

I have to say... I love making my Noah home cookin meals.  Comfort food.  He loves all food but especially comfort food.  I cooked the meals, made him great snacks for after school.... I was hoping that would put a big smile on his face and Mama would get a big hug.  It did... some...but it wasn't until one of those days where it hit me..... the kitchen was a wreck... I needed to clean up dinner.. kids were running all over.  But as I looked across the room... there laid my almost 12 year old son on the couch.  It was like all "MOM DUTIES" expired... My only need was to go lay on the couch beside him.  We have a sectional and he was laying where my head could lay right up against his.  He was watching some detective show.  So I cozied up and laid there and actually even napped a little.  It was when I woke that I felt my almost 12 year old middle schooler raise his head up and lean over to KISS me on the forehead.  It was that moment when it hit me.  He loves me.  He knows I love him.  We don't have to talk at this moment.... we just laid head to head and rested together in the calm. We are gonna get through this and it's going to be ok!  AT the end of the day... all kids really need is LOVE.  There are so many ways we can express love with things we do or say.  But for me... being AVAILABLE for my children is LOVE.  Being able to recognize when laundry can wait... there is a tea party with a 4 year old to be had!  Dishes can wait... there is a middle schooler that just needs his mother close.  
Since then... we have been MUCH BETTER! I just close my eyes and soak up when he just comes and hugs me and just lays his head on my chest.  That unspoken love that screams... I'm Glad I have you.  Don't get me wrong... there are still those days where I look over at him in the car and I KNOW.  The other day I actually squeezed his shoulder as I was driving and said, "You ok, you a little tired today?"  His reply... "No... I'm just RELIEVED"
I ask why and he says, "I'm relieved that school is over for today." Then he leans his head back and I can just see the "heavy" on him.  He proceeds to tell me of all the work he got done that day and stayed on top of his assignments and that he was so glad he did because he now has a project due early the next week and this and that and more homework.  
IT'S A LOT!  Noah is a tough kid and has always handled things well.  But let's face it... these days... school is a lot!  The expectations and homework and workload is more intense than ever. 

I wanted to write about this because I want to look back and remember these times of change.  I hope if anyone else out there is in the thick of it... you will take comfort and know this is normal and you do have a role in helping them get through it!  I am thankful that I get to be the mother to my kids that helps them get through all this! But first... I must remember:
 I have a job to do.... To be Available and to Love and Support them.  
I can get through 4 kids with a total of 12 years in Middle School right? That made me cry giggle.
So whether it's the preschooler that needs you to set things aside for them for play, or the elementary school kid that needs to read slowly to you, or the middle schooler that needs your silent presence, or the high schooler that knows you got their back and you will support them, or the college kid that needs you to let them spread their wings a little and fly back to the nest anytime whether if its for the weekend or for an hour...the nest will be waiting, or maybe it's the married kid that needs to know they can call you anytime and you will listen or you will carve out some time to visit them in their crazy life of family and kids..... No matter what kid stage we are in.... the theme for all of them is being available for our children when they need us.   
Many prayers for us ALL!  
The picture worth a 1000 words.
I will never forget this kiss.  
The one on my forehead.
The one from my middle schooler.

 I just adore him and his smile.  He makes me smile when he even starts to crack one.  I never thought I would see him not smiling.  He's always been the happiest kid.  He could get in trouble  and get 5 spankins and he would be right back beside you... over it.  He bounces back.  
Now... more than ever before... I REJOICE in his HAPPY FACE!  



Nights like this when he won't stop practicing his tuba.  It's so loud.  He plays the same thing over and over.  3 other kids screaming and playing. Supper on the stove.  But I smile and feel happy inside because I freakin LOVE THIS LIFE!  Then he kinda ruins it because he comes in the kitchen showing me the "SPIT VALVE" on his tuba.  He pumps it over and over and says, "Look Mom!  LOOK!  My Spit Valve!"  I literally gagged!  Then he proceeds to tell me he forgot to clean it out for like 3 days and when he opened it was just a big huge string of spit.  Someone please get me a barf bag!  I can't take it anymore!



 This Guy... 1st year of Tackle Football!  He has played flag for years... but we just now let him play tackle.  He loves it and looks forward to "TACKLING SOMEONE!"

 So lucky to have Daddy as one of the Coaches!  Same great dads and boys!  It may be our 1st year to play and we may not win them all... but it will be a great learning year with good buddies &  Coach Daddy along side him!  

 Hard to watch him get hurt... be on his back with no air from a cleat kick in the gut from a boy 3 times his size.... He rested a little on the sideline and went back in for me.  
If he can do it... Mama is gonna have to toughen up too

 Lining up 
 Noah getting some water squirted in his mouth.  

 Love pics of them listening to Coach Henry

An Act of Love... since we are talking about LOVE 
Sometimes your week is a little thrown with some weird pain and doctor visits.  Just when you got your motor running back and in the swing of school.. you get knocked down a little with a week of taking care of yourself.  But even more is the people who reach out and take care of you too. They make themselves AVAILABLE for you!  One of the most beautiful "Farmhouse Lunches" on my porch I have ever seen!  Soup & Bread from a Caring Soul.  It reminded me of the simpleness of Love.  It reminded me of the kind of LOVE that is needed for not just our kids who are journeying in this life and going through changes... But the kind of Love the world needs more of!  The kind of love where people aren't too busy in their day of duties to stop and do something for someone else.  
Who can you be AVAILABLE for?  So many people out there that just need someone to care enough to BE AVAILABLE for them. 

It's ok to be a couch potato... I always got this guy to hang out with me if I need to rest.
He is ALWAYS AVAILABLE for LOVE!  

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Quality Time That Is Quite Quaint!"

Opening weekend of dove hunting is always fun around here!  Noah and his buddies have been going for years!  Father/Son Dove Hunt with quality people who love to ranch it up and eat dove wrapped in bacon, stay up late, do guy stuff, eat, shoot birds, ride go carts and as my oldest would say... Not take a shower the entire time.  Nice!  So thankful for these boys!  This year was Gunner's first year and he loved it!  Such memories these boys will have and I think the daddies will look back and wish they could do it all over again.  


 Mr. Henry is Mr. Safety and that's why all the Mamas love him... cause we know he will lay down them rules and tell these boys what doesn't fly at the ranch!

 Gunner is all set up!  Looking Cute!

 Grabbing that first bird

 What a sweet little pic
 I always make my hubby send me of pic of him.  He's my Main Hunter.... 

 Our friends laugh and said Nathan scouted all the land to find the perfect backdrop for the pic with his sons.  I've trained him well!  I've trained him well!  LOL!  He knows Mama LOVES a good picture of her boys and he did not disappoint!  

 But then he sends me this one!!!!!  FRAMER!!!!!!

Jokes on you mom..... I bit the doves head off.  
Boys can be gross and love to play jokes on Mama

 Well Lookie Here!  While the boys are off playing.... The girls are having girl time with an extra special girl... all the way from Tennessee.  MEEMAW!!!!!  What a treat!  Such a special visit!  

 Relaxation is Real Nice!  


 Painted Toes are Pretty Too!





 Happy Labor Day!  
 MeeMaw Loves her Texas Grandkids!


 Selfie! 
 Quality time that is quite quaint is with this person!  From our quaint little shopping places to our quaint little coffee time... It's Quality Time with my Mama! 




Tennessee Is Like A Picture That’s Worth A 1000 Words...

As we travel back 800 miles from Tennessee back to Texas... tears fill my eyes as I look at the pictures of our time with family. There are ...