Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
It's after mid-night, which means it is now Sunday morning. Father's Day to be exact. I can't sleep; partially because I have a lot on my mind, and partially because the neighbors are having a pool party- complete with loud music and obnoxious laughter. But, I'm starting to feel like maybe it's all a little orchestrated....a little Providential.
As is typical on sleepless nights, I wandered to the kitchen to log-on to facebook. In doing so, on this dawn of Father's Day, I began to see status updates take the form of tributes to Daddies everywhere; and profile pictures resembling someone's dad instead of themselves, oftentimes as a memorial. Naturally, I thought of my own dad, and joined in on the tributes. But, I realized that there is far more to say than a status update will allow. And, let's face it, a post is LONG overdue. So, it was an easy choice...a no brainer. The difficult part is deciding where to start, and perhaps even more difficult where/when to stop. There is much to say. Much, too much.
I think I'll start with the fact that I have NEVER, EVER doubted how much my Dad loves my mom and the three of us kids. When I really think about it, I wonder why that is. Is it because he told us? Is it because he showed us? Is it because he disciplined us, or taught us right from wrong? Is it because he taught, by example, what work looks like? Do I know that I was/am loved because he welcomed me to snuggle and cuddle as a kid? Or, is it strictly evident because of the way he loves my mom? Maybe it's the sweet way he calls me Shana-girl. Or, how he lights up when I walk in the door of his house after I haven't been 'home' in a while.
I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the way I always felt, and still feel safe, when I'm with him.....the assurance that no thunderstorm, or car trouble, (or whatever) would be too much for my daddy. Now, that I think about it, especially in those terms, maybe it was because he let me crawl in the bed with him & mom when I had a bad dream.
Or, maybe it was/is his patience; and the fact that I very rarely saw him lose his temper. Better yet, maybe it was because one of the few times he did lose his temper was in response to me talking back to my mom; and he simply told me that he would not stand for it. Yeah, that's definitely one of the reasons; and I appreciate that infinitely more now that I'm on the other side of Motherhood.
Speaking of being on the other side of Motherhood, maybe Daddy's love is even more evident now than it was then (if that is even possible) because of the way he loves my kids and the other grandkids. Could it be the way he always has time for a game of chess, or to pitch the ball to Bryce? Perhaps it is because he lets Sara Kate sleep with him when she spends the night...and he calls her his Bed Buddy. Maybe it's because he uses a bobcat to pile up a huge pile of leaves every year for the kids to jump in. Or, maybe it's easy to see when I look around my house and see the tangible things he made for me or my kids....with his own hands, by his own design, and always just the way we wanted or requested. No, I bet it's because he always has time for my projects...whether it's sewing purses from a pattern he made himself, or he & Mom helping me make 16 gallons of prailine popcorn, or the fact that he is an honorary member of the girls-only cookie club.
Now that I think about it...maybe it's more his quiet, soft handed leadership. The way that he values his faith without wearing it as a billboard. It's probably the fact that he treats people honestly and fairly, and that he consistently does the right thing. You know, acting out his faith, morals, and values instead of talking about them or boasting about them....certainly a Samaratin not a Pharisee.
Who knows? Perhaps it goes back to the beginning. Back to the experiences I've only heard about in story form, from mom or other relatives (cause Lord knows, he wouldn't tell them himself). Back to the way he loved my mom through illnesses that were capable of taking her life. Back to all the things he 'rigged' up to make things easier on her. Back to the way he helped her to regain her strength in walking by allowing her to "walk on his feet." Yes, I'm certain my assurance at the very least grew from there...got it's beginnings there; even though I was too little to see or understand them when they were happening. That certainly speaks to the power of love, doesn't it?
But, you & I both know that true assurance doesn't come from a one time experience. And, while those stories and remembrances certainly provided a great start; we know that Love is proven over time. It is a seed that is planted and grows. I think that's what amazes me most. Daddy is not an overly emotional or doting person. He certainly wasn't Mr. Romance to my mom; and my siblings and I weren't spoiled or anything. In truth, he actually worked an awful lot, and worked hard. A fact that I somehow think he regrets now. But, I wish he wouldn't. All of us 'got it'. We knew he was doing that for us...and because he loved us. Furthermore, he could also be a little hard on us at times, but it was always balanced with love. And, I personally am grateful for that, that he loved us enough to shape our character.
As I said earlier, the hard part is knowing where to stop and when to end. I could go on and on; providing at least a million more examples (just as I could do with examples of mom's love for us as well). Even now, I fully realize I'm leaving things out that left an indelible mark on my heart.... Like how he and mom were always available to talk to me when I needed it, like how he encouraged me to face my fears; and how he confessed that he too, had fears, like mine.
Yes, my assurance comes from all those things and a zillion more just as important!
But, I think I'll end with a simple thank you!
Thank you for loving Mom, and thank you for loving your kids. Thank you for loving your grandkids. Thank you for loving us so much that we've never had any room for doubt. It is a honor and true privilege to be your daughter! You are the truest, most honest definition of the word Father!
I Love you,
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Apparently it is customary in the blog world to list 100 things about yourself around the anniversary of your 100th post. And, because I've been missing ye olde blog lately, and because I'm just over 100 posts and because I have nothing else to talk about, I thought I would play along. By the way, because I delight in sharing information that you couldn't care less about, this is my 102nd post. So, the following is everything that you never cared to know about me. And a quick disclaimer, if you are my Facebook "friend" then you've seen about 25 of these....but give a girl a break, I'm still adding 75 more incredibly random, mundane & trivial facts about me.
1. I suppose the basics are that I am a daughter, sister, friend, aunt, wife, and mother. (Listed chronologically, 'cause I'm weird like that)
2. I am a sinner, saved by the unfathomable grace of God.
3. I am what they call "HIGH strung"
4. However, luckily I am also LOW Maintenance.
5. Personally, I'm just glad I'm not both high strung and high maintenance....or Brad would be one tired fella.
6. I married the most laid back person on the planet.......this has been a lifesaver.
7. Obviously, I have common sense (see #6).
8. I am a Mama's and a Daddy's girl. Always have been, always will be.
9. There has always been something in my personality that can NOT allow me to ONLY say, I'm a mama's girl or JUST say I'm a daddy's girl..... I always have to say both, 'cuz that's just the truth...and that's how I roll.
10. I usually can't remember how old I am.....almost always have to calculate it....this didn't start happening until I reached the 30s- wonder why that is????? Hmmm, maybe I'm trying to forget :)
11. My sister got the fashion and fru-fru gene of the family.....but I'm smart enough to solicit help from her and my friends.....
12. Apparently, I got the gene that enables me to talk about gross stuff (I'll spare you the details-but with my family 10 bucks says poop will enter the conversation at some point)
13. I'd like to say that I'm a loyal friend.
14. However, I know that there have been times when I have let my friends down.....and I still think back on those times with regret.......even though it's ancient history.
15. I am not quick witted, but I think I can be funny at times. By the way, Shelley got the humor gene too.
16. I TALK TOO much. PERIOD.
17. I used to be able to remember numbers, like phone numbers and addresses uncannily well.....now? not so much.
18. I am super transparent. For the most part, what you see is what you get.
19. I am a zit picker. There, I said it. See, super transparent and super gross...what a lovely combo
20. I graduated from college, but I didn't "go off" to college. However, I did study abroad in the UK for a semester. Up to that point in my life, that was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Now, husband and children trump it by far. But still, a good experience for me.
21. I sing all.the.time. (always have) and I usually have a song of some sort in my head. Today it was "Chicken Fried" by Zac Brown
22. To borrow from Tammy, I get mistaken for my best friend A LOT....and we have conspired to use this in our favor :)
23. My children act just like me and this is incredibly satisfying to my brother.....I think he uses the term sweet justice....... I have no idea what he may be referring too :)
24. I instant message a good bit, and almost every time I think, "wouldn't it be easier to call them?"
25. I'm one of those folks that needs for it to be really quiet when I sleep....this is unfortunate since my entire family (including the dog) snores
26. I'm addicted to other peoples opinions, and I rarely hang a picture or pick out a paint color without consulting the interior designing firm of T&T.....you know you are :)
27. I rarely watch TV, but I'm addicted to facebook and blogs.
28. Apparently, I am nosy...why else would I be addicted to facebook
29. I am tender hearted and cry easily....you will never cry alone if you're with me......
30. I can not stand to be misunderstood. And, most of the time will go to great lengths to ensure that what you think I'm conveying is, in fact, what I'm trying to convey. That can be exhausting.
31. I like for things to be equal or balanced, and tend to enjoy things that are exact. This can be a nightmare when decorating.
32. I have a few OCD tendencies, but they present themselves in a really strange way. It's not across the board and it's not all the time. But, whenever I have things that are multiple colors, I can't have 2 of the same color together.
33. I like to make lists for things, but I frequently lose the list. And, inevitably when I make a grocery list I leave it at home. This makes me very grouchy.
34. I am a worry wart, and always have been.
35. I used to be downright fearful, but God is working on me about that, and I'm pleased to say that it is a lot better than it was.
36. I am learning to play the guitar.
37. I would also love to learn sign language.
38. I am not very patient and tend to have a temper. In case, you're wondering, there's another less than desirable combo
39. I'm outgoing and extroverted. I think I'm fairly easy to talk to, but will rarely make the 'first move' or introduction.
40. I sometimes judge people prematurely, and oftentimes harshly. This is another area where God is working on me.
41. My favorite color is yellow....because it's bright & sunny.
42. I rarely, if ever, buy anything full price. It almost always must be on sale, or less than $20. This could be what is wrong with my wardrobe. :)
43. I try to be organized, and have achieved that in many areas. But, there are just as many (namely my desk) that are anything but organized.
44. I can be good naturedly sarcastic. I learned this from my dad, who is the King of facetiousness.
45. I love to laugh and hang out with friends.
46. I have Godly parents, a great family, and supportive and caring friends.
47. Obviously, I am blessed.
48. I just found out that it may no longer be in style to do 100 things around your 100th post, because, now I can't find any of the ones that I've read.
49. But, clearly, I'm sticking to it, because, Hello? I'm on number 49.
50. Apparently, I'm 'so yesterday'
51. I have perseverance :)
52. Not really, I'm just stubborn.
53. I have trouble falling asleep sometimes. Which is exactly the cause for this stupid post.
54. I enjoy sleeping late, and pray to the dear Lord above, that I'll be able to tomorrow (since it's 2am right now, and I can't go to sleep).
55. I tend to get on one subject and stay there...
56. I am a planner....this has been known to bite me in the tail.
57. If I could change anything about my physical appearance it would be my insanely, unnatural light complexion.
58. I did try to change it by laying out in the sun during my teenage years, and I was rewarded with a diagnosis of melanoma at the age of 25.
59. Now, I am a sun-o-phob. And, I take inordinate amounts of pleasure upon discovering a new sunblock with a SPF of 70.
60. I love to cuddle and snuggle.
61. I formed that habit while growing up, because I got in the bed with my daddy every morning before school to cuddle with him for a few short minutes.
62. Even to this day, if I spend the night with my parents, I will get in the bed and cuddle with them when I wake up.
63. I have been known to make my daddy get back in the bed so I could cuddle. And he did. Which is just one of the reasons why I'm a Daddy's girl. Obviously, we are wrapped around each other's fingers.
64. However, I am NOT the chosen one. (That would be my brother, the first born son) :)
65. In fact, I always wanted a playhouse when I was little....you know, one just like my brother had. I finally got it last year, when daddy built one for the kids and put my name on it too. I'll take what I can get.
66. I like to be crafty. I love to scrapbook and make cards.
67. However, I'm not very creative.... I just copy stuff.
68. When I was little, my sister hit me over the top of the head with an axe. Some say that this explains a lot.
69. I am claustrophobic.
70. I'm not afraid of heights, but that doesn't mean you'll ever catch me skydiving or bungee jumping.
71. I start thinking about what we are going to get the kids for Christmas by August or September....see #56.
72. I gave birth to a 9 lb 140z child in 40 minutes (not including labor) and Sara Kate who was still 8lbs even 3 weeks early, came without a single push. Pardon me, but I feel that is noteworthy.
73. Apparently, I've been known to brag (see #72)
74. My least favorite household chore is cleaning the shower.
75. There are some things that I probably won't understand this side of heaven.....most days I'm okay with that, other days it's a struggle.
76. We've been waiting 3 years to adopt a little girl from China. At this point, we're not sure it's going to happen. (see #75).
77. I am horrible at shutting doors and drawers. You can always tell when I've been in the kitchen because every cabinet door is open. This drives both my parents and my husband crazy.
78. My biggest pet peeve is for someone to say that they are going to do something and then not do it. I would rather them not say anything at all than to fail to follow through. Obviously, I'm not speaking about extenuating circumstances that prevent follow through.
79. With that being said, I try my best to follow through with my commitments. I don't or can't follow through all the time and that worries me sick. I also try my best to extend grace, so that it will be extended to me. Sometimes, I'm good at that; other times, I'm not.
80. I think parenting is the absolute hardest and the absolute most important thing that I will ever do.
81. I am both a Human Resources and General Management major.
82. This is ironic to me, because I don't enjoy managing (or being in charge) of anything or anybody. I can't take the pressure, and would much rather be an Indian than a chief.
83. However, In the few management jobs that I've held, I think I did fairly well in them.
84. There have been a very precious few times that I've said exactly what I wanted to say when it needed to be said. Most of the time, I think of something that would have been appropriate a good 2 days after it was needed. This is most frustrating.
85. I am a sentimental kind of girl, and I love family traditions. We have several that are near and dear to my heart. I consider it part of my heritage and want desperately to impart that heritage or legacy on to my children.
86. One of my favorite traditions is making a couple of thousand cookies every year at Christmas time with my aunts and my cousins. I would give my right arm to have my grandmother be able to be with us for just one of those weekends. She started that tradition without even knowing it.
87. I gave Brad an ultimatum that if he didn't ask me to marry him by the New Year (January '99) I was moving on to find the husband that I knew God had for me. (In my defense, we had been talking about marriage for 2 years and I already had my wedding dress that he went with me to get- not see, but purchase)
88. He asked me to marry him the day before New Year's Eve.
89. I'm not the only one that is strong-willed and stubborn. :)
90. I like to travel.
91. I tend to hold the arguement that if 1 is good, then 2 is better. This is not always the case.
92. Almost without fail, when I'm in a crowded room or movie theater, I plan an escape route should the unthinkable happen. I'm sure there is a name for this illness, but I don't know what it is. (#69 plays a role in this I think)
93. I see the danger in everything.
94. For this reason, I hold the record for the diving in the pool with my clothes to rescue a child (who may or MAY NOT have needed rescuing).
95. I'm not at all embarrased by #94 because I'd rather go in and not be needed than not go in. So, you can make fun of me all you want.....but your kids are safe if I'm around. :)
96. I also tackled my 3 year old niece and completely took her to the ground when I thought a wayward bottle rocket was going to explode near her. She looked at me like I was crazy, but she has no doubt that I'd save her if she needed it.
97. However, as mentioned before, God is working on my fear issues and I sure as heck don't want to pass fear onto my kids.
98. I am a work in progress.
99. I completley and utterly imperfect.
100. And, I'm okay with that!
Feel free to play along....for some reason, I love to read these things. I think I mentioned that I'm nosy. :)
Posted by Brad and Shana at 12:55 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Our summer was anything but lazy. Although that truth is a reality that never ceases to baffle me. Every year, by the end of the school year, I always look forward to long summer days filled with nothing to do. And, every year I stand amazed at how quickly my calendar fills up with things to do and places to be. Not that these appointments are necessarily bad or dreaded, most of the things we did this summer were tons of fun. But, fun, my friend can also be tiring. Anyway, I've been so busy (and so addicted to FaceBook) that I haven't made the time to blog and post pictures of our "doings and goings". So here are the highlights of our summer, in a sort of shortened version.
To kick the summer off, we were able to be a part of our best friend's wedding vow renewal. It was one of the funnest and most special nights. And, we were privileged to be a part of it. There was a ceremony, and dinner, and dancing, and lots of kids having the time of their life. They were blessed and we were so happy for them. We love you, Hildebrand's.
That next week, another dear friend's son had surgery on his brain to insert a shunt. We would not hear of them going through that without friends there to support them. So, that meant a daytrip with some buddies to Birmingham. I am so pleased to say that Austin came through surgery wonderfully and has recovered perfectly as well. We are still praying for his follow up appoinment at the end of this month. But, we are believing God to continue what He has already started in the healing process of this sweet little man of God.
That weekend, we went on a weekend camping trip with our kids, parents, and nieces. The kids had the time of their life camping in the motor home. We camped on a lake and they fished all weekend, except for a few excursions out to play putt putt and also to see the world's largest tree house. That's the stuff memories are made of.
The following weekend, my sister, Shelley had the kids with her for a week in Macon so that they could go to her VBS. Then, at the end of the month, we had VBS at our church. That about sums up June.
July literally got started with bang.......a BIG BANG This year, for the first time, we took the kids to a local community firework display. The kids thought the professionals did an awesome job (but I still think they like our annual fireworks too). We also had our annual cookout with the Hildebrand's and Godwins; and were so glad that Maci, Bayley, and Aunt Sissy could be there this year too. It is an annual tradition that we've done for at least 6 or 7 years. We always have some fireworks, lots of food, swimming, and Randall's Yoo-Hoo icecream. Needless to say, the kids always have so much fun, that, at times, my heart wants to explode with mushy-gushy happiness.
We also got hooked on minor league baseball this year. We went to 2 Lookouts games. Bryce has been to a Braves game, but the smaller stadium at Bellsouth Park really allows an "up & coming" baseball player to see what is going on. Other than the fact that it was EXTREMELY hot, the kids loved it. We especially loved having Maci & Bayley with us. And, the fireworks at the end of the game were super cool as well. I'm thinking we just started another annual tradition in the Farmer household. Oh, and I would be completely remiss if I didn't share that Sara Kate was chosen to be in one of the "between inning" contests. She was given a Mayfield Dairy T-shirt and was asked to give the crowd her best "MOOOO". She played against 2 other adorable girls, but they were no match for little Miss Personality herself. When it was her turn, instead of mooing, she got all shy and just managed out a sweet little shrug and giggle, but the crowd went wild. When it came time for the judging, she won by a long shot, just for her shear cuteness.
Let's see.... what else? Sara Kate participated in her first music camp at church this summer. She had a lot of fun learning songs and doing silly dances. She is definitely a performer...no doubt about it. Bryce went the first day, but decided that it wasn't really for him. He has much too much energy to sit still for very long in the summer (unless ICarly is on- ha ha).
I also worked a wonderful Tres Dias weekend toward the end of July. It was such a wonderful experience for me, the rest of the team, and the candidates. I am simply amazed every single time I'm involved with Tres Dias. That weekend was definitely a blessing to me and I was honored to be a part of it.
After the Tres Dias weekend, we loaded up the motor home again and went to Myrtle Beach with my parents, the Godwin's, and the Hildebrand's. It was so wonderful to be able to go to the beach with friends, and the kids absolutely loved every minute of it. We all managed to have a good time, even though between the 3 campers, there were 5 flat tires; not to mention the torrential down pours that we had the pleasure of experiencing Each.And.Every.Day. But, seriously, between playing in the sand on the beach with your friends, and going to the aquarium with your family, or playing putt putt with your buddies, and shopping, and eating fresh seafood, we don't have too many complaints.
That's been our summer in a nutshell......just add in a few nights at Granda's with the cousins, and a few sleepovers with friends, not to mention a pool party or a trip to the Discovery Museum here and there, and I think that about covers it. Do you see why I'm tired?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I know, I know, I've been absent for a while. And, yes, I've got several things to blog about (so watch for them in the near future) but this post has been brewing in my head for a week or so, and I just thought it was time to get it published.
It seems lately, that I've had a heightened burden for my children. I think this is due, in part, to the political climate of our nation. I can look back, and see what our great nation was founded on, but when I look ahead, I don't like where we are going. It can be very scary, and thinking about it absolutely always encompasses my children. What will the Nation be like for them? Will they be allowed to worship freely? Christianity is growing in other parts of the world, but in America, it is losing ground. Of course, I suppose that there is a whole other post about what we, as Christians, could - no SHOULD do about it, and I certainly wish I had even one or two of the answers for that question. But even if I did, I don't have a lot of control over the nation as a whole, but Brad & I do have control (for now) of our family and our children. We can be sure that they are prepared, that they believe, and that they know why they believe what they believe.
Anyway, with that being on my mind lately, I've tried to become more and more intentional about matters of the faith. In other words, I'm trying to really live out the portion of Deuteronomy where it talks about teaching your children constantly. Now, Bryce is 6 and Sara Kate is 4, so I'm not talking about any huge, heady, doctrinal stuff here. I'm just trying to think of ways that I can constantly talk about or teach them about Jesus.
This is where you come in....where the sharing comes in. This is where we can brainstorm together. I'm not a creative person, I need all the help I can get. And, I figured y'all might like some new ideas too. So, I'll share mine, if you'll share yours. Don't worry, this won't take long. :) Here goes:
One of the newer things that I've been doing is explaining songs to them. Both of my kids love music. They both fall asleep listening to music and they both love to listen to songs..and I'm not just talking about fun, kids songs; although we do love ourselves some VeggieTales. So, we'll get them a CD and before you know it, they are singing along. But, just like adults, so often they memorize the words but don't always get the metaphors and messages in the music. So, if we're driving down the road, and I've got a CD in, I will stop it and sort of 'set up' or explain the song to them (in very kid friendly terms) just to make sure they 'get' what they are singing about. By the way, we've really been digging Francesca Battistelli's new CD. There are a ton of catchy little melodies that the kids love, and almost every song is easily explained. Another example is Brandon Heath's "Give me your eyes". Bryce LOVES that song, but again, I wanted him to "get" it, so we've talked about it and about what it means. My explanations are simple (after all, it is me who is giving them, they can't be too complicated) and they are usually just one or two sentences. But hopefully, as they listen to it, or the next time it comes on the radio, it will cause them to think about it. Now, I'm not saying that I've seen any real "fruit" from my explaining endeavours, but again, I'm just trying to 'keep it constant' for them. Although, I will say, that now, when a song comes on, Sara Kate will often ask, "What does this song mean momma?" So, who knows, maybe it's getting in there somewhere.
I've already mentioned that we do Devotions by playing the "Mad/Sad/Glad game" and that we pray together as a family a specific way during our devotions. And, I've also mentioned that during Christmas, we do "The Jesse Tree" and and Advent Wreath. Along those same lines, I have gotten a book called Faith Launch, which gives you ways to launch the faith of your children by doing devotions. And, I love the concept, but I keep forgetting that you have to have specific materials (like object lessons) and of course, when I'm out I don't remember to get the materials. But, I plan to try that soon.
And, I suppose I don't really have to mention this one, but I will. I pray for our kids. Our minister of music taught a class on parenting a while back, and he had several hand outs on ways to pray for your kids. He also said that he prayed that God would give him a scripture promise for each of his kids. I have done that as well, and I pray that verse over them often.
That's all I've got. That's it. Nothing fancy or earth shattering here.....nothing deep or super spiritual. And, Lord knows, certainly nothing new. But, I'd sure love to have some new ideas....what do you do?
Monday, May 18, 2009
OK, so several of you knew that a few of us from my Bible Study group went to see Travis Cottrell (Beth Moore's worship leader) in a live recording concert in Atlanta earlier this year. The concert was absolutely fabulous. I am not even kidding about that....Absolutely. Fabulous. And because I'm one of those people that upon finding, seeing, or hearing something good, I just have to share the love with all my friends. So, here it is:
You can go here and listen to song clips. It is not out until June 2nd. And, if I don't win one on a few blogs that I follow, I will FOR SURE be ordering one. By the way, you can already preorder now.
And, just for your viewing pleasure, check this out: (and yes, I'm a friend, indeed) :)
Posted by Brad and Shana at 2:52 PM